Beyond the Sociology of Values: Social Reform Movements and the Formation of Egalitarianism and Individualism in 19th century India

Vol-6 | Issue-06 | June-2021 | Published Online: 15 June 2021    PDF ( 312 KB )
DOI: https://doi.org/10.31305/rrijm.2021.v06.i06.001
Author(s)
Rabi Prakash 1

1Ph.D. Scholar Sociology, Jawaharlal, Nehru University, New Delhi

Abstract

The paper critiques the well-established understanding that ‘individualism’ entails equality and ‘holism’ entails inequality as individualism and holism are respective essences of two different kind of societies (Dumont 1967). It argues that social and political equality is a social ideology which emanates rather from the historical social and egalitarian movements which conceive the then prevailing state of society based upon their understanding of inegalitarian ideologies and unjust social order. Presenting a brief case study of two historical egalitarian movements in the 19th century India, respectively led by Rammohun Roy (1772-1833) and Jyotirao Phule (1827-1890) who laid the ideological foundations for an egalitarian society in India, the paper suggests that in order to achieve social equality, it is important to understand the historic moments of injustice and inegalitarianism in a society. Egalitarian movements engender and provide enabling conditions towards making of an egalitarian
society.

Keywords
Egalitarianism, ideology, individualism, and cultural essentialism, social reforms, movements
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