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Democracy and Its Institutions$
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André Béteille

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780198080961

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198080961.001.0001

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Sociology and Ideology

Sociology and Ideology

(p.186) 9 Sociology and Ideology
Democracy and Its Institutions

André Béteille

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the relationship between sociology and ideology, drawing on the work of M. N. Srinivas, and argues that sociology and ideology must be kept apart. It considers sociology as being inclusive of social anthropology and contends that it is an empirical science rather than a normative discipline, although opinions differ as to the relationship between value judgements and judgements of reality. The chapter also insists that scholarship and partisanship make uneasy bedfellows and examines Srinivas’s advocacy of the ‘field view’ as against the ‘book view’ of Indian society. It concludes by analysing the sociological approach to the study of religion and discusses whether the argument in favour of detachment, objectivity, and value-neutrality can be extended from the field of religion to other fields of sociological enquiry and analysis.

Keywords:   sociology, ideology, empirical science, M. N. Srinivas, value judgements, partisanship, religion, detachment, objectivity, value-neutrality

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