Cover image for Homo hierarchicus: the caste system and its implications
Homo hierarchicus: the caste system and its implications
Dumont, Louis, 1911-1998.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Homo hierarchicus. English
Publication Information:
London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1970.
Physical Description:
xxi, 386 pages : illustrations, maps. ; 23 cm.
Subject Term:
Format :


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HT720 .D813 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Complete English Edition
Preface to the First French Edition Brief
Note on Transliteration of Indian Words
1 Castes and ourselves
2 The individual and society
3 Individualism and holism
4 Rousseau on equality
5 Tocqueville on equality
6 Tocqueville on individualism
7 Necessity of hierarchy
Chapter 1 History of Ideas
11 Definition: the word 'caste'
12 Main attitudes
13 Voluntarist explanation
14 Caste as the limiting case of known institutions
15 'Historical' explanations
16 Composite explanations
17 The period 1900-1945
18 After 1945
Chapter II From System to Structure: The Pure and the Impure
21 Element and system
22 The place of ideology
23 The notion of structure
24 The fundamental opposition
25 Pure and impure
26 Segmentation: caste and subcaste
Chapter III Hierarchy: The Theory of the 'Varna'
31 On hierarchy in general
32 The theory of the varna: power and priesthood
33 Caste and varna
34 Hierarchy and power
35 Regional status ranking (1901 Census)
36 A local example (Central India)
37 Attribution or interaction?
Chapter IV The Division of Labour
41 Caste and profession
42 The 'jajmani' system
43 Conclusion
Chapter V The Regulation of Marriage: Separation and Hierarchy
51 Importance of marriage
52 Endogamy: the usual view and its limitations
53 Hierarchy of marriages and conjugal unions
54 Isogamy and hypergamy
55 Some examples
56 Conclusion
57 The classical theory: marriage and varna
Chapter VI Rules Concerning Contact and Food
61 Place within the whole
62 Notes on contact and untouchability
63 Food in general
64 Food and drink (water) in caste relations
65 On the history of vegetarianism
Chapter VII Power and Territory
71 Introduction
72 The territorial framework: the 'little kingdom'
73 Rights, royal and other, over the land
74 The village
75 The problem of economics
Chapter VIII Caste Government: Justice and Authority
81 From power to authority
82 Supreme authority in caste affairs
83 The 'village panchayat'
84 Internal caste government
85 Relations between jurisdictions: authority in general
Chapter IX Concomitants and Implications
91 Introduction
92 Renunciation
93 The sect and its relations to the caste system: example of the 'Lingayat'
94 Tolerance and imitation
95 Diachronic implications: aggregation
96 Stability and change
97 Group kinetics: scission, aggregation, social mobility
Chapter X Comparison: Are There Castes Among Non-Hindus and Outside India?
101 Introduction
102 Christians and caste
103 Caste among Muslims
104 The case of the Pathan of Swat
105 Caste among non-Hindus: conclusion
106 Fundamental characteristics for comparison
107 The school of 'social stratification': caste and racism
108 Castes outside of India?
Chapter XI Comparison (Concluded): The Contemporary Trend
111 The problem
112 Recent changes as portrayed by Ghurye
113 Complements
114 Is caste reinforcing itself?
115 From interdependence to competition
116 Provisional conclusion
117 Attempt at an inventory
118 Hierarchical society and egalitarian society: a summary comparative diagram
119 Conclusion Postface: Toward a Theory of Hierarchy
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Appendix D Maps