Friday, February 24, 2012

Louis Dumont's concept of Homo Hierarchies

Dumont's Homo Hierarchicus offers several new perspectives of social structure when it was published in the year 1966.He has brought the method of structuralism in his study of caste system.The chief elements of his methodology are

  • Ideology and structure
  • Dialectic transformational relationship and comparison
  • Indological and structuralist approach
  • Cognitive historical approach
Defining ideology he writes it designates a more or less unified set of ideas and values.Indian civilization is a specific ideology whose components are in a binary opposition to that of west modern against traditional,holism against individualism,hierarchy against equality,purity against pollution status against power etc this opposition is basis for comparison at the level of global ideology within the specific ideology of the caste system.The opposite is between the principles of purity and pollution.Apart from ideology and structure,the notion of hierarchy has a pivotal place in Dumont's study of caste system.Hierarchy implies opposition between pure and impure which also determines  its dialectics.Hierarchy also suggests the relationship of encompassing and being encompassed.In caste system the principle of purity encompasses the impure.


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