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A study of South Indian Harijans Deliège, Robert 1993-05-01 00:00:00 According to Dumont, caste can be understood as the institutionalisation of hierarchy, and the principle of hierarchy permeates all relations within Indian society. India is composed of many small territories and castes; Every caste is limited to particular and definite geographic area; and, Marrying outside one’s own caste is not possible in the caste system. Fina!ly gradation of status or hierarchy, which ranks the groups as relatively superior to inferior to one another. He focused on the need to understand the ideology of caste as reflected in the classical texts, historical examples etc.He advocated the use of an Indological and structuralist approach to the study of caste system and village social structure in India. Besides this, they did not have any access to Hindu temples, and suffered from various other disabilities. Home >> Indian Thinkers >> Dumont's perspective on caste system. Hierarchy: According to Louis Dumont, castes teach us a fundamental social principle of hierarchy. Here he identifies hierarchy as the essential value underlying the caste system supported by Hinduism. Dumont defines caste as a pan-Indian institution, a “system of ideas and values, a formal, comprehensible rational system.” (Dumont, 35) Most importantly, he explains how caste groups are distinguished from and connected to one another … But, the opposite has always been two extreme categories, i.e., Brahmin and untouchables. Dumont says that caste … Varna system is extensively discussed in Dharma-shastras. 2. LOUIS DUMONT. Caste without a system. Dumont in his Homo Hierarchicus has built up a model of Indian civilization based on non-competitive ritual hierarchical system. In reality, the caste system has changed in various ways during a period of time. He regarded this as behavioural change, rather than a radical transformation of the system as a whole, at the level of values or principles. While there’s disagreement over its origins, the caste system was formalized in a legal treatise called Manusmriti, dating from about 1,000 B.C. His understanding of caste lays emphasis on attributes of caste that is why his approach is called attributional approach to the caste system. whom Bougle specifies, Dumont presents, as the principles of the Hindu caste system, the scheme of hierarchy, separation, and interdependence-all of which are based upon an opposition between purity and impurity."' Interdependent of work or division of labor each group having in theory or by tradition, a profession from which their members can depart only within certain limits. According to Dumont the study of the caste system is useful for the knowledge of India and it is an important task of general sociology. Other key principles were purity and impurity, also being religious, and interdependence by which parts are interrelated, and related to the whole. The Caste System and Its Implications (1966) is an unusual work of Dumont in its conception, design and execution. At the top of this hierarchy is the Brahmin caste and at the bottom is the untouchable caste. From the mid 1960s onwards, Louis Dumont (1911-1998) moved away from Indian studies, in which he had become a leading authority with the publication of his monograph on the Kallar caste (Une sous-caste de l’Inde du Sud,1 1957) and his survey of the principle of the caste system (Homo hierarchicus,2 1967). Varna literally means type, order, colour or class  and was a framework for grouping people into classes, first used in Vedic Indian society. The untouchables, being ‘impure’, and segregated outside the village, were not allowed to draw water from the same wells from which the Brahmms did so. Dumont argued that in the caste system, status of a caste is determined not by the economic and the political privileges but by the ritualistic legitimation of authority, i.e., in the caste system, ritual norms encompass the norms of power and wealth. 2. He views that traditional interdependence of castes has been replaced by “a universe of impenetrable blocks, self-sufficient, essential, and identical and in competition in one another.” Dumont calls this the ‘substantialization of castes’. 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. Separation on the basis of rules of the caste in matters of marriage and contact, whether direct or indirect (food); Interdependent of work or div1s1on of labour, each group having, in theory or by tradition, a profession from which their members can depart only within certain limits; and. In India, persons affected by this kind of event are treated as impure for a prescribed period, and Indians themselves identify this impurity with that of the untouchables. Why is this distinction applied to hereditary groups? According to Dumont caste divides the whole Indian society into a larger number of hereditary groups distinguished from one another and connected together by three characteristics: 1. The varna categorisation implicitly had a fifth element, being those people deemed to be entirely outsid… Caste system and its Implications: He wanted to know the reason and ideology behind the caste system prevailing in India. ; Dumont also seems to characterize Indian Society as almost stagnant, since he emphasizes the integrative function of caste system. He calls caste system as a system of ideas and values which is a formal comprehensible rational system. Many believe that the groups originated from Brahma, the Hindu God of creation. In his work The History of Dharmashastra, P.V. We are thus forced to conclude that Dumont’s final characterization of the state of affairs that “power in some way counterbalances purity at secondary levels, while remaining sub- ordinate to it at the primary or non- segmented level” (p. It is believed that a person’s own bed, garments, wife, child and water pot are pure for his own self and family and for others they are impure. Dumont views that this definition indicates the main apparent characteristics of the caste system. In fact, Dumont highlights the ‘state of mind’, which ti expressed by the emergence in various. Homo Hierarchicus: The Caste System and Its Implications. 1. For him, caste is a set of relationships of economic, political and kinship systems, sustained by certain ‘values’, which are mostly religious in nature. Each of these castes is a well developed social group, the membership of which is determined by the consideration of birth. This is a complete, theoretical work that helps us to access the vast body of available ethnographic data on caste. For him caste is set of relationships of economic, political and kinship systems, sustained by certain values which are mostly … Of creation hierarchy as the essential value underlying the caste system has not taken place various ways during a of! Hierarchy is the Brahmin caste and Varna are to be unchanging reflected in the Indian... 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