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Pollution, Untouchability and Harijans

Price : $59.50
ISBN # : 9788131603857
Author : Yasumasa Sekine
pages: 416
Edition : Hardcover
Volumes : 1
Publisher : Rawat Publications
Published : 2011

The book critically looks at the widely circulated Dumontian approach of pure-impure ideology in the context of pollution, as this concept sees the polluted phenomenon as an object of repression and rejection and as such, is a negative concept. To overcome the limitations of this concept, it argues that pollution and impurity may not mean same, and that in reality, the very marginal nature of pollution facilitates for a creative space (a space with hidden potential for decentralization) where it is possible to radically change one s own sense of order through encounters with others. With this realistic view, the cultural realities of Harijans (untouchables) are brought out here, by interpreting the rituals and daily behaviour of villagers across their socio-economic situations, caste positions, and lineage and individual levels, and this observation in the context of a comparison to the upper castes makes it clear that the Harijans are led by a desire for self-aggrandizement (desire for improvements in the quantity and quality of life), and live strategically within the same core reality of pollution ideology as the upper castes. The book thus logically pleads that the stereotyped image of the Indian society as an alien and incomprehensible society that still maintains a discriminatory caste system is to be reconsidered and set right. On that account, the book contributes to extending its argument towards the theories of social discrimination in general.

Author Bio: Yasumasa Sekine, who had his Ph.D in Social Anthropology at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), the University of London, currently teaches at Japan Women s University, Tokyo. He is one of the Japanese scholars maintaining a consistent interest in researching India, and his search for theoretical expositions for placing subaltern situations in a general and larger frame is quite evident from his works. He has numerous publications to his credit including books in both English and Japanese.

This book was added to South Asia bookstore on Tuesday 28 June, 2011.

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