Antinomies of Society - Essays on Ideologies & Institutions

Antinomies of Society - Essays on Ideologies & Institutions

Product ID: 9993

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Author: Andre Beteille
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2000
Language: English
Pages: 307
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195653890


This volume brings together the author’s recent essays on institutions, civil society, and democracy written from a comparative perspective but with India at the centre of attention.

The essays are devoted to changing norms and values and emphasize their inherent tensions, oppositions, and contradictions. In exploring the stresses and strains of Indian democracy, Beteille exposes the disjunction between political ideals and social constrains.

He connects seemingly disparate elements of public life, examining the agenda India set itself at independence and the obstacles that hinder its achievement. Beteille discusses Marxism, nationalism, and secularism, along with the university, the civil service and other major institutions. This book is for those interested in contemporary society and public affairs, students and teachers of sociology, social anthropology, political science, and social philosophy.


The great merit of Beteille’s writings derives from his sensitivity to the complexities of life, the ambiguities of thought and action and the shadow that invariably falls between the idea and the reality.

-Sham Lal, former editor, The Times of India

Beteille has been one of the few recent writers to have significantly advanced our understanding of equality ad inequality… We are grateful to him for his clear, insightful and beautifully coherent writing whi8ch reveals so much about our predicament… Like other major thinkers, he stands between worlds and helps to illuminate our options.

-Alan Macfarlane, FBA, Professor of Anthropological Science, University of Cambridge, and Fellow, King’s College, Cambridge

A valuable contribution to the life of the mind in general and so sociology in particular. Beteille’s … nuanced arguments, delicate distinctions, and awesome scholarship are amply displayed in this collection.

-M N Panini, India International Centre Quarterly

Here is a modernist mind that sees hierarchy in our tradition, suspects the tantalizing claims of religion, and celebrates modern / secular institutions.
-Hindustan Times

Beteille examines the conflict between traditional patrimonial values of the Indian society and the egalitarian norms of the modern nation state.
-Business Standard

In a society where the notion of individual citizenship is increasingly being subverted by religion-or caste-based identity politics, André Beteille’s book comes as a refreshing defence of liberalism.

- Nandini Sundar, Outlook



1. Ideologies (1978)

2. Marxism, Pluralism and Orthodoxy (1982)

3. Intellectuals (1980)

4. Secularism and the Intellectuals (1994)

5. A Career in an Indian University (1990)

6. Universities as Centres of Learning (1995)

7. Universities as Institutions (1995)

8. Civil Society and Its Institutions (1996 / 99)

9. India's Heritage of Diversity (1998)

10. The Conflict of Norms and Values (1998)

11. Governance (1999)

12. Empowerment (1999)