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

Articles by Andre BeteilleSubscribe to Andre Beteille

Secularism and Intellectuals

Andre Beteille Secularism, in contemporary India, has suffered from bad advocacy. Its most articulate proponents have been left intellectuals, some of whom have carriedover to secularism the totalising claims characteristic of Marxism-Leninism. Others have on occasion swung to the opposite extreme and argued that what was required was not merely a tolerant attitude towards all religions by the state but their equal encouragement and promotion by it.

Necessities and Luxuries

Necessities and Luxuries Andre Beteille The Culture of Flowers by Jack Goody; Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 1993; pp xvii + 462, price not stated.

Amartya Sen's Utopia

Inequality Reexamined by Amartya Sen; Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1992; Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a Heaven for?

Religion as a Subject for Sociology

Religion as a Subject for Sociology Andre Beteille The sociological study of religion brings sharply into focus certain interesting questions of approach and method and a discussion of these is of wider interest in the study of society as a whole, including the study of such subjects as class, gender, nation, and, more generally, politics. There is, in particular, the issue of the comparative advantages of approaches that favour detachment, objectivity and value-neutrality as against those that favour commitment, engagement and partisanship.


Writing about Hindu-Muslim Riots in India Today Gyanendra Pandey The dominant nationalist historiography that insists on the totalising standpoint of a seamless nationalism needs to be challenged not only because of its interested use of categories such as 'national' and 'secular' but also because of its privileging of the so-called 'general' over the particular, the larger over the smaller, the 'mainstream' over the 'marginal

Some Observations on the Comparative Method

A hundred years and more after Spencer, Tylor and Durkheim, it cannot be said that sociologists and social anthropologists have a method that they would all agree to describe as the comparative method. There is as much disagreement among them about it now as there was in the past, even though they have trimmed their ambitions considerably about what they can expect from such a method in the study of society and culture.

Are the Intelligentsia a Ruling Class

Andre Beteille What is most appealing about Ashok Rudra's paper is the manner in which it raises issues of general and permanent interest: for example, the correspondence between contradiction and conflict, the distinction between mental and manual labour, and the relation between rule and dominance. A large body of empirical evidence will be needed before a conclusion can be reached on the status and role of the intelligentsia, though Rudra has made a beginning by indicating the nature of the evidence. The present paper, in the meantime, is an attempt at seeking a little more clarity on some conceptual points.

Rise of Indian Sociology

Rise of Indian Sociology Andre Beteille The Dominant Caste and Other Essays by M N Srinivas; Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1987; pp ix + 195, Rs 125.

Soviet Society Grass-Roots View

Soviet Society: Grass-Roots View Andre Beteille Karl Marx Collective: Economy, Society and Religion in a Siberian Collective Farm, by Caroline Humphrey; Cambridge University Press, 1983; pp xviii + 522, paperback 10.95 (also available in hard covers).

The Tribulations of Fieldwork

Andre Beteille Despite the absence of clearly defined procedures for making intensive field studies, a great deal of of the systematic information that we have about social reality in contemporary India is based on this kind of study. Some of our best insights into kinship, religion and local-level politics come from intensive studies made by social anthropologists using the method of participant-observation. Although this approach has so far been used mainly in the study of village communities, it can he applied to the investigation of practically any sector of contemporary society.


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