Course Catalog | Department of Sociology

Course Catalog

SOC398
Privilege and Dispossession:..
4.00
Undergraduate
Privilege and Dispossession:..
SOC499
Adv. Ind. Study in Sociology
4.00
Undergraduate
Course description not available.
SOC205
Themes in Classical Sociology: Marx, Weber, Durkheim
4.00
Undergraduate
Marx, Weber and Durkheim are essential thinkers for understanding sociology. All three thinkers are foundational to the discipline and among the foremost theorists of modernity and its ensuing complexities. This course will introduce students to the three thinkers, and how they may be interpreted in the current context. The course shall work through original and other significant readings, and elaborate upon key themes relevant to each thinker, focusing on how their ideas have helped shape and forge the discipline of sociology till the present time.   
SOC322
From Feminism to Queer Studies
4.00
Undergraduate
This course traces the major debates in the expansion of feminist theory into queer studies. Taking the theorization of sex-gender system as the moment of beginning the course traverses some important theoretical texts through intersectionality to a critique of sex-gender system and the beginnings of the theory of gender performativity.
SOC116
Nomads and the Outside World
4.00
Undergraduate
Course description not available.
SOC305
Anthropology of Climate Change
4.00
Undergraduate
Anthropologists are increasingly investigating how climate change is effecting the social worlds we live in and our conceptions of the same. This is tied to the fact that the phenomenon of climate change is effecting our quotidian lives in multifarious ways which are often beyond our control even though climate change is recognized as an ‘anthropogenic’ (caused by human actions) phenomenon. This course will introduce students to the new but rich sub-discipline of the anthropology of climate change, by questioning how humans have become the center of public debate and international policy precisely as it remains unclear what the future world effected by climate change holds. This will be taken up by investigating how different communities are dealing with climatic effects on their everyday, how scientists/experts studying climate change are engaging with the issue at hand, how economies of the world are increasingly becoming imbrued in debates about emissions and access to natural resources and how the very conception of our social worlds is changing through entities like air pollution, weather and heat amongst others.   
SOC306
Sociology of Science
4.00
Undergraduate
This course is designed to introduce students to the emergence of the idea of the sociology of science in the discipline and how these ideas aid in engaging with science and scientific objects sociologically. To understand this, the course will be divided into two sections: Concepts and Approaches; and Ethnographies of Science. The first section – Concepts and Approaches – will trace the historical emergence of the sociology of science, by laying emphasis on central concepts and varied theoretical approaches that have become seminal to understanding not only how the sub-discipline has developed but how an analysis of ‘science’ can be undertaken sociologically. The second section – Ethnographies of Science – will highlight how ethnographic studies of science and scientists have been undertaken in different domains such as laboratories, environment planning, technological warfare and biomedicine amongst others.   
SOC203
Religion, Science, Society
4.00
Undergraduate
Magic, science and religion are thought to be mutually opposed to each other. This course will explore the intersections between these three themes. What are the ways in which a religious view of the world is influenced by magical and scientific elements? Are scientific practices coloured by magical procedures? Do religious ideologies orient scientific practices? What is the importance of such ideologies in our understanding of contemporary politics?
SOC204
State, Citizenship, Bureaucracy
4.00
Undergraduate
The understanding of any contemporary society cannot proceed without considering the centrality of state, citizenship and bureaucracy as providing its foundation. This course explores the place of social order (state), the processes through which membership to the nation-state is achieved (citizenship), and the procedures that arrange order and membership (bureaucracy). What are the differences between state and stateless societies? How does colonialism rationalise the use of power? What is the relationship of legitimacy to power in the making of the modern state? And what are the forms of belonging and resistance to the authority of the state?
SOC216
Study Culture, Caste & Gender
4.00
Undergraduate
The course focuses on studying culture in Modern India. Drawing upon theoretical materials and insights from the fields of Cultural Studies, Critical Theory, Sociology and Anthropology the course proposes to build an understanding of the concept of culture and its relation to the concepts of power and social formations. The focus on Modern India will be developed through an emphasis on caste and gender. In this the course addresses two issues: the shits and transformations in the cultural formations and their constituent agents and the representation of caste and gender in cultural forms, especially in music, theatre, other performance forms and literature. At another level the course aims to develop methods of ‘textual’ analysis as the primary mode of understanding cultural forms and using archival and ethnographic material as for enhanced understanding of textual analysis. The course will be divided into the following main units 1. Colonial period: Emergence of new cultural forms, issues in tradition and modernity, shifts in the agents of cultural forms, issues of appropriation and exclusion, processes of classicization, cultural nationalism and radical cultural movements. 2. Contemporary cultural formations: Issues in post colonial period, making of the nation and its problematization, emergence of identity formations, political and cultural resignification, feminist interventions and emergence of the studies of popular culture. The attempt will be to develop teaching units that juxtapose the contemporary with the past for developing an understanding of ‘tradition’, history, genealogy and the archive. The first two weeks of the course will focus on acquiring the skills for analyzing cultural practices and arriving at basic and working definitions of the three concepts in the title. After two weeks the course will require to watch/read or listen to a sample of a cultural practice and read theoretical and informative material to build an understanding of how studying cultural practices allow us to understand and study caste and gender in Modern India. Assessment Scheme This is a 3 credit course. Assessment of the course is divided as follows Assignments and participation: 1 credit (total 40%) This consists of Short class assignments such as response papers and assigned homework: 20% Participation in class: 5% Short term paper due two weeks after mid semester class test: 15% Mid –semester class test: 1 Credit (Total 25%) A sit down open book class test: 25% End of Semester Class Test: 1 Credit (Total 35%) A sit down open book class test requiring to analyze an unseen sample of a cultural practice: 35%
SOC301
Work, Labour, Industry
4.00
Undergraduate
As terms that describe physical and mental activity, work and labour are kinds of practices that are essential to the survival of the species. And yet these terms need to be carefully distinguished and their implications for industrial activity explicitly stated. This course will provide an analysis of work and labour within what is known as industrial society. Industry is the conscious, mechanical and mass-based organisation of production, and labour, both formal and informal, and this production is the backbone of such a system. How is work different from labour? What is the importance of distinguishing physical labour from mental activity? Can a work of art be considered an act of labour or an industrial product? How are social relationships in-built in the production of industrial objects? Are such relationships necessarily exploitative or is there room for freedom and self-expression? SOC 301 would deal with these questions as a starting point and use two broad theoretical frames as a base and work with ethnographies that distinguish and separate the distinction, if any between workand labour or maybe make the overlap sharper.
SOC302
Land, Ecology and Society
4.00
Undergraduate
This course will engage with how the notion of ‘Land’ is conceptualized and realized through relationships that are formed between different entities. In order to explore the different processes in which this is possible the course will explore three main types of relations that allow for the conceptualization of ‘land’ – how man acts on nature, how man exists ‘in’ nature and how man & nature constitute one another, to comment on how differing notions of ecology emerge. These engagements will be detailed through different theoretical vantage points that will be supplemented with detailed ethnographies that bring out how ‘land’ specifically and ‘ecology’ generally can be understood. The intent of the course will be to problematize how ‘land’ is understood, conceptualized and emerges through different lenses that allow for an apprehension of ecological relationships.
SOC303
Kinship, Relatedness, Networks
4.00
Undergraduate
This course looks at kin, friends and enemies. What are the ties that bind and the ties that tear? How do we make families? Do friendships and contacts offer alternative possibilies of relatedness? Indeed, how do ways of relating constitute ourselves and organise the world? Rather than study kinship through unchanging ties that have characterised our understanding of kin relationships, this course looks at the changing dynamics and strategies of familymaking, gender practices, marriage partners and child rearing. Further, the course will explore the modification and extension of kinship into arenas of diverse social life such as political lineages, social movements, corporate houses and the professions. What are the networks that form the webs of relatedness? How do such networks offer us models of sociality?
SOC304
Research Workshop: Field, Archive, Ethnography
4.00
Undergraduate
Designed specifically for advanced undergraduate students and offered in the sixth semester, the Research Workshop is both a stock-taking of the discipline as it is taught in the Department, and a rigorous study of qualitative methods. The course will emphasise the significance of field-based research, explore the challenges and possibilities of fieldwork across diverse sites and subjects, and pay close attention to the practices of reading and writing ethnographies. During the course, students will also have an opportunity to engage with field research conducted by departmental faculty and by our Ph.D scholars who have recently returned from the field.
SOC313
Studying Culture,Caste &Gender
4.00
Undergraduate
The course focuses on studying culture in Modern India. Drawing upon theoretical materials and insights from the fields of Cultural Studies, Critical Theory, Sociology and Anthropology the course proposes to build an understanding of the concept of culture and its relation to the concepts of power and social formations. The focus on Modern India will be developed through an emphasis on caste and gender. In this the course addresses two issues: the shits and transformations in the cultural formations and their constituent agents and the representation of caste and gender in cultural forms, especially in music, theatre, other performance forms and literature. At another level the course aims to develop methods of ‘textual’ analysis as the primary mode of understanding cultural forms and using archival and ethnographic material as for enhanced understanding of textual analysis. The course will be divided into the following main units 1. Colonial period: Emergence of new cultural forms, issues in tradition and modernity, shifts in the agents of cultural forms, issues of appropriation and exclusion, processes of classicization, cultural nationalism and radical cultural movements. 2. Contemporary cultural formations: Issues in post colonial period, making of the nation and its problematization, emergence of identity formations, political and cultural resignification, feminist interventions and emergence of the studies of popular culture. The attempt will be to develop teaching units that juxtapose the contemporary with the past for developing an understanding of ‘tradition’, history, genealogy and the archive. The first two weeks of the course will focus on acquiring the skills for analyzing cultural practices and arriving at basic and working definitions of the three concepts in the title. After two weeks the course will require to watch/read or listen to a sample of a cultural practice and read theoretical and informative material to build an understanding of how studying cultural practices allow us to understand and study caste and gender in Modern India.
SOC221
Spirituality,Cosmopolitanism..
4.00
Undergraduate
“I am spiritual but not religious” is a phrase we have often heard, perhaps even said ourselves. But what does it mean to be spiritual? This course will explore the many discourses and practices that are labelled as “spiritual”. In the process, we will examine some of the central characteristics of spirituality – its supposed opposition to religion and “materialism”. Does spirituality really offer the possibility of a cosmopolitan world, drawing seekers from a range of ethnic, class, and religious backgrounds? Can spirituality overcome the differences thought to be reinforced by religion? And does spirituality represent a critique of “materialism”, or is spiritual seeking a product of the culture of choice? The course will combine instructor based lectures with seminar style presentations by students. Assessment will be based on presentations, a short paper, and an end-of-course assignment.
SOC317
The Life of Law
4.00
Undergraduate
Sociological themes of the collective and the individual have animated studies of legal pluralism. The assumptions underlying state law is that the individual is atomistic, agentive and bound by social contract. Non-state legal forums such as councils, religious institutions and customary law tend to be based on adherence to authority, relationality and plurality. This course addresses these distinctions through various perspectives by drawing on themes in contemporary anthropology that include the genealogy of the modern subject, temporality, ethics, and materiality.
SOC101
Society and Relatedness
4.00
Undergraduate
How can we understand ourselves as persons and our relationships with family, community and nation? This course will examine some of the basic categories of sociology and anthropology that are crucial in this understanding: person/body, kinship/family/love, inequality/difference, nation and nationalism. We will consider approaches that examine small or micro processes first, and building on this basic understanding consider larger or macro processes that encompass the micro. At the heart of this course will be an elaboration and interrogation of the concept of relatedness.
SOC412
Concpt & Evidence in Anthrop..
4.00
Undergraduate
SOC 412 works with the distinction between theory, method and ethnography in the production of what we may term the anthropological object. Students trained in the field of sociology/anthropology fundamentally need to work with the idea of researching and thinking about events, phenomena and processes, placed within the immediate sphere of the known or located within the realm of the unfamiliar or the alien. In probing all such contexts, the eventual object that emerges is a combination of what one produces as an understanding of that context (ethnography) along with that which informs the production of this understanding (theory) and the ways in which one collates words, meaning and approaches (method) to begin the process of this understanding. The anthropological object is but a combination, whether in sync or in flux, of theory, method and ethnography. This course will enable and equip students to tease out the distinction or maybe the conflation of the three realms – theory, method and ethnography which informs the production of an anthropological object. This will be done with some amount of care and attention paid to texts, both theoretical and ethnographic, classical and contemporary.
SOC102
Understanding Modernity
4.00
Undergraduate
: Modernity has become a defining feature in contemporary societies. It marks the coming together over the centuries of philosophical principles and technological developments, the two trends strengthening each other. Through those means the modern human aims at freeing itself from the previous bounds of former beliefs in which human actions were defined and limited. Modernity defines itself as a point of departure from pre-existing societies and locates its genesis in the Renaissance and 18th century scientific investigative mind embodied by the encyclopedists. From the 19th century onwards, modernity has defined the core principles of policy making and philosophical debates or atleast acted as the reference to define them. Stemming from modernity are notions such as the traditional, the folk, the backward, the classic, the pre-modern and the post-modern. It accompanies the building up of nation states and imposes a vision of society and humanity as well as a set of values. As such, it has driven societal choices but has also been the object of critique and questioning from the 19th to the 21st century. Modernity will be looked at both as a phenomenon and as a notion through multiples angles and perspectives with lectures by faculty from Sociology, Literature, History and Fine Arts departments. How does one locate him/herself in regard to modernity? Have humans defined themselves as master of their own destiny only in the modern period? Has modernity allowed humans to achieves their goals to free themselves from the bounds of beliefs? The notion won’t be looked at as only a western and recent concept. Other historical and cultural influences constitutive of modernity will also be considered.
SOC103
Culture(s) In Context
4.00
Undergraduate
What is culture? Is it a set of attributes that people have? Do non-humans have culture, and do things have culture? Do cultures exist in the plural? What do we mean when we talk of the culture of Mumbai or Delhi? An exploration of such questions opens a window to how this term culture extends to a range of social activities and practices. Culture may be both a value to be achieved and an attribute that is embodied. It may be both internal to the self and external to it. It may be a way of talking of the past, but also a mode of living in the present. And of course it is part of our technical and moral world. In investigating how the category of culture is studied in sociology and anthropology, the course will provide a history of the concept of culture, its embedding within practices of work and labour and its centrality in the formation of selfhood. A second theme will focus on how the term culture itself is linked to the discipline of anthropology. In this sense we shall also be enquiring into a history of culture in socio-cultural anthropology.
SOC201
Gift, Commodity, Debt
4.00
Undergraduate
How do we value goods and commodities? Is the value of the gift any different? Are gifts commodified and are commodities gifts? What are the forms of indebtedness created by gifts and commodities? This course explores gifts, commodities and debts as different types of exchange. Commodities and debts are thought to rationalise the world of exhange and erase the gift. As we shall discover, not only has the gift persisted in modern life (for instance, philanthrophy, development aid) it also revitalises our understanding of the world of commodities and the notion of debt.
SOC202
Visuality, Materiality, Information
4.00
Undergraduate
Is the world we see around us real or imagined? If the latter then what is the relationship between the imagined and the real? Sociology as a discipline allows us to decipher the world around us in its complexity, density and sometimes in its simplicity that belies the naked eye. The course Visuality, Materiality and Information would like to decipher how we see the world in order to write about it. Can the visual replace the textual or the word? Is what we see always based on a sense of the tangible? If not then how so and if yes, then can we ask if the tangible occupies the same realm as that of the material? What is the materiality of the material? How do we construe the world for our consumption – is it always about what the world represents itself as or is it that the way we see the world influences how we think about it? Do we consume sight and site in the same way or is there a difference between the two. This course would like to work with these questions theoretically. The premise of this course lies in the fact that a visual understanding of the world complements the materiality that the world partakes of and our sense of what the world is a combination of how we see and think about what we see.
SOC401
Undergraduate Thesis- part I
8.00
Undergraduate
Undergraduate Thesis- part I
SOC402
Undergraduate Thesis - part 2
8.00
Undergraduate
Course description not available.
SOC798
Independent Studies
4.00
Graduate
Independent Studies
SOC799
Indpndnt. Studies in Sociology
4.00
Graduate
Independent Studies in Sociology
SOC601
Objects , Codes, Techniques
4.00
Graduate
Objects , Codes, Techniques
SOC602
Field, Archive, Ethnography
4.00
Graduate
Field, Archive, Ethnography