Minor in Sociology | Department of Sociology

Minor in Sociology

Students wishing to take a Minor in Sociology must successfully complete 6 Sociology courses of which at least 3 courses must be from the set of courses that constitute the Core Themes in Sociology that the Department offers. The minimum credit requirement is 24.

Key Information

School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SoHSS)
Dr. Tuhina Ganguly, UG Advisor
Time to Start 
2nd year

For a comprehensive list of the courses offered by the Department, please visit the Course Catalogue.

Course code
Society and Relatedness

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.

Culture(s) In Context

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.

Gift, Commodity, Debt

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.

Visuality, Materiality, Information

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.

Religion, Science, Society

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?

State, Citizenship, Bureaucracy

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?

Work, Labour, Industry

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.

Land, Ecology and Society
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.
Kinship, Relatedness, Networks

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?