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Senri Ethnological Studies (SES)

No.61 Anthropology of Untouchability:"Impurity" and "Pollution" in a South Indian Society

March 29, 2002 Publication

Yasumasa SEKINE

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Contents
List of Maps, Tables, Figures and Plates
Note on Transliteration
Preface
Overview
Acknowledgements
Illustrations in Colour
Map of India and the Location of the Village Studied

INTRODUCTION:
In Search of a "Common-Ground" Anthropology
Transformation and Sustainment of Caste Culture
Doubts about the Conscientious Criticism of the Caste System
"Common Ground" between Self and Others
Transcultural Quality of the System of the Untouchables
Re-examination Based on Theories of Pollution
Bottom-Up Anthropology: Bridge-Building between Pollution Theory and Harijan Culture Studies

PART ONE: THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE AND SETTING
1. RECONSIDERATION OF THEORIES OF POLLUTION
Beyond the Orientalistic View
Introduction
The Limitations of Society-oriented Studies
The Ideological Approach
Reconsideration of Liminality Theories
Toward Theories of Pollution: The Distinction between "Pollution" and "Impurity"

2. THE PROBLEM IN STUDIES OF "UNTOUCHABLES":
Is a Harijan Community Special?
Introduction: A Contrivance of "Impure" Harijans
Mencher's Aphorism: The Significance of the Bottom-up Viewpoint
Moffatt's Consensus Model
Criticism of Moffatt's Work: The Necessity of an "Interpretative" Viewpoint
Ideology and Interpretation: Beyond Disjunction and Consensus
The Dimension of Ideology and the Dimension of Social Section
Motivation and Strategy of Self-Aggrandizement
The Dominant Ideology to be Replicated and Harijan Strategies

3. SETTING:
Village, Caste and Kinship
On Fieldwork
Geographical and Historical Sketch
On Village Community
Caste Composition
Kinship System

PART TWO: POLLUTION THEORY
4. "POLLUTION" AND "IMPURITY":
Configuration of Folk Conceptions
Tittu (Pollution) and Its Essential Connotations
Two Kinds of Attitude Toward Tittu (Pollution) and Punitam (Sacredness)
The Configuration of Folk Terms and Analytical Concepts

5. BLOOD SACRIFICE AND "POLLUTION" IDEOLOGY:
The Cults of Village Deities
Introduction
An Outline of Villagers' Religious Life
Village Deities and Their Festivals
Structure and Interpretation

6. POLLUTION CENCEPTS MANIPULATED:
The Dominant Castes and Harijans
Introduction
Practices of the Dominant Castes on Pollution
Practices of the Paraiyars on Pollution

PART THREE: HARIJAN STRATEGIES
7. THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC POSITION OF THE PARAIYARS (THE HARIJANS)
The Economic Position of the Paraiyars and Government Aid
The Spread of Education among the Paraiyars

8. FUNERAL RITES:
A Caste-based Strategy
Funeral Rites of the Kallars
Funeral Rites of the Pillais
Funeral Rites of the Paraiyars
Comparison of Castes: The Ideological Discourse of the Paraiyars
Discussion and Conclusion

9. THE FESTIVALS OF LINEAGE DEITIES:
Introduction
Lineage Cults of the Dominant Castes
Lineage Cults of the Paraiyars
Conclusion: The Paraiyars' Strategies concerning Lineage Cults

10. THE POLITICS AROUND THE COOPERATIVE SOCIETY:
An Individual-based Strategy
Introduction
The Harijans under "Gift-politics"
The Problem of the Milk Society and the Paraiyars' Strategies
Conclusion: The Paraiyar Community as an Immediate Arena

CONCLUSIONS
"Pollusion" Ideology and Strategizing Harijans
Theoretical Contributions to Studies of "Untouchables"
Reconstruction of Theory on Caste Society and Conceptualization of a "Common-Ground" Anthropology

Appendix A: Sketch Map of Chekkanurani Town
Appendix B: The Myths of the Origin of the Paraiyars
References
Glossary
Index

 
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