• 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.

M.N. Srinivas: Empiricism and Imagination
M.N. Srinivas: Empiricism and imagination

The effort really to see and really to represent is no idle business. …

—HENRY JAMES, The Art of the Novel

[F]iction never lies; it reveals the writer totally.

—V.S. NAIPAUL, in Patrick French, The World Is What It Is

[Sociology] has oscillated between a scientific orientation which has led it to ape the natural sciences and a hermeneutic attitude which has shifted the discipline towards the realm of literature.

—WOLF LEPENIES, Between Literature and Sciences
Introductory Remarks

In this chapter written as a contribution to a forthcoming Festschrift (edited by Shail Mayaram and Ravi Sundaram) in honour of Ashis Nandy, I provide a comparative reading of M.N. Srinivas's ethnographic writings and two short stories, the first of which was published at an ...

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