Society has traditionally been strongly patriarchal and strongly hierarchal. The presence of the caste system has made Indians very rank and status oriented. Social relations often begin with a certain amount of sizing up based on caste, ethnic group or rank and how they are related to each other in a certain way prescribed by caste rules.
The extended family, village community and caste system are three primary societal structures.
There are great contrasts between traditional India and modern high-tech and Westernized India.
In the old days Indian society was dominated by a large number of poor people, with a small elite characterized by flamboyant maharajas and a middle class made up largely civil servants. These classes largely exist today except the middle class is more diverse and larger and the small elite includes industrialists and high tech entrepreneurs as well as large landowners.
Hindus have traditionally looked