G. S. Ghurye

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Govind Sadashiv Ghurye (12 December 1893 – 28 December 1983) was an Indian professor of sociology. In 1924, he became the second person to head the Department of Sociology at the University of Bombay.


  • The table for Bengal shows that the Chandal who stands sixth in the scheme of social precedence and whose touch pollutes, is not much differentiated from the Brahmin (…) In Bombay the Deshastha Brahmin bears a closer affinity to the Son-Koli, a fisherman caste, than to his own compeer, the Chitpavan Brahmin. The Mahar, the Untouchable of the Maratha region, comes next together with the Kunbi, the peasant. They follow in order the Shenvi Brahmin, the Nagar Brahmin and the high-caste Maratha. These results (…) mean that there is no correspondence between social gradation and physical differentiation in Bombay.
    • Caste and Race in India, quoted from Dr. Ambedkar: Writings and Speeches, vol.7, p.301.

Quotes about Ghurye[edit]

  • But Ghurye was a great man, author of ten thousand pages on subjects as diverse as caste and costume, Shakespeare and sadhus.... Ghurye’s extraordinary productivity (his bibliography lists 30 books) reflected his mode of production. He dictated his later work, and careful study has shown that his basic theoretical stances did not change through- out his career. He remained faithful to Rivers’s diffusionism despite the parade of functionalism, structuralism, Marxism, and postcolonialism across the landscape of Indian sociology during his long life. Caste and Race is his best book, for it was written rather than dictated, and its argument is fresh and passionate in a young scholar’s mind. Had Ghurye written nothing else, this book alone would have made him an important figure.
    • Review by Barbara Celarent of Caste and Race in India by G. S. Ghurye. Source: American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 116, No. 5 (March 2011), pp. 1713-1719
  • It is significant that the vast majority of the numerous publications on caste fail to mention Ghurye’s important work even in their biblography; as for Ambedkar, his explicit rejection of the AIT-cum-racial explanation of caste goes equally unmentioned in the copious pro-Dalit and Indian Marxist literature.

External links[edit]

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