Nepal is a country having multiple caste, ethnicity and religious groups. Among them Dom is also one of the so-called lower caste in our society. The aim of the study of this research is to know the “Social Perception, Social Distance and Identity” of Dom Community and its relation to Pahadi and Madheshi community who used to mark themselves as higher caste. The study was done within three castes with 150 samples i.e. 50 samples were taken from each caste. Similarly, 15 case studies were done i.e. 5 samples from each group. The study was based on three factors; Identity, Social Perception, and Social Distance. Bogardus “Social Distance Scale” (modified by B. Kuppuswami in 1951), “Perception of Self Others Test” of Osgood et al and “Twenty Statement Test” of Kuhn and Mc Pharland (1954) were used as a tools for the study. The study was done by using mixed method. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used to find the detailed information to meet the problem. Similarly, Twenty Statement Test was also used to find the solution related to the problems. All the information was analyzed through descriptive and SPSS-21 version. Through the analysis of data, the result supports all the objectives.
The result highlights the Madheshi, Pahadi and Dom perception as well as their social distance towards them as well as towards others group. As a whole the result of Madheshi and Pahadi group shows negative perception but positive social distance towards Dom. Similarly, the Dom social perception and social distance was highly positive as well as very highly positive towards Madheshi and Pahadi. The Dom social distance towards Dom is very highly positive. Similarly, the Madheshi and Pahadi social distance towards them is also very highly positive. But, the result highlights the Pahadi social perception towards Pahadi is negative.
The study also highlights that Dom people is being surviving their life by making buckets of bamboos and some of them used to work in sub-metropolitan office as a staff who used to collect wastage as well as who used to clean the dumping areas. The study also revealed that the Madhesi community used to buy Dali (materials which is made by bamboo and used in marriage ceremony). Similarly, both Pahadi and Madheshi community used to buy Dhakki which is used in Chhat Puja. Without these two things the ceremony is not completed. Dom people are self employed and make various things like; Daura, Dhakki, Supali, Taraju, Bena, Dali, Nanglo, Bhakari, etc. with bamboos. In india there is “Banarash Ghat”, where Dom is “Raja” who used to give permission for Daha Sanskar.
Through observation method as well as using Twenty Statement Test, this study indicates the social aspects as well as cognitive aspects of our society. The so-called higher caste used to discriminate Dom community and even they are famous with their nick name i.e. “Untouchable” group. They cannot fetch water from well. Similarly, they shouldn’t touch anyone, they are not invited in any festivals, they are not allowing to perform any tasks related to social welfare, and most unfortunate is that they are not supported by any political parties to uplift their environment.
The identity and social perception as well as social relation of the Dom and others caste is found not as a satisfactory relation but there is also one part which has changed a lot i.e. “Young Generation”. The feeling of untouchable among young generation is being limited. The older people have necessity to come in close contact with Dom community for various reasons i.e. to buy baskets, to ask them to clean their wastage products, etc. And the political parties were in close contact in the election period with the Dom community. But the young generation used to come in the Dom’s house to drink alcohol and eat pork meat as well as used to celebrate their festivals.
Due to discrimination based on negative perception and negative social distance people may suffer from various psychological problems like; stressfulness, anxiety, depression. Similarly, people lack self-esteem, self-worth, self-motivation, and well-being which are directly related with the psychological adjustments of an individual. The study investigate that discrimination is related to negative feelings as well as with our negative beliefs and thoughts.
The study considered the people experiences by studying how negative perceptions and social distance are associated with identity and its contribution to psychological factors. The present study doesn’t reveal any psychological areas from which the participants suffers but can predict the future outcomes due to those discriminatory factors i.e. negative social perception and negative social distance based on racism. The outcomes can be depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, drugs or alcohol addiction, personality disorder, trauma disorder, bipolar disorder, suicidal ideation thoughts, emotional disorder, schizophrenia, etc and so on.