The Indian Scene of Indian Anthropologists – Essay

The fact that comparisons such as those undertaken by Bose and Karve were all situated in India and was, moreover, attempted within the framework of Indian cultural history, did elicit a protest from latter-day structuralists.

At a later stage, with the coming of Dumont and Pocock, the comparative method fell to disrepute. In the tradition of Levi-Strauss and Evans-Pritchard, Dumont is reluctant to accept the comparative perspective. Instead, he has adopted the structuralist approach.

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As a matter of fact, Dumont, in his Homo Hierarchicus (1970), has taken ideology as his major perspective for studying the Indian society. He compares Indian ideology which is holistic and hierarchical with the western individualistic and egalitarian ideology.

We have, in India, a large number of village studies. These are, in fact, holistic studies. But, the researchers of these studies should have employed the comparative method. From all considerations, today, it appears that the sociology in India has given up comparison as the dominant method of enquiry.