Intellectual traditions grow through a process of critical assessment, and Pathways: Approaches to the Study of Society in India is an important contribution in this area. The autobiographical element makes the essays in this book specially interesting. Works of this kind are rare in the social sciences in India, and the present book provides an excellent model for further research.
The book is divided into two parts: `Pathfinders' and `In Search of a Path'. In `Pathfinders' Professor Madan critically examines aspects of the work of several outstanding scholars who span two generations - his teachers, D.P. Mukerji and D.N. Majumdar and others, M.N. Srinivas, Louis Dumont, David Mandebaum and Milton Singer, who have influenced his work in different but important ways. His discussion of the work of these scholars includes a commentary on the major theoretical and
methodological perspectives which have illumined the study of society in India during the last fifty years. In this part of the book he dwells on functionalism, structuralism, marxism, cultural analysis and ethnomethodology.
`In Search of a Path' is an account of the author's `engagement' with anthropology. He describes how his conception of anthropology has changed over time. Professor Madan ends the book with interesting and insightful comments on some of the substantive concerns of Indian sociology, such as the social construction of ethnicity and intellectual responses to the modern West. He seeks understanding through cultural comparison throughout these essays in the book.
Professor T.N. Madan is a senior member of the faculty at the Institute of Economic Growth (University of Delhi). He is Honorary Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland and Docteur Honoris Causa of the University of Paris X (Nanterre). His recent publications include Non-renunciation: Themes and Interpretations of Hindu Culture (OUP, 1987), Family and Kinship: A study of the Pandits of Rural Kashmir, second enlarged edition (OUP, 1989) and
as editor Religion in India (OUP, 1991).
Publisher: OUP India
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 355 g
Dimensions: 215 x 142 x 15 mm