Little and Great Tradition Sociology YouTube Lecture Handouts

Dr. Manishika Jain- Join online Paper 1 intensive course. Includes tests and expected questions.

1. Robert Redfield – Mexico

2. Conceptual Approach to study social change in India

3. Mckim Marriott and Milton Singer

4. Based on ideas of civilization and social organization of tradition

  • Evolutionary view
  • Civilization or structure of tradition grows in two stages:
    • Orthogenetic or indigenous – folk or peasants level – little tradition
    • Heterogenetic encounters – elite or reflected few level – Great tradition
  • Constant interaction between the two levels
  • Social structure of Little tradition
    • Folk artists
    • Story tellers
    • Poets
    • Dancers
  • Structure of Great tradition:
    • Ritual leaders
    • Teachers
    • Corporate groups
    • Reciters
  • Change is from orthogenetic to heterogenetic why?
  • Assumption – all civilizations start from primary level i.e.. Orthogenetic
  • Contact with other civilizations gradually
  • Heterogenetic process
  • Result – global and universal pattern of culture
  • Indigenous to Great tradition in continuity with little tradition due to diversity
  • Common cultural consciousness
  • Reflected in mental ethos and outlook
  • Through sacred literature, Brahmins and other agents
  • Traditionalizing of Modern innovations by India due to cultural continuity

Milton Singer on Cultural Changes in India

  • Indigenous to Great tradition in continuity with little tradition due to diversity
  • Common cultural consciousness
  • Reflected in mental ethos and outlook
  • Through sacred literature, Brahmins and other agents
  • Traditionalizing of Modern innovations by India due to cultural continuity
  • Both levels are interacting and independent in case of India
  • Modernizing forces are accepted and absorbed BUT in traditional way of life
  • Basic structure remains intact
  • New choices emerged
  • Indianness remains

McKim Marriott

  • Kishan Garhi village
  • Both elements present
  • Deities, customs, rituals
  • From Little tradition they circulate upward to Great Tradition
  • Called as Universalization
  • Vice-versa – Parochialization (reduction)

Conclusion

  • Comparative study of cultural change
  • Sanskritization – Universalization
  • Limited contribution
  • Covers diverse sources from both levels
  • Cultural bias
  • Ignores structural aspect of social change

Q. 1. Given below are two statements, one is labelled as Assertion (A) and the other is labelled as Reason (R) .

Assertion (A) : ‘Universalization’ and ‘Parochialization’ are the concepts related with great and little tradition.

Reason (R) : When an element of great tradition assumes the form of a little tradition, it is a case of universalization, and when an element of little tradition assumes the form of great tradition, it is called Parochialization.

In the context of the above two statements which one of the following is correct?

(1) (A) is correct, but (R) is wrong

(2) Both (A) are (R) are correct

(3) (A) is wrong, but (R) is correct

(4) Both (A) are (R) are wrong

Answer: 1

Q. 2. statement 1: The models of Sanskritization and Westernization are capable of offering a comparative approach in cultural change.

Statement 2: Little and Great tradition are capable of offering a comparative approach in cultural change.

Choose the right answer:

1. Statement 1 is true

2. Statement 2 is true

3. Both are true

4. Both are false

Answer: 2

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