ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A New Framework for Social Science

Experience, Caste and the Everyday Social by Gopal Guru and Sundar Sarukkai, India: Oxford University Press, 2019; pp 224, 4,339 (hardcover).

This volume extends from issues raised by the authors of The Cracked Mirror: An Indian Debate on Experience and Theory (2012) that ­addressed critical matters in the cultural and social world of contemporary India, not least the thorny issue of caste and its enduring inequities. The matter of caste continues as a vital concern, especially towards the end of this book. In The Cracked Mirror, the authors questioned whether the social sciences as currently constituted, largely in accordance with the terms of European and North Ame­rican (“Western”) philosophical and ­political hegemony, are adequate to the task of comprehending realities as complex as that of India. Their larger point is that the routine realities of India consi­dered in Experience, Caste, and the Everyday Social expose the limitations of a hitherto dominant Western-derived ­social science.

The India context, and most specifically the multiplicity of traditions or ways of life (especially of a religio-­moral-philosophical kind) vital in the tension of contemporary India, chall­enges accepted orientations and gives solid ground for rethinking the social in such a way that a social science as truly a science of the social with a stronger claim to general applicability may be achievable. The book offers an approach to the social that is both more comprehensive and more cross-culturally inclusive than hitherto.

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Updated On : 23rd Jun, 2020
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