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By Nandasena Ratnapala

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The four castes (it was laid down by tradition) were created by the god. As such, people born into a caste should perform whatever work assigned to that caste by the creator. The Buddhist theory, rejecting the idea of a creator god, accepts the fact that society evolved itself from simple beginnings. The aptitude and functions that a particular caste specialised, arose due to the conventional practice that the caste was engaged in. People are not born in certain castes with special aptitudes which are genetically determined.

On special occasions re-socialization could be utilised in order to fortifY the already available socialization. When certain girls were given in marriage, the Buddha was requested by their father to admonish them (A III, 26-28). Visilia was advised by her father on the eve of her marriage. King Kasala when he was taken to be beheaded, socialized his son by an admonition which later changed the young prince's life completely (VIN I. 342). Such socialization on 'crisis-situations" was utilised as a strategy to fortifY the process of re-socialization.

Although the negative aspect of hidden socialization is referred to here, such concealed socialization may sometimes have its positive role too. A merchant promises to give his son a certain amount of money if he goes to the Buddha and learns one of his teachings. This process involves bribing the son; but the ultimate result was for the young man's own welfare. The utilisation of hidden or concealed socialization in such situations was a known strategy in Buddhist teachiogs. The Buddhist socialization process identifies the primary institutions of socialization as the family, kin-group or community �9 and the peer-group.

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