The Department | Department of Sociology

The Department

The Department of Sociology at Shiv Nadar University (SNU) aims to train students in a critical awareness of changing social values and practices and their importance in regulating our lives and relationships with others and ourselves.

Eschewing an easy distinction between the old and the new, the Department imagines the discipline of Sociology and Social Anthropology in a way that the old is in the new and vice-versa. This imagination focuses on thinking through the practices and processes that inform the idea of the contemporary as a lived reality.  Paradigmatically, we are concerned with interrogating and extending the ethnographic enterprise and eventually provide new modalities of fieldwork.

The Department aims is to formulate a curriculum/pedagogy that explores intersections, ruptures and continuities that form the essence of contemporary social life in South Asia and beyond. This approach – in its negotiation between faculty and students – will recalibrate an understanding of the discipline.

Moreover, it will act as a catalyst for thinking through change and the emergence of new forms of social life. We also aim to develop a template of pedagogic practices (oral, written, visual) which will facilitate a seamless movement between the classroom, research field, and the everyday.

The Department as a whole emphasizes a critical empiricism that is central to the fieldwork and ethnographic tradition of sociology and social anthropology. This emphasis overarches the varied interests of individual faculty members in understanding contemporary processes including the study of markets,knowledge & expert practices, law, violence, dispossession, citizenship, media, poetics, visual and material culture, and ecology in diverse urban and rural contexts.

We foreground sustained theoretical training and encourage interdisciplinary work while being committed to exploring the disciplinary processes of ethnographic writing.