Department of Sociology
The Department of Sociology was established by the University of Delhi in 1959 as a constituent of the Delhi School of Economics. To begin with, the Department trained students for two courses: M.A. and Ph.D. In 1966 a two-year course for the M.Litt. degree was introduced. This has been replaced since 1976 by an M.Phil. degree course of a year's duration. In 1968, the Department was recognised as a Centre of Advanced Study (CAS) in Sociology by the University Grants Commission (UGC). The department receives a renewable five-year grant from the UGC under the CAS scheme. The UGC also provided a five-year grant under its ASHISS (Assistance for Strengthening of the Infrastructure of the Humanities and Social Sciences) program for departmental infrastructure as well as research on State and Society. At present the strength of the faculty includes eight Professors, ten Readers, one Lecturer, and two Research Associates. In addition, there are eleven members in the office staff.
The Department has a coordinated programme of teaching and research covering a variety of fields, including some developed for the first time in the country. Studies have been published or prepared on community power structures, local-level politics, trade unions, co-operatives, textual and contextual studies of Hinduism, religious symbolism, family and kinship, and social and religious movements. Studies have also been conducted in the fields of stratification, gender, environment, the sociology of development, historical sociology, urban sociology, and medical sociology. The sociology of masculinity, demography, popular culture, education, migration, the sociology of violence and documentary practices of the state are some of the new areas that faculty members are working on at present.
The Department has been visited by a large number of distinguished scholars from India and abroad, who have delivered lectures and given seminars, some of them as Visiting Professors and Fellows. The faculty of the Department has also been associated with many institutions in India and elsewhere as Visiting Professors and Fellows, and as participants in seminars and conferences. The Department draws students from different parts of India and universities abroad for all its courses.
All members of the faculty are actively engaged in research, which has resulted in the publication of a large number of books, reports, and research papers in different fields of sociology. The Department has also undertaken several research projects during the last four and a half decades. Several faculty members are involved in international research projects and are members of distinguished professional bodies. Various members of the Department have been actively associated with the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) and the UGC in preparing surveys of research and teaching in the discipline.
From its very inception, the Department has encouraged a view of learning in which students are given an opportunity to participate actively in discussions. To supplement the classroom interaction between teacher and M.A. students through lectures, the Department has an active M.A. tutorial programme. In this system, each student is assigned a tutor who discusses particular topics and allocates reading and writing exercises in accordance with the needs of a student. Thus a student has a continuous feedback on his or her progress. Small groups of students meet their tutor every week for discussion and each student writes one long essay per course every semester. Since 1994-95 a system of continuous internal evaluation has been introduced, where the marks of one tutorial essay submitted in each course are counted towards the final examination.
The Department has introduced a system of individual advisors for students admitted under the reserved categories. The system is entirely voluntary and the advisor helps the student by providing individual guidance on books to read, correction of written work, etc
Department of Sociology
University of Delhi, Delhi
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