Caste, Hierarchy, and Individualism (Indian Critiques of Louis Dumont's Contributions)

Item Code: IDF426
Publisher: Oxford University Press, New Delhi
Author: R. S. Khare
Language: English
Edition: 2006
ISBN: 0195679172
Pages: 280
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.5" X 5.5"
Weight 480 gm
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Book Description
From the Jacket:

Indian Critiques of Louis Dumont's Contributions

The Oxford in India Readings in Sociology and Social Anthropology comprises a set of volumes, each on an important theme or sub-area within these disciplines. Along with authoritative introductions and sectional prefaces, each book brings together key essays that apprise readers of the current debates and developments within the area concerned, with specific reference to India. The volumes act both as introductions to sociology and social anthropology and as essential reference works for students, teachers and researchers.

This volume brings together works that discuss Louis Dumont's contributions to the study of Indian society. In attempting to present a contextualized sociological appraisal of his work, the essays constitute Indian responses to Homo Hierarchicus, Dumont's monumental volume on caste, paying special attention to the logic, application, and problems associated with his structuralism and comparative method.

In reviewing Dumont's major theoretical approaches and insights, the essays assess his contributions in the larger context of his intellectual inspiration as well as against the ongoing changes and continuities in India over the last fifty years.

In the first part, T.N. Madan, R.S. Khare, Veena Das, and J.P.S. Uberoi provide the readers with accessible summaries and overview of Dumont's major works.

In the second part, M. N. Srinivas, Andre Beteille, Dipankar Gupta, Arun Bose, Sudipta Kaviraj, and Patricia Uberoi provide a critical appraisal of aspects of Dumont's work. In the third part, the essays of Partha Chatterjee, Arjun Appadurai, Veena Das, and R.S. Khare reflect the general shift in Indian sociology and anthropology towards postcolonial discourses and debates. The volume concludes by offering to the readers excerpts from some of Dumont's own writings and comments on the issues of method, theory, and analysis.

The second volume after Social Stratification - in the Oxford in India Readings in Sociology and Social Anthropology series - to look at the issue of caste, this high profile volume will feed into courses on Indian sociology across universities. It will be of Particular interest to students of sociology and social anthropology at postgraduate and M. Phil. Level courses, in addition to other scholars of caste and general sociology.

About the Author:

R.S. Khare is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA.

Foreword by T. N. Madan vii
Preface xi
Acknowledgements xvii
Value Oppositions and Hierarchy:
Indian Discussion of Louis Dumont's Work 1
I. Overviews And Reviews 36
1. Louis Dumont and the Study of Society in India T.N. Madan 40
2. A Theory of 'Pure' Hierarchy R.S. Khare 59
3. Elementary Structure of Caste Veena Das and J.P.S. Uberoi 65
4. The Comparison of Civilizations: Louis Dumont on India and the West T. N. Madan 76
II. Different Evaluations 87
5. Some Reflections on the Nature of Caste Hierarchy M.N. Srinivas 93
6. On Individualism and Equality: Reply to Louis Dumont Andre Beteille 110
7. Continuous Hierarchies and Discrete Castes Dipankar Gupta 120
8. Imagination against Typification Dipankar Gupta 131
9. Indo-Hierarchy Theory Arun Bose 136
10. Louis Dumont on Individualism Arun Bose 150
11. Indo-centric Theories in the Marxist Framework Sudipta Kaviraj 153
12. Hierarchy and Marriage Alliance in Indian Kinship Patricia Uberoi 159
III. Postcolonial Commentaries 164
13. An Immanent Critique of Caste Partha Chatterjee 169
14. 'Is Homo Hierarchicus?' Arjun Appadurai 177
15. The Anthropological Discourse on India: Reason and Its Other Veena Das 192
16. Dumontian Sociology and Since: Challenges Facing South Asian Anthropology R. S. Khare 206
IV. Dumont In His Own Words 213
17. Change, Interaction, and Comparison Louis Dumont 216
18. On Individualism and Equality Louis Dumont 225
19. Louis Dumont and the Indian Mirror (Interviewer: Christian Delacampagne) 231
20. A Conversation with Louis Dumont (Interview by Jean-Claude Galey) 240
References 249
Index 257
Contributors 261

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