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Homo Hierarchicus: The Caste System and Its Implications
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Homo Hierarchicus: The Caste System and Its Implications

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  44 ratings  ·  9 reviews
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 da ...more
Paperback, 540 pages
Published January 15th 1981 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 1966)
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Dumont has provided Book-view of the caste. For him the underlying principle of caste is hierarchy, defined as the supremacy of the pure over the impure. He has compared Indian society with that of western societies indicating Indian society as based on the concepts of totality or holism whereas western societies as based on Individualism which supports equality. He explains that Indian society is based on the ideal of inequality, this inequality is not opposite to equality rather it is the grad ...more
What I originally thought was a very dry and irrelevant book to the area of anthropology (it's more of a sociological book), turned out to be an awesome book. It explains how the caste system in India works, and also explains how this is relevant to the wider world. It also explains just how important the caste system is within Indian society, and how it has survived and evolved over the years with many societal changes.
Dec 27, 2007 Luxi rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: India lovers
if i can have only 5 books to bring to an island for a while, i will take this Dumont with me. Like Lévy-Strauss, Dumont is one of my favorite authors, together they shed light to my tunnel.

i also recommend all Dumont's books, absolutely all.
Essential reading for anyone interested in the debate on caste.
Simon Lavoie

L'anthropologue français Louis Dumont livre ici le fruit d'une recherche sérieuse étalée sur plus de vingt ans. Sa maîtrise documentaire est certaine avec des limites reconnues (la littérature d'après 1966 n'est pas couverte).

Homo Hierarchicus est sa contribution à la sociologie comparative des "idéologies, idées et valeurs" des cultures ou sociétés, par la mise à distance difficile mais nécessaire de celles qui nous sont chères. La perspective directrice est livrée dans des termes d'abord gén
Pradeep Singarakannan
I wanna read this book
Alice Jennings
Not that useful to me at first glance as I was told to read about India for my Japanese major, but quite good at explaining about how caste systems work in general. Could be made slightly clearer, had to reread a fair bit of it
Sam Schulman
It doesnt quite go into its implications except by implication - which was vexing to me. But it does present caste formation as an inevitable part of human nature.
A good literature that explains the inherent values in caste. I hope somebody would further Dumont's study.
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French anthropologist. He was an associate professor at Oxford University during the 1950s, and director at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris.
More about Louis Dumont...
Essays on Individualism: Modern Ideology in Anthropological Perspective From Mandeville to Marx: The Genesis and Triumph of Economic Ideology German Ideology: From France to Germany and Back Homo aequalis 2: L'idéologie allemande An Introduction to Two Theories of Social Anthropology: Descent Groups and Marriage Alliance

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