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

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Caste, Infrastructure and Superstructure-A Critique

Caste, Infrastructure and Superstructure A Critique Dipankar Gupta The question whether it is 'caste' or 'class' that constitutes the primary level of reality in Indian society has been one of the constant concerns of Indian sociology. The two important contending approaches are the 'culturological approach which argues that caste is a primordial reality of Indian society and everything else springs from it; and various 'Marxist' approaches which, while recognising the importance of caste, question the theoretical and historical assumptions underlining the 'culturological' approach. The most lucid and influential exponent of the thesis of caste as primordial reality is the French sociologist, Louis Dumont, A measure of the influence of Dwmont's views can be had in the fact that a Marxist critic of Dumont, Maurice Godelier, in arguing that caste is part of the 'infrastructure', apparently taking a middle position between those who argue that caste is part of the sub-structure and those who argue that is part of the superstructure, ends up finally with views virtually similar to those held by Dumont.

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