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Homo Hierarchicus: The Caste System and its Implications


Louis Dumont’s modern classic, here presented in an enlarged, revised, and corrected second edition, simultaneously supplies that reader with the most cogent statement on the Indian caste system and its organizing principles and a provocative advance in the comparison of societies on the basis of their underlying ideologies. Dumont moves gracefully from the ethnographic data to the level of the hierarchical ideology encrusted in ancient religious texts which are revealed as the governing conception of the contemporary caste structure. On yet another plane of analysis, homo hierarchicus is contrasted with his modern Western antithesis, homo aequalis.  This edition includes a lengthy new Preface in which Dumont reviews the academic discussion inspired by Homo Hierarchicus and answers his critics. A new Postface, which sketches the theoretical and comparative aspects of the concept of hierarchy, and three significant Appendixes previously omitted from the English translation complete this innovative and influential work.

Contents: 1. Introduction. 2. History of Ideas. 3. From System to Structure: The Pure and the Impure. 4. Hierarchy: The Theory of the ‘Varna.’ 5. The Division of Labour. 6. The Regulation of Marriage: Separation and Hierarchy . 7. Rules Concerning Contact and Food. 8. Power and Territory. 9. Caste Government: Justice and Authority. 10. Concomitants and Implications. 11. Comparison: Are There Castes Among Non-Hindus and Outside India?. 12. Comparison (Concluded): The Contemporary Trend. 13. Postface: Toward a Theory of Hierarchy.  

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Bibliographic information

Title Homo Hierarchicus: The Caste System and its Implications
Format Hardcover
Date published: 03.08.2019
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Rawat Publications
Language: English
isbn 9788131610947
length 542p.