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. Devika Bordia, 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
Land, Ecology, Society

Course description not available.

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

Imagine all your pictures, your computer and your built environment are not there. What would happen to your memories? Your sense of belonging? How would you know where you are? Indeed, who you are?

We live in a world populated by images, objects and information. Who produces and controls them? Do they have social and political lives? How are these lives entwined with human life? Instead of looking at art, artifacts, symbols, virtual representations and the built environment as mere backdrops, this course will think through them. It is especially concerned with how visuality, materiality and information frame our day-to-day experiences, paving the way for our future actions.

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?

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 family-making, 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?