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Categories of Self : Louis Dumont's Theory of the Individual - Andre Celtel

Categories of Self

Louis Dumont's Theory of the Individual

Hardcover Published: 1st December 2004
ISBN: 9781571816603
Number Of Pages: 256
For Ages: 1 - 17 years old

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Drawing on anthropological, socio-psychological, religious, and philosophical material, this book engages in a discussion of what it means to be an 'individual' in relation to notions of selfhood, personality, and social role. This theme is explored with reference to the investigations of Louis Dumont into Hindu and other Indian ideologies, and with regard to the dominant threads of Western individualism. Clarifying and at times building upon his analyses, the author follows Dumont in a consideration of Indian ideology (Hindu non-individualism, the 'dividual', social personhood); French ideology (sociopolitical individualism); German ideology (subjective individualism); and Western ideology (the Christian beginnings of individualism, political and economic individualism, the philosophical 'categorisation' of self).

While most commentators have tended to focus primarily on one aspect of Dumont's work - either his views on Indian hierarchy or writings on modern individualism - the author reveals considerable continuity throughout Dumont's entire oeuvre based around the notion of 'categories' and the concept of the 'individual'. Dumont's intellectual background is explored with reference to the Durkheimian tradition, with Marcel Mauss being highlighted as the principal architect in his thinking. In particular, Dumont's interest in the 'category of the individual' is shown to be an extension of Mauss's concern with the 'category of the person'. The distinctiveness of Dumont's structuralist approach is thrown into full relief through comparison with that of others acknowledging an intellectual dept to Mauss, namely, Claude Levi-Strauss and Fernand Braudel.

The book covers an assessment of general approaches to the study of individualism, with the relevant perspectives of other thinkers discussed and related to Dumont's approach as appropriate.

Industry Reviews

..".clear, careful, and economically written, and closely focused on one theme...with many careful and subtle points" - Elizabeth Tonkin in Focaal

On ideological comparisonp. 4
On French ideologyp. 21
On Homo duplex and l'Homme totalp. 35
On Homo hierarchicusp. 57
On structuralismp. 73
On the category of the individualp. 94
On German ideologyp. 121
On world-historical structuresp. 153
On the category of the selfp. 173
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781571816603
ISBN-10: 1571816607
Series: Methodology and History in Anthropology
Audience: General
For Ages: 1 - 17 years old
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 1st December 2004
Publisher: Berghahn Books, Incorporated
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 13.97  x 1.42
Weight (kg): 0.41

Earn 305 Qantas Points
on this Book