The value question in India: Ethnographic reflections on an on-going debate

Chris Gregory


The terms of the debate about anthropological approaches to the value question in India have been set by Dumont, whose theories were based on his ethnographic studies in North and South India, his knowledge of the Sanskrit literature, his synthesis of the comparative ethnography of India, and his studies on the history of European economic thought. His theory of affinity as a value, one element of this general theory, was based on a critique of Lévi-Strauss and was, in turn, critiqued by Trautmann, among others. On the basis of fieldwork done in Central India, I draw attention to an unexamined assumption that all three theorists share, and I also consider its consequences.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14318/hau3.1.007