Caste is a form of social stratification characterised by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a style of life which often includes an occupation, ritual status in a hierarchy, and customary social interaction and exclusion based on cultural notions of purity and pollution.[1][2][3] Its paradigmatic ethnographic example is the division of India's Hindu society into rigid social groups, with roots in India's ancient history and persisting to the present time.[1][4] However, the economic significance of the caste system in India has been declining as a result of urbanisation and affirmative action programs. A subject of much scholarship by sociologists and anthropologists, the Hindu caste system is sometimes used as an analogical basis for the study of caste-like social divisions existing outside Hinduism and India. The term "caste" is also applied to morphological groupings in eusocial insects such as ants, bees, and termites.[5]

The Basor weaving bamboo baskets in a 1916 book. The Basor are a Scheduled Caste found in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India.