Social Scientist. v 15, no. 164 (Jan 1987) p. 66.

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dates of publication and missing entries, starts with the social conditioning of the craft, followed by two chapters which deal respectively with the social structure and the social processes. The introductory chapter on the historical and social conditioning of the epistomological orientations and substantive concerns, deals with the gradual emergence of nationalist sociology, moving away from the earlier orientalist (textual) interpretation of the Great Hindu Tradition as the basis of the organ ismic normative structure. The nationalist response, however, after independence did not really fill the gap left by the decline of UK functionalist approach. British hegemony was replaced by the hegemony of mainly US structural functio-nalism. Parsons, Merton, Cohn, Pye, Shills, Singer, Deutschy the Rudolfs, Marriott, and others, linking the cultural pragmatic with the concept of modernisation, became household names among Indian sociologists, and, through them, in Indian class rooms.

Has Indian sociology really advanced along an independent course and has it brought about an indigenisation of the paradigms and the demystification of the craft from its Western conceptual and ideological packages ? Yogendra Singh suggests that the quest for relevance a,nd indigenisation of paradigms has succeeded, as could be expected because "of their being a closer linkage between social, political, cultural-and economic forces in a society and the articulation of its social science concern, concepts and methods'9 (p. 16). However, despite the exhortions by respective presidents of the Indian Sociological Association, such as M.N. Srinivas, S.C. Dube, A.R. Desai, I.P. Desai, Ramakrishna Mukherjee and M.S. Gore, and despite the focus by the Indian apex bodies on the development priorities of the nation, much of the debate on a Sociology for India for many decades has remained attuned to the developments in and contributions of Western sociology.

The author has aptly recognised this influence by not only surveying tlie sociology in India, but also the sociology of India, albeit with the exclusion of socialist countries. His survey does bring out that particularly after the mid-seventies, the substantive concerns, focussing on the process of restructuration of society and the social movements, reflect the processes taking place in India rather than a dogmatic pre-occupation with traditional cultures and normative structures. Although the cognitive impetus has come from abroad, the present generation of Indian sociologists by and large appear to work rather with paradigm-mixes than with the borrowed framework.


Department of South and South East Asian Studies, University of Amsterdam

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