Sociology in India (Set of 2 Books)

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Item Code: NAG424
Publisher: Indira Gandhi National Open University
Language: English
Edition: 2010
Pages: 528
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 11.5 inch X 8 inch
Weight 1.30 kg
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Book Description

About the Book

Book 1

Book 2


Book 1


The aim of this course on Sociology in India is to bring to the knowledge of its students the conditions in which this discipline came to emerge and grow in India. It attempts to bring out the major viewpoints or perspectives on different issues often inter-related concerning Indian society and its culture- such as, caste; family, marriage and kinship; class, caste and gender; tribes in India and religion. It explains to the students the various processes of social change in Indian society, such as, the processes of urbanisation, globalisation and migration and also touches upon major perspectives on social movements.


The course explains how sociologists and their different approaches to study Indian society have provided a rich matrix of sociological, Indological and ethnological literature. There have been debates and arguments regarding the nature of social reality in India and how and what should be studied to understand it. One of the most famous debates in Indian Sociology concerns the arguments of Louis Dumont and Pocock on the one hand and their critics, including F.G. Bailey on the other. Dumont (1970 : 1-32) believed that Sociology in India is that specialised branch which stands at the confluence of Indology and Sociology, which he advocated as the right kind of "mix" prerequisite to the understanding of Indian society (Dhanagare, 1993 : 10) He and Pocock had presented their views (in Contributions to Indian Sociology, Vol. I : 1957) emphasising Indology and viewing it as a close ally of sociological explanation and analysis. They believed that territorial units like villages and regions must be given up in the field of sociological enquiry and instead sociologists must take up sociological categories like caste and kinship. It was their belief that sociological reality cannot be completely understood by empiricism alone, since it is both external (objective) and internal (meaningful and subjective). Therefore, it was important that Sociology should analyse both these aspects. Thereby, the cultural study of a society was very important, in their view, in every scientific sociological study.


Thus, according to Dumont and Pocock, Indian village studies are based on a false abstraction on territorial basis. In reality, Indian society has been a unity but a cultural unity rather than a geographical unity. They believed that 'Sociology in India' or 'Sociology for India' would be possible by understanding the unique cultural foundation of Indian society and its sociological ramifications. (Unnithan, T.K.N. Et Singh Y. et. al 1967: 29).


Dumont and Pocock were criticised by others such as F.G. Bailey, for being non-sociological, and for suggesting that Sociology must include the study of Ideas' rather than 'relations'. Bailey believed that D'umont and Pocock had reduced Sociology to 'culturology' or Sociology of values. This viewpoint restricts one's understanding of distinction between caste and tribe, since e frame of reference here is cultural and Indological rather than sociological. also negates the existence of Indian villages as a social reality. Also, portant sociological categories like bureaucracy, feudalism etc. do not find place in this approach to Sociology in India (Unnithan, T.K.N. Et Singh Y. et. 11967 : 29).


This kind of debate regarding the understanding of social reality in India has been continuing for years. Different sociologists have taken up different theoretical approaches like structure functionalism, structuralism, Marxism etc. to understand different aspects of society in India. The different perspectives on the major issues concerning Indian society have been explained and analysed in this course through the works of different sociologists/social anthropologists. Thus, the theoretical underpinnings of the approaches to Indian social reality must be kept in mind by the students while addressing the different topics discussed in this course.


The first block of this course, Block 1: Emergence of Sociology in India describes the social background of the emergence of Sociology in India, the contributions of different scholars and thinkers- both from Europe and India and the circumstances in which Sociology as a discipline emerged. Here the professional growth of Sociology and the socio-historical background of its development, etc. have been explained. Since Indian society has been and continues to be largely agrarian, village studies in India were considered to be one of the most crucial areas in understanding Indian society. Therefore, from the 1920s till the 1960s, village studies have been most prominent. The last unit of this block explains the major village studies that have been undertaken in India.


Block 2: Perspectives on Caste once again focuses on one of the most crucial aspects of society in India. Often the caste system had been considered to be the most pronounced and crucial reality of the Indian social structure. It was the Portuguese, who gave this social division in Indian society, especially the Hindu society, the name of ' caste'. However, from the colonial period itself, caste stratification has been identified as the most important social reality and it is said that 'class' was subsumed by 'caste' in India for a very long time. Caste has been viewed by different sociologists in different ways. In this block first the colonial perspective and the Brahminical perspective on caste have been explained. Since there is also a different view of caste which is from 'below', these have been presented in the units 'View from the Field' and 'Ambedkar and Lohia on Caste'. Another equally significant view of caste is the 'Census Perspective' which is treated separately.


The third block, Block 3: Perspectives on Family, Marriage and Kinship describes the nature of family, marriage and kinship in India, how they are understood by sociologists in India and how they have changed over time. The concept of the household as a co-operating and conflicting unit has been analysed. Also, the changing patterns of marriage in India have been explained. From the perspective of kinship, we analyse the major types of descent and alliance approaches in India. These have been critically analysed in this block.


Block 4: Perspectives on Class, Caste and Gender once again focuses on the crucial features of social stratification in the Indian society. Social stratification has' been presented in terms of the class aspect, the caste aspect and the gender issue. There are four units in this block dealing with topics such as Agrarian Class Categories, the Working Class, the Middle Class, and Gender, Caste and Class.


Block 5: Perspectives on Tribes in India offers you an understanding of the nature and types of tribes in India. How tribes are interlinked with territory, their common property resources and there socio political status is discussed. The link between tribe and caste is also explained. The major policy debates on the nature of tribes in India and how they should be protected and/or preserved have been dealt with in the light of the Verrier Elwin and G.S. Ghurey debates. Finally, this block deals with the nature of differentiation among tribes.


Studies on the Sociology of religion appeared somewhat late in Indian Sociology. "Today a significant position amongst the major topics studied by sociologists in India. Religion and its relationship with politics becomes a critical issue when one looks at the problem of 'communalism' in India. Religion and Culture are closely associated phenomena and the nuances of this relationship have been explained in Block 6 Perspectives on Sociology of Religion. How religion plays a cohesive role in some senses in a complex plural society like India, as well as, the waysin which it plays a divisive role are critically approached in this block. The concept of 'secularism' and how it has been understood in India is also explained at the end of this block.


Block 7: Dynamics of Social Processes shifts the focus from the study of; institutions like caste, class, family" and kinship to the dynamics of social processes in India. Processes of social change such as, urbanisation, migration, industrialisation and globalisation have been critically reviewed in this block.


The last block of this course, Block 8: Perspectives on Social Movements describes the meaning and dimensions of social movements, describes the various types of social movements, like peasant movements, socio-religious movements and women's movement, The last two units of this block describe the tribal working class movements, as well as, new social movements through different case studies.


This course MSO-004 Sociology in India, like all the other core courses of MA Programme in Sociology, will be presented to you in the form of two books. Book 1 will have blocks from 1 to 4 and Book 2 will have blocks form 5 to 8 as described above. You will receive this study material in the form of two handy books.


Book 2


This is the first Block of Book 2 of the course, Sociology in India. In Book 1 of this course, you have learnt about the emergence of Sociology as a discipline in India. You have also read about the early village studies in India and have become familiar with perspectives on caste; family, marriage and' kinship. You will also read about class, caste .arid gender.


In this Block (Block 5), a learner is exposed to issues on the discourse of tribals in India. The learner is introduced to the various aspects of the tribal situation in India. The Block mainly deals with the four main aspects- tribes and common property resources; relationship between tribes and castes; perspectives of tribes in India after Verrier Elwin and G.S. Ghurye, and social differentiation among tribes.


The Block has four Units (Units- 17, 18, 19 & 20). Brief highlights of the Units are given below.


Unit 17: Tribe, Territory and Common Property Resources

The main objective of this Unit is to acquaint the learner with the concepts of territory and common property resources with special reference to tribal communities in India. The main aspects included in this Unit are - historical development of the concept of common property resources ('commons'), relationship of 'commons' and mixed economy in India, population growth and 'commons', and culture of 'commons'. All these discussions are made' with special reference to tribes in India.


Unit 18: Tribe and Caste

The Unit deals mainly with the idea of tribe and caste as differing social categories. The discussion demystifies some of the complex and stereotypic assumptions by sociologists and anthropologists, by and large, of considering tribes in India as a part of larger categories of Indian societies. In' other words, it clarifies that 'the terms of reference in the tribal studies are not to be categories as caste, peasant or social heterogeneity' but that they must be studied as 'groups' of the 'actual communities' they belong to and represent, such as those of the regional communities'. In the process, of referring to the terms of reference and clarifications, the author takes into account important aspects pertaining to tribes and caste such as the notion and process of tribal transformation to caste, Sanskritisation and Hinduisation vis-a-vis tribes, language factor in tribal identity, the issue of misconstruction of tribal identity, and the community life of tribes.


Unit 19: Verrier Elwin and G.S.Ghurye's Perspectives on Tribes

This Unit mainly considers the perspectives of verrier Elwin and G.S. Ghurye on ' tribal affairs and related aspects. The Unit begins with the framing of the tribal question with special reference to tribal autonomy and self-rule in India. It then traces the historical background of some of the tribal protests and movements in India. The Unit also includes a discussion on other aspects such as reasons for non-participation of tribals in the struggle for Indian independence and Constituent Assembly debates on tribal affairs in India.


Unit 20: Social Differentiation among Tribes

The idea of the Unit is to give an understanding of the notion of social differentiation with special reference to tribes in India. The Unit takes care of two main aspects-first, the theoretical and conceptual (definitional) part, and second, relevant cases of social differentiation among tribes in Indi. The Unit begins with the concept, definition and classification of social differentiation. This is followed by a discussion of social differentiation among tribes under various types after the factor of kinship and descent, sex, age, rank and hierarchy, occupation, education, religion, and so on.







Block 1

Emergence of Sociology In India


Unit 1

Social Background of the Emergence of Sociology in India


Unit 2

Emergence of the Discipline : Issues and Themes


Unit 3

Village Studies in India


Block 2

Perspectives On Caste


Unit 4

The Colonial Perspective


Unit 5

Brahminical Perspective


Unit 6

View from the Field


Unit 7

Ambedkar and Lohia on Caste


Unit 8

Census Perspective


Block 3

Perspectives On Family, Marriage And Kinship


Unit 9

The Household and the Family


Unit 10

The Household as a Cooperative-Conflicting Unit


Unit 11

Marriage and Its Changing Patterns


Unit 12

Descent and Alliance Approaches to the Study of Kinship in India


Block 4

Perspectives On Class, Caste And Gender


Unit 13

Agrarian Classes and Categories


Unit 14

The Working Class


Unit 15

The Middle Class


Unit 16

Gender, Caste and Class











Block 5

Perspective On Tribes In India

Unit 17

Tribe, Territory and Common Property Resources


Unit 18

Tribe and Caste


Unit 19

Verrier Elwin and G.S. Ghurye's Perspectives on Tribes


Unit 20

Social Differentiation Among Tribes.


Block 6

Perspective Of Sociology Of Religion

Unit 21

Religion and Politics


Unit 22

Religion and Culture


Unit 23

Cohesive and Divisive Dimensions of Religion


Unit 24



Block 7

Dynamlcs Of Social Processes

Unit 25



Unit 26



Unit 2l



Unit 28



Block 8

Perspective On Social Movements

Unit 29

Social Movements: Meanings and Dimensions


Unit 30

Types of Social Movements


Unit 31

Peasant Movements


Unit 32

New Social Movements







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