This is the first English translation of the classic work by Louis Dumont, one of the premier anthropologists and social theorists of his generation. Dumont traces the history and distribution of the Pramalai Kallars of south India: their culture, agricultural practices, economic and political organization, and the collective representations embedded in their social organization and religion. This work is particularly noteworthy as a structuralist ethnography and as the first step in Dumont's construction of a comprehensive structuralist theory of traditional Indian society.
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Before his death in 1999 Louis Dumont was Professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. By far the most influential of Indian anthropologists who have worked on India, Dumont's work is mandatory for all students of Indian anthropology.
"...a landmark in South Asian anthropology. Comprehensive, keenly observed, and theoretically sophisticated, it is perhaps the premier ethnography of a South Asian community... Essential for all libraries covering religion in South Asia."--Religious Studies Review
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