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

Overview


This volume in the Oxford in India Readings in Sociology and Social Anthropology series is a well-rounded and rigourous analysis of the study of caste and hierarchy in India. The essays herein are a contextualized sociological appraisal of the work of Louis Dumont. They constitute Indian responses to Dumont's path breaking work Homo Hierarchicus, and discuss the logic, application and problems associated with his influential structural and comparative method in sociology. The essays in Section I provide the ...
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Overview


This volume in the Oxford in India Readings in Sociology and Social Anthropology series is a well-rounded and rigourous analysis of the study of caste and hierarchy in India. The essays herein are a contextualized sociological appraisal of the work of Louis Dumont. They constitute Indian responses to Dumont's path breaking work Homo Hierarchicus, and discuss the logic, application and problems associated with his influential structural and comparative method in sociology. The essays in Section I provide the reader with accessible summaries and overviews of Dumont's work. Section II is a critical appraisal of aspects of his works, while Section III reflects the general shift in Indian sociology and social anthropology towards postcolonial debates and discourses. The final section includes excerpts from Dumont's own writings, along with comments on the issues of method, theory, and analysis.

With contributions from important scholars of Indian sociology and anthropology, the reader is the second volume after Social Stratification (in the series) to look at the issue of caste. This high profile volume will feed into courses on Indian sociology across universities and be of particular interest to students of sociology and social anthropology in post graduate and M.Phil level courses, in addition to other scholars of caste and political sociology.

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Meet the Author

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

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Table of Contents

Foreword, T.N. Madan
Preface Acknowledgements Introduction: Value, Oppositions and Hierarchy: Indian Discussions of Louis Dumont's Work
Section I: Overviews and Reviews
1. Louis Dumont and the Study of Society in India, T.N. Madan
2. A Theory of 'Pure' Hierarchy, R.S. Khare
3. Elementary Structure of Caste, Veena Das and J.P.S. Uberoi
4. The Comparison of Civilizatations: Louis Dumont on India and the West, T.N. Madan
Section II: Different Evaluations
5. Some Reflections on the Nature of Caste Hierarchy, M.N. Srinivas
6. On Individualism and Equality: Reply to Louis Dumont, André Béteille
7. Continous Hierarchies and Discrete Castes, Dipankar Gupta
8. Imagination against Typification, Dipankar Gupta
9. Indo-Hierarchy Theory, Arun Bose
10. Louis Dumont on Individualism, Arun Bose
11. Indo-centric Theories in the Marxist Framework, Sudipta Kaviraj
12. Hierarchy and Marriage Alliance in Indian Kinship, Patricia Uberoi
Section III: Post-colonial Commentaries
13. An Immanent Critique of Caste, Partha Chatterjee
14. 'Is Homo Hierarchicus?', Arjun Appadurai
15. The Anthropological Discourse on India: Reason and Its Other, Veena Das
16. Dumontian Sociology and Since: Challenges Facing South Asian Anthropology, R.S. Khare
Section IV: Dumont in His Own Words
17. Change, Interaction, and Comparison, Louis Dumont
18. On Individualism and Equality, Louis Dumont
19. Louis Dumont and the Indian Mirror, Interviewer: Christian Delacampagne
20. A Conversation with Louis Dumont, Interview by Jean-Claude Galey
Epilogue References Index: Contributors

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