BA Honours with a Major in Sociology

Programme Description

The Honours programme in Sociology is designed to develop students’ critical awareness of the relationship between self and society and to question common sense assumptions about their everyday world. In keeping with AUD’s overall mission and focus on social justice, the programme aims to cultivate this reflexive orientation by introducing students to the social through the lens of social inequality. Over the course of three years, the program imparts a layered understanding of the macro-sociocultural, meso-institutional and micro-interpersonal processes through which caste, class, gender, ethnic and other inequalities have been produced historically and are being re/produced contemporaneously.

Through a combination of innovative courses that are theoretical, methodological and topical, the programme engages students with the history of sociology in India, while imparting a comprehensive understanding of the sociology of Indian society. Taking change rather than continuity as their fundamental pivot-point, several courses trace questions of identity and selfhood through various social formations such as neighbourhood, community, village, city, nation and diaspora. In each instance, students are encouraged to examine the ways in which ‘glocal’ (global and local) influences shape emergent societal formations and practices, flows of people and things, and social movements for change. Courses that examine the multiple dimensions of power and domination—the economic, cultural, religious and symbolic—provide students with a rich appreciation of the interlocking aspects of social life that produce enduring inequalities. In addition to these substantive gains, students will also develop practical skills in assessing competing sociological explanations, challenging stereotypical thinking, designing research projects and suggesting pathways for bringing change in the real world.

Graduates of BA Honours in Sociology from AUD will have sound training in the discipline and a good grasp of interdisciplinary scholarship, enabling them to pursue higher studies in a number of related fields in the social sciences, whether in Sociology, Gender Studies, Development Studies, Economics or Political Science. They will also be well placed to enter graduate programs or take up employment in affiliated professional fields such as media and journalism, business and management or urban planning. Alternatively, they will be equipped for a career in the non-government sector, the media and the Government.

Programme Structure

The programme delivered through a total number of 96 credits over six semesters, out of which a student is required to successfully complete at least 12 core courses in Sociology (worth 48 credits) in order to qualify for an honours in Sociology.

BA Sociology Discipline Courses: The requirements listed are for students in the BA Honours with a Major in Sociology programme.

Core Courses (Required: 12 courses, 48 credits)

Core Required Courses  
Caste in Contemporary India
  • Conceptualising Rural and Urban Societies
  • Gender and Society
  • Introduction to Society and Social Inequality
  • Marriage, Kinship and Family Forms
  • Religion and Society
  • Research Methods
  • Social Change and Development
  • Social Movements
  • Sociological Theory

Core Optional Courses ( any two )

  • Culture, Identity and Society
  • Economy, Market and Society
  • Environment, Science and Society
  • Politics, Law and Society

     

     
  • Food and Society
  • Health and Society
  • Indian Society: Continuity, Change and Paradoxes (Discipline/ Foundation course)
  • Society, Self and Psyche
  • Sociology of Education
  • Sociology of Violence
  • The Risk Society
  • Tribes and Identity
  • Us/ Them: Representations and Lived Realities of Stereotyping

The list of Elective Courses is under construction and more courses may be added in the future.

Short Description of Courses (Core/ Core Optional)

Caste in Contemporary India: The course will enable the students to understand the complexity of the caste system, its persistence and its importance in contemporary India’s political, social and economic life. This sensitivity to caste system will help them immensely in their professional and personal life and in becoming better human beings.

Conceptualising Rural and Urban Societies: The course attempts to understand the two categories, namely Rural and Urban, as/in a dynamic, dyadic relationship rather than as binary opposites. With increased urbanization the world over and resultant shrinking of rural, the focus seems to have shifted to the latter. For these landscapes are not merely about two distinct physical and social spaces but involve and are connected by a complex set of issues relating to livelihood, migration, sustainability and politics of demography. Informed by micro-level data and research in-puts there has been a fresh theoretical reorientation towards understanding societies and its various stages in a non-linear framework.

Gender and Society : This course will review the scholarship on the sociology of gender, paying specific attention to the historical and contemporary construction of gender in India. It is claimed that ‘gender’ is socially constructed, and that it is distinct from ‘sex’, which is biologically determined. Starting from Marxist, Structural-Functionalist, and Liberal theories, the introductory portion of the course will show how each theoretical tradition shares certain essentialist assumptions about the nature of gender as structure—i.e. as unchanging and determined. The second portion of the course will examine the myriad of contexts in which gender is constructed in society.

Introduction to Society and Social Inequality (ISSI): Understanding the society in all its nuances and complexities is one of the foundational learning of social science scholarship. This course introduces society, with all its institutional arrangements, such as family, religion, economy and polity, through the perspective of inequality and makes the interface between the everyday inequalities and historical ones. The objectives of the course are as follows: 

  •  To critically assess the relations of power in our society
  • To examine who is benefiting from various social inequalities, as well as who is suffering from them
  • To take our degree of critical understanding to a higher, more analytical level and
  • To relate the course material to real-life everyday experiences

Marriage, Kinship and Family Forms: The objective of this course is to introduce students to the concept/institution of Marriage, kinship and families and how they are inter-related and play an important role in shaping individuals’ identity in the society. Some key concepts, terminologies and ideologies that govern kinship and families will be looked at. The focus would on defining and understanding the concept of kinship; the cultural constructions of kinship; marriage patterns and exchange of different forms, among others.

Religion and Society : This course provides an introduction to the major topics and themes in the sociology of religion. This introductory course gives an overview of the literature on religious systems and their interrelations with society and its institutions, covering classic works as well as more contemporary discussions and debates on religion. Classic debates often posited modernity as antagonist to religious orientations in society; such assumptions and the linear conception of secularisation processes have been subsequently questioned and debated in the wake of continuing and reconfigured expressions of religion in society. The course will develop an understanding of the place of religion in the contemporary global world taking into account relevant substantive details and theoretical perspectives.

Research Methods: Starting with a discussion on the meaning and significance of social research, relationship between theory and research, the course will cover issues such as formulating research problem, preparing research design; methods of research and techniques of data collection and analysis. Major emphasis of this course will be on survey method, interview, questionnaire, basic statistical analysis and general principles of qualitative data analysis. At the end of the course, students are expected to be acquainted with research terminology and learn application of few methodological skills and techniques to conduct a research study. The students will be encouraged to explore the possibilities of applying their research skills in a variety of situations.

Social Change and Development: If Enlightenment, French Revolution, and Industrial Revolution are considered as three crucial phenomena that led to the rise and advancement of Sociology as a discipline, social change may be considered as the primordial Sociological theme! Transformation was definitely one topic on which each proponent of this discipline had something to say. Therefore, it is no surprise that early Sociological contributions towards transformation were primarily functionalists in nature. However, with time Sociology incorporated other paradigms for understanding transformation including development. Sociologists have tried to understand transformation by reflecting on diverse components including perceived roots, patterns, processes, agents, and aims. The aspiration of this course is to orient the students towards developing an understanding of social transformation specifically focusing on the meanings and manifestations of social change and development.

Social Movements: The course will enable the students to understand not only the importance and relevance of Social Movements but also ultimately reflect on more general questions about the nature of political power, conflict, and legitimacy, as well as the relationship between human agency, social structure, and historical change. This understanding of Social Change through deliberative radical politics will make them agents of change in the future.

Sociological Theory: This course aims to help undergraduate students familiarise and grapple with the idea of social as manifest in classical sociological theorists such as Marx, Weber and Durkhiem. The course is also open to students majoring in other disciplines in SUS. The students would be exposed to classical social anthropologists such as Malinowski and Evans Pritchard and their idea and method of studying the social. The course aims also to compare and contrast the above three theorists enabling a comparative perspective on capitalism, modernity and production of knowledge. The objective here is to help students explore the relevance of the early sociological thinking to the time and social milieu they live in, particularly to their role as consumers and producers of powerful social ideas.

Culture, Identity and Society: This course aims to address significant questions of who we are and our location in society. The question of identity is central to our role as propagators of certain ideas (such as justice, equality, progress, freedom etc) and builders of institutions around those ideas. The course enables students to look at identity through the lens of culture. The course touches on a variety of sub-themes ranging from a more conventional understanding of culture and territoriality to a more de-territorialized notion of culture exposing students to complex issues at stake in identity politics.

Environment, Science and Society: Today we live in an age of environmental movements and many perspectives – limits to growth, luddite wars, eco-feminism, sustainable development – shape our environmental consciousness. The course helps students explore the relation between environment, science and society. It aims to introduce them to environmental discourses whereby they begin to ask why woods become unquiet or rivers turbulent or why large dams, which once were the temples of India, have become symbols of decadence and doom.

Politics, Law and Society: This course will make an attempt to understand the connections between political sociology on the one hand and sociology of law on the other hand. The myriad meanings of the word political will be discussed—discourses from mainstream political parties, to social movements, to insurgent mobilizations having political goals and objectives. Dealing with sociological thinkers like Weber, Foucault and feminists the course will discuss concepts of power, marginality, hegemony, representation, legal transformations. Besides discussing concepts and theory the more interesting part of this course will be the explorations of social and political realities. Questions of grassroots governance, quasi-judicial entities in caste panchayats, and how cultural relations are interweaved through political relationships. Similarly debates surrounding reservations on the basis of identity politics and protectionist laws for marginalized sections of any society. Do laws bring about socio-political transformations or are social changes consequently leads to legal changes? These are the varied questions and issues that this course will take up.

Eligibility

10 + 2 with 50% marks from a recognised board. Relaxation of 5% will be given to candidates belonging to SC, ST and Physically Disabled (PD) Categories. Meeting the eligibility criteria will not ensure a seat. The admission will be strictly on the basis of merit as per rules. However, eligibility is a must for consideration of admission.

Faculty

  • Amites Mukhopadhyay
  • Anirban Sengupta
  • Bidhan Chandra Dash
  • Kancharla Valentina
  • Kiranmaeyi Bhushi
  • Oinam Hemlata Devi
  • Preeti Mann
  • Rukmini Sen
  • Santosh Kumar Singh
  • Urfat Anjem Mir
  • Wrick Mitra
  • Further information about BA Sociology Major at AUD can be sought by writing to Dr Urfat Anjem Mir (urfat@aud.ac.in).

Fee Structure

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