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The Value-Base of Social Anthropology: The Context of India in Particular [and Comments and Reply] Author(s): Ramkrishna Mukherjee,

Xavier Alb, J. V. Ferreira, Renate Von Gizycki, Gutorm Gjessing, Kathleen Gough, Delmos J. Jones, David G. Mandelbaum, Xto. G. Okojie, K. Paddayya, Michel Panoff, Satish Saberwal and Monica Wilson Source: Current Anthropology, Vol. 17, No. 1 (Mar., 1976), pp. 71-95 Published by: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of Wenner-Gren Foundation for
Anthropological Research

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CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY Vol. 17, No. 1, March 1976 Foundation forAnthropological Research ? 1976by The Wenner-Gren

The Value-Base of Social Anthropology: The Contextof India in Particular

byRamkrishna Mukherjee



Social anthropology, in alliance or identity withsociology, is concerned withhumansociety. This is one ofthe threedimensionsof variationin appraisingreality, in Indian as expressed dimensionof variationfor social anthropology being established,I shalldelimit thesthana (place) and kala (time) dimenIndia. Hence, I shall ask, To what sions in contemporary extenthave we succeededin understanding what is happening in Indian society, how and it is happening, why it is happening,
philosophy by the phrase sthdna-kalaf-patra. The patra (object)

I shall take it forgrantedthat social anthropology has attainedthestageoftheoretical and methodological development in whichit can answerthesequestions.In general,theorizing no longer followsthe principlethat, while reproducing the

what will happenin the immediate future?


Sociology at the Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta, since 1957. Born in 1919, he was educated at Calcutta University (M.Sc., 1941) and at Cambridge (Ph.D., 1948). He has served as Additional Director of the Indian Statistical Institute (1970-72); Guest Professorat the Humboldt University in Berlin (1953-57); Consultant, London School of Economics (1952); Director, Field Research Survey, Indian Statistical Institute(1950-51); Consultant,Government ofTurkey (1949); and Chief Research Officer to His Majesty's Social Survey, London (1948-49). He is a memberofthe Executive Committee and the Editorial Committee of the InternationalSociological Association (1974-78) and advisor to many social science journals and institutions in India and abroad. His research experience includes work in India, U.K., France, Germany, Sweden, Czechoslovakia, Turkey, and Uganda. His present concerns are the study of social change and development in India today, research methodology, application of statistical principles and methods in empirical social research, etc. His publications include The Problem of Uganda (Berlin: Akademie, 1956); The Dynamics ofa RuralSociety (Berlin: Akademie, 1957); The Sociologist and Social Changein India Today (New Delhi: Prentice-Hall,1965); Six Villages ofBengal(2d edition,Bombay: Popular Prakashan, 1971); The Rise and Fall of theEast India Company (4th edition,New York: MonthlyReview Press,1974); and Social Indicators (Delhi: Macmillan, 1975). In addition, he has published nearly 100 articles in internationallyknown The presentpaper, submittedin finalform9 iv 75, was sent forcommentto 50 scholars. Their responsesare printedbelow and are followedby a reply by the author.

RAMKRISHNA MUKHERJEE has been Research Professor of

an the West is plagiarism, viewpoint of onlyone Masterfrom study. is a theoretical articulation of severalsuch viewpoints obserEmpiricism is no longerreducedto the"open-minded" of analysts manoeuvres or the hit-and-run vationsoftravellers of "fielddata." Also, the withrespect to any sortofcollection of theoreticians and fieldworkers once prevailingdichotomy as firstand second-classsubjectsin the kingdomof social is fastlosingits relevance. anthropology There is now an increasingawarenessthat a theorydoes beyondtheplacea claim to generalization no morethanassert in whichit was developed.Accordingly, our circuit time-object in unfolding in India, is drawn to the social reality attention, or one or another of one or anothertheory, relativeusefulness of the Grand Theories. In short,theories have interpretation In thiscontext, while the use turnedintoseriesof hypotheses. was once of statistical toolsand techniquesto testhypotheses laughed at, or merelytolerated,since the 1960s they have essentialto empiricalstudies more and morebeen considered even by thosewho previously opposed in social anthropology, them. Yet, what has been our achievementin revealingsocial reality? With great expectations,the CommunityDevelopment Projectwas launchedin the 1950sto changethefaceof India. accordedit an enthusiastic particularly, Social anthropologists, in papers,books,and even presidential addressesto reception learned gatherings. But did the Project achieve its objective, or did it merely produce another social science research In the 1960s,social anthropologists and other social scientists spokeofhow greenthe "Green Revolution"was. Whydid the failto spread,and whydoes it now appear,according greenery to be drying to some reports, up in its "seedbed"? and othersocial scienIn the 1970s,social anthropologists, tistsare talkingof poverty, inequality,and the "weaker secof the researchof the tions" of the society.The major thrust Surveyof India appears to be withreference Anthropological to thesethemes.But what has been our substantive appraisal on Have we reached a consensus of realityin theircontext? of povertyand inthe conceptualand analytical properties vaguelyabout the phenomena equality?Or are we just talking Hatao ("Drive Out Poverty")? in tunewiththesloganofGaribi Have we identified the "weaker sections"of Indian society and comprehensively? Or are we merelyusing the precisely of ScheduledCastesand ScheduledTribes, juridicalcategories Is it not a or the idea of Backward Classes, in that context? fact that these categoriescontain very powerfulpersons71


N 1* March1976 No.

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Comand a Statutory on Agriculture senta Royal Commission came to the conThe first missionto visitthe subcontinent. clusion: "The desireto accumulatemoneyis not the characin on Agriculture of ruralsociety"(Royal Commission teristic India 1928:6). The second declared: "Any quickeningof ... anywidening ofruralhorizons judgement, generalpolitical Comindeed" (Indian Statutory is bound to come veryslowly mission1930:15). by the Indian resented was strongly The second viewpoint by wentunnoticed nationalleaders,but the fallacyof the first Gandhiji themas well as by thegeneralrunofsocial scientists. village to undertake had alreadyinspired a band ofeconomists studies,the focusof which was on how poorlythe villagers ofthewelfare and neglect livedbecauseofcolonialexploitation of the people (e.g., Kumarappa 1931, Shukla 1937). Another slant was added to this expositionof social realityin some II on the oppression attention places (e.g., Bengal) by focussing (Huque 1939:vi). Meanwhile, ofthepeasantry bythelandlords This state of affairs all is not unique to India. In virtually was gaining in momentum with the the peasant movement worldsocieties, the social scienceshave becomeor are becomdeclaration thatit had threeenemiesto contendwith:colonial ing the handmaiden of politics.Nevertheless, counterefforts rule,thelandlords, and thebig landholders-cum-moneylenders have also emergedto pursueknowledge forthe benefit of the knownin Bengal asjotedars (Mukherjee1957). people at large ratherthan any coterieof politicians or other rule ofruralIndia in the last days ofBritish These vignettes interest in the organization of a group.This trendis reflected were all partially true. The majorityof the people did not sessionon "Ideology and the Education of Anthropologists" demand a luxuriouslifeand led a parochialexistence, but it at the IXth InternationalCongressof Anthropological and was equally true that the marketforluxurygoods was peneEthnological Sciencesheld in Chicago in 1973. intoruralareas and contacts beyondtheruralhorizons trating It has become necessary to discussideologyand education were spreadingthroughcinema, newspaper,road transport, because anthropologists' value-baseand the consequentfruits etc., on the one hand, and the politicalmovement, external of theirlabour may obscure realityor even distortit. The etc., on the other.The portrayal markets, bankingactivities, people need an objective and comprehensive appraisal of ofa miserable villagelifewas true,but it was equallytruethat ifthey are to mouldtheir for reality present and future freedom, even withinthe limitedrangeof incomein the ruralareas inThe purpose of education has been peace, and prosperity. was marked(Mukherjee1957: equalityofincomedistribution "that is succinctly put in a Sanskrit sloka: sa vidyaya bimuktaye, 4-5). The pointeron the oppressionof peasantsby absentee And "freedom" educationwhichfrees oneself." has been aptly landlordswas valid, but it was no less true that the newly definedby one thinker of necessity. as the recognition Thus, landed gentry was reaping greaterprofit than the emerging forthe betterment of humanity, we requireunbiassedknowl- landlords from and sharecropping (Mukherjee1957:49). usury edge of social reality.Establishing which the value-basefrom of paddy Finally,althougha studyof the cost of cultivation can attain this objective is, thus, an social anthropologists fortheimpoverished showedthatit was lessprofitable peasants important problem. than as wage-labourers, to earn theirlivingas sharecroppers In thiscontext, we need not be concernedwith thosefew could stillmainbecause: (a) they sharecropping theypreferred who, in the name of science,operateforsectarianor personal socialstatus as chasigrihastha taintheir ("husbandmen")instead or detrimental ends. Their value-baseis irrelevant to the task. of beingdemotedto the rankof "labourers,"and (b) theyfelt a largemassofsocial anthropologists There is, however, whose in remaining the greater employedthrough more confidence devotion to science and societyis unquestioned,but whose part of the year than theywould have feltas wage-labourers for unfoldingsocial conceptualizationof and methodology (Land Revenue Commissionof Bengal 1940:67; Mukherjee realitydeserve critical evaluation. Firstly,therefore, I shall 1971a: 115, 120). examine how and why we have portrayed the realityof a ofreality facets Here, thus,was a fieldcomposedofdifferent societyin one or anothermanner. interest groupsin describing stressed by different unilaterally In order that my attemptnot be misconstrued to refer to Social anthropologists should have the reality par excellence. or to thesocial anthro- undertaken theunique characteristics ofany society the relativerelevanceof the task of ascertaining of any particular I shall consider thesefacets pologists nationalaffiliation, ofreality in orderto depictitssubstantive character two societiesthat differ and conoftheruralsociety. geographically, historically, and, on thatbasis,to denotethedynamics India and Uganda. I shall refer temporarily: to the worksof has thisbeen done. What is moreimportant, Seldom,however, in thisdirecseveralreputablesocial anthropologists and some sociologists. a shift in the orientation ofsocial anthropologists It is not my intention to imputemotivesto theiractivities or tionis stilllacking, "village studies"have becomeone although judgements, althoughI may discussthemrather moresharply oftheirmajor preoccupations since the 1950s (e.g., Marriott than is usual in sedate academic gatherings. My purposeis to 1955). expose the lacunae in our discharging our responsibility as In India, the peasant itself. Meanwhile,reality has asserted and not in any otherrole in societywhichwe may scientists, was (and, often,still is) regardedas beyond the movement or subsequently. assume simultaneously I, therefore, assume thus of the "scientist." But, while scientists frameof reference thestand"not to accuse or excuse" (Myrdal 1971:213). I trust reached a climax in movement sanctity, the maintained their will subscribe to thisacademic impersonality. everyone (the demand Bengal,in 1946-47,underthe bannerof tebhaga and not the prevalent fora two-thirds, of the sharecroppers half,share of the crop). It spread over the Telengana region III India, and of AndhraPradeshand otherpartsofindependent in one form or another;theso-calledNaxalites it stillcontinues (the adherentsof the CommunistParty: Marxist-Leninist) In the 1920s,when the Indian nationalmovement was found and on the basis of the peasantmovement, to have attained formidable magnitude, theBritish government emergedprimarily 72

economically and politically? At any rate,is it not a factthat, fromtheirfirst formulation, these categorieshave ground a politicalaxe? Again, while nationalintegration remainsa perennialtopic forsocial research in independent India, are we not constantly facedwithone or another facetofalienationin one or another of our society? segment Scatteredas theseexamplesare, theypromptus to enquire whether we arejustifying ourrolein society whileaccumulating knowledge in our discipline or whether, on theotherhand, we are merely playing second fiddle to what are commonly labelled the Establishment and the Opposition.Are we, in our work, just substantiating or denouncing politicalslogans?

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the perennialupheavals on the economicand politicalscene are said to be rootedin its "peasant society." How many social anthropologists, engrossedin "village studies"in India, have felta concernto studyand learn from the peasantmovement? One or twowho did in the 1940swere Even today,how manydiagnostic castigated. studieshave we on the peasant movement in India by social anthropologists? Politicalscientists have recently made someworthwhile studies of the peasantmovement, but is thisphenomenon exclusively (or evenmainly)political? Does it notinvolvethecore ofrural life,as we saw in the days of Gandhiji'ssatyagraha and as we are beingmade increasingly aware by theupheavalsin various partsof India? How, then,have social anthropologists been able to unfold social reality throughtheir more than 25 years' study of "Village India"? The days are perhapsgone when an anthropologist'sstudy of one village was firstcategorizedas "my village," thenas "ourvillage," and eventually as "theIndian village." But, whilefrom the beginning villagestudiesshowed thatin manyessentials rurallifecutsacrossvillageboundaries, the "village" has consistently been reckoneda unit of society. Seldom has conceptual clarification been demanded as to whetherthe village is a unit or a variable forappraisingthe of ruralsociety(Mukherjee1961a). mechanics Such an enforced"micro" approach has leftthe field of appraisalofsocial reality deliberately obscure.Moreover, conceptually, thisapproachis a sequel to the "holistic"approach adoptedfrom the "peasant view oflife"portrayed by eminent social anthropologists like Redfield.This was interpreted to conveythe image of the "peasants" as forming a substantially homogeneous community. That Redfield'sidyllicportrayal of peasantlifewas sharply contradicted by Lewis (1951:428-35) in reference to Redfield's own fieldofobservation demonstrates how we tend to depict therealityfromone or anotherof its aspects.Instead of learningfromthiscontradiction, however, we went on merelydescribing the family, kinship,etc., in a village, the clientele (jajmani) system,the operation of the "little" and the "great" tradition,and so on. We did not undertakea dialectical analysisof the contradictions in the whichwould reveal the reality. society Eventually, therefore, the rural societyof India was interpreted,even by eminentsocial anthropologists like Bose and Sinha (1961), as a "studyin unity and diversity." Mandelbaum (1970) has recently characterized it, in conformity withNewton'sThird Law, as "continuity and change: change and continuity." These and similarefforts do not reveal the dynamics of theruralsociety. Indeed, it may be no exaggeration to state that theydistort reality.Social change is ultimately substantiated by the replacement of one social entityby another.The soothing sloganof"unityin diversity" a society portrays which records onlysocialaccumulation, one whichdisplays merefluctuationsarounda centraltendency, liketheswingofa pendulum from "continuity" to "change" and back again. Intentionally or not,thesestudiestherefore tendto implythatin thissociety thereis nothing much to worryabout as to the consequences ofwhatis happening, how it is happening, whyit is happening, and whatwill happen in the immediate future. But the consequences in Indian societyhave fromearliesttimestaken the ofreplacement. form The peasantsocietyof contemporary India is not the same as whenKautilya wrotehis arthasastra or whenain-i-akbari was written(Mukherjee 1973a:140-212), and rapid changes are taking place at present,as heralded, for example, by the peasant movement.Hence, the portrayalof rural India as "unityin diversity" or as a swingto and fromay conform to the dictumof maya("illusion") propoundedby the renowned Indian philosopher Sankara. Neitherhelps us to reveal social reality. Vol.17 N 1 * March1976 No.

Mukherjee: VALUE-BASE


IV to synthesize To be sure, attemptsby social anthropologists ofsociety, different aspectsofreality and denotethedynamics absent.These attempts although infrequent, are not altogether have givenus, amongothers, the conceptof "dominantcaste" (Srinivas),the schema of "caste, class, and power" (Beteille), and the idea of the "modernizationof tradition" (Singer, Singh). Such concepts, schemata,and models are a step foron a ward in appraisingsocial reality,but theirfoundation and the consequentunilateralor comdeductiveorientation on societalfactors maydefeat thispurpose partmental emphasis in the end. Later, in connection with"Dogmas and Doctrines,"I shall to modernity." have occasionto discussthemodelof"tradition Here I shall note thatthe conceptof dominantcaste does not ofdominance persuadeus to searchfortheprimecharacteristics in thesociety, fortheprimemoverin society may notsubscribe of any particular caste or to the caste systo the configuration of thiseffect tem at all (Mukherjee1973b:45-47). An inkling of"dominantcaste." is obtainedfrom Srinivas's own definition in The conceptof class is built into it, and classes,identified oftherelations ofproduction in society, have been found terms inmanyinstances inworldsocieties to epitomize their dynamics. social reality, social anthroHence, in any attempt to unfold willynilly,the dominant pologists should not merelyidentify, caste and describe the Instead,theyshouldanalyze its function. relationbetween caste and class.And,whatis moreimportant, of the conceptof dominant theyshouldascertainthe necessity caste for unfolding social realityin the light of the relative of caste,class,and any otherhomolrelevanceof the concepts ogous or analogoussocial entity. In thiscontext, the schema of "caste, class, and power" is unlesswe answerthefollowing useful, but it cannotbe efficient questionson the place-timedimensionsof realityin Indian society: 1. Are they contemporarily homologous entities?(Is caste, forexample,"fossilized class," as the SocialistParty[1972:30] has put it?) In that event,what are the specificnuances of otherworldsocieties? causality in Indian society vis-a-vis 2. Are they analogous today (Mukherjee 1973a: 157-.69)? surviving by This tendsto be indicatedby thecaste structure's of the class structurewhich means of the characteristics rule and afterwards (Mukherjee1957, emergedduringBritish of the effects 1961b). In that case, what are the concomitant in India? on current caste structure social reality 3. Are thereindications thatthe relationbetweencaste and class is becomingmore and more casual,in accord with the India? Ifso, whatis the in contemporary dominant socialforces two discrete entities like Roman probability thattheywill form in present-day Italyand France? Catholicism and Communism In such an eventuality, the studyof caste will not need to in India as it absorb the attention of social anthropologists does now. As we social reality. relevanceof societalfactors forrevealing have seen withthe vignettes of rural India in the last days of Britishrule, we can find positiveand negativeevidence for virtuallyany phenomenonin society.Hence, it is not the as "dominant or setofentities, manifestation ofanysuchentity, class," "caste, class, and power," etc., that is conclusivefor the appraisal of social reality,but the relativeevaluation of thesemanifestations. is not possiblewith a deductive Such evaluation,however, orientation. This orientation permitsus to examine societal 73
or contingent Thus we must determine the causal, concomitant,

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phenomena as to whattheyare,how theyare interrelated, and why theyare interrelated in a particular manner.It does not allow us to examineconcurrently, or to place equal emphasis on, societal phenomenawhich are expectedto occur but do not occur or, thoughtheyoccur, are not interrelated in the expected manner,and why the nature of the interrelation varieswithplace and time. For thiswe requirean inductiveorientation, based on the nullhypothesis thatno changeor alteration occursin theplaceofreality. to thisnull hypothtime-object dimensions Pursuant esis and in the lightof the available theoriesand empirical we can formulate information, seriesof alternative hypotheses referring to one or anothermannerof change in society.Syswe can test these hypotheses in the tematically, thereafter, fieldsituation and thereby draw evermorevalid and efficient as to the relativerelevanceof societal factorsfor inferences in the place-time depicting reality ofvariation. dimensions In thismannerwe can appreciatedialectically the positive and negativeaspectsof reality, whichwill unfoldthe relative and constraints. rolesofsocial forces As a result, our appraisal of social reality will be objective,unequivocal,and evermore comprehensive. we should be able to Proceedingtherefrom, answerthe question"VW hat will it be?" in terms of probability and not speculation or conjecture. Our current education,however,does not promotethe inof social anthropologists. ductiveorientation Instead,theyare prompted to deduce reality from one or another societalmanior set of such manifestations, festation, that appeals to them. The appraisalofsocial reality, accordingly, remains segmental at best,liketheproverbial case ofthesevenblindmen describing what an elephantlookslike. Illustrative cases, in thisconof Bailey (1958) and Epstein text,are the deductiveattempts (1962) to describethe emergence of entrepreneurship in rural India, on a caste basis or not. The attempts ofBaileyand Epsteinhave been replicated by social anthropologists in various parts of India. They have shown that entrepreneurship developed in some places, did not developin otherplaces,and in stillotherplaces was killed in the bud. The meticuloussocial anthropologists have also an explanationof thesevariations. attempted Little,however, has been done so farto ascertain whyruralentrepreneurs, who behave as "nonconformists" on theiremergence, do not find a way out of the social system. Instead of thuseffecting social in a large majority change by replacement, of cases the erstwhilenonconformists tendto conform, eventually, to thestatus quo ante and thrive as landholders and usurers. Do ruralentrepreneurs, therefore, denotesocialaccumulation or casual fluctuationsin thesocialsystem insteadofa distinctive socialchange? This is the crucialquestionin the present context, but it cannot be answered-at any rate,not unequivocally and comprehensively-ona deductivebasis. Deductionsin reference to one or anothersocial scene may be segmentally true only. Alternatively, they may merely recordthe wish, belief,or doctrineof the investigators, with the data selectedto prove theircase. An inductivebase, on the other hand, places the question in an objective,unconframe of reference. The null strained,and comprehensive will be that entrepreneurship hypothesis cannot emerge,and the available theories and empiricaldata will permita series ofalternative ofentrepreneurship hypotheses as to theviability in rural India under different conditions.Testing of the and the drawingof valid inferences will hypotheses therefrom depict the substantiverealityfor the presentand indicate, probabilistically, what it will be in the immediate future. Since social anthropologists seldom undertakethe task of appraising social realityin this manner, the emergenceof entrepreneurship in rural India remainsas illusoryas many othersocietalmanifestations, among themthe withering away of thecaste system thathas been forecast timeand again since the middle of the 19thcentury. Thus roamingin the fieldof

illusion,theyfindall the empiricalmanifestations fallinginto appropriateplaces in the Chinese puzzle. As Mandelbaum's (1970) systematic and logicallyarticulated collection of papers portraying Society in India testifies, the apparentlydominant of characteristics ultimately buttress the staticcharacterization principle theIndian society as "unityin diversity," itsoperative and change: change and continuity." "continuity

of social anthropologists restsnot The deductiveorientation onlyon theirinadequateor faulty education,but also on their or one-sidedideology. Anysearchforcausality, concomitance, in societalphenomenaon a deductivebasis cancontingency in approach. As I have shown, the not but be positivistic attemptis to deduce positively what is happening,how it is happening,and why it is happening.The deductiveattempt and unequivocal cannottakeintoaccount,in an unconstrained and thedialecticalintermanner, thenegative aspectofreality the deactionsof positiveand negativeaspects.Accordingly, ductive-positivistic approach musthave a built-invalue-load in a particular forappraising social reality manner. The value-loadmay or may not be explicitly stated.It may, concealed to create a semblanceof a indeed, be deliberately value-free undertaking. Nonetheless, the ideologies of social This anthropologists can sharply distort theappraisalofreality. which, is clearly demonstrated withreference to another society -namely, until recently,was categorized as "primitive" and after rule. Uganda-before, during, British Lowie (1950:453-58), in conformity with the practice of labelled Britishanthropologists and the colonial government, the peoples of Uganda as "tribals." We findfromthe earlier like Lugard, accountsof travellers like Speke, administrators likeRoscoe,however, thatbefore theadvent and ethnographers of the Britishin what became the Uganda Protectorate the "Baganda" had developed a class societywith externaland internalmarkets.The "Banyankole" had developed a state whichOberg (1950: 121-62) on the basis of class domination, Class divisionseitherhad emerged has brilliantly portrayed. or were incipient among other ethnic groups (Mukherjee did anthropologists label thepeoples 1956:46-105). Why,then, rule?Was it to enof Uganda as "tribals" throughout British mission"of the colonial power? dorsethe "civilizing ofBuganda preto Mair (1934:286), "the history According forthe system of IndirectRule-the pressentsa justification ervationof the nativesocietyas a basis fornew development, whichthesedevelopand its transformation onlyto the extent A similarconclusion mentsnecessitate." was drawnby Wilson and Wilson (1945). At thesame time,Malinowski(1945: 161), in Africa,"declared,"As a Pole into "race relations inquiring bornand bred,I maybe allowedto sayherethatin myopinion is second to none in thiscapacity the Britishcolonial system to learn fromexperience, its adaptabilityand tolerance,and in thewelfare of the natives." above all, in its genuineinterest No wonder,then,thatthe Governor of Uganda announcedin 1949 that the "establishedpolicyaims at developingUganda forthe benefit, not of importedEuropeans or Asians, but of its Africanpopulation" (Hall 1949:iii). But, such was this and anthropologists policy, acclaimed by the administrators alike, that Huxley (1948:243) reportedof the Acholis, then reckoned to be "peace-loving,""In the debatingclub, politics are barred. At the last meetingthe topic 'Where does the rainbowcome from'was discussed." in To be sure, some of the social anthropologists working Uganda, India, and otherplaces producedgood ethnography. A few of them also contributed significantly to ethnological theory.While their ideology and education had significant bearingon theseproducts-as suggested by theirunanimous

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One cannot appraisesocial reality withouttakingnote of the Whetherit arises frombelow conceptof social development. or is imposedfromabove, the conceptof development is inthecourseofexistence ofa people and a society. separablefrom No matter howdevelopment is conceived bythepeopleenmasse, or segmentally, or by the elites,value is ingrained in the concan give rise to cept. And value as a variable,in thiscontext, variousdogmasand doctrines. To illustrate thesedogmas and doctrines with reference to the conceptof social development, we should first distinguish between "change" and "development."While development VI and cannot take place withoutchange,change is a value-free a value-loadedconcept. development This assertion may be contested on the groundthat the beIn thesimplest oftime(say, case, changebetween twopoints haviourof mankindis value-basedand its consequences must in one ofthreepossibleways: t, and t2) would be recorded be value-expressive. Therefore, thiscounter-argument will sug1. An entity a present at t1has disappearedat t2. For example, gest,(a) socialresearch cannotbe value-free, (b) one's approach the ancientIndian maritalcustomsof niyogaand nivesa have to research cannotbe objective,and (c) what has been called thecontemporary disappearedfrom social scene (P. Mukherjee "the consequent rigourof research"is meaningless. In opera1963: 1-11). tional terms,this means that all one can do is to appraise 2. An entity a was not present at t1 but has emergedat t2realityaccordingto one's ideologyand obviously,therefore. For example,a newsystem ofproduction relations has emerged in a deductive-positivistic manner.In support ofsuch a stand, in theworldwiththe establishment of the U.S.S.R. Vol.17 N I No. March1976

of the Africansas "tribals"-that is not our categorization immediateconcern.The point is that, althoughMalinowski professedto be concerned with the "dynamics of culture change" and theWilsonswiththe "analysisofsocial change," theyfailed to answerthe questionwhich societal factors are of causal, concomitant, or contingent or irrelevant, relevance, thesubstantive to unfolding reality(Mukherjee1956:267-74). In Paris in 1948, I heard a North Africanstudentsay, "Today we are 'tribals,' and the 'anthropologists' studyus. But, tomorrow, when we shall attain independence, we shall become 'people,' and the 'sociologists' and 'politicalscientists' will come to studyus!" This cynicalstatement indicateshow illusory has been theappraisalofsocial reality bysocial anthroIt also pointsout, in reference pologists. to all brandsofsocial how thepeople are deprived ofa sourceofknowledge scientists, whichcould help themachieve freedom, peace, progress, and prosperity. Anyhow,realityin Uganda asserteditself, the shattering illusions of reputable social anthropologists, through the Baganda uprisings of 1945 and 1948. In due course,Uganda becamea sovereign state,and theUgandans became "people." illusiontoday,althoughthe current Yet, we are not freefrom on a probability realitycould have been predicted, basis, in British times. The massexodusofthe"Indians" from in recent East Africa timeshas generateda good deal of resentment in India and elsewhere. But how manysocial anthropologists have reactedto the phenomenon,and then unemotionally and objectively? Yet, just as in the case ofBangladesh(Mukherjee1972a), the outcome couldhave been logicallyapprehended;similarly, the inter-"people"tension in Uganda manifesttoday between the Ganda and the Acholi could have been diagnosedfrom an objective analysis of Uganda society in British days (Mukherjee1956:252-55). It could also have been determined at the time that,ever since Uganda was unified in the 1930sforthe production and processing ofcotton, the"Europeans" (essentially, theBritish), the "Asians" (virtually, citizensof the subcontinent of India), and the "Africans"(the Ugandans) formed threedistinct tiers of a class structure. The Britishwere at the top, wielding economic and political power in a decisive manner; the Ugandans wereat the bottom, withno politicaland economic powerat all; and the "Indians" were in the middle,withappreciableeconomicpower devolving fromthe British, but no politicalpower.Understandably, the British did not yieldany politicalpowerto the "Indians." The "Indians" did not seek power in alliance with the Ugandans, but exploitedthemas intermediaries(Mukherjee 1956:177-81). Therefore,their plightafterindependencecould have been anticipated(pp. 255-63). Such a diagnosis, made in the 1950sand stillvalid,is possible notbecauseone is an astrologer, a yogiversedin transcendental or one who possesses meditation, the "thirdeye" of Siva. The probability lies in formulating one's ideologyimpartially and and undertaking objectively the consequent rigourof research withan inductive-inferential orientation.

VALUE-BASE Mukherjee:



it maybe said thatthosewho speakofvalue-neutrality in social researchactuallyconceal a particularvalue-load,and that if a formof analysisof a societyprovesvalid it is because the particularkind of ideologyimplicitin it is superiorto other kinds. We mustnotignorethisviewpoint, because it contains more than a grainof truth. But we mustalso considerthe factthat if we stop at such a generalization in formulating our role as we shall not be servingscience, but social anthropologists, and dogmatists. operatingas doctrinaires Ideology does not substantiate reality;it is the otherway round. This is why even Marxism,whichperhapsmostprecisely and consistently endeavoursto interpret reality, has been undergoing elaborain emphasisaround its centralaxis tion, variation,and shift sincethedaysofMarx and Engels.This effort and others show thatwe can neverinterpret and finally. Our task reality fully evermoreclosely, is to interpret and as comprehensively reality as possiblein the given state of our knowledge.WA'e have to bear in mind,therefore, no ideologyis bereft thatvirtually of howeverpartially truth, it is accountedfor. Hence, the problembefore us, withreference to illusionand reality,is not that social anthropology, like any othersocial science discipline,containsvalue-loads.Also, the problemis not resolved by a merestatement ofour value-loads.This way of bypassing our responsibility as scientists is as futile as going to a Father Confessor, and it may be harmful by givingus opportunity to become dogmatists and doctrinaires. On both thesecounts,the problemwe face may be formulated as follows: How can we impartially and objectively treatthe differential value-loads for an ever more precise,comprehensive, and unequivocalappraisal ofsocial reality? To examinefurther the anthropologists' value-base in this we should select a topic which,ultimately, context, is indispensable to all social science disciplinesand in which value One such topicis "social development." is ingrained. Dogmas and doctrines in its current are clearlymanifest conceptual-


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leave open "none shouldstarve,"and so on. Such statements at botht, and t2, but some or all of a is present 3. An entity orlesspresent the question"What will it be" if and when all men become are more properties itsstructural and/orfunctional be"equal," "free,""adequately fed," and so on? Therefore, whichwe usuallyconsideras a topic at t2. It is thispossibility etc., the security, yondan assumedminimallevel of affluence, ofthedisappearThus we examinetheprobability for research. approach tends of thejoint family, operationalrelevanceof thiskind of synoptic the disintegration ance of the caste system, the mannerin whichorganizathe growingviabilityof entre- to vanish.This is evidentfrom national integration, stronger theirspeformulate tionslike the UN, UNESCO, and others in ruralareas, and so on. preneurship their after generalproclaprogrammes actionand research cific anyvalueofchangecontains possibilities None ofthesethree therecan be no perspecthisstandpoint, Hence, from mations. situation,in which an load. The thirddenotes a replaceable social development. tiveofcontinuing between or emerging to be disappearing is hypothesized entity theconcept moreover, perspective, thecircumscribed Within in situation, two denote a replaced The first two time-points. may vary accordingto the procedure of social development has disappearedor emergedbetweenthe two whichan entity dulyfed,and so on. This record either adoptedto make all men equal, free, therefore, The three possibilities, time-points. which may reflect for development, to the conditions refers or a set of ofan entity ofreplacement thefactor theprobability of the the that as proletarians orientations such polarized themselves the entities perspective, In thisoperational entities. eternal springs ofcapitalism have no commitment worldmustuniteor thatthespirit and replaceability or theirreplacement implicit value-loadsare, thus, Differential in thehumanbreast. to any value-base. of social in even the minimallyconceived characteristics forexaminaor a set of entities, The selectionof an entity, development. tion, however,is value-loaded, because it is based on the to underestimate amongsocial scientists There is a tendency disappearance, of the persistence, or undesirability desirability development. for in the conditions of variations the implications there Otherwise or set of entities. of the entity or emergence to the appreciation refer forexamination, They will agree thatthesevariations certainentities would be no pointin choosing is, but theywill also pointout thatsome ofwhat development We should or encyclopaedic. unlessthe choice were frivolous can be reached on a set of developmental sortof agreement not considerthe selectionof entitiesfor examinationto be such as rapid urbanizationand inand indicators attributes is not feasiblein practreatment and encyclopaedic frivolous, in rural areas, the rise of entrepreneurship dustrialization, of deliberatechoice of tice. Hence, it is fromthe perspective relevanceof the However, etc. G.N.P., capita per of growth development thattheconceptofsocial forexamination entities thedejureand defacto This is clear from thisissueis perennial. to bear upon societalcharacteristics. is brought world rolesof the League of Nationsand the UN in resolving are regardedas desirable,and so they Some characteristics conflictsand from the cases of Vietnam and Bangladesh. Other characbecome the "developmental"characteristics. ofdevelopproblems of the contemporary Myrdal'sdiscussion are regarded as undesirable,and so they become teristics of Asia and his Challenge mentand social change in southern societalcharacThe remaining characteristics. "retrogressive" 3: vol. 1968, (Myrdal issue the same to Poverty point World are consideredto be of no relevanceto a particular teristics perspective, 1905; 1971). Thus, even withina circumscribed be remay,however, value-load.These neutralcharacteristics operationally be made cannot of development social concept the It garded as desirableor undesirableforanothervalue-load. thatthevalue-loadoftheconceptofsocial development value-freefor the world at large by employinghumane follows principles. This is obvious viewpoints. will vary accordingto different approach-raising the content The second kind of synoptic social philosophers, of reputablethinkers, fromthe writings analyticallevel-is a to quantitatively development of social The etc.,on the primemoverofsocial development. scientists, from the same fallacies morepreciseand objective,but suffers but not andifferent views may be similar but distinctive, forthis has suggested (1967:131-34) Drewnowski first. as the The prime mover of social deor polar-opposite. tagonistic, health, shelter, purpose such subject categoriesas nutrition, basis of society,as explained velopmentmay be the material level. and opulence and security, recreation, leisure education, and elaboratedby Marx and Engels,Lenin and Stalin, Mao unemploySeers (1972:24) has noted: "As undernourishment, Lukacs,Marcuse, et al. It may be the fact Gramsci, Tse-tung, ment and inequality dwindle,. . . educational and political according to the argumentsof Morgan, of social existence, importantobjectivesof developconsciousness, aims become increasingly et al. It may be social Spencer,Simmel, Durkheim, by suggested subject categories additional and These ment." as stressed by Pareto, T6nnies, Mannheim, Malinowski, to any minimallevel.On are not restricted Myrdaland others as asbasisof society, Rousseau, et al. It may be the spiritual the other hand, theyare amenable to precisemeasurement. et al. Or it Hobhouse,Mumford, sertedby Weber,Ginsberg, would help analyticalattempt,therefore, The quantitatively else. may be something unequivocal of basis the on development social to appraise us made to make the conceptof social are therefore Attempts (e.g., McGranahan 1969:1-22). information by assuminga general value-free operationally development the phenomenonis to be conceived in a All the same, its value-load and, thus,eliminating to standardize consensus and analysiswill manner.No formof quantification of variationin this respect. Contemporarily, particular the possibility This is true value-free. development of social concept make the and enforced, synoptic, fallintothree categories: theseattempts forsocial ofand conditions not onlyin regardto thedefinition however,we operational.When we examine them carefully, and the attributes reference to with also but development, or findthat eithertheylead to variousdogmas and doctrines and setofconditions. definition ofa particular indicators are built-in. the dogmasand doctrines and indicatorswill be cultureDevelopmental attributes Even contexts. and inter-society both in intra-society specific, variation,which appears to be an unambiguous nutritional II measure,is closelyassociatedwithfoodhabits,in quantitative groupsof people in which values are ingrainedfordifferent In India, theKashmiri and betweensocieties. thesame society approach is based on some overallhumaneconThe synoptic Brahminsof MahaThe saraswat Brahminsare meat-eaters. sideration,which may be qualitativelyevaluative and/or The of Bihar are fish-eaters. the best Brahmins rashtraand the maithil analyticalin character.Of the first, quantitatively are also meat-eaters. thesaktas are fish-eaters; BengaliBrahmins declarationson human examples are perhaps international Similar vegetarians. are scrupulous The SouthIndianBrahmins rights,faith in humanism,etc. Consensus on this level of wishesand beliefscan lead only to generalizedformulations variationsare noticedamong the ethnicgroupsin Malaysia, birthright," Indonesia, etc. The Japanese are said to be more fish-eaters like "all men are equal," "freedomis everyone's

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than other than the Chinese, the English more beef-eaters Europeans. The situationis no less different regardingthe of the factsof opulence,security, and appreciation recreation, and otherapparently leisure.Even education,health,shelter, are knownto be culture-specific. lessvariablecategories Thereto the fact that the attributes fore,any assumption contrary are differentially and indicators value-loaded of development would be eitherfallaciousor too generalto be of operational and analyticaluse. made More cautious and rigorous attempts are, therefore, to evolvemodelsfor socialsystem accounting (e.g., Gross1966: 154-271). They are usefulinsofaras they provide us with of reference forappraisingthe contentof social broad frames in different as development societies,but theyare tentative, theirauthorswould not (and, in some cases, do not) deny. It is therefore of these models necessary to testthe universality by applyingthemto varioussocieties. it cannotbe Otherwise, or not the factsofinter-society and intraascertained whether of the models. If they the structure societyvariationcrosscut do, thiskindof approachalso will be incapable ofmakingthe value-free. conceptofsocial development In any case, the differential value-load of developmental indicatorsis clearly stated by some, whetheror not these indicatorsare employed for specificpurposes like "welfare measurement" (e.g., Drewnowski 1972:85-86). Also, thepossiofdifferential bility value-loadof the attributes in reference to which indicators are to be constructed has been mentioned; Seers (1972:28) notedthiswithrespectto the attribute of unin "non-industrial employment societies." forsocial development As regardsthe conditions and their repercussions on the formulation of developmental indicators, the situationis less satisfactory. For instance,according to Seers (p. 22), development "is inevitably a normative concept, almosta synonym forimprovement," and to "pretendotherwise is just to hide one's value judgement."But thisdoes not mean that"we are each leftto adopt our own personalset of values," because "surelythe values we need are staringus in the face, as soon as we ask ourselves:what are the necessary fora universally conditions acceptable aim, the realizationof the potentialof human personality?" This rathertoo general to the philosophyof development, solution,however,refers whichmay varyaccordingto the concrete formulation of the statedaim and/or the procedureforrealizingit. This is evidentfrom the controversy currently ragingover "young" and "old" Marx and the variations noticedwithinthe gamut of "neo-Marxists"or among idealistsof different brands, who may be social scientists (like Mumford)or swamisor saintsof modernvintage. Thus, thesynoptic approachfailsto standardize theconcept of social development and therebyto make it operationally value-free. Analyticalattempts of this kind can serve to appraise social development, providedit is conceivedin a particularmanner.

VALUE-BASE Mukherjee:


portray objectively the current state of affairs in world societies. The uncritical and unscientific bias of the doctrine is now noted by many social scientists (e.g., Elias 1964:53; Weiner 1966:v; Rudolph and Rudolph 1967: 3), and Nettl and Robertson (1968:43) have stated that "many discussions of modernityhave not been genuinely conceptual or theoretical, but mere word-juggling." Instead of an outright rejection of the doctrine, however, the Rudolphs suggest a corrective. They consider (p. 6) that the "cumulative effectof the misdiagnosis of traditional societies and the misunderstanding of modern societies has been to produce an analytical gap between tradition and modernity." But the gap is not merely analytical. It is essentiallyconceptual, as is clearly indicated by Shils's (1962: 10) assertion: "Modern" means being Westernwithoutthe onus of dependence is a picture of the West deon the West. The model of modernity tached in some way fromits geographicaloriginsand locus; it perof Soviet Russian and Chinese ideals which mits the affirmation ostensibly have what is worth-whilein the West, while being anti-Western.... Already modernstates-the states of themselves WesternEurope and of North America (and the English-speaking dominions of the British Commonwealth)-need not aspire to They are modern. It has become part of their nature modernity. of modernity. to be modern and indeed what theyare is definitive Obviously, Shils's explanation thwartsany attempt to reveal the dynamics of a society, fordynamism cannot be restrictedto a jump fromone closed box to another. Mshvenieradze's (1964: 34-35) apt comment on Rostow's concept of "traditional society" is applicable to all variations on the theme of "tradition to modernity": they have "amalgamated various social formations under the title of 'traditional society' and closed the way for historical approach to problems of social development." Empirically, therefore, the doctrine leads to subjective and superficial evaluation of world societies. This is no less evident for those who may not subscribe to the pro-Western goal of social development. A case in point is Shah and Rao's (1965) attempt to analyze tradition and modernity in India. Singh's (1973) otherwise noteworthyattempt to describe social change in India in historical perspective suffersfrom the same constraint. Moreover, the definition of tradition in the social sciences promotes the emergence of other dogmas. Strangely, the Dic(V\inick 1957) does not define tradition, tionary of Anthropology although anthropologists are gravely concerned with the subject. Dictionaries and encyclopaedias of sociology and the social sciences do define tradition, but usually impart a valuejudgement to it (e.g., Ellwood 1958:295; Radin 1948:63; Sampson 1965:723). And since this value-judgement is that it is an obstacle in the path toward being "modern," it provokes a counter value-judgement from the nativistic sources: tradition is a proud heritage of the people, which negates the need to be modern (e.g., Motwani 1958). The attempt of Bendix, in this context, to bypass dogma or doctrine is futile. He argues (1964: 5-6): There is nothing inherentlywrong about using the historyof Western societies as the basis of what we propose to mean by long as the purely nominal character of this defidevelopment-as nition is understood.The historyof industrialsocieties must cerin this field. Trouble arises tainly be one basis for our definition that only when it is assumed that these are "real" definitions, development can mean only what it has come to mean in some Westernsocieties. Such an attempt at value-neutrality emphasizes the fact that social development is a value-loaded concept and that the

III This particular mannerof conceiving social development cannot, however,be enforced-whichseems to be the aim of a number ofsocial scientists. Rostow's(1962) "threshold ofsocial development,"in his "non-communist manifesto," proposed the course of change in WesternEurope and the northern of the New World as the ideal of social develophemisphere ment. The "West" as the goal of social development is enforced moredirectly by others(e.g., Black 1966:17; Blankesten 1965:225-42; Moore 1967:3; Shils 1962: 1O). Adogma inconceptualizing social development is thusexplicit. Significantly, the dogma subscribes to the doctrineof "traditionto modernity," whichappearsto (but does not actually) Vol.17 N I No. March1976


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value-load cannot be made uniform by the presumption of a common desideratum. In effect, a number of social philosophies may concur on industrialization as an essential condition fordevelopment, but may be sharply divided amongst themselves on other developmental attributes. Also, they may stronglydifferon the manner in which industrialization is to be brought about and its fruitsutilized. Evidently, the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. would be sharply divided on this issue, and so also may be China, Yugoslavia, etc., amongst themselves as well as from the first two Great Powers. Moreover, the philosophies which lead to such distinctions may agree on a constellation of developmental attributes and indicators, but another social philosophy may totally upset the accepted constellation. And this philosophy should not be ignored, either for the world at large or for one or more specific societies. For example, growth of gross national product, rise in per capita income, increasing levels of investmentin material goods and services, industrialization and urbanization, etc., will be of no relevance to the Gandhian view of social development (Kumarappa 1948, 1951, 1952). Thus, at the level of scientific objectivity, the concept of social development cannot be standardized by enforcinga particular manner of development as theworld view.

societies.If there is any countryin which "modernization . .. have acquired the role almostof a ideals as value premises statereligion,"it is India. But here also, thesevalue premises are not subscribedto by certain articulateand influential groupsof people, and thishas indelibleeffects on the society. The so-called Naxalite movement,which has markedly different value premisesfromthe Indian government, was in thewestern particularly effective regionofthe State ofWest Bengal during1970-72. Significantly, it is in thisregionthat the "modernizing ideals" of the State were seen to have attained an appreciable measure of success throughsustained for oflargeprogrammes construction community development, scale irrigation systems (Mayurakshiand the D.V.C.) in the arid region,and the establishment of a steel plant and an industrialcomplex at Durgapur. The Sarvodaya movement, to whichhas anotherset of "modernizing ideals" in reference the Gandhian way of life,is reported to be gaininggroundin in India. the State of Bihar and elsewhere PlanningforIndia's development has also been influenced in a mannerdiametrically oppositeto Myrdal'sideals. This is to the Second Five-Year Plan. Mahalaclear with reference nobis,thearchitect of the Plan, had specified thatthe developand rapid industrialization mentof heavyindustries would be the keynoteof India's social development.In that context, encouragement of handicraft and peasant cultivaindustries a panel of anycreed (Mahalanobis 1955:42-44). Contrariwise, of economists sponsoredby the Indian PlanningCommission declared it "basic" that the "salient characteristics" of planning be a "society composed chieflyof small decentralized unitsof economicactivity in which the increasein scale required in any activity is brought about chiefly through mutual and in whichcentralizahorizontal and vertical, co-operation, tion and verylarge-scale to only to the operationare resorted modern extent necessary to deriveappropriate advantagefrom technology" (PlanningCommission 1955:13). in the value-loadof the concept Obviously, such differences of social developmentcould not but cause confusion in the planningand implementation of developmental programmes. Alongwiththeestablishment ofsteelplants,etc.,in thepublic sectorof the economy,the oligarchyof textilemanufacture of automobilemanufacture. thrived,as did the monopolists Concurrently, the veneration of government-subsidized khadi production told itsown tale, as did the idyllicexecution of the community development in the villages.Eventuprogrammes ally, therefore, India's social development in the 1950s and early1960sinvited critical comments from nativesand foreigners. Myrdal (1968, vol. 1:278), forinstance, made the caustic remark: "The postponementof the promised social and economic revolution, which was to follow India's political revolution, is thusin dangerof becomingpermanent." To be sure, India is not unique in this,but it does serveto illustrate the lessonthat,not onlyforthe worldas a whole or a numberofsimilar societies, but also forany one suchsociety, a uniform value-loadoftheconceptofsocial development cannot be assumedon apparently observableand seemingly valid grounds.In sum, then,all attempts to standardizethe valueload of social development, synoptic, enforced, or operational, are doomed to failurebecause of the nature of the concept. Instead,theseattempts promote variousdogmasand doctrines -including Myrdal's idea that "modernizingideals" may acquire "the rolealmostofa statereligion."
were to be a matter of policy and not tion, to theextent necessary,

For one society or set of analogous societies, however, a particular manner of social development may appear to be observable and thus valid for operational purposes. On this count, therefore,the value-load of development would be seemingly uniform and thus the concept of social development would be operationally value-free. For example, with reference to the United States of America, Bauer (1966: 1) is concerned with the "topic of social indicators," inasmuch as it would enable him "to assess where we stand and are going with respect to our values and goals, and to evaluate specific programs and determine their impact." Similarly, Myrdal (1971:42-43) has stated: The reason foradoptingthe modernizationideals as value premises forour study of underdeveloped countriesis not merely that very commonlythey are pronounced to be the goal determining policy by the governments of practicallyall those countriesand, indeed, generally by the articulate members of their people. In many underdeveloped countriesthey have acquired the role almost of a state religion. However, in these countries and, for that matter, in all countries, other sets of value-loads may play a significantrole. In many "developed" societies, the concept of social development of the ruling power does not match those of other articulate and powerful societal segments, and this is found to have a significanteffecton the course of development of these societies. The "values and goals" and the "specific programs" with which Bauer is concerned would perhaps not be the same for the Black movement or the New Left as they are for the U.S. government. Obviously, the recent students' unrest and youth revolt in the German Federal Republic has had a profound effecton the course of development of German society. In the "developing" societies, such variations are wide and strongly marked, and some of them have had a drastic effect on the professed ideals of these societies. In the last analysis, the answer to the question "What will it be?" is being decided on this very issue in Vietnam and Bangladesh. One act of the drama on the same issue has already been played in Chile, Korea, Indonesia, Ghana, and Nigeria. Although in less drastic a manner than for these societies, differencesin the concept of social development also affect other "developing" 78

We have, therefore, threealternatives before us. The simplest would be to abandon the conceptof social development and deal exclusively with the value-free conceptof social change.

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VALUE-BASE OF SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY Mukherjee: deBoas adopted this alternative in reference to ethnology, claring(1940:285): "The methodwe tryto develop is based on a studyof the dynamicchanges in societythat may be development;whetherhis approach is rightor wrong will This approach is cerby history. be demonstrated observedat the present time.We refrain fromthe attemptto eventually approach, thantheso-calledvalue-neutral moreefficient solve the fundamental problemof the generaldevelopment of tainly are givingup thesedays. But its civilization untilwe have been able to unravel the processes which even the economists of dogbase can promotethe emergence thatare goingon underour eyes." deductive-positivistic obscurethe fieldofreality and theseeither At the riskof repetition, it will be usefulto point out the mas and doctrines, fallacy in Boas's argument.Can one study the "dynamic its formand content.Hence, if we adopt this apor distort changes in society"withouta value-base?As I shall argue proach,we cannotbut providethemeansfordogmasand docofknowlthe objectivepursuit or nullify, the later,with reference to the task of social anthropologists, to undermine, trines of the people en masse. value-baseneed not be (and, in fact,must not be) equated edge forthe benefit approach not only recomthe value-acceptor witha particular value-load.But can one everappraisesocial Furthermore, ofsocialdevelopment; manner ofa particular reality withoutaccounting forvalue-loads?In that case, how mendsthepursuit it mustalso arguethatone can achievesuch a course would one selectthe societalentities to be examinedforthat logically, withthe necessary onlyifhe or she is invested purpose?Moreover,even if thiswere possiblein an encyclo- ofdevelopment conclusion.It would follow paedic undertaking, by following Boas we would shirkthe powersto bringit to a successful responsibility of defining the anthropologists' value-base.This that the executionof thisapproach mustalso weed out other at the application of other value-loads of attempts issue may not have had much urgency forBoas in the 1930s, effective theethicsofsuchan argument Apartfrom but todayit is so important thatCURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY has social development. devoteda substantial numberof pages to a "Social Responsiand the consequentprocedure,the point is that the anthrohis bilitiesSymposium"(Berreman, Gjessing,and Gough 1968: pologist-like all other social scientists-willthen forfeit and operateas a politician. role ofscientist session 391-435). I have alreadymentioned the 1973 Congress of the people, and Both roles are essentialforthe benefit on ideologyand the educationof anthropologists. Therefore, or even simultaneously-as if we wish to "unravel the processes one can adopt themsequentially that are goingon under did Marx, Lenin, and severalothers-withtheobjectiveofnot our eyes," we should rejectthe simplest of examalternative merelyappraisingsocial reality,but also changingit. One iningonlysocial change,ignoring social development. to each and not mix themforperbe faithful on is to insist must,however, The simpler of the remaining two alternatives glory.I shall take up this point or charismatic a particular free- sonal benefit mannerof social development, thusforcibly of the The mixture when I discussthe taskof anthropologists. ing the concept of its differential value-loads. But we shall, and probably in humanhistory, tworolesis notunprecedented imagesinstead then,continueto roam in the fieldof illusory it thesedays than ever before.Furthermore, of unravelling is morefrequent social reality,as I have tried to show above. and doctrinaires. groupsof dogmatists Hence, as objective scientists, we oughtto rejectthisalternative is now helpingto form to definethe anthroThere is all the more reason,therefore, that and adopt the third.This alternative would acknowledge to dogmas and docvalue-basein contradistinction the following pologists' problemsmust be solved in order to employ foronly ofreality, portrayal illusory and the consequent social development as an empiricalconcept: (1) It is differ- trines be outlined. in thislightcan the taskof anthropologists value-loaded.(2) The value-loadwillvarywithregard entially to both the conditions fordevelopment and the formulation ofthedevelopmental and retrogressive and indicators. attributes in the (3) This kind of variability is not only inter-societal, world perspective, in a nation-state THE TASK OF ANTHROPOLOGISTS but also intra-societal, perspective. fouroperaThese problems can be solved by the following tions:(1) Systematize standardize)the differ(not,at present, I ential value-loads.(2) Examine the dynamicsof a social segor a cluster ment,a society, ofsocieties againstthebackground is easy if theirrole is subservient The task of anthropologists and ofthesystematized value-loads.(3) Appraisethedirection or in a nation-state the rate of movement or cluster to that of politiciansand administrators of the social segment, society, dictated by one or anotherworld view. In this event,they of societiesin reference value-loads. (4) to the differential to supply factsand "low" or "middle"-rangegenfunction Diagnose, on the basis of probability, what it will be in the administrative, political, one or another to support eralizations immediate future forthe societalentity underexamination. lacunae in These operations can be performed ifwe adopt an inductive- or academic thesis.At the most,theymay identify Thus playingsecondfiddle or suggest refinements. thesetheses inferential orientationtoward appraisingsocial realityand to the world of knowledgeand action, theyneed not underevolvean appropriate methodology. This is not theplace to go for appraisingrealityon their own intotechnical detailsin thisrespect. It may be noted,however, take the responsibility initiative. ofdeveloping has been thatthepossibility such a methodology This perhapshas been the major role of social anthropolodemonstrated (Mukherjee1974). It has also been shownthat paras it has been forthegeneralrunofsocial scientists, gists, in this the applicationof the concept of social development in India fromindependenceuntil very sociologists, and compre- ticularly mannercan unravelsocial reality unequivocally recenttimes(Mukherjee1965). This is no accident; nor is it thisaphowever, hensively (Mukherjee1975). Fundamentally, peculiarto India. and the proachcalls foran ideologyof self-imposed discipline among Since the Second World War, rapid communication educationin ordernot to be biassedsubconsequent rigorous has developedall over the world.Also, on the social scientists or in one way or another,in eithercomprehension jectively, in the Third one hand, the newly emergingnation-states are therefore action. Shortcuts cogent sought,and seemingly impatience and even showing withenergy World are bursting are adduced in theirfavour. arguments economic, On theother, societies. to changethe"face" oftheir One such way out is based on the argumentthat since a in the man cannotbe value-neutral, political,and ideologicalpowerhas been concentrated thesocial scientist oughtto state United States of Americaor the SovietUnion, and, givenits and logicallyargue in favourof his specific values in the conmedium,powerflowsfromthe higherto the lower potential. textof any attempt to elicitreality. It follows thatthe"valuethat the world has been therefore, Logically it has followed, cannot but a manner of social acceptor" pursue particular


No. I * March1976

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viewed in termsof one of the two images developedin these of human progress and prosperity. The voices two epicentres of the fewwho have pleaded fora criticalappraisalof reality in questionhave been lostin thewilderness (e.g., in thesociety Mukerji 1961). of reality In the courseof time,however, the appreciation ofideologyand action has becomemanifold, withnew centres in variouspartsoftheworld.Also,there is increasing emerging or the reality par excelrealizationthatthe substantive reality, From lence, has yet to be appraised otherthan segmentally. thisis now a boththeworldand the nation-state perspectives, if we are to attain peace, prosperity, and cardinal necessity value considerations on whichthecharacter progress, thethree ofhumansociety is grounded. On the world scale, thisis exemplified in many ways: (1) over the basic tenetsof Marxism and their The controversy relevance-forexample, the dialogue between contemporary on unequal exchangeamongworld Emmanueland Bettelheim societiesin the contextof Marx's theoryof surplus value of (Emmanuel 1972) and Marcuse's (1969) characterization the vis-a-vis the role of the nonconformist youngintelligentsia class in the West. (2) The current interest industrial working in understandshownin the U.S.A. and manyothercountries insteadof merely ing Marxismin its variousinterpretations, it in termsof the distorted renderings producedby vilifying interested parties. (3) The commendableattemptsof some in the to examinethe role of tradition Soviet social scientists in ThirdWorldcountries (e.g.,Polonskaya developing processes 1973). In India also we are becomingincreasingly aware of the perniciousconsequencesforour disciplineof the mechanical developed in the applicationof many conceptsand theories specificcontextsof WesternEurope or North America but said to have universal validity.We are perhapsless aware of ofsome Grand Theoriesso as to emphasizecerthe distortion tain aspectsof realityand, thus,to supportor denounce it. For instance,a large numberof Marxistsand anti-Marxists of realitywith glibly associate the "economic determinism" the viewsof Marx and Engels,but Engels (1951:457) stated, on behalfof both,"It is not thatthe economicpositionis the while everything causeand aloneactive, else only has a passive for the effect."In both areas, however,the field is fertile of various kinds of dogmas and emergenceor persistence doctrines. The nativistic influence. impulse,as an antidoteto Western our devotionto conceptslike sanskritization has strengthened and categories likethebhadralog to remind class. It is necessary thatthe processindicatedby sanskritization is virtuourselves ally as old as the caste system itself(Mukherjee1973b). It is to pointout that the precision of the bhadralog also necessary class is, at best, like that of the "labouring class" of earlier like thatof the "femaleclass" of the economists and, at worst, in India. 19th-century social reformers On theotherside,our international integration has led some and doctrinaires to upholdtheir viewpoint by quotdogmatists ingthepregnant wordsofMarx (1942:199): "The philosophers have onlyinterpreted the pointis to change theworlddifferently; it." This second kind of dogma and doctrinehas immediate relevanceto the anthropologists' value-base,forit is directly concernedwith one or anothermanner of unfolding social and implementing a particular reality courseofsocial developmenton that basis. In arguments of thiskind, Marx's stateout of its logical context, mentis oftenlifted as given by the on Feuerbach, of which this oftorderingof his eleven Theses is the last. While almostall social scientists quoted statement are now mindfulof changing the world, Marx exhorted because "all social philosophers to do so in the last century . Engels, who life is essentially practical"(Marx 1942:199) and theEnd of elaboratedon the Theses in LudwigFeuerbach Classical German Philosophy (1970: 366), did not lose sightofthe 80

is governedby innergeneral fact that "the courseof history "forhistorical inlaws," but he also notedit to be important particularly of single epochs and events," that vestigation, whatever its outcomemay be, "men make theirown history, desiredend, in that each personfollowshis own consciously of thesemanywillsoperating the resultant and it is precisely effects upon the directions and of theirmanifold in different history." outerworldthatconstitutes cannot of materialists thateven the mostextreme It follows merely on the society withthe sloganof changing restcontent of social development. basis of a general characterization conare primarily (like all social scientists) Anthropologists cerned in their empiricalresearchwith "single epochs and a givencircuit of place-time-object dimensions. events"within Hence, theyhave to appraise the "resultant"of "many wills and ... theirmanifold effects in different directions operating upon the outerworld." of the idealist and both the value-neutrality Accordingly, ofthematerialist may lead to dogmasand thevalue-statement as a scientist-whateverhis doctrines.The anthropologist in otherroles in society-will have to be a value preference in orderto appraise social realityob"value-accommodator" and comprehensively. He cannot be an jectively,precisely, acceptorof any and all value-loads.

II of all possiblevalues meansthatour task The accommodation one or anotherof is not to deduce therealityby emphasizing hidden or exits aspects accordingto our value preference, plicit. Instead, it is to appraise the relative relevance and of all the and the natureand degree of efficiency, necessity, is. The different aspectsin orderto elucidatewhat the reality in diversemanners stressed aspectsof realityare unilaterally Hence the proposed accordingto ideological considerations. testand verify whichis the "right" processwill automatically social reality.In thisway, we kind of ideologyforunfolding and proceedtowardbridging the gap shall gain in knowledge and research.We need not dogmatically pin betweentheory as the"right"one and merely on one kindofideology our faith itsrightness as doctrinaires. strainour vocal chordsasserting Bridgingthe gap between theoryand researchhas been (e.g., Blalock by somenotablescientists regardedas impossible 1961:5). But, as I have pointedout, value-loadedas theyare, is entirely untrue. These none oftheimagesofreality virtually to images may be relevant,necessary,and even efficient what and how and explainwhyforthefacetofreality describe none ofthemmay each deals with.At thesame time,however, for appraising the dynamicsof the societyin be sufficient whatit will be in theimmediquestionand thusfordiagnosing and relative For thispurpose,the systematization ate future. and evaluationof the imagesin the lightof an unconstrained of of the empiricalmanifestation ever improving appreciation is imperative. reality and research The gap betweentheory may thusbe bridged inductive-inferential butvalue-accommodating, bya value-free, In hisexhaustive socialreality. empirical approachto revealing will have to of each image, the social scientist explorations "what is it?" and"what is it not?","how answerconcurrently: is it?" and"how is it not?", "why is it?" and "why is it not?" of the positiveand negativeaspectsof The constant interplay the available knowledgeand a dialecticalinteraction among themwill producea precise, unequivocal,and evermorecomof the social reality. appreciation prehensive of all possiblevalues foremthe accommodation Evidently, we are to is not a simple task. Conceptually, pirical research envisage a social space which comprisesall the value-loads properties. of theirspecific in terms thatmay be distinguished

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The social space will be identified by a circuitof place-timeof variationin epochs and events.Methodobject dimensions value as a ologically, the taskwill not permitus to consider fixedcluster ofattributes. Value becomesa variable in all stages of researchtopics and the of research,fromthe formulation designof projectsto the analysisof data and the deductions and inferences to be drawn fromthe data-sets.Accordingly, in termsof the place-time-object of variation,the dimensions and theirproperties formuvalue-loadsmustbe systematized lated precisely underappropriate and analytical classificatory Both are feasibletasks,as I have demonstrated categories. in respect ofthesystematization ofthevalue-loadsofsharply contending politicalpartiesin India today (Mukherjee1975) and of the analyticalproperties the enumeration of "tradition"in India (Mukherjee 1965:185-213; 1968). Alcontemporary thesecondis a favorite but usuallyan amorphous though topic with social anthropologists, Singh's (1973) attemptis worthy of note. There are, however, in the path of the many pitfalls value-accommodator. Because oftheprevailing social situation and his subjectivity as a social being,he may turnintoa valueacceptor in effect. Alternatively, he may end in futility by overgeneralizing thevalue-loadshe accommodates. In an attempt to riseabove theinternecine struggle between and value-acceptors, value-neutrals the highestechelons of and policy makersin the world at large are social scientists proposing issuesof universalappeal. Accordingly, the task of in India and elsewheretendsto be modelled anthropologists to respondto this appeal. The issues put forwardby internationalorganizations like the EconomicCommission forAsia and theFar East and genuinely concerned like social scientists Myrdal have impressive labels like the eradicationof poverty and inequality,uplifting the weaker sectionsof society,and nationalintegration (e.g., Myrdal 1971, ECAFE 1973, Eisenstadt and Rokkan 1973). These issuesseem to accommodate all possible value-loads, but,in practice, theylead to eitheran of differential oversimplification value-loads or a unilateral on one ofthem. stress III Let us begin with poverty. Firstly, it begs a definition, and, on it will be equivocal or overgeneraltherefore, any research ized. It can be objectively defined onlyin reference to thelevel of livingof the people. But the minimum of the components level of living,as enumerated by the United Nations,include notonlyhealth,education, employment, etc.,but also "human freedom." Does it not follow thatthedefinition of poverty will vary accordingto the subjective judgementof researchers on qualitative attributes like human freedom?Also, is it not necessary to obtain,at the outset,a generalconsensus on the ofpoverty threshold in reference and quantito thequantitative fiableattributes of health,education,etc.? These are known and betweensocieties to varywithin and societalsegments. In thislight,is the statistically valid and meticulousattemptof Dandekar and Rath (1971) to portraypoverty in India unequivocal and comprehensive? in thecurrent Secondly, stateofour knowledge on any society,poverty is not only a definitional issue. It is also valueloaded in diverse ways for materialists, existentialists, and idealists.Therefore, unless the anthropologists strictly adopt the role of value-accommodator (whichtheydo not), any researchon thisissuewill lead to confusion rather thanclarification vis-a-vissocial reality.For example, regardingcertain materialists who are at present veryvocal on thisissue,Lenin's (1946:227) comment is instructive: "Marx there[in ThePoverty ofPhilosophy] saysof the Communists of theold schoolthat all theysaw in poverty was just poverty and that theyfailed to observe itsrevolutionary, destructive side,whichwouldoverVol.17 * No. ! * March1976

VALUE-BASE Mukherjee:


throw the old society." The question follows:Are not the studies Hatao and the idea of "mass poverty" slogan of Garibi and comprehension, in conceptualization, worse confounded And yet,the slogan has been adopted as a theme execution? and of researchin severalsocial science researchinstitutions, the Economic Commissionfor Asia and the Far East (now ESCAP) is busy organizing"mass poverty"studies in "dethat the U.S. We may note,contextually, veloping"societies. a few years ago in the studyof was interested government poverty in the United States of America. Evidently, poverty offish in different societies. kettles becomesdifferent Inequality as an indicatorto reveal social realityis even in every society inherent It is a phenomenon worseconfounded. in one aspect or another(e.g., sex, age, status,class, etc.). If, the label is to referto a particularsocietal aspect therefore, of social transformation, should we not fromthe perspective sets of value-loads involved? firstenumerate the different ratingto thesevalue-loads Should we not nextallot a priority and empirical in theory knowledge in the lightof our a priori the operating whether Should we not thenascertain findings? would be better by one or more represented setsofvalue-loads than by the omnibus label of "inprecise characteristics equality"? and inequalitydemand precise Thus, the issuesof poverty and comprehension before any effecidentification, definition, are These problems on themcan be undertaken. tiveresearch in India, however, forsocial anthropologists resolved seemingly by anotheruniversalappeal-to upliftthe "weaker sections" are readily ofsociety. The "weakersections"of Indian society reckonedto be the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The government is only too ready to provide financialand on them.But, are thesecategories forresearches othersupport Also, are they social reality? of unfolding usefulin the context identicalwiththe "weakersections"of the society? of tribe and caste by Marx (1964) and The definitions by social anthropologists, Engels (1948) are seldomconsidered probablybecause theyare regardedto be biassedor outdated. however, ofanthropologists, Since "tribalstudy"is a monopoly of anthrodepartments conductedby university it is diligently Surveyof India, and othersuch pology,the Anthropological They usuallyconducttheirstudieseither institutions. research the precisemeaningof the term"tribe" or specifying without peculiarlytheir own. giving it an esotericcharacterization juridical cateMostly, they merelyadopt the government's to internal gorizationof the Scheduled Tribes. In reference a comwithin and polarization classformation, differentiations, munityof people, however,how many "tribes" are therein India and othercountries? contemporary Marx forthe to resurrect attempt This is not a surreptitious The query followsthe preceptof of anthropologists. benefit For instance, Bailey the moderngurusin social anthropology. tribeas thatset ofpeople who "have direct (1960:265) defines and theiraccess to the productsof commandover resources, a dependent the economyare not derivedmediatelythrough on others."We may recallin thiscontext how,in regard status roamed in the to BritishUganda, repatable anthropologists fieldof illusionbecause of theirfailureto define"tribal" and and we should ask ourselves precisely, othersocial formations the past. Is it valid to categorize we have learntfrom whether as "tribals" the Lapps of Scandinavia, who even resentthe appellation"Lapp" in place of theirterm"Saame" (Gjessing havebecome"people" ofcourse, 1954: 1)? The African "tribes," since their independence.Should the juridical categoryof ScheduledTribes be our guide in imposingthe invidiousdisof "tribals" and othersin Indian society?Instead of tinction a politicalaxe, should we not examine which thus grinding each ethnic group in India has attained? social formation Should we not ascertainwhat each aspires to? And, should 81

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we not thusdiagnose,probabilistically, what may happen to in India in theimmediate theconceptof"unityand diversity" future? Like ScheduledTribes,ScheduledCasteshas been a political categoryfromthe time it was constituted by the British.Its and composition character have,no doubt,changedsincethen, but that also has been dictated by political considerations. and efficiency for are itsobjective What,then, validity denoting the "weaker sections" of the Indian society?It is true, of oftheconstituents oftheScheduled course,thata largenumber from and Castesand ScheduledTribessuffer social,economic, But it is equally true that an apideologicaldiscrimination. preciable number of those affiliated to these categoriesare doing well in the economic and political sphere by making On the use of theirgroup'ssocial and ideologicaldeprivation. have been foundto beotherhand, caste-Hinduunemployeds in orderto avail themselves come ScheduledCastesby affidavit forthe latter. of thejob preference reserved Considering the ScheduledCastes and Tribesidenticalwith from a deductive-positivistic the "weakersections"follows approach to appraisingsocial reality,which focusesfromthe on certain oftheimage prevasocial groupsin terms beginning lent in the dominant sector of the society.The inductivewould identify inferential approach,in contrast, the "weaker fromthe total social space in terms of sections"of the society a constellation of attributes taken to denote the quality of being "weaker." In the process,the categoriesof Scheduled Castes and Tribes mightbecome only partiallyrelevant,or even irrelevant. At the same time, the inductiveprocessof of the "weakersections"of the society fromthe identification factsof "weakness" in the social system mightfacilitate the ofwhytrends toward in understanding alienationare perennial India. Alienationarisesfromunequal exchange independent in society, in materialand nonmaterial and uncommodities is thecause oftheappearequal exchange, pastand/orpresent, ance of "weakersections"in a society. A glaringexample of thesepossibilities is the emergence of Bangladesh. Unequal exchange in the economic life of the people made the EasternWing of Pakistanthe weakersection ofthe society and led to itsalienationfrom theWestern Wing. Unequal exchange in the social and ideological life of the people led to the alienationof the bdngdl Pakistanis fromthe paschimaT Pakistanis. The ultimateresult was the disintegration and theformation ofBangladesh(Mukherjee1972a: ofPakistan 137-62). Trends toward alienation are observed in virtuallyall regionsof India. Some groupsdemand secessionfromIndia, as in the NorthEasternFrontier Region. Some demand cultural or some otherformof autonomy, as in the case of the "hill people" of West Bengal or the Jharkandmovement in Bihar. Some merelydemand economic,social, and political redress, but assumea belligerent character, like the Shiv Sena and the Dalit Panthers.Other instances of alienationmay be or not strongly All thesemaniincipient, dormant, expressed. ofalienation festations arisefrom unequal exchangein material and nonmaterial and the commodities betweenthe stronger weakersections of the society. oflifetellus thatcluesto nationalintegration Thus, thefacts will not be foundin a deductivemodel ofconsolidation and a a unilateral or diffused positivistic approachtowardembodying value-load. But it is precisely in thismannerthat the call for national integration India. has been sounded in independent The upshotis that the call fornational integration has had to be soundedagain and again, commissions fornationalintegrationhave had to be appointedone afteranother,and so farthishas producedmainlypiousdeclarations in accordwith the sloganof "unityin diversity." What we requireinsteadis a rigorous and consistent search forfactsregarding the what, how, and why of all actualities

and possibilities of alienationin Indian society,based on an The searchwill refer inductive-inferential orientation. to a systematicand ever more comprehensive examination of the diversefacetsof the lifeof the people. Valid inferences as to the contextualrealityshould,then,tell us how to forgenational integration by eliminating the causes of alienation.Since we have not yet undertaken thispainstaking task,our knowledge of the variednatureand extent of alienationin Indian society remains marginaland fragmentary. IV Even from such an overview only,we thusfindthat issuesof universalappeal are eitherintangible(like povertyand inequality), diffuse(like the "weaker sections"of society),or value-loaded(like nationalintegration). Conindiscriminately sequently, theymay look impressive, speedilygatherofficial and provideresearchers an easyway to establish support, their All the same, theyremaininadequate or inefficient bonafides. to unfoldsocial reality.What concernsus most,however,is thattheydo notrefer ofsociety, to thedynamics directly withwill alwaysremainequivocal out whichan appraisalofreality or peripheral. is a symptom, and notthedisease. Thus, poverty of the disease. The "weaker secInequalityis the expression tions" of a societymerelyembodythe disease. And the call fornationalintegration has to be soundedwhen the disease is or detectedto exhibitcancerousgrowth. So long as suspected we do notdiagnosethediseaseitself, it will go on corroding the of society.It may even prove lethal in the contextof vitality "national integration" and other popular labels. Therefore, the urgent taskof social anthropologists, as of all otherbrands ofsocial scientists, is to diagnosethe disease. Accordingly, insteadof being swayedby issuesof universal appeal, we shoulddeal with thosewhich refer directly to the ofa society. We shouldalso be concerned dynamics withthose issues which involve such concepts and definitions as are inferable on a tangible,measurable,deducible, and, finally, basis. Our attention, constrictly objectiveand probabilistic in society, is drawnto thecontradictions forcontradicsequently, tionsgenerate and nourish situations whichlead to change in and replaceability of societal societyin termsof replacement entities. no societycan existwithoutchangCorrespondingly, in a state of dynamic ing, that is, withoutbeing constantly of contradictions, equilibrium.It is the resolution therefore, whichforges ofa society consolidation and promotes itsgrowth. Hence, contradiction is themediumthrough whichthedynamcan be appreciatedunequivocally and compreics of a society hensively. ofsocial reality Such an appreciation is not possiblein terms of "consolidation," "harmony," "unity in diversity,""coexistence,"and similarly positivepointsof view. As we have seen, a focuson the positiveaspect of realityis verylikelyto a focuson the negative neglect itsnegativeaspect.In contrast, aspect of realitycannot neglect the positiveaspect, for the former cannot be appreciatedat all withoutits positiveantecedence,contemporary presenceand alliance with otherphenomena, and futurepotentialities. It is preciselyfromthis thatthe factsof contradiction can be elicitedin a perspective denote the negativeaspect of because contradictions society, in a society in a givenplace-time-object reality circuit. The search forand analysisof contradictions in a society be our operativeprinciple forappraisingsocial may therefore we realityunequivocallyand comprehensively. Accordingly, on such societalcharacteristics as dismay focusour attention parityand its consequencesin the social sphere,and notjust pursue the omnibusconcept of inequality.In the economic sphere, we may examinethefacts ofdeprivation and expropriation, and not merelyinterpret poverty.Class collaboration

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of the and conflict(and not any vague characterization draw our "weaker sections"of society)may correspondingly we in the politicalsphere.In the ideologicalsphere, attention of unequal exchangeand alienation may explorethe instances Needinsteadofharpingon the themeofnationalintegration. one or anotherof thesespheres less to sav, while emphasizing for analytical or conceptual purposeswe can (and should) to the with reference examine these societal characteristics others. in any societycan be conThese and allied characteristics ofresearch. The ofprecisely formulated themes ceivedin terms themeswill, no doubt, take into account variousissues,conrelatingto the lifeof the people concepts,and formulations cerned,includingthosewe have discussed,but theywill not to any one of theseissues,etc., or be biassed in be confined favouror against it. Also, the themeswill be considered,as manner,in termsof the appropriate,eitherin a value-free constellaconceptof social change,or againsta systematized oftheconcept ofsocialdevelopment. in terms tionofvalue-loads, to unfold Whetheror not these themeswill be sufficient social realitywill depend on our unequivocal accumulation will be decided by fromthem.This, evidently, of knowledge dispositionand our unbiassed but all-value-accommodating will ofresearch. The questfor knowledge theconsequent rigour into a never-ending sequence of activities, thus be translated withever more and we shouldbe able to unfoldsocial reality and comprehensibility. precision

Mukherjee: VALUE-BASE


and theOpposibetweentheEstablishment in a no-man's-land over monopoly tion,whichappear todayto have a contending nation-state in theworld. in every theappraisalofsocial reality interest theseformidable of our positionvis-a-vis Irrespective upwill not promote emotional our activities however, groups, surgeor help to devisecatchypoliticalslogansforeitherone. Science mustnot be the handmaidenof politics,or of any power-secular or sacred-other than knowledgeitself.To speak of the role of sciencein thismanneris almosta cliche, all world todayin virtually but theclichehas topicalrelevance and is not an end in itself knowledge societies.Undoubtedly, of humanity.But the must be employedfor the betterment by saying that quest for knowledgecannot be controverted but also change shouldnot onlyrevealsocial reality, scientists to unfold attempt it. Unless thereis an objectiveand rigorous to change in the mannerI have outlined,the attempt reality What is worse,it may have dangermay end in failure. society of society. forthe future ous consequences to the call to changesociety(but not in response Therefore, Marx from basis), I may go forward on a dogmatic-doctrinaire of the words and Lenin and remindthe extremematerialists ofdevelopment ofMao Tse-tung(1952:50-52): "In theprocess evenin itsdevelopment, in thisworldthatis absolutely nothing or the and we must oppose the theoryof even development on the other idealists, of equilibrium."For the extreme theory It contains hand, I shall go back to Article10 ofKenopanishad. and no othervalue than the quest for no dogma or doctrine, by my teacherPrasanta The verse-as translated knowledge. Chandra Mahalanobis-reads as follows: well I knowvery I do notthink northatI do notknow. this whoknows He knows I do notknowand I know.
of a complex thing, many contradictions exist; . . . There is

and shouldbe thetaskofsocialanthropologists, This,therefore, it is the need of the hour. Like all othersocial science dishas reached a stage in which it ciplines,social anthropology societalphedescribing its role by merely can no longerfulfil nomena-answeringthe questions"What is it?" and "How is or perit?"-or explainingtheirdisappearance,emergence, thequestion"Why is it?" Instead,thedissistence-answering basis, the question ciplinemustnow answer,on a probability of thislast questionis evi"What will it be?" The importance dent fromour failureto anticipatewhat has happened since the 1950s in Korea, Indonesia, Ghana, Nigeria, Vietnam, It is also indicated Chile,Thailand, and elsewhere. Bangladesh, in India, and not onlyin the by what is happeningat present politicalarena. ofour society The dynamics is stillleftmainlyto the economists to determine,but they have not shown perceptible among them in thisrespect.Instead, discontent achievement On the itself. in the PlanningCommission has been manifest otherhand, we have enteredthe arena more by proxythan in our own right,for thereis a growingawarenessthat the ofthesocial system. alone cannotsolvethe problems economists and in our society, juncturein our discipline At thiscritical our supremely task is to marshal all our a priori important and interpretations, their knowledge-all theavailable theories, the ever accumulatingempiricalfindings-and employ it to answerthe crucialquestionwe face today: Whichsocietalfacand contorsare of causal relevance,which of concomitant and which irrelevant forexposingsocial importance, tingent reality? our task in a meticulous, to formulate We need, therefore, manner.We mustlook upon it as a insteadof a spectacular, manoeuvre. down-to-earth instead of an impressive business, our efforts If we accept our responsibilities, may not catch the we may not be blessedwith munifiofficial eye; accordingly, cence in powerand lucre. At the same time, our work may as it will to provide failing not be welcometo the opposition, be crowned We willnot,therefore, anyonewitha quickreturn. Thus, we may findourselves withthe halo of revolutionaries. Vol. 17 * No. 1 * March1976

ABSTRACT and methodIn keepingwith its presentstate of theoretical and the everaccumulatingstockof emological development todayis not theroleofsocial anthropology piricalinformation, a phenomenon (or a set of pheor toexplain to describe merely thethreequesby answering sequentially nomena).Proceeding is it?", social tions "What is it?", "How is it?", and "WVhy to answerthefourth shouldnow be in a position anthropology "What will discipline, fundamental questionin any scientific role-to revealthesocial reality it be?" To adopt thisdiagnostic which is what all world unequivocallyand comprehensibly, musthave a parsocietiesneed today-social anthropologists toward their education and a distinctive ticular orientation will be fragthe outcomeof theirefforts ideology:otherwise The orientation or even distorted. inconsequential, mentary, insteadofdeductive-positivistic. shouldbe inductive-inferential instead of The ideology should be "value-accommodating" or "value-neutral." "value-accepting" forunThe paper deals with the ideologicalrequirements out how these at the same timepointing social reality, folding education. It with the corresponding are to be buttressed to India and Uganda, how shows,with particularreference and value-accepting approaches,which are the value-neutral orientation, logicallyassociated with a deductive-positivistic images of social dynamics.It argues,in the produceillusory thatthe two approachescanof"social development," context how Lastly,it suggests not but producedogmasand doctrines. may be organized on a valuethe task of anthropologists 83

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accommodating basis,withtheconsequent inductive-inferential como ambos enfoques no pueden sino producirdogmas y propone como organizar la tarea de doctrinas.Por uiltimo, orientation. sobre una base acomodativade valores,con los antropologos inductiva-inferencial. orientacion la consiguiente RE'SUMP PE3OME En accord avec son present etat de developpement theorique H Meet methodologique et avec le stock,en constant accroissement, B COOTBseTCTBH C HaCTOH1IqHM COCTOJHHeM TeopeTnleciHoro C IIOCTOJHHO 1 BO3paCTCiO11HM pa3BBTHH, d'informations empiriques,le r8le de l'anthropologie sociale ToJAoJIorH'1ecHoro po3m cogiHa3mHoft anTpOHO3MIImpHiICeCX 3aiiacom un aujourd'hui n'est pas simplement de decrire ou expliquer gaHHrIX, B TOM, x1T06 OIICHaTb 113111 He TOJIThO COCTOIIT niorim phenomene(ou un ensemblede phenomenes). Procedantpar cerojAHJ aBjieHiitt). HOmneIKC (ijm HBJIeHHe UOSICHHTb aux troisquestions((qu'est-ce Hepexogs nocaieordreen repondant que c'est?)), ((commentest-ce?)) et ((pourquoi est-ce?)) l'anthropologie goBaTeJIbHO, IIYTeM OTBeTOB Ha TpII Boiipoca ((xITO 3TO?)) ((KaK aBTpOnOJIOrHi OHO eCT1?D)) OHO eCTI? )) ((4'ICoMemy COgiHJILHaH sociale devraitmaintenant etre en mesurede repondrea la 6iITIb B COCTOSHB1 gaTIb OTBeT Ha xieTBepTLI*, TenepiB JO3iIHa de toute disciplinescientiquatriemequestionfondamentale 1 II6Oft HayxiHOft A14CAIniH3MHe: OCHOBHOfi BOIIpOC, CBOftCTBeHHNI1 fique: ((qu'est-ce que ce sera?)) Afin d'adopter ce r8le de LIIaI TOrO, xITO6II ((xieM OHO 6ygeT?)) piMmeHBTh 3TY garHOla realitesocialesansequivoque diagnostic dans le but de reveler 14 BCeCTOpOHHe BUIHB4T onpejeJieHHO xITO6 po3B CTH'IeCKyio et d'une manierecomprehensible, ce qui est le besoin actuel BpeMS HeO6XOgiaMa xITO B HaCTosmee coiCm3TIHYIO CyUAHOCTb, pour toutesles societesdu monde,les anthropologues doivent HyiHa aHTponojioraM donnerune orientation particuliere a leur educationet avoir gau Beex cOO6ugeCTB MBpa, Cogiaa3IHIJm no OTHOCeHBIO R BX O6pa3OBaHBIO, onpeejienHHaa une ideologiedistincte: de leursefforts sinonle resultat serait Op}ieHTaginq HX peCyJIETaTLI Taiune xapaxTepHaq a 4Haxe, fragmentaire, illogique,ou memeerrone. L'orientation devrait i4geonIorHx. H g;amce i4cICamHCHHenoc3Iie)OBaTeCbIlI, au lieu d'etre ((deduction-positi- yC1JI'Il 6ypyT pa3pO3HeHEI, etre ((induction-inference)) 6uTIT HbEIe. 9Ta OpieHTaAi4HH )OJI1Ha 1HHyRTHBHO-B1IBOAHOR, au lieu visme)).L'ideologie devraitetre ((valeur-ajustement)) 61SIT p;OJ1I1Ha a He de ((valeur-acceptation)) ou ((valeur-neutre)). 14geoJIorHm g;e)CaHTHBHO-113IHTHBICTCHOHl. a He ((geHHOCTHO-BOCIIpsHssMaL'article traite de l'ideologie necessaire pour reveler la ((AxeHHOCTHO-IIpHCIIOCO6JisUIOWCe)) 13T mHe ((IxeHHOCTHO-HeCITpaJIBHO])). realite sociale, tout en montrantcomment elle doit etre IoigeiiD) IIOTpe6H4eoJIorHi4eciHe HaCTOIHIIRz paccMaTpRTBaeT goiH3IRag supportee par une education adequate. II montre,en se B TO COimHamTHOPI CyI1HOCTH, HOiRa3IBaR HOCTH A)1J paCHpbITHR en particulier ref6rant a l'Inde et a l'Uganda, commentles HX CJ)ep;yeT IBaI mne BpeMH, COOTBeTCTBYIOHDHM IIogICpeIIJI:TB approches valeur-neutreet valeur-acceptation,qui sont OCO6eHHO nIO OTHoIIIeHHIO HC yia3bIBaeT, logiquement associeesa une orientation deduction-positivisme, o6pa3oBaHleM. ,oicriag; H YraH)e, BaR geHHOCTHO-HeCiTpa3IBHEJ1r H IeHHOCTHO14HH)z produisentdes images illusoiresde dynamismes sociaux. II BOC1pHHHMaTeJICLHbEIr IIOAXOAIEI, HOTOpICe jIOriHxiCRH OTHOCHTCH discute,dans un contextede ((developpement social)), de la H geCaRTHBHO-nO3HTHBICTCROft )aIOT fpH3pa-1HbIe OpHCHTagiiH, maniere dont les deux approches engendrentdogmes et la tachedesanthropologues o6pa3bI coIuHa3ThHoro );HHaMI3Ma. B goiuIiage yiHa3LIBaeTCH, IIOp il suggere doctrines. Enfin, comment 3TH )Ba iRiHM o6pa3OM pa3BHTHH)), ((CO1iHaIbHOrO py6pHHoik avec pourraitetre organiseesur une base valeur-ajustement, une orientation pour resultat induction-inf6rence. nogaxog;a );aIOT B peC3Y3TTaTe TO3ThHO gOrMbi H ORTTpIHHu. H
HaiHOHeg, g;oIRiiag yia3I:BCaeT

icai- pa6OTy



RESUMEN De acuerdo con su estado actual de desarrollo teorico y de informacion metodologico y las siemprecrecientes reservas de la antropologiasocial no es empirica,la funcionpresente un fenomeno(o conjunto de o explicar describir simplemente con respuestasa fenomenos).Al procederconsecutivamente las trespreguntas:((qque es?)), ((Zcomoes?)) y ((Zporque es?)) la antropologiasocial debiera hallarse ahora en posicionde a la cuarta pregunta de toda disciplina responder fundamental cientifica: diagnostica((qquesera?))Para adoptardicha funcion dora que revele la realidad social sin equivocos y de modo asuntonecesariopara todas las sociedadesmundiainteligible, les contemporaneas, los antropologos sociales necesitanuna en su educaciony una ideologia especiorientacion particular de sus esfuerzos fica; de otro modo, los resultados seran frago inclusofalseados.La orientacion sin importancia mentarios, debieraserinductiva-inferencial en vez de deductiva-positivista. La ideologia debiera ser ((acomodativade valores))en lugar de ((aceptadorade valores))o ((valorativa-neutra)). El trabajose refiere al requisito la ideologicopara descubrir realidad social, a la vez que sefialacomo debe ser reforzado por la educacion respectiva. Indica, con referencia particular a la India y Uganda, c6mo los enfoquesvalorativo-neutro y aceptador de valores,asociados l6gicamentecon una orienproducenimatgenes ilusorias de la taciondeductivo-positivista, social.Analiza, en el contexto del ((desarrollo social), dinatmica




La Paz, Bolivia. 20 viii 75

Casilla5854, delCampesinado, de Investigacio'n y Promocion Centro

si merecen por Mukherjee, jetivosnuevos,como los propuestos En cambio,muchostemas el titulode "urgentanthropology." a de rescateo de en realidad a una antropologi corresponden anticuario. Dadas las verdaderas urgencias actuales para y prever el futurode ciertas enteulderel funcionamiento de anticudedicarsea esa antropologia sociedadesen conflicto, ario, j es eticamenteaceptable? with the essenceof thisarticle. [I am basicallyin agreement New objectives,such as those proposed by Mukherjee,do Instead, indeed deservethe name of "urgentanthropology." appear underthisname,even in thatsometimes manythemes to a salvage or antiquarian thisjournal, in realitycorrespond

Estoy b'asicamente de acuerdo con el fondo del articulo. Ob-

que a veces aparecen bajo este titulo, incluso en esta revista,

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Given the real present-day anthropology. urgencyof understandingthe functioning and predicting the future of certain in conflict, societies is it ethically acceptable to devoteoneself to that antiquariananthropology?]

Mukherjee: VALUE-BASE


bvJ. V.


Department of Sociologv, University of Bombay, Bombay, India. 29 viii 75 Mukherjee's paper is instructive insofar as he seeksto unveilthe reality-distorting nature of the value orientations of social in India, but it is unintelligible anthropologists insofar as he seeks to solve the fact-valueproblem in the social sciences through value accommodation. The social anthropologist in India has something in him of boththegymnosophist and thegymnast. Since values are constituents ofsocialstructure, thevaluesofthegymnosophist must needs, consciously or unconsciously, hold the social anthroin thrall;but sincehe values his role as a scientist, pologist the values of sciencemustalso exerttheirinfluence on him. He is thusforcedto flexhis musclesin balancing exercises. And if he often failsto retainhis balance (distorts reality or subserves thisfactcan be ascribedto thelop-sided politics), values he has inherited or the instability ofhis position. It has now become clear that the value judgmentswhich give meaningand purposeto the social sciencescannotbe derived fromjudgmentsof fact. One has to choose between positivism and someform of objectiveaxiology.In the U.S.A. an attemptwas made to defend an intermediate position the quasi-objectivity through and instrumental notionsof the pragmatist but this,it is clear,is also untenable. outlook, Mukherjeesees some measure of validityin all value orientationsand, therefore, advocates value accommodationin orderto verify the "right"kind of ideology.But ifvalue judgmentscannot be derivedfrom judgmentsof fact,how is such verification possible? There is, it seems,a confusion hereoftwo realms. differing Perhapsthatis whyMukherjeeis also so hopefulthatsocial can answerthequestion"What will it be?" anthropology



35 Kassel-Wilhelmshdhe, Im Rosental 12,Federal Republic of Germany.17 ix 75

To discussthoroughly the issuesraisedin thispaper would call I shalltherefore fora seminar. confine to somequestions myself the role of social anthropology. concerning Surely,it "can no itsroleby merely longer fulfill describing societalphenomena." I share the author'sview that"the quest forknowledge is not an end in itself" and thatit shouldbe employed "forthebenefit ofthepeople" insteadofbeingthe"handmaidenofpolitics"whichso farhas meantthat it was used in the interest of the "Establishment," rulingor in opposition.I also agree that in orderto be able to respondto "the call to change society"we musthave a sober and preciseanalysisof realityand thatwe shouldformulate our task"in a meticulous, insteadof a spectacular,manner." I am less convincedof the methodological and ideologicalrequirements theauthorproposes forunfolding social reality as a first step "forthe betterment of humanity." The value question,althoughan everyday problemin anthropological research,has often been neglected. Fortunately, thereis an increasing awarenessof thisproblem,not only in India but also in othercountries, particularly of the so-called Third World, and an increasing tendencyto assess critically Vol. 17 . No. 1 March1976

conceptsand theories developed in the specific contextof the Westerntradition(e.g., Magubane 1971) and to reveal their ethnoor Eurocentric character (Clemmer1974,Ribeiro1971). In thiscontext theauthor's solidanalysis ofsucha basic concept of social science as "social development"and its differential value-loads is certainlyan importantcontribution; it gives ample proofof the confusion produced by its uncriticaluse. Similarly, village studiesand peasant movements are telling examplesof how the lack of a frameof reference leads to a fragmented and distorted viewoftheworld.Uganda is another case in point to demonstrate the illusorynature of certain theor-etical concepts-their fallacies in understandingand predictingsocial dynamics. The dichotomypostulated by Mukherjee-"inductive-inferential" versus "deductive-positivistic"-seems to me somewhat artificial or rather undialectic. On whatbasisdoes thesocial scientist selecthis empirical data? How does he identify and assessfacts? What are his criteria for relevance? Wheredo "available theories" come from? Some more remarkson "The Task of Anthropologists": Having critically discussed the"value-neutrality" oftheidealist and the "value-statement" of the materialist, Mukherjeetries to develop his notionof "value-accommodator," underlining thenecessity ofcorrectly appraising the "relativerelevance"of "all social aspects"in unfolding as it is. His comsocial reality mendableattempt thusto bridgethe gap betweentheory and researchraises the serious question: Where does he stand? Does he dispose of some Archimedian point outsideordinary value systems? Is he the free-floating intellectual, aloof of all ideologies? Withoutelaborating on the epistemological side of theproblem, doesn'ttheveryquestion" 'what is it?'and'what is it not?'" pose at least psychological problems(e.g., of perceptionand prejudice)?The analystremainsoutsidehis field of research, withoutreflecting his being involvedin the social realityhe is tryingto analyse. I ratherbelieve Habermas (1965,1971) to be rightwhen he demands that we apply the in considering methodof dialecticthinking the objectivecontextwhichis to be analysedas part of the subjectiveresearch process.This would mean a rigorous of the anthroreflection hiddenvalues,his ideology of workpologist's and conditions that is, not "value-statement," or "accommoda"neutrality," ofcriticalanthropology. tion,"but thevalue-reflection Finally, much as I like the author'sconfession that"peace, prosperity, and progress"are "the threevalue considerations on which the characterof human societyis grounded,"I cannot help in his argument. noting that there are some contradictions Ideally, and in accordancewiththe author'sunderstanding of thefunction ofcontradictions, theyshouldbe made productive throughfurther discussion, for this new "dogma"-which is not relatedto the author'spreviousanalysis-also has an old Westerntradition. And we cannot close our eyes to the fact thatEnlightenment have also been useful valueslike"progress" ideologyforinsurgency prophylaxis (Camelot) and "developmentprograms"(a la RostowforVietnam). I therefore doubt whether the proposedmethodological and ideologicalrequirementswill be sufficient safeguardagainstthe misuseof diagnosis by thosewho have the power and the means to do so. This situationmay call for not only a more comprehensive theoretical framework than "value-accommodation," but also somekindofcommitment to the powerless, maybein theform of actionresearch(Schlesier1974). byGUTORM


15 Ix 75 Chr. Hansteensveg 2, Oslo8, Norway. Several years ago a well-known Britishsocial anthropologist told me that while he was working in England Ramkrishna 85

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but Mukherjeecertainly proved to be a good anthropologist, outlookwas rathersimpleand unsophisticated. his theoretical like thoseofhis previous writIt seemsto me thatthisarticle, showsthatmyBritish friend was ingsI happen to know,clearly fromhis own premises!Mukherjeeobviously right-starting seeksthe realityof social lifeinsteadof theoretical systems in which extremely high levels of scientisticabstractionand logicallyaesthetic play are moreimportant thanreality. There can be no doubt whatsoever thatWestern social anthropology is to a greatextent occupiedwithproblems whichto thepeoples ratherthan reflecting theirsociounder studyare trivialities culturalreality. Realitymeans,amongst otherthings, constantly confronting values, hence so-called value-freesocial science can never the real lifeof a people. Nevertheless, a as prominent portray social anthropologistas Evans-Pritchardwrote (1951:88, emphasismine): "The anthropologist is recorder, not arbiter. factis and another For himto decide thatone factis important is to prejudgethe interests offuture unimportant generations" on thesame page one reads: [ofanthropologists!]. Nevertheless, "The prevailingpractice tends to be for the fieldworker to on one or otheraspectofthelifeofa primipublishmonographs In tive people whichseemsto him to haveparticularimportance." otherwords,what has importance, value, forthe people under but detrimental studyis not only entirely irrelevant, to social to what is ofvalue to theWestern science,in contrast observer. And his values have been convincingly stated by Maquet with the development of (1964) to be in constantconformity colonialistinterests. the fallacyof such Mukherjee'sarticleclearlydemonstrates in otherpartsofthe a viewand thenecessity foranthropologists fromthe fetters of Westernthought. world to freethemselves is to survive it has to root Moreover,ifWestern anthropology out such an "occidentocentric" view from anthropological cure might be for Asian and thought.The most effective in the United Africananthropologists to do their fieldwork in the West and paint their States,Great Britain,or elsewhere civilization withtheirown colours! of Western portrait If I understand his meansof attaining Mukherjeecorrectly, closer to realitywould be to abandon dean anthropology in favour theories ofinductive, ductive, positivistic moreeclectic or at any ones,whichwould make dialecticthought necessary, thisverypromising, ratepossible.I find because,as Engelsonce dialecticsis much older than the termitself, remarked, just as theterm"prose" was invented. people spokeproselong before In fact,dialectics, in terms thinking of and unifying opposites, seemsto be universal outsidethe Western industrialized world and dominatedeven Western thought right up to theadventof and liberalism.The philosophyof the Enlightenpositivism ment,thus,was markedly dialectical,as was the thinking of Zeno and, not least, Plato. On the whole, I findMukherjee'sarticlean extremely important and, indeed, necessaryawakener. In my opinion, we shouldbe careful notto abandondeductive however, theory altogether (perhaps this is not Mukherjee'sintention either), but strive to finda soundbasis fordeductions, and a meansto thatwould be dialecticsor (myown variety)thinking in terms of complementarities (Gjessing 1968).

also agree with his assessment of particularendeavours in India, such as the excessive concernwithvillage studiesand, untilrecently, the assumption that castes are moresignificant formations than classes.Mukherjee'spaper containsa number ofsuchtrenchant comments on thecurrent, Western-influenced social sciencesin India and the Third World generally, and some valuable suggestions. Especiallynecessary are his injunctionsthatwe sortout "the causal, concomitant, or contingent relevance ofsocietal factors for revealing socialreality"and that we try to grasptheoveralldynamics ofanygivensocial field, in and their potentialfor one or particularits contradictions of social change. In additionI heartily anotherdirection endorse his view that social scientists oughtnot to be the handmaidenseitherof the politicalEstablishment(s) or of the Optheories,and concepts ready-made from political parties, or social movements, but shouldthinkthemout governments, in the lightofall the available theories forthemselves and evidence. Some of Mukherjee'spointsare, however, confusing to me, them.I am notsureofthevalue or perhapsI do notunderstand I am confused ofhis "null hypothesis." by his recommendation ratherthan deductively, thatwe researchinductively yet that we also "marshal all our a priori[i.e., deductive]knowledge" in orderto answer crucialquestions oftoday.(Surelywe should and inductively, workboth deductively fromtheories back to factsand thenback to theories again.) And while I agree that none of the current virtually images of realityis entirely untrue,I do not thinkit is enough to analyse and compare the "value loads" ofdifferent theories and adopt therole ofvalueaccommodator.Some theoriesare much better than others of the known facts),and it is surely (i.e., more explanatory necessary to reject some current values as well as to accommodate others.Moreover,while I agree that social scientists ofpoliticalparties shouldnot uncritically accept the ideologies or movements, in a general way I thinkit is true that (as Marxistsusually argue) they must and do explicitly or imthe status plicitly choose betweenvalues that preserve quoand supportthe ruling classes of their societiesand values that the"weakersections." advocatechangesthatwill benefit Howwe are in our examination evercarefuland systematic offacts I do not think we can avoid choosing somevalues and theories, others. and rejecting I am also less optimistic than Mukherjeeabout predicting the immediatefutureof the "societal entityunder examination." We may, of course,and perhaps should,tryto do so, but we shall probablyat bestbe able to say only"If thathapabout pens thenthisis likely."I am actuallymore optimistic It seems the long-range future. than the immediate predicting to me that one can, forexample, with faircertainty predict will eventually thatthe capitalistsystem disappear,or thatthe worldwill eventually be politically united,shortof a nuclear war. One can make such predictionson the commonsense have eventuallydissocial systems groundsthat all former appeared, that social aggregateshave grown larger in the and that the world already poscourse of culturalevolution, sessesa single economyand is therefore likelyto develop a unitarypolity.What, however,will happen to the Indian or in the nexttwelvemonths the Bangladeshipoliticalsystem is, less predictable. forexample,I think Indian It is noteworthy that this article by a prominent is written influenced anthropologist by the Marxist tradition at a time of acute conflict among pro-U.S.S.R., pro-China, Marxistpartiesand moveand variousgroupsof independent ments,not least in India. This situation-the assertionof strong nation-state interests among avowedlyMarxistgovernments and movements-makes it especially necessary for of Marxistsocial scientists to assert, in theirresearch, theright independence from any particular political group and its

inthesense that nottoaccept position(s), they ought ideologies,

Department of Anthropologv and Sociology,University of British Columbia,Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6T 1W5. 16 Ix 75

such concepts as "change and continuity," "development," and "tradition and modernization" and of the ways in which they have approached the study of poverty and inequality. I

I agree with Mukherjee'scriticisms of social scientists' use of


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of all ideology.The ever growingeconomicinterdependence forthemto studythe world nation-states also makesit essential societyas a singlesystem and to explore its implications for of social reality whatever segment theychooseto examine.

VALUE-BASE Mukherjee:


byDELMOS J. JONES Graduate Center, CityUniversity of New rork,33 W. 42d St., N.Y. 10036,U.S.A. 10 ix 75 There is much about Mukherjee'spaper thatI like: the points educathe inadequateor faulty about the distortion ofreality, tion of anthropologists, and the one-sided ideology are all of the presentstate of the important for an understanding discipline. in anthroThere is a great deal of dogmas and doctrines about the kind of subject pology,and thisleads to statements to study. matter which is appropriate for anthropologists and I agree, that despite the extensive Mukherjee suggests, is a emphasison fieldwork and data collectionanthropology deductiveratherthan an inductivescience. If many of the generalizations found in the anthropologicalliteratureare closely inspected,theywill be found to be empirically and logicallyunfounded. Much of thismay be due to the dogmas to whichMukherjee and doctrines but it mayalso reflect refers, the inadequate attention paid to the logic of inquiryas contrasted withtechniques ofdata collection. Yet there are partsofMukherjee's paper thatI find puzzling. One puzzle is his concept of value accommodation.This seems to definea practice of considering all possible values which exist in a situationwithoutemphasizing one over the is offered in contrast to "valueother."Value-accommodating" neutral."He asserts that"the gap betweentheory and research may thusbe bridgedby a value-free, but value-accommodating inductive-inferential approach to revealingsocial reality." In my own researchon problemsrelatingto "poverty"and I have triedto proceed in a manner "interethnic" relations, similarto thatwhichMukherjeeproposes.It is the attempt to answerthe questionof "what will be" ratherthan "what is" whichforces factors which one to deal withall of the relevant The authorwritesthat we mustdeal are forming the future. with the questionof "what will be" on a probabilistic basis. This meansto me thatthereare alwaysmorethanone possible outcome.Should not the anthropologist also have something to say about which outcome is desirable (see Clark 1974)? May not the factof revealing the possibleoutcomes of present in and ofitself social processes have an impacton theoutcome? Is therenot a relationship betweenthe knowledgeproduced whichresults? Is thisnotwhat by social scienceand the reality Marx meantin part by praxis?Mukherjeestatesthat"science mustnot be the handmaidenof politics,or of any power ... otherthan knowledgeitself."Is thisto say that scienceor the production ofknowledge is not a societalprocess? Is thisto say that truthis pure? He speaks of a social reality"objectively, precisely,and comprehensively" described and advocates a procedurewhich he claims will produce such a description. He does not addressthe philosophical issue relatingscientific research to theconstruction ofsocialreality (see McEwen 1973: 6-19). The most realisticapproach to the studyof a social phenomenonis to appreciateits ever changingnature. It is also to be acutelyaware of the input of social science important researchto that reality.Thus researchcan be a handmaiden of politicsdespite the intention or the value positionof the researcher. It is for this reason that a criticalperspective is importantin the scientific undertaking. While Mukherjee's paper takes a criticalperspective, he turnsaround and locks the door. What disturbs me more about the presentsituation Vol. 17

but whichMukherjeedescribes, of reality is not the distortion of our perceptions to reinspect continually the unwillingness that reality.Insofaras Mukherjee is asking us to assume a I applaud his efforts, perspective, logical,and scientific critical, appears,that he to tell us, as it sometimes but if he is trying one I can onlysay thathe is substituting answer, has foundthe dogma foranother.




of California, Berkeley, University of Anthropology, Department Calif. 94720, U.S.A. 26 viii 75

ifMukherjeecould expand a bit on theconIt would be useful and ofsocieties. in theanalysis ofcultures ceptofcontradictions as he suggests, If it is a crucialconceptforsocial anthropology, it has not used, and possibly it clearlyhas not been sufficiently fortheir enoughdefinedby anthropologists yet been carefully purposes (see Friedman 1974:447-49). Since Mukherjee has inIndia (1970), let me takeseveralexammentioned mySociety to as contradicples ofwhat are, perhapstoo casually,referred and ask whether or by implication, tionsin thatwork,directly of the contheyare examplesof Mukherjee'sunderstanding to it. On pp. 125-27, there or irrelevant cept or are tangential is mention of the "inherentcontradictionand continuing expectations life,"largelybecause of differing strainin family On p. 466, thereis note of "contraamong a set of brothers. dictionsbetweenideal and real practice"withinan upwardly mobilejati or a caste association.On p. 628, one of the sumreads "The ideologyof noncompetitive marizingstatements social actionamong believedwhilecompetitive varnasis firmly kindofcontradiction urged." On p. 662, another jatis is firmly who emphasizethat stratificais noted,that betweenanalysts as an and thosewho view stratification stability tion supports sourceof conflict. inherent of the two subtitles I should also note that the respective in India were intendedto indicate,by the volumesof Society use of word order,the emphasisof each volume. These subthatthey were,meantto werenot,as Mukherjeeindicates titles the nature of Indian society.Insofaras I could characterize it is given in a number of attemptsuch characterization, in thetwofinalchapters. passagesoftheworkand summarized

byXTO. G.


Zuma MemorialHospital, Irrua, Midwest,Nigeria. 2 ix 75

Mukherjee'sbrilliantessay has broughtthe essenceof social into clear focus: it is a searchforsocial reality. anthropology obviouslyembarrassedby the Many social anthropologists, thatyearsof"tribalstudy"have come to createforthem, crisis of Africaand Asia, in the emerging nation-states particularly theirresearch upon issuesof universal searchlights have turned but speedilycatch the appeal whichnot onlylook impressive, officialeye and gather support,thus providingthem with ready researchfundsand acclaim. In nearlyeverycase they have spent valuable time chasing shadows ratherthan subwhile leaving the stance and treatingunpleasant symptoms undiagnoseddisease to run its downhill course. Using the of India he obviouslyknows so well, unique characteristics in society shownthatcontradictions Mukherjeehas effectively inequality, social cankerslike poverty, generateand nurture manifestations ofthe society, ofthe weakersections oppression all of which are of alienation, and national disintegration, 87

No. 1 * March1976

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of society, long afterthe hated today stillerodingthe vitality to issues directedour attention colonial era. He has forcefully of a society. to the dynamics whichrefer directly have Indeed, many have asked why social anthropologists been so slow to react to these social phenomena.Classifying societiesand thus enthemselves as specialistsin primitive village and tribal studies,theyhave grossedin interminable search rigorous and consistent had littletimeforthe necessary for facts which would help forge national integrationby eliminating the causes of alienation.Secondly,and this may thefactthatsuch exercises be theweightier reason,apartfrom X-rayingthese would be less likelyto attractresearchfunds, would not only be unpalatable to those social contradictions who hold the reinsof power,but could inviteunpleasantconparand social scientists, sequences for the anthropologists in question. iftheywere alien to the society ticularly



16 Ix 75 France. 94160Saint-Mande, del'Etang, 28, Chaussee at each ofthe two partsofthisstimuLet us look in succession addressedby Mukherjee latingpaper. First,all the criticisms as proas a disciplineand anthropologists to anthropology justified.In particular,alseem to me thoroughly fessionals thoughFanon (1968) and Nizan (1960) have already said it withregardto the whole of European thought, mostcogently to be told by an anthroit is still usefulfor anthropologists pologistthathumane world views are but complacentideas held by thosesocial classes,nations,or races enjoyingpower, theirsectionaldreamsonto wealth,and leisureand projecting and ecomoral humiliation, the objectiverealm of conflicts, where In the special fieldof anthropology, nomicexploitation. ambitionto look at any we feel so proud of our professional realityfroma supposedlyuniversalpoint of view, we badly truths aimed at universal thattheorizing need to be reminded is far fromneutral.I also concurwith Mukherjeein the sad beliefthat most,if not all, Grand Projectsof applied anthroand more pology merelyproduce more researchinstitutions and "science managers." forresearchers career opportunities is a case in What happened in the Frenchcolonial territories point,forit can be shownthat all the applied social research the bureaucracy only in (1) lendingan authoritarian resulted and respectforscienceand palatable image of enlightenment intellectand (2) givingpolicy makersadequate justification or fashionablecamouflage for their decisions (see Panoff would hesitateto sup1968a, b). Finally,what anthropologist and completehanding portMukherjee'splea fora permanent knowledgeto the peoples studiedby over of anthropological by a North Africanstudent The statement anthropologists? reminder forall ofus. quoted hereshouldbe a powerful suggestions Mukherjee's As forthesecondpartofthisarticle, I should own that I am rather on the taskof anthropologists, While I followhim when he is examiningboth embarrassed. anthroand value-assertive anthropology so-calledvalue-free I am not clear at all when he advocates his third pologists, to see whereand how an anthroI findit difficult alternative. pologistcan stand between (or above?) these two positions. Perhaps,in his reply,he mightcare to develop thispoint in detail?

by K.


and ReDeccan College Postgraduate of Archaeology, Department Poona 6, India. 29 viii 75 searchInstitute,

I muststartby confessing nor a a sociologist thatI am neither and my being an archaeologist(more social anthropologist, does not put me in a preeminent precisely, a prehistorian) paper in positionto commentupon Mukherjee'sstimulating for thefollowing an elaborateway. My only writing justification few lines is that I keep myself informed of the major socioin present-day economicdevelopments Indian society. I congratulate Mukherjeeforhis bold and lucid analysisof the type of descriptivework which sociologists and social in India have been carrying out for the last anthropologists he has put forth in clear two decades or so. More importantly, terms thekindofapproachwhichtheyoughtto adopt in future and forunderstanding iftheir is to be ofany relevance research about social change. While some of the cases which bringing his thesis are bound to be Mukherjee cites in formulating contested by some of his seniorcolleaguesin socivehemently I feel certain that his views ology and social anthropology, I have in mind the will be shared by many social scientists. two aspects: following in advocatingthatifsocial scienceresearch he is right First, it mustshed"value is not to become a thingofinconsequence, or studymusthave a Each researchprogramme neutrality." values; it is only then that social set of clearly formulated scientists can become active participantsin the process of changingsocial reality.Secondly,I also agree with him that the deductive-positivistic approach of the past two decades beyond passive,dehas by and large not given us anything studies.In fact,it has sometimes produceda distorted scriptive e.g., the blind acceptance of the pictureof the social reality, of all personsbelonging to ScheduledCastes blanketgrouping and Tribes under the term"weaker sections."We know that this is not always correct.As Mukherjee himselfmentions, both to thesegroupsare quite strong, belonging manypersons we are also aware ofthe and politically. Further, economically to the highercastesare factthat millions of people belonging weak (economically so much so thatwe someand otherwise), timeshear ofcases ofcaste-Hindustudents (not able to secure a place by virtue of theirmerit) producingfalse certificates to get admission and trying to certainprestigious collegesand institutes throughthe quotas reservedfor Scheduled Castes to formulate and Tribes! Is it not the job of social scientists objective criteriafor "poverty," "inequality," and "weaker sections"?Mukherjeerightly emphasisesthe need for an inductiveapproach in such studies.



New Delhi 110057, Nehru University, Jawaharlal Centre, History India. 3 ix 75 In thischaracteristic essay,Mukherjeeis concernedwith our metavalues,that is, values that could be employedto bring is control.His special interest othervalues under intellectual whereinthe focus in that phase of the sociologicalenterprise task the sociologist's and he defines is upon particular societies, "an objectiveand comprehensive appraisal as one ofproviding ofreality."I takeit thathe does not believethatthetrajectory of "reality" could, as for a cricketball, be charted along a single curve; and in any societyas complex as India, Muthat the prositseemsmostunlikely focus, particular kherjee's industrimilitarism, integrity, pectson suchissuesas territorial and intellectual cultural peasantmovements, inequalities, alism, with could be anticipated cults,and so forth religious activity, greataccuracy. The difficulty is that the question"What will it be?" often "What shouldwe make it be?"; in othermindstakestheform and the latter may be settled-not publiclybut oftenclanwithin destinely-on behalfof one or anotherset of interests, or beyond national boundaries. Regardless of where these

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on my paper is givenin table 1. An analysisof the comments ofagreement sucha largemeasure to find I am rather surprised on the views I expressedin my provocativepaper, and the byMONICA WILSON the seems to me to substantiate nature of the disagreement 19 IX 75 Hunterstoun, Hogsback, 5705,South Africa. utilityof my proposal. In this briefreply,it would not be possibleto discussall the pointsraised by the commentators withwhichhe Mukherjeeadds to understanding by theclarity or adequately. or evento deal withthemajoronesexhaustively certain fundamental and later treat certainpostulates analyses problemsin social anthropology, Therefore, I shall first offer notably objectivity and relevance. He rightly askswhatmethods themwithreference concerned. to the commentator(s) the we can use to include all the relevantfactsand suggests and society surface moveson a frictionless 1. Since nothing systematic use of alternative hypotheses. In 1932 the Webbs at any pointin timeand place in is everchanging(and resting were advocatingthe use of alternative a state of dynamic equilibrium), contradictions may be (Methods ofSocialStudy) hypotheses. Difficulty lies both in the number of possible regarded as the media for appraisingsocial reality.Unless alternatives and selectionamong them and in blindnessto and thus beyondsystematic societyis a randomphenomenon otheralternatives. of a range of societiesstimu- and scientificcomprehension, Investigation however, not all forms of lates formulation of alternatives (e.g., in the relationships of stratifiand resulting contradiction and all kindsof preceding generations) and investigation by individuals ofdiffering status cation,inequality, etc., can be ofequalrelevanceto change. forms and educationmitigates blindness. Mukherjeeseemsto imply relevance to social changeofdifferent 2. The relative is attainableby one individual.In fact (as he cannotbe ascertained thatobjectivity of contradiction and theirconcomitants manner on the basis of a deductivedoubtlesswould agree), the greatestmeasure of objectivity in an unconstrained emerges fromthe clash of differing views and some synthesis positivistic orientation to research.The suitable base is an between one, whichgivesfreereinto bothdeducthem.The chief dangerlies in somesingle"authorized inductive-inferential version"acceptedforpolitical,religious, or otherreasons. in the appraisal of reality. tiveand inductive processes The shadow of an authorizedversionfallsmostheavilyon orientation to research is 3. The inductive-inferential and further the studyof social change,forhere manyof the relevant verification, facts sustainedby the formulation, testing, about the past are unknown and irrecoverable, and any study formulationof alternate hypotheses.The null hypothesis of change depends upon a hypothesis of what has happened providesthe neutralbase (the zero level) forthe formulation of in past time.The preoccupation of social anthropologists with in the givenstateof comprehension of alternatehypotheses increase therefore what is at the momentof studywas not accidental, but a hypotheses thesubjectin question.Alternate ofvariation necessary base forthe studyof what has been, and therefore in numberwithreference to the natureand extent of change,in a latergeneration. A close analysisof change in handled by to account,but theycan be satisfactorily brought relationsof generations, and men and women, among the collating themin sequentialorderand classifying systematically Nyakyusa-Ngonde people (of Tanzania and Malawi) over the and analogoussets. each collationintohomologous and their con4. Since different formsof contradiction past 100 yearsshowsa zig-zag process,closelylinkedboth to particulareconomic changes and to religiouschanges. The will be reflected facetsof social reality, as different comitants generaldirection of change may well be predictableas many all these facetswill be valid for precise and comprehensive

interests are located, if theseare large enough and organized enough,thickpartitions are likelyto separate the sociologist from the criticalpointswherethe key answersto the question "What will it be?" are being shaped. Periscopesto look over the partitions are expensive-well beyond the reach of the who has renouncedboth power and lucre as well sociologist he hits If by some mischance as the halo of the revolutionary. upon a high-probability answerto the question"What will it be?" on some issue,Mukherjeewill now have to get past the censor in order to reach "the people," his (as well as my) ofhis essayand ofmy preferred audience.Betweenthewriting comment, an unanticipated shadowhas fallen. What,then,shouldone do? Really,I don't quite know,and, as in Mukherjee'scase, by the time I have an answer,it will probablybe eithersuperfluous or not enactable.

VALUE-BASE Mukherjee:


to be zig-zagis unlikely are compared:the particular societies sincevariablesare so many. predictable,

byRAMKRISHNA MUKHERJEE 203, BarrackporeTrunkRd., Calcutta Indian StatisticalInstitute, 700 035, India. 31 x 75





on the role ofthe anthropologist Implied disagreement as reviewedunder "Illusion and Reality" Agreementwith review under "Illusion and Reality" and "Dogmas and Doctrines," but not with the research orientationproposed under "The Task of Anthropologists": 1. Deductive orientationis underplayed or inductiveorientationoverplayed. 2. "Value accommodator" approach is confusingand/or has pernicious implications. 3. Both conceptual and methodological objections (see 1 and 2) Agreementwith all three parts of the paper, with the task either unconditionallyendorsed as "urgent anthropology"or questioned only in practice.

Mandelbaum (U.S.A.)

Gjessing (Norway), Wilson (South Africa) Ferreira (India), Jones (U.S.A), Panoff (France) von Gizycki (F.R.G.), Gough (Canada) Albo (Bolivia), Okojie (Nigeria), Paddayya (India), Saberwal (India)

Vol. 17 * No. I * March1976


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The "relationship between the knowledge produced by social scienceand the realitywhichresults"(Jones) can thus be forgedin an unequivocal manner,in the current and the successively enriched state of knowledge,by followingthe inductive-inferential orientation to researchand adoptingits corollary, the value-accommodation approach. In thelightofthesepostulates, let us examinethecomments correspondingly,of theirvalue-loads will vary as eo . . . e.5 ... in some detail. Table 1 showsthat 1 out of 4 (12 out of 50) el (herewe mustbear in mindthepossibility ofthe "confound- scholarsrespondedto the paper; regarding the reviewof the ing" ofthefacets and thevalue-loads in theprocess). According- value-base of social anthropology, 1 out of 12 respondents ly, the acceptance of any one value-load and the consequent disagreed;regarding whatis to be done, 1 out of6 disagreed on exposureof,or stress upon, one facetof reality on the basis of 1 out of 4 on conceptual,and 1 out of 6 on methodological, a deductive-positivistic orientation will be inefficient for both grounds;1 out of 3 fully agreed withthe contentof the appraisingreality.Instead,all facetsofreality comprehensible paper,although1 out of4 amongthemdoubtedthepossibility in the currentstate of knowledge(and correspondingly all of its practical use. There is no commentfromthe socialist value-loads) should be accommodatedin order to ascertain world; 7 responses are fromWesternscholarsand 5 fromthe theirrelevanceand efficiency and thusidentify whichone (or Third World. Furthermore, while all the Westernscholars which combinationof facets and value-loads) is the most disagreedwithone part of the paper or another, 4 out of 5 of efficient. the Third Worldscholarsagreedwithit. 6. The value-accommodator approach is, thus, neither The analysis leads to twosetsofdeductions: (1) The response abstruse nora "dogma" (Jones),butindispensable forassessing fromworld scholarsto the topic of "the value-base of social efficiency. Since, on the basis of an inductive-inferential anthropology" is small; moreover,this is most marked for orientation, it will identify in an unconstrained mannerwhich ThirdWorldscholars, socialist-world scholars, nextfor and least facet(s) and value-load(s) depict social realitymostprecisely for the Western-world scholars. (2) While thereis littledisand comprehensively in the existingstate of knowledge,a agreement as to what has been done so far in social anthroproperand rigorous applicationof "the methodof dialectical on the conceptual pology,there is substantialdisagreement in considering thinking the objectivecontextwhich is to be and/or methodological aspects of what is to be done; here, analyzed as part of the subjective research process" (von Third Worldscholars(exceptone) are uncritical and Western Gizycki)would equate to the value-accommodator approach. ones critical. 7. All the above postulates would be jeopardized if value What may be thevalidity and relevance ofthesedeductions? and factwereregardedas belonging to "two differing The deductionmade under (1) on the basis of the response realms" (Ferreira), but, then, so would scientific investigation, thus of 7, 5, and 0 forWestern, figures Third, and socialistworld establishing a value-load of inaction. Moreover, in such a scholarswould be valid if the 50 scholarsto whomthe paper situation,a choice "between positivismand some formof was sentwereequallydividedamongthesethreeworldsectors. objectiveaxiology" (Ferreira)would eitherincreaseconfusion If the base figures varied, with Westernthe largest,Third or providethe groundforthe emergence of powerful World next,and socialistworld the smallest(whichis not at dogmas and doctrines enforcing the value-load of negativeaction to all unlikely), thenthe deductionas to the relativeconcernof crushall nonconformist actions. Western and ThirdWorldscholars withthevalue-baseofsocial 8. Alternatively, ifPostulates1-6 are accepted,the answer anthropology would have to be reversedand the relative to the question"What will it be?" will not be merely in terms concernofsocialist-world scholarsduly ascertained. It may be oftheformulation "If thathappensthenthisis likely"(Gough), thatwe would stillbe in the realmofdeducargued,however, but in termsof the formulation "If xi happens,thenyi will forfurther tion,since the base figures analysisare available in occur, and the probability that xi will happen is pi, where the CA office.Like the primarydeduction, however, the < Pi < Pi < Pk ... < 1." Also, as knowledgeaccumulates secondaryone would be based on the assumptionthat for by following postulates1-6, pi in reference to . . Pi, P, ... each of the three world sectorsa lack of responsereflects * will be moreand moreprecisely determined to enrich theorder "personal"motivation; no other assumption maybe considered. of probability. the gulfbetweentheory Correspondingly, Would that conform to reality?May not other constraints, and research willbecomeincreasingly narrower and mayeventually technicalor societal in nature,operate differentially for the disappear. in favourof non-response? societies Also, is it not possiblethat 9. While, objectively, the question"What should it be?" on personal grounds may reflectdifferential non-response followsthe question "What will it be?" with reference value-loads-for example, (a) a partisandevotionto a valueto 1-6 and 8, the two questions postulates load (old or new) which forbids may be equated under any discussionof the value certain conditions, as in Postulate 7. Myrdal's "soft states" adherenceto the value-basequestioned question, (b) a hesitant are becomingharder,and the range of toleranceof the conin the paper, (c) a "neutral" position vis-a-visthe valuesolidatedstatesis becomingsmaller.Therefore, the equation in the assumed interest controversy, withor withoutgrowing tendsto operatemorefrequently, and intensively. "value-free"conceptual and methodological issues in social extensively, Insteadofbeingdepressed by thespectre of"an unanticipated anthropology, and so on? shadow" (Saberwal), however,social anthropologists Such an approachto theappraisalofreality as "the resultant should considerit as an aspect of realityinvolvedin the appraisal ofthesemanywillsoperating and oftheir in different directions process in terms of the systematized series of value-loads manifold effects upon the outerworldthatconstitutes history" from ranging negative actionsofdifferent forms and directions (Engels,as quoted in the paper) generates severalpropositions at one end throughthe null point of no action to positive whichmay be formulated in homoloas alternatehypotheses actionsof different forms and directions at the other. tests to ascertain the gous and analogous sets. Afterwards, 10. It follows from Postulate9 thatthosewho are interested relative derivedby relevanceofthepropositions (or any others and involvedin "praxis" (Jones) can begin it at home (i.e., some of them) would not only lead us to a better combining with fellow scientists) by precisely and comprehensively understanding of the facet of realityin question, but also ''revealing the possible outcomesof presentsocial processes'' predictwhat we mightexpectin the immediatefuture in the (Jones) and thusanswering the questions"What will it be?" lightofthe differential probability of the substantiating power and "What shouldit be?" in their proper and effective of the propositions. sequence. For example: Would value papers in CA

appraisal,but it follows fromPostulate1 that not all of them willbe equallyrelevant to and qfficient forthistask.Furthermore, thedifferent facets ofreality may be unilaterally stressed (ifnot exclusively exposed) according to the differential valueacceptance (or value-neutrality masking value-acceptance)of the researcher. 5. The efficiency of the different facets of realityand,

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drawmoreorlessresponse thanmethod papers(e.g.,Mukherjee 1972b)?Would theresponses to value papersbecomemoreand more polarized, or would the controversy become marginal becauseofconsensus reachedor interest lostin theissue?Would the controversy involve Third World and/or socialist-world scholars more or less over time-consideringthe papers of Maquet (1964), Berreman, Gjessing, and Gough (1968), etc.and whymight such differences be expectedto occur? Such queries,inherent in criticalstudieson contemporary societies, suggest that all conscientious scholarsare concerned withthequestion"What willit be?" The pointis how precisely we can maketheprediction forwhichthedifferential probabilityofoccurrence ofthepossibilities revealedbytheinvestigation is the cue: it mustnot be overgeneralized or based merely on subjectiveinclination. Gough has no reason to be pessimistic about the outcome of the course of rigorousresearchwhich her own studies indicate. Moreover, with reference to her mentionof Marx and Engels's long-range predictionof the overthrowof the capitalist system,may I point out that Lenin's predictionon imperialismwas a middle-range one and hisDevelopment of Capitalismin Russia (1899) and Marcuse's prediction as to the current role of the nonconformist young intelligentsia the industrial working class (mentioned vis-a-vis in the paper) bothshort-range? In any case, the "why" questionabove leads us to consider thevalidity under(2), in which and relevance ofthededuction thedistinction betweenWestern and Third Worldrespondents must be based on the assumptionthat they are all equally exposed to the whole gamut of social science knowledgeand worldview. This assumption of would supportthe viewpoint the British social anthropologist mentionedby Gjessingthat, likemyself, Third Worldanthropologists are "good," but their theoreticaloutlook is "rather simple and unsophisticated." May therenot,however, be otherpropositions to account for the difference-for example, that Third World respondents are participants in (and not mere observers of) an aspect of reality in which (a) the deductive-positivistic orientation, displayedin various manners, has failed to deliverthe goods over a quarter of a centuryand has therebycaused such misery to the people as cannotbe "theoretically" appreciated byWestern and (b) thevalue-accommodator scholars, approach does not threaten thembecause it is opposed to the deductiveand conduciveto the inductive-inferential positivistic orientation?This proposition a acquiresrelevancefortesting through set ofalternate in thatit is underlined in Gjessing's hypotheses mentionedby Gough, implied in Sabercomment, forcefully a single curve," and made explicit by Albo, Okojie, and Paddayya; i.e., it has been notedby 1 out of 2 respondents. To answerpertinent questionslike thoseabove requiresan inductive-inferential thecomments base; we mustconsider and the commentators for various papers as random samples drawn fromthe universeof scholars whose place and object coordinatesare fixed (as "the world" and "social anthropology") and whose timecoordinateis allowed to vary,with the null hypothesis that no scholar and no world sector is concernedwith the topic of the papers. The deductive-positivisticorientationwould not be effective in this context, because it can only deal with one proposition(alternate on the hypothesis) at a time, and therefore any statement relative of different would powerto reveal reality propositions be a matter ofassertion (A la Rostowand the ProjectCamelot as citedby von Gizycki, or anyone else) and not of sponsors, the natureand degreeof theirefficiency. testing The inductive-inferential orientationwill, no doubt, be concernedwith many alternatehypotheses which it will not be easyto deal with,as Wilsonhas rightly pointedout. Nevertheless, the hypotheses can be formulated in homologous and analogous sets and tested sequentially,as I have indicated Vol. 17 * No. I * March1976
wal's rejection of the "trajectory of 'reality' .

Mukherjee: VALUE-BASE


. charted along

concernedwith the question "What will it are intrinsically one may to theanswerto thisquestion, be?" Thus, in reference the question"What should it be?" (if one wishes) crystallize or a sequentialunlessone is a doctrinaire which is obviously themethodand theprogramme It will be seenfrom dogmatist. and the mannerin in thismonograph evolvedand illustrated that the which the indicatorsare shown to be constructed and valueorientation linkedinductive-inferential inseparably in accommodatorapproach do not introduceany constraint realityon the groundsof value and the course of unfolding fact (Ferreira),"perceptionand prejudice" (von Gizycki),or nowfashionable withsomeWestern any othersuchcontroversy on an social scientists. They also do not place the researcher etherealplane vis-a-visthe social phenomena (von Gizycki, a new dogma (Jones).Instead,the organiPanoff)or establish how the zation of researchoutlinedin the book substantiates ever changingnatureof societal phenomenacan be brought courseof analysiswhichstill under an objectiveand efficient to reinspect flexible remains enoughto permitus "continually of thatreality"(Jones).Hence, as Gough and our perceptions the by testing all the restofus would like-but withcertainty, of the respective empiricalvalidityand order of efficiency value-free can rejectin a totally "perceptions"-theprocedure certainvalue-loadsbecause theyhave no relevanceto manner, to other value-loads, ofrelevance thesocialreality, assignorders one among them. Von and thus point to the most efficient of criticalanthroGizycki'sproposal of the "value-reflection ifshe remainsan untested pology"will not producethiseffect This prompts us to examinewhysocial anthrovalue-acceptor. if theyare to justify pologistsmust be value-accommodators theirrole in society. Let us proceed, in this context,with the appraisal of the to elicitfurther considered of realitypreviously simpleprofile aspectsofthevalue-baseofsocial important how it mayunfold Over time,thereappears to have been a shift anthropology. of reality by social anthropologists. in the understanding 91

Social Indicators(Mukherjee 1975). Indicators(and not indices)

above. I have done this (1971b, 1976) with 14 hypotheses and empiricalgroundsto ascertain on theoretical formulated but in India is not disintegrating, system thatthejoint family cut-off pointsofthecollateralramificaat distinctive operating from althoughit can be deduced structures, tionsofjoint family to a given point in time (e.g., the 1950s and data referring on the average, 1960) that 55% or more of Indian families, are nuclear. and to Gjessing'sand Gough's apprehension Also, contrary a course of researchdesignedon an von Gizycki'sassertion, or artificially base would not undermine inductive-inferential (and undialectically)set apart the functionof deductive reasoning. Instead, the interactionbetween inductive and deductive processes in unfoldingreality in the course of ofcomplementariwould operate"in terms research diagnostic ties" (Gjessing) and facilitatethe emergenceof objectivity between viewsand some synthesis "fromthe clash of differing them" (Wilson). It would thus attain a degree of efficiency research,since it is based on which is denied to explanatory and is not to be expected orientation, thedeductive-positivistic of descriptiveresearch. This point, of course, cannot be ofvon Gizycki's sentence reply;thefirst elaboratedin thisbrief that she appreciatesthis. In a forthcoming suggests comment "What Will It Be?" I have discussedand publicationentitled considerations the conceptual and methodological illustrated on thispointin detail (see also Mukherjee1973c). for I may also note that, on the basis of the framework diagnosticresearch and the accommodationof differential value-loads on the concept of "social development,"I have the usefulness of my proposal in my tried to demonstrate

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Accordingto my a priori knowledge(which I believe will be sharedby Gjessingand Gough,if not by all the respondents), had the presentpaper been writtenaround 1950 it would have foundagreement on the topicsof "Illusion and Reality" and "Dogmas and Doctrines" from lessthan 1 in 12 respondents and surelynot, as currently, from 11 in 12. Also, the point raisedby Mandelbaum would hardlybe the cause ofdisagreeI used to receivein the 1940sand 1950swere ment:therebuffs directed by "impartial" scientiststowards a "politically" motivated zealot. Moreover,the probability of its publication in a reputablejournal like CA would have been very low indeed, as I am well aware fromthe gestation period of my publications, including straightforward "villagestudies"(1957, 1971a: Preface). These constraints are more and more being removed; at least, that might be a relevant alternatehypothesis to be in a depthstudyof the value-baseof testedby one interested social anthropology. If thevalidity of the hypothesis shouldbe upheld by testing (which is very likely), other alternate hypotheses should be formulated in sequence, because only 1 out of 4 anthropologists fromthe sample respondedto this value paper. To formulate these hypotheses, we have to ask ourselvesthe crucial question (also raised by Jones, but to counter myproposal),To whatextent is theshift in theunderstandingof realityby social anthropologists due to knowledge theyhave producedand to what extentto social processes in whichtheyhave played no role as anthropologists? To be sure, studies in what von Gizycki labels "critical and "action research" have not been totally anthropology" in pastyears;butthey lacking have beenrare,have encountered in being published(if at all), and have made great difficulty little impact on the general run of anthropological studies. two parts of my paper would not have Otherwise,the first received from 11 in 12 respondents. agreement May I therefore thatcontradiction, suggest stratification, etc.,are now drawing the attentionof social anthropologists who were previously contentwith the "harmonious"and "homogeneous"characterization of "tribal" and "peasant" societiesbecause history has made thesesocietalphenomena all too obvious?May I also suggestthat while,as Engels said, "men make theirown history,"thishas been accomplished without the aid of virtually anthropological research-althoughsome anthropologists, in theirother role in society, have contributed to it? The testing and verification ofthealternate hypotheses to be formulated in relationto the above questionswill generate further questionswhose elementsare evidentand have been mentioned, albeit cursorily, in the paper. They followfrom theschematic relation between appraisaland action-appraisal preceding action,and thelatterbeingsucceededby theformer levelofcomprehension at a higher ofreality. If,however, there is any tendencyto perpetuatean action irrespective of its continualreappraisalin subsequent or otherplace-time-object dimensions,then dogmas and doctrinesare produced and thriveunderthe guise of value-acceptance or value-neutrality (to mask value-acceptance).On the otherhand, appraisal in each and every place-time-object dimension demands the accommodation ofall valuesin thegivencontext so as to assess their relative relevance and efficiency and, thus, determine unequivocallywhat kind of action is needed. Let us examine thispointin terms of threeschematically different place-timein contemporary object dimensions history. 1. Where "history"has been made ratherrecently and the action accomplished has not yet been consolidated, the questions"What will it be?" and "What should it be?" will appear to be irrelevant, since the dominantvalue-load will assertthatanswerhas been obtainedto bothquestions.In this context, value-acceptance will play the keyrole and may considervalue-accommodation "revisionism."~ 2. Where"history" is beingmade, thequestions "What will

it be?" and "What shouldit be?" are equated in the blueprint of ongoingaction, and therefore value-acceptanceplays the crucialrole.In thiscontext, value-accommodation is apparently pernicious,as it must be from the perspectiveof actively contending withthe forms of value-acceptance whichoperate to reinforce colonialismor capitalismor establish socialismin any mannerotherthan the one pursued. 3. Where "history"was made a long time ago and the or wheretherehas not been a system has been consolidated, fundamentalbreak with the previouslyoperating system, tolerancecan prevailup to a point,dependingon thestrength of the consolidation, for the consideration of the questions "What will it be?" and "What should it be?" Here also, however, value-acceptance doeslittle to disseminate knowledge, whether as a preludeto actionor not.Withintheallottedrange ofvalue-acceptance of tolerance, different forms one represent or another "point of view," and it is left to other societal forces to persuadeone to accept one or the other. On the otherhand, we noticeall the time that differential value-loadsare accommodated to comprehend reality precisely in the current and unequivocally stateof knowledge. Even in the first two situations has repeatedly just described,history registered on the questions"What will it be?" and dissension "What shouldit be?" The supremacy ofone ofthevalue-loads over the othersmay have been exclusively action-involved on the basis of a dogma or doctrine, and thusbeyondthe pale of "knowledge." Alternatively, a synthesis mayhave beenreached in whichthe different a phase of antithesis by passingthrough value-loads have been consideredaccordingto theirrelative and the immediate merits future to revealthe current perspective of reality.Action may have followedthe appraisal to enforcethe most efficient value-load; however,evidence of in thismanneris not wanting at a synthesis at present arriving in sayingthat from thesocialist world.Would I notbe justified in the post-Stalin era this is usuallyregardedas a revivalof "democraticcentralism"? situation is regardedto Hence, wherethe place-time-object be in the phase of appraisal primarily, withaction to become in due course (as it is in the "free" world,according primary to the majority of "committed" anthropologists), critical action research,etc., will have a substantial anthropology, role to play, but it will be necessary to accommodatethem in orderto vindicate alongwiththeotherkindsofanthropology and verification forrethrough theirgreaterefficiency testing of theirvalues will not be vealingreality.Mere "reflection" enoughto convincethe large mass of "neutral" social anthrosince theywill observethatsome facetsofreality pologists, are verywellrevealedbytheother kindsofanthropology. We must bearinmindin this context that, although notas strong as before, the value-loadsof theseother kinds of anthropology are still heavierin balance; otherwise 3 out of4 anthropologists would not have failedto respondto my paper (assuming, of all the enumerated possibilities earlier, thatmostofthoseto whomthe paper was sent belong to the "free" worldand only a fewof them[ifany] reflect an unalterable that value-load). It follows either the scale will tip, as before,purely (or essentially) because of the non-anthropologist forcesin history, or the will have to begintheir"praxis" "committed" anthropologists at home, i.e., with theirfellowanthropologists, in order to muster forthe eventualaction. strength Since theresponses to mypaper are entirely from the "free" world,we maynow briefly examinethepointofpraxisvis-a-vis the "neutral" and the anti-praxis, but hesitantly value-laden, socialanthropologists. This requires "what it essentially proving is" and "whatitis not,"and so on,withthepositive and negative alternatives of "how" and "why" of the facetsof realityin question,but not in a void, as von Gizyckisuspects.Many possibilities are "factually"evidenttoday to persuade social anthropologists to forman inadequate or a distorted view of

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reality or desist from theattempt. We mayexaminetwoofthem withreference to Mandelbaum's,Ferreira's, and, incidentally, von Gizycki'scomments on the paper. Mandelbaum has raised a point of clarification regarding contradiction, which is inseparablefromthe phenomena of stratification, inequality, etc., and, as notedearlier,has lately the attention Since society attracted of social anthropologists. in it is ever changing,frictions (contradictions) are inherent of and new formation and lead to the emergence, dissolution, variouskindsofstrataand thesubsequent setsofcontradictions. Grantedthatthisis now obvious,is it not equally obviousthat form notevery ofcontradiction and stratification can be ofthe same relevanceand power forsocial change? Axiomatically, one can argue thatifthiswere so, societywould be a random phenomenon and denote eithercasual fluctuations or change in an indiscriminate and incomprehensible manner. Accordingly,social phenomenawould not be amenable to the spiral-like circuits of a priori comprehension,observation, analysis, deduction,inference, interpretation, and comprehension at a higherlevel; i.e., the entirescientific processof accumulation of knowledge would be precluded.Therefore, unlessone finds solace in Sankara's mdydbad (mentionedin the paper) or a of inaction,one mustconsiderthat thereis similarphilosophy a primemover(or a setofprimemovers)in thechangeprocess. I have alluded to in thepaper maynotdeny, The empiricists in theory, theaxiomand itslogicalpostulate of a primemover, but whathas been theirpractice? They may taketheviewthat since what the primemover(s)is (are) has not yet been fully tested and verified, it (they) must be sought by means of in the specified place-time-object empirical investigations dimensions.Characteristically, however, the search seldom of the prime takes into account one of the major expositions mover-class contradiction and theroleofclassas propounded by Marx and Engels. They may be mentionedincidentally whiledealingelaborately withvariousotherkindsofstratificaas Mandelbaum has done in his tion and contradiction, in India. Alternatively or concurrently, as is also done Society by Mandelbaum,theremay be an attempt to distort the kind denotedby class and, in consequence, ofstratification theform in view. Marx precisely of contradiction defined class in terms of the relationsof production, the state of productive forces, and the property on thatbasis. More often relations emerging than not,however, thisconceptis diffused into thatof "social class" (a la Weber or not) or diluted as an assortedset of occupationalor statusgroups. Moreover,there are propositions about the prime mover rangingfromthe materialbasis of society, at one pole, to the basisofsociety, at theother(withtheother landmarks spiritual of social existence,social consciousness, etc.), but there are veryfew anthropological studiesin which these propositions are turned into appropriatesets of alternatehypotheses to ascertain theirrelativemerits. ofthe Instead,whilea minority social anthropologists of historitodayupholdsthe proposition cal and dialectical materialism, the majorityindulgesin an and "conamorphousacceptance of the spiritual, existential, scious" basis of society. This certainlyprovides scope for in a societyof "freeenterprise," freedom of thought but is it what praxisshouldamountto? In India, we have the expositionof contradictions and stratifications fromeitherstandpoint, but seldom a rigorous to accommodatethevariousexpositions forthetesting attempt and verification of theirrelativepower to reveal reality.We have, forexample,Mandelbaum's Society in India,whichdeals almost exclusivelywith the rural sector (p. 9) and totally ignores any Marxist analysis and interpretation of social we have Desai's Rural dynamics; and, complementarily, Sociology in India (1969), which contains several Marxist studiesby Desai and others.Mandelbaum concludes(p. 634) that "the generaltrend[of major changesin Indian society] Vol. 17 * No. 1 * March1976

VALUE-BASE Mukherjee:


whenhe himself ofcourse,contradicts offact."Ferreira, ments holds this view and, at the same time, considersmy paper as [it] seeksto unveilthe reality-distorting insofar "instructive in of social anthropologists nature of the value orientations and India." In any case, his sophismover "the gymnosophist the gymnast"is not, in reality,confinedto India or social to (or social sciencein general); it is appropriate anthropology investigatheworldas a wholeand thetotalgamutofscientific and prejudice." of"perception mention tion,likevon Gizycki's whicheverybranchofscience within These are theconstraints in thepaper,knowledge as I mentioned and therefore, operates, relationwithreality:the two can at bestforman asymptotic exceptin Buddha's conceptofnirvana. can neverattainidentity all scientific accumulatedthrough Knowledgeis nevertheless has a all overthe worldbecause everyphenomenon disciplines and forthe marginof errorin its perception tolerance built-in bias, whichis no lessrelevant perceptual As a result, operation. acceptedquantitative even to the unanimously "theoretically" of reality,becomes practicallyirrelevant:for understanding no two personswill measure one example, in engineering, of a complex exactlyalike, and yet the blueprint centimeter can be replicated.Also (to consideran instanceof structure to analytiproblems"in reference "psychological von Gizycki's will appreciate"red" withthe no two retinas cal psychology), time-points), at different (norwillthesameretina sameintensity in people'seyesand minds, and yet"red" has enoughobjectivity of thosewho are colourminority exceptforthe microscopic in a crowdedstreet. control blind,thatit can be used fortraffic argue thatthe marginof error Of course,one may reasonably large,and is relatively ofsocietalphenomena in our perception on the so many perspectives that is why we oftenencounter thatthis One mustalso realize,however, same facetofreality. conceptualand methodologiis whywe requirean appropriate forreducingperceptualbias, bearingin mind cal framework sciencecannot removed.Otherwise thatit can neverbe totally proceed. is not In the same way, the question beforethe scientist he is "value-free,"but how he can best operate to whether reduce the role of his values in tryingto appraise reality One may take the positionthatthisis impossible, objectively. has done, but in thatcase one cannotproceedwith as Ferreira Statingthatfactand value are two investigation. any scientific is sophism:can therebe any factwithout ofreality dimensions a value-load (or a set of homologousvalue-loads), and vice and some versa? The suggestedchoice "between positivism logicallyturnthe formof objectiveaxiology" will, therefore, Correspondingly, into a dogmatistand doctrinaire. scientist von Gizycki's "value-reflection"or anyone else's valueas to one's obself-deception acceptance would constitute jectivity.

ing that "value judgments .

and in social in culturaldisparities is towardthe narrowing thoughscarcelytoward distancebetweengroupsin a society, while Desai contends of stratification," any total elimination (p. 5) that "the science of the laws governingthe specific has stillto be created[whichwill Indian ruralsocial organism of the Indian forthe renovation the basic premises comprise] ofthe Indian forthe renovation so indispensable ruralsociety, in societyas a whole." The "neutral" social anthropologists underthe to chooseone or theotherviewpoint are left between evaluation thanthatofa systematic rather ofhistory influence comprehensions and non-Marxist anti-Marxist, ofthe Marxist, on the basis of an inductive-inferential of Indian social reality approach. and the value-accommodation orientation the gulfbetweentheory at thusbridging Also, any attempt group among by anotheremergent and researchis forestalled in declarwithwhichFerreiraalignshimself Western scholars,

. cannot be derived from judg-

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BAUER, R. A. 1966. "Detection and anticipation of impact: The in this contextis to considerwhy these More important Edited by R. A. Bauer, nature of the task," in Social indicators. questionsof value, perception, etc., are loudly voiced by an pp. 1-67. Cambridge: M.I.T. Press. influential sectionof Westernscholarstoday. One hypothesis BENDIX, R. 1964. Nation-building and citizenship. New York: Wiley. might be that social anthropology has attained a stage of BERNAL,J. D. 1939. Thesocialfunction ofscience. London: Routledge. BERREMAN, G. D., G. GJESSING, and K. GOUGH. 1968. Social maturity that permitsit to grapple with such finerissues, responsibilities symposium. CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY 9:391-435. perennialas theyhave been and sporadicallyconsideredby BLACK, C. E. 1966. The dynamics of modernization. New York: of the discipline.But there mightalso be some progenitors Harper and Row. anotherhypothesis: thata value-loadof inactionis thusbeing BLALOCK, H. M., JR. 1961. Causal inferences in nonexperimental research. Chapel Hill: Universityof North Carolina Press. propagatednow that the disciplineis capable of confronting BLANKESTEN, G. I. 1965. "Modernization and revolutionin Latin realityin a concerted way. This hypothesis gathers supportif areas. Edited by H. R. America," in Social change in developing we considerthat not even the physicalscienceshave escaped Barrington,G. I. Blankesten, and R. W. Mack, pp. 225-42. thisconfrontation (see,e.g.,Bernal1939,Caudwell 1939). Also, Cambridge: Schenkman. and culture. New York: Macmillan. history tells us that "social" considerations have repeatedly BOAS, F. 1940. Race, language, BOSE, N. K., and S. SINHA. 1961. Peasantlife in India: A study in in such confrontations in the pregnant participated periodsof unity and diversity. Calcutta: AnthropologicalSurvey of India. social transformation. Ferreira need not have invoked the London: Bodley Head. CAUDWELL, C. 1939. The crisisinphysics. West to supporthis standpoint.India abounds in examples, CLARK, KENNETH B. 1974. Pathosofpower.New York/Evanston/ [DJJ] San Francisco/London: Harper Torchbook. fromthe time beforeSankara to, say, the period in which nabyanaya (lit. "new logic"), at one time fighting Buddhism, CLEMMER, RICHARD 0. 1974. "Truth, duty, and the revitalization of anthropologists: A new perspectiveon cultural change and became engaged in such esotericdiscussions as the relative Edited by Dell Hymes, resistance," in Reinventing anthropology. importance of form and content (pdtradhdrataila vs. tailadharapp. 213-47. New York: Random House. in India. Poona: DANDEKAR, V. M., and N. RATH. 1971. Poverty patra) and the nuances of motionand perception, cause and Indian School of Political Economy. effect, and so on. DESAI, A. R. 1969. Rural sociology in India. 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