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Books > History > Sociology And Anthropology > GREAT TRADITION AND LITTLE TRADITIONS :IDEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATIONS IN CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY
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GREAT TRADITION AND LITTLE TRADITIONS :IDEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATIONS IN CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY
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PREFACE:

This book has clearly a primary and a secondary target audience. The primary audience are the pandits of India, Hindu scholars who have worked on subjects of Hindu and Sanskritic learning for the better part of their active lives; the secondary audience are social scientists, Indian and western, who are concerned with India's written traditions and their impact on Indian life-not as panegyricists and poets, but as scientists.

Since about 1950, the acquisition of books and other learned material from hard-currency and other western countries has become increasingly difficult in India for a number of reasons, Indian scholars had to rely on he somewhat antiquated holdings of Indian university libraries which, due to fiscal and currency exchange regulation, could not keep up with the enormous output in the social sciences in western countries. And the less then a dozen university libraries in India that do carry much of the salient recent literature published in America and Europe, have one copy of each of these publications, and the large number of prospective users have to wait for inordinately long periods to gain access.

Mutatis mutandis, this holds for the books by this author, all of which were published in Britain and in the U.S.A., so far with no Indian editions in sight. During the past year or so, I have received a very large quantity of mail asking me to make my findings available to the audiences about which these findings were written : a highly justified claim which should be made by all people about whom anthropologists write. Since I straddle the fence between Hindu orthodoxy and orthopraxis, and western cultural anthropology, and since my original training was in Indology rather than in the social sciences, ( I did minor in Voelket kunde, which is roughly ethnology or cultural anthropology, over a quarter of a century ago in Vienna), the indology done by Indian scholars has been one of my chief critical and participatory involvements.

My aim here has been to familiarize the pandit and the Indian scholar of Sanskritic lore with the ways in which western social scientists, i.e., cultural anthropologists and the occasional sociologist, view the bearers of the Sanskritic love, view the recipients of this lore-the millions in the village-and view the interrelation between these uneven groups.

A caveat to the western readers of this book : it is just and only just what I said it is-it is not an anthropology of Indian society; it is an attempt to introduce a vocal segment of Indian society to the way this segment is studied by we tern social scientists and their Indian students. Anthropological literature on India in enormous; full-size books about aspects of Indian society must run into thousands, articles into tens of thousands, in western languages, mostly English. The Hindu myth that Indian studies are strongest in Germany is precisely that : a myth; I would guess that the proportion of English language writings to all other European language writing (French, German, Italian, and the Slavonic languages) is about ten to one, in the fields of cultural anthropology and sociology (it is, of course, less stridently disparate in the study of the Indian antiquities).

Some of the topics used in this book are methodologically obsolescent in the West- I am particularly referring to "culture and personality" or psychological anthropology; yet I found it appropriate to use them here so as to guide pandits and other Indian scholars hitherto unfamiliar with western social science through some of the salient phases of the anthropological study of India. On the other hand, some techniques used here are quite new in North America and either not or not yet used in Britain, and certainly not in continental Europe.

Like Max Muller, this author was raised in German, inspired is Sanskrit, and produced in English; like Max "moksa-mula," close to a century later, this author is deeply concerned with a scholarly, yet empathetic representation of India's best to the best of the West-this latter is an entirely non-anthropological value judgment, but it is philosophically permissible : a scholar must state his axioms.

 

CONTENTS
 

Chapter I. Sanskrit Terms and the Linguistic Entry p. 3-14
  world view and word-view as starting point-the study of a spatial paradigm, i.e. 'mountain' : a random example and its philological potential-philology, linguistics, and anthropology.
Chapter II. The Spatio-temporal dimension : the Concept of Time p 15-65
  Judaeo-Christian, scientific, and Indian notions of time examined-liner vs. circular notions-Mahakala : a mythological extension-ideological parameters of divergent time concepts-time and history : the fallacy of religion and ethics as mutually dependent themes-rebirth and suffering-concepts of space and time as modified by diffusion: eastern cults in the West-modes of breaking through spatiotemporal strictures : yoga and psycho-experimental traditions of India.
Chapter III. The Spatio-temporal dimension : Pilgrimage as Conative Space. p. 66-107
  yatra in the great and little traditions-Qalandar Shah and Dattatrya Pitha : Hindu-Muslim pilgrimage overlapping-Padmasambhava and the Hari Mandir Lake in Amritsar-Kamaksi-mi aksi-vi alaksi- Tantric Pilgrimage : pithas and shrines- the blurring of the sruti-smri distinction-monastic prototypes and modern Hindu missions.
Chapter IV, The Indian Body-image : Physical, Psychological, and Ideological components. p. 108-137
  Mind-body problem in East and West-the Freudian model-an ethnomedical example : cancer incidence as culture- related ?-psychotomimetic drugs and soma-bhang, ganja, and the 'little traditions' the Naqsbandi case- cannabis and alcohol in the Indian traditions.

 

Chapter V. Touch and Contact : the Structure of Ritualized Trans-ference p. 138-167
  General symbols and contact symbolism-action in distans-causation in the Judaeo-Christian-Islamic traditions=contagious magic and tantrism : the Indian situation-touch and initiation (diksa)-classification of ritualistic and symbolic touch-touch as transference-consummated types of touch and tantrism-a model for ritualistic contact-localized 'little traditions'-use of magico-ritualistic touch-nyasa : Literature and practice.

 

Chapter VI : Anthropological Extensions of the Esoteric. p 168-194
  Morris Opler's doubts-G. M. Carstairs and kanchuli-vidhi-tantric imagination, tantric teaching, tantric practice-the five M's (pancamakara)-Sri Ramakrisna and tantrism-tantric art-Konarak and Khajuraho revisited-tantric use and modification of the official pantheon-Vedic and tantric orthodoxy and orthopraxis-regional differences in attitudes toward tantrism-'enstasy' vs ecstasy-tantrism and classical yoga-the Hindu-Buddhist obversion of male-female polarity.
Chapter VII : Kinship in India and the Ethnography of Communication. p.195-220
  terms of address and terms of reference in the modern Indian situation-kinship term avoidance and the substitution of English terms of evasion-linguistic convergence-the Indian intellectual-cultural dissimulation and sociolinguistics-the urban ideological division of Hindi-Urdu-gambhirta vs. sokhi-joking relationships : Sali and jija.
Chapter VIII : Cultural Identity and two traditions. p. 221-253
  Social stratification and identity-the 'culture-and-personality' approach to cultural identity-the dharma : ethnosemantic analysis and heuristic definitions -'national character'-Santha's -Ezhivas-child-rearing-alienation through missionary impact-the genuine and the spurious : a thespian analogy-jati (caste) and cultural Identity-the "English sophisticate"-the expatriate paradigm : Indian in East Africa-the special case of the Goans-identification and service club-the Agha Khan's power: the firman-Asian alter images.

 

Chapter IX : Culture Criticism as a tool of anthropological investigation in India p. 259-304
  Objection to cultural criticism-types of criticism and the nonsense of 'constructive criticism'-the native as cultural critic : M. N. Roy, Nirad C. Chaudhuri--trivial vs. cultural criticism-the Indian and the American situation-the Indian intellectual again-'spiritual' vs. 'materialistic' once more-social mores and cultural legislation-Polanyi's heuristic passion'-Popper's 'open society' -concepts of culture-criticism and name-calling-orthodoxy and liberal traditions in India-reform : not necessarily liberalization : the case of the Arya Samaj -G. E. Moore's 'fallacies' as part of cultural criticism-kitsch art vs. art-Paul Blansherd and the critique of criticism.

 

Chapter X : The jargon of Dissimulation. p. 305-318
  The pretense of secularism-self-styled and other-styled scholars and saints-inter-monastics as effective jargon-the lunatic fringe-the Hindu Renaissance and the realm of the normative-a bovine excursion.
Chapter XI : The stocktaking and the outlook. p. 319-348
  Semantic limitations of 'Asian'-Asian and western heritage contrasted-secular and quasi-secular societies-Tibet, China, and the East Asian dialectic-the ' official' and the deep level presentation of Asian cultural heritages-pantheism, absolutism, and the chthnonic-vegetative as a common deep structure-yoga as a central contrastive paradigm-asceticism vs. controlled sensuality-the matrifocal element in Asian cultures-mother-cults and gynocentric patterns as stimuli toward ideological liberalization-atarraxy and apathy as shared possibilities in European and Indian systems-the silliness of Kipling's dictum-the romantic origins of indological studies in the West-a final digression into diachronic ethnicities-open societies and India-courtship and male-female interaction in India and the West-puritanism as the pervasive agent in modern Indian value orientations : its western sympathizers-analysis and criticism.
Notes p. 349-362
Bibliography p. 363-374
Index p. 375-384

 

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GREAT TRADITION AND LITTLE TRADITIONS :IDEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATIONS IN CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY

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PREFACE:

This book has clearly a primary and a secondary target audience. The primary audience are the pandits of India, Hindu scholars who have worked on subjects of Hindu and Sanskritic learning for the better part of their active lives; the secondary audience are social scientists, Indian and western, who are concerned with India's written traditions and their impact on Indian life-not as panegyricists and poets, but as scientists.

Since about 1950, the acquisition of books and other learned material from hard-currency and other western countries has become increasingly difficult in India for a number of reasons, Indian scholars had to rely on he somewhat antiquated holdings of Indian university libraries which, due to fiscal and currency exchange regulation, could not keep up with the enormous output in the social sciences in western countries. And the less then a dozen university libraries in India that do carry much of the salient recent literature published in America and Europe, have one copy of each of these publications, and the large number of prospective users have to wait for inordinately long periods to gain access.

Mutatis mutandis, this holds for the books by this author, all of which were published in Britain and in the U.S.A., so far with no Indian editions in sight. During the past year or so, I have received a very large quantity of mail asking me to make my findings available to the audiences about which these findings were written : a highly justified claim which should be made by all people about whom anthropologists write. Since I straddle the fence between Hindu orthodoxy and orthopraxis, and western cultural anthropology, and since my original training was in Indology rather than in the social sciences, ( I did minor in Voelket kunde, which is roughly ethnology or cultural anthropology, over a quarter of a century ago in Vienna), the indology done by Indian scholars has been one of my chief critical and participatory involvements.

My aim here has been to familiarize the pandit and the Indian scholar of Sanskritic lore with the ways in which western social scientists, i.e., cultural anthropologists and the occasional sociologist, view the bearers of the Sanskritic love, view the recipients of this lore-the millions in the village-and view the interrelation between these uneven groups.

A caveat to the western readers of this book : it is just and only just what I said it is-it is not an anthropology of Indian society; it is an attempt to introduce a vocal segment of Indian society to the way this segment is studied by we tern social scientists and their Indian students. Anthropological literature on India in enormous; full-size books about aspects of Indian society must run into thousands, articles into tens of thousands, in western languages, mostly English. The Hindu myth that Indian studies are strongest in Germany is precisely that : a myth; I would guess that the proportion of English language writings to all other European language writing (French, German, Italian, and the Slavonic languages) is about ten to one, in the fields of cultural anthropology and sociology (it is, of course, less stridently disparate in the study of the Indian antiquities).

Some of the topics used in this book are methodologically obsolescent in the West- I am particularly referring to "culture and personality" or psychological anthropology; yet I found it appropriate to use them here so as to guide pandits and other Indian scholars hitherto unfamiliar with western social science through some of the salient phases of the anthropological study of India. On the other hand, some techniques used here are quite new in North America and either not or not yet used in Britain, and certainly not in continental Europe.

Like Max Muller, this author was raised in German, inspired is Sanskrit, and produced in English; like Max "moksa-mula," close to a century later, this author is deeply concerned with a scholarly, yet empathetic representation of India's best to the best of the West-this latter is an entirely non-anthropological value judgment, but it is philosophically permissible : a scholar must state his axioms.

 

CONTENTS
 

Chapter I. Sanskrit Terms and the Linguistic Entry p. 3-14
  world view and word-view as starting point-the study of a spatial paradigm, i.e. 'mountain' : a random example and its philological potential-philology, linguistics, and anthropology.
Chapter II. The Spatio-temporal dimension : the Concept of Time p 15-65
  Judaeo-Christian, scientific, and Indian notions of time examined-liner vs. circular notions-Mahakala : a mythological extension-ideological parameters of divergent time concepts-time and history : the fallacy of religion and ethics as mutually dependent themes-rebirth and suffering-concepts of space and time as modified by diffusion: eastern cults in the West-modes of breaking through spatiotemporal strictures : yoga and psycho-experimental traditions of India.
Chapter III. The Spatio-temporal dimension : Pilgrimage as Conative Space. p. 66-107
  yatra in the great and little traditions-Qalandar Shah and Dattatrya Pitha : Hindu-Muslim pilgrimage overlapping-Padmasambhava and the Hari Mandir Lake in Amritsar-Kamaksi-mi aksi-vi alaksi- Tantric Pilgrimage : pithas and shrines- the blurring of the sruti-smri distinction-monastic prototypes and modern Hindu missions.
Chapter IV, The Indian Body-image : Physical, Psychological, and Ideological components. p. 108-137
  Mind-body problem in East and West-the Freudian model-an ethnomedical example : cancer incidence as culture- related ?-psychotomimetic drugs and soma-bhang, ganja, and the 'little traditions' the Naqsbandi case- cannabis and alcohol in the Indian traditions.

 

Chapter V. Touch and Contact : the Structure of Ritualized Trans-ference p. 138-167
  General symbols and contact symbolism-action in distans-causation in the Judaeo-Christian-Islamic traditions=contagious magic and tantrism : the Indian situation-touch and initiation (diksa)-classification of ritualistic and symbolic touch-touch as transference-consummated types of touch and tantrism-a model for ritualistic contact-localized 'little traditions'-use of magico-ritualistic touch-nyasa : Literature and practice.

 

Chapter VI : Anthropological Extensions of the Esoteric. p 168-194
  Morris Opler's doubts-G. M. Carstairs and kanchuli-vidhi-tantric imagination, tantric teaching, tantric practice-the five M's (pancamakara)-Sri Ramakrisna and tantrism-tantric art-Konarak and Khajuraho revisited-tantric use and modification of the official pantheon-Vedic and tantric orthodoxy and orthopraxis-regional differences in attitudes toward tantrism-'enstasy' vs ecstasy-tantrism and classical yoga-the Hindu-Buddhist obversion of male-female polarity.
Chapter VII : Kinship in India and the Ethnography of Communication. p.195-220
  terms of address and terms of reference in the modern Indian situation-kinship term avoidance and the substitution of English terms of evasion-linguistic convergence-the Indian intellectual-cultural dissimulation and sociolinguistics-the urban ideological division of Hindi-Urdu-gambhirta vs. sokhi-joking relationships : Sali and jija.
Chapter VIII : Cultural Identity and two traditions. p. 221-253
  Social stratification and identity-the 'culture-and-personality' approach to cultural identity-the dharma : ethnosemantic analysis and heuristic definitions -'national character'-Santha's -Ezhivas-child-rearing-alienation through missionary impact-the genuine and the spurious : a thespian analogy-jati (caste) and cultural Identity-the "English sophisticate"-the expatriate paradigm : Indian in East Africa-the special case of the Goans-identification and service club-the Agha Khan's power: the firman-Asian alter images.

 

Chapter IX : Culture Criticism as a tool of anthropological investigation in India p. 259-304
  Objection to cultural criticism-types of criticism and the nonsense of 'constructive criticism'-the native as cultural critic : M. N. Roy, Nirad C. Chaudhuri--trivial vs. cultural criticism-the Indian and the American situation-the Indian intellectual again-'spiritual' vs. 'materialistic' once more-social mores and cultural legislation-Polanyi's heuristic passion'-Popper's 'open society' -concepts of culture-criticism and name-calling-orthodoxy and liberal traditions in India-reform : not necessarily liberalization : the case of the Arya Samaj -G. E. Moore's 'fallacies' as part of cultural criticism-kitsch art vs. art-Paul Blansherd and the critique of criticism.

 

Chapter X : The jargon of Dissimulation. p. 305-318
  The pretense of secularism-self-styled and other-styled scholars and saints-inter-monastics as effective jargon-the lunatic fringe-the Hindu Renaissance and the realm of the normative-a bovine excursion.
Chapter XI : The stocktaking and the outlook. p. 319-348
  Semantic limitations of 'Asian'-Asian and western heritage contrasted-secular and quasi-secular societies-Tibet, China, and the East Asian dialectic-the ' official' and the deep level presentation of Asian cultural heritages-pantheism, absolutism, and the chthnonic-vegetative as a common deep structure-yoga as a central contrastive paradigm-asceticism vs. controlled sensuality-the matrifocal element in Asian cultures-mother-cults and gynocentric patterns as stimuli toward ideological liberalization-atarraxy and apathy as shared possibilities in European and Indian systems-the silliness of Kipling's dictum-the romantic origins of indological studies in the West-a final digression into diachronic ethnicities-open societies and India-courtship and male-female interaction in India and the West-puritanism as the pervasive agent in modern Indian value orientations : its western sympathizers-analysis and criticism.
Notes p. 349-362
Bibliography p. 363-374
Index p. 375-384

 

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