• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This book looks at the sociology of India from two perspectives: first, understanding the cultural traditions of India with special reference to religious and ethical values; and second, exploring the growth of the sociological traditions of India.

Divided in two parts, the book goes beyond mere description of the main religious traditions and looks at the ethical values that are embedded in the religio-secular traditions of India. It also projects the sociological traditions of India as a historical process, a process of growth of sociological knowledge. The basic premise of the discussion is not one dominant cultural tradition but the plurality that characterizes the cultural, religious, and value traditions of India, and pluralism that characterizes the sociology of India.

Cultural Traditions, Sociological Perspectives
Cultural traditions, sociological perspectives

In its ordinary use in English ‘culture’, which is much the same idea as cultivation, refers to a process, and we can define it as the process by which a person acquires, from contact with other persons or from such things as books or works of art, knowledge, skill, ideas, beliefs, tastes, sentiments. In a particular society we can discover certain processes of cultural tradition, using the word tradition in its literal meaning of handing on or handing down.

—A.R. RADCLIFFE-BROWN, Structure and Function in Primitive Society

This part of the book comprises discussions of the character and appropriate sociological approaches to the study of various religious and value traditions of India. The lead chapter argues that, paradoxical though ...

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