According to the author, viewed from ‘below’ the most critical feature of caste is the experience of untouchability—in which the ‘line of pollution’ has been an important category in the official discourse on caste. He then moves directly on to the question of caste. For example, Louis Dumont (1980) suggested that the temporary pollution deriving from childbirth and death are connected with the permanent pollution of caste. This was the exotic stuff of Orientalist orgies: Max Weber saw Indian society defined in terms of purity and pollution on a sliding scale from the Brahmans to the Untouchables. For Dumont pure and Impure determines to whom one can have a contact, Marriage, and giving and accepting food, Kuchha and Puckka. The notion of ideology and traditions are intrinsic parts of his paradigm. For example, Louis Dumont (1980) suggested that the temporary pollution deriving from childbirth and death are connected with the permanent pollution of caste. concepts of purity, pollution, hierarchy, power, and the caste system in Indian society. The Brahmans are at the top of this hierarchical ladder, followed by the Kshatriyas, the Vaishyas and the Shudras. In Homo Hierarchies, his controversial study of caste, Louis Dumont proposed a way to do this for India. In this paper I argue that while Dumont’s total social edifice built of purity and pollution was rightly abandoned, the relational principles he said were constitutive of hierarchy were discarded at a cost to our understanding of India. 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. Homo Hierarchicus. The dichotomy of pollution/purity dialectically put some Castes on the lower rung of extreme denial. 2. Indologists and anthropologists from Louis Dumont to Declan Quigley to Nicholas Dirks have variously described and analysed caste in various ways, but the challenge is to write about it in a way to destroy it from people’s consciousness, from social, political, legal and economic structures so that it disappears from people’s practices in daily life for good. According to a hymn (RS 10,90) in the !.gveda-Sarnhit4 the earliest Indian (300 words/ IAS 2009) Challenge 28 1. The castes participating in the jajmcni system can be divided into those that absorb pollution and those kept pure by the services of those absorbing pollution, plus a Gupta, on the Gupta, on the other hand, challenges Dumont on the basis of alternative evidence, or hierarchies that are ... despite their traditional relation to conceptions of personal purity or pollution, depending on the caste one is associated with. Translated by Mark Sainsbury. controversial structuralist approach, Louis Dumont (1966) proclaimed ritual ideas of purity and pollution to be the fundamental idea underlying the caste system, encompassing all other concepts. For Dumont, however, purity was much more than this: it was a part of the backbone of the social order; it was one of the rules, and not just the justification for rules. And it’s a very useful way of looking at it. particular the theoretical position of Louis Dumont (1980). Rev. Dumont interpreted Indian Caste system to function around the concept of hierarchy scaled on pollution and purity. And a whole number of other castes in between, sort-of lining up in relative degrees of purity and pollution. He also learnt Sanskrit. Despite such stigmas attached Indian Caste system remarkably survived for over 2,000 years. i.e the relations in the Hindu (300 words) Challenge 29 1. He has offered a detailed account of his theory in his well-lu~own book, I Homo Hierarchicus: The Caste System and its Implications. What is the impact of Globalization on the structure and mobilization of the working class in India? As is well known, Dumont holds that the political and economic domains of social life in India are encompassed by the nreligious.n The religious principle becomes articulated in terms of the opposition of purity and impurity. So you get the Brahmins as pure, and the Untouchables as impure. Louis Dumont whose theory on caste is considered to be most adequate said that in case of caste, the whole notion of purity and pollution is based on ritual ‘purity’ than on physical purity. His seminal work, Homo Hierarchicus, located hierarchy as the foundation of the caste system and the Brahmans at the apex of that hierarchy. The caste system is based on the concept of purity and pollution, according to Louis Dumont's 'Homo Hierarchichus'. Though he used . Dumont used ethnographic detail in this study and applied holistic approach. pollution, Dumont says the system "deduces interdependence from religion. gives the concept of purity and pollution which governs relation between different castes. Chicago, 1980. It is today the basis of affirmative action programmes in India. Dumont proposes a single hierarchy based on purity and pollution. The caste system, according to the currently prevalent view, is based on purity, each caste being located on a hierarchical gradation of purity, a thesis laid out most compellingly by Louis Dumont. purity and pollution is generally associated with the writings of the French sociologist Louis Dumont. Louis Dumont was primarily concerned with the ideology of the caste system. He deals with the history of ideas concerning caste, caste ideology and the op-position of purity and pollution, the varna system, the relationship between the A collection of excellent essays, some of which expand on the author's earlier structural analysis of purity norms. Louis Dumont's "purity" and "pollution" - axiom of Indian polarization - etic and emic heuristic devices - the question of ethics -- deontological vs teleological -- medias in res on the Hindu side: Shiva, the erotic ascetic (O'Flaherty and long before) - the erotic element in Hinduism in general. Female bodies have been enmeshed within the discourses of culture and media that have tried to cage them within a matrix of what Louis Dumont calls as the purity-pollution syndrome. As a study of the caste system in India, Dumont’s Homo Hierarchies offers several new perspectives of social structure. The 'pure' and 'polluting' groups must be kept separate from one another so that ritual purity of certain groups is maintained. Dumont commences with a chapter on the confrontation noted above between Western concepts of equality and Indian concepts of hierarchy. The traditional way of looking at caste “based on the irreconcilable opposition of purity and pollution”, an idea popularised by Louis Dumont, is “unmindful of the material dimensions of the caste system”. ed. An important sorrce for the traditional view is, aPaft from early Indian texts, Louis Dumont's bæk Homo Híerarchicus, mostly based on those texts. Pure- Impure- Purity and pollution or we can say that pure and impure both plays an important role for both Ambedkar and Dumont. "22 Note the steps in Dumont's argument: i. Purity-impurity is a religious principle. In this line of thinking, it is not conceived that women can take positive roles in rituals because of this pollution. The more one deals with natural wastes the more impure one is. It has generally bern assumed that purity is the basis of hierarchy in ancient India. Louis Dumont, the French sociologist, is regarded as an Indologist. Most articulate perhaps was Louis Dumont. If Dumont has found it advisable to understand caste in terms of purity and impurity, a young sociologist may venture to find out what use an individual does put purity and impurity to in ever-changing situations in life. The status of Indian women is related to the concepts of purity and impurity. Boston, 1975. But for Dumont, it is the organising concept. When scholars such as Louis Dumont and Michael Moffatt present the untouchables as primarily reproducing the homogeneous scheme of the ritual hierarchy of purity and pollution, they ignore the other matrices — for example, of ritual kingship, colonial governance, non-Brahmanic religions, and the modern state — that shape caste. July 3rd: 5. The status of Indian women is related to the concepts of purity and impurity. Sumit Guha’s Beyond Caste is the most important synoptic study of caste since Louis Dumont’s Homo Hierarchicus. But Dumont was very much putting the purity/pollution binary as the kind-of definition – almost the central characteristic – of the caste system. The paper traces the restrictions imposed on female bodies through a Thus, the application of these concepts of structural hierarchy and that of purity and pollution in network of transactions between distinct categories involves, as a concomitant, the concept of ‘social distance’ separating caste categories or cluster of such categories. Both pure and impure castes have their advantages and disadvantages, considering the politics of vote and rhetoric. Is the caste system unique to Hinduism? The caste system in India is the paradigmatic ethnographic example of caste.It has origins in ancient India, and was transformed by various ruling elites in medieval, early-modern, and modern India, especially the Mughal Empire and the British Raj. Caste as Humiliation Caste system lies in the concept of ‘purity’ and ‘pollution’ which presupposes humiliation, violence and torture. Guha is an historian, not an anthropologist, but anthropologists should take note. Caste-based differences are practised in other religions like Nepalese Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism. He further says, the caste status is mutable and upward mobility in the system is accompanied by sanskritisation of rituals. In the context of the caste system, critically examine Louis Dumont’s concept of purity and pollution. The cultural-particularistic view is held by Louis Dumont who holds that caste is found only in India. In this line of thinking, it is not conceived that women can take positive roles in rituals because of this pollution. Dumont, Louis. by Louis Dumont. Louis Dumont’s seminal anthropological work, Homo Hierarchicus, states that caste is voluntary and static. His understanding of caste lays emphasis on attributes of caste that is why; he is put in the category of those following the attributional approach to the caste system. 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