analysis of Indian socieyt has the comprehensiveness and depth of a masterwork.
The book bears favorable comparison with Louis Dumont's Homo Hierarchicus,
the modern classic on this topic. It is likewise an important work of general
theory, examining India as a crucial case where the principles of the status
order may be seen in their most extreme form, and laying bare the nature
of struggle over the appropriation of status resources."
elegant and imaginative construction of a general theory of status via a
detailed study of the caste system displays sustained argumentation of a
high order. It wouldn't be extravagant to compare it with Durkheim's theory
of the religious life. The difference is that Milner takes the most complex,
instead of the most elementary, case."
distinguished and superior piece of sociological analysis which is bound
to elicit enthusiastic responses by readers in sociology but also in other
social science domains as well as in schools of theology."
of the very best books by a sociologist published in recent years. Profound
and significant, both for scholars and educated lay people. A must read
for all interested in the subject and its numerous implications."
Analyzing a crucial case to convey a new theory is an honored tradition in social analysis. Marx analyzed England to explain the dynamics of capitalism, and Durkheim studied Australian aborigines to develop a theoryof religion. In Status and Sacredness, Milner analyzes the Indian caste system and Hinduism to develop a general theory of status relationships. Moreover, he argues that scaredness and legitimacy are special forms of status and, hence, his theory also organizes much of what we know about political legitimization and religion - as well as throwing new light on these subjects. The analysis is built upon a new theoretical framework, "resource structuralism," that clarifies the nature of power, the types of elites and nonelites, the significance of symbolic capital, and more generally the nature of social resources. This book will be essential reading for those interested in South Asian studies, social stratifivation, religion, and general social theory.
More books by Murray Milner, Jr.