Sociology and Ideology

André Béteille

in Democracy and Its Institutions

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780198080961
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199082049 | DOI:
Sociology and Ideology

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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

Chapter.  6795 words. 

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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