How do I describe a person who strongly believes in caste system? Does even a word exist to describe the same?

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    In the UK at least, such a person would be morally equated with someone who strongly believes in, say, slavery or genocide. So even if there is a term specific to that particular "belief", we'd normally want to use more familiar terms (asshole, dinosaur, monster) so everyone would know just how much we despise them. And "neutral" terms such as hierarchist simply wouldn't cut it, because they prevent us from expressing our disapproval. Jan 24, 2016 at 14:32
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    As @TRomano pointed out, it is very important to understand the context that you would like to use this word in so that we suggest something appropriate. An example sentence would be enough in my opinion.
    – ColleenV
    Jan 27, 2016 at 20:26
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    This doesn't seem to me to be necessarily a matter of opinion. A person who strongly believes in monarchic succession is a monarchist or royalist. A person who advocates for a feudal system is a feudalist. I don't know of a corresponding word for someone who advocates for a caste system, but I don't see why it couldn't exist. If one were discussing the sociological history of India, it would be a handy word to have available. "Casteist?": books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – Adam
    Jan 27, 2016 at 20:49
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    I am not a fan of fascism or anarchism, but it is nice to have different words for proponents of each of them, rather than lumping them together as a-holes, and dinosaurs.
    – Adam
    Jan 27, 2016 at 20:51
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    Google Books reports casteism in use since 1827, castism since 1868, and casteist since 1921. Jan 27, 2016 at 23:31

5 Answers 5


Since caste in India signifies a social hierarchy, different classes (though I think caste in its meaning is actually stronger than class), possibly


could be used for members of the upper caste who feel the way you describe. Usually the top of the pyramid look to maintain their status. But elitist possibly doesn't have the strong feeling that


carries. It's unfortunate that racist by definition applies only to race. If different castes were thought of as different races, it might be appropriate with all the connotation associated with it.

** In UK law, discrimination based on caste is being considered as a form of racism, the debate has been going on for years.

Other terms which might be associated with someone who believes in the caste system are


An exponent of caste is someone who promotes the ideas of the caste system
An advocate of caste is someone who promotes the practice of the caste system


There aren't many words related to the idea of a caste system in English, because such systems are uncommon in countries with English as the primary language. Probably the best choice for a person who supports a caste system would be classist. Be aware that this carries a negative connotation. Saying someone is a classist is an insult; you're saying that they support judgement, discrimination and mistreatment of others based on their social standing.

I don't know of any words or idioms which have the same meaning but express a positive opinion. The closest opposite would be something like egalitarian, meaning a person who doesn't discriminate and treats people fairly. However, this term includes more than just social standing, because it is a general term. Skin color, gender, age, etc. are all included here.

If you're trying to say something beyond just that the person supports a caste system, then please elaborate on what exactly you want to say. English has plenty of words for issuing value judgements.


You could simply use caste believer, which sounds neutral enough in my humble opinion.

And it's obvious that I'm not the first who's ever used this term. There are 7 results in Google Books (it's used as part of a longer phrase in some results) and a lot more in Google search results.


jaati (जाति) in Hindi is the word for caste.

jaativaadee (जातिवादी) in Hindi is the word for casteist. They modifier "vaadee" translates to plaintiff in English, the person bringing the suit in court, or pointing out a difference with an public objection, like "you are drinking from the wrong fountain", or the NYC Central Park Karen who had her dog off the leash and reported the Black bird-watcher who objected to the police, as an attacker. That Karen is definitely a jaativaadee.

Just import the Hindi word into English. They own the intellectual property, I'd say.

Google Translates this incorrectly as "racist", but there is no other word for race in Hindi, but jaati (जाति), they are conflated.

Another possibility is to call casteists Karens, although you would have to stop conflating that with persons merely complaining to the management because the service is actually lousy.


"Bourgois" as sited by the Marxist seems the most appropriate. Those who hold the power of materialism, finance and law over all others. The Burgoise wish to maintain theiro elite power over all others using race, material ownership, wealth etc to maintain their hold.

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    No; bourgois is used to describe members of a particular class, certainly, and those may plausibly have a self-interest in maintaining the class system, but the term says nothing in itself about their actual beliefs. Jan 15, 2018 at 21:32

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