ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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On Understanding Caste

On Understanding Caste T N Madan HISTORICAL and sociological works on the Indian caste system by Western scholars have made their appearance with monotonous regularity for over a hundred years. Their number has considerably increased since about 1950. The publication of yet another book on the subject, therefore, hardly calls for special celebration. But when this book happens to be "Homo Hierarchicus" by Louis Dumont, Professor of Sociology of India at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes of Paris, we have in our hands a most significant contribution to Indianist studies by a scholar of international renown who is equally at home hi the domains of sociology, social anthropology and Indology,1 "Homo Hierarchicus" is an unusual book, unusual in conception, in design, and in execution. It is deserving of our most serious study.

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