Thursday, 12 December 2013

Workshop on LFA

The department of Sociology at Christ University had organized a workshop on December 10, 2013, on Logical Framework Analysis (LFA).  Students of second year MA Applied Sociology and MSW attended the workshop between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm. Faculty members from the Departments of Sociology and Social Work were also present for the workshop.
The workshop was initiated and conducted by Dr. Godfred Victor Singh, the director of CSA, Christ University. The workshop was divided into two sessions. The first session was a detailed explanation on projects and the second session was on LFA.
The first session covered the characteristics of a project, a project life cycle and he also explained how to make a project successful. The differentiation between project and program was also made. The section was very useful in understanding the reality of projects, through sharing real time experience. The objective of the section was to give a brief account on project which was achieved successfully.
The second session was on Logical Framework Analysis (LFA).  LFA, a research based tool was dealt in with detail in this session. It has become a major tool for planning a project and it leads to achieve goal oriented projects. The other topic which he covered was history of LFA, purpose and characteristics of LFA. The basis of LFA was explained in-depth and nine steps in LFA were also discussed at the end. The section ended with an assigned task to the participants, to give them a practical experience of LFA.
The workshop was very fruitful for all the students. Since the LFA is part of student’s curriculum, it was an opportunity for students to understand LFA better. The workshop was interactive and it gave us an in depth knowledge about Logical Framework Analysis. There will be a follow up session in February 2014.

Deepa Sebastian

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

'The Gods Must be Crazy'

The report is about a film screening on November 25, 2013. The title of the film was ‘The gods must be crazy’ and it was directed by James Uys and released in 1980. This film was screened for the students of MA Applied Sociology as it is an important tool to understand numerous sociological concepts.
The movie juxtaposed two varied cultures which include a technological developed society and tribal society, namely that of the Bushmen of the Kalahari. The film paints an exceptional portrait of differences between human culture as well as ethnocentrism that runs common to all.
The Bushmen’s culture is one of simplicity and contentment. The pace of life in the Bushmen culture is relaxed and slow. They seem to have a deep respect for all life both for human and non-human. They are self sufficient and happy with what they have, whereas the modern society is very different from the world of Bushmen. The ‘developed’ society is one that moves at an incredibly fast space. It is a culture of alarm clocks, traffic jams and coffee cups etc… Where people create complex things and make it clear then they create complex ideas. The social construction of reality seems to be wonderful and there are several sharp contrasts that come to light through the thoughts and behavior of characters in the film. The first such difference is standard of beauty, where the Bushmen saw a teacher Kate Thompson is not regarded as the beautiful in the eyes but was instead thought to be ugliest creature he has seen. The second difference is prevalence of fear, where Bushmen was not afraid of gun, when he picked it up it was just nothing more than a funny stick. Gun in modern society was considered as scared to death. The prevalence of bottle was another incident that created fear in Bushmen.
To conclude this film was successful in accomplishing its intended purpose which was to show that people socialized into different cultures which were to see the world through very different sets of eyes and also helped us understanding how the social change is. Just because we are different does not mean that there is nothing that we can learn from each other.


Student Seminar November 2013

The Department of Sociology headed by Mrs. Pritha Das Gupta, Christ University had organized a seminar on 26.11.2013 on essential topics of Public Relations, Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Resource. There were significant number of participants from students pursuing Masters in Applied Sociology second year.
The seminar was initiated by participants like Bopana, Atlanta and Ruth who gave a brief introduction and covered important topics on PR such as ethics in PR, Goffman’s concept of framing, footing and face.
Then the seminar was led forward by students who gave an introduction to the very concept of CSR as well as their personal experiences in terms of the companies pursing CSR as part of their internship program. CSR as a business strategy has been gaining immense importance and is influential in key areas of health, education, livelihood creation, infrastructure facilities and rural development.
The third topic, ‘Human Resource’ led to an animated discussion and was explained by Anisha who stated the managerial and operational functions of HR. HR as a discipline and its relevance in the modern form of organizations has significantly contributed to its widespread popularity.
Concepts like Leadership Styles and Managing Workplace diversity in IT Companies of Bangalore also formed significant composition of the seminar held today.
A significant portion of the seminar was attributed to open discussions and questions that were addressed thereby enhancing our understanding of the various topics
However it is important to note down that the seminar proved to be a very fruitful activity for not only the audience to improve their boundaries of knowledge but also was an opportunity for the speakers to reveal their own potentials in terms of better understanding and reaching the audience in an appropriate manner.

Chandni Sarda

Training Session on Human Rights

One day training programme on Human Rights was conducted in Christ University on 3/12/2013. This session was organised by the Department of Social Work. We, the students of I MA Applied Sociology had attended the programme which had four sections based on Human Rights.
Human Rights are right inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethical origin,colour, religion, language or any status.The first section was conducted by Mr. Manohar, Human Rights Activist, “CARE”, Bangalore. He gave us an introduction to Human Rights. He pointed out the Constitutional Provisions, and elaborated on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenants regarding Human Rights.
The second section was taken by Ms.Swagata Raha, Sr.Consultant-Center for Child and the Law –National Law School India University, Bangalore. She spoke about the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, the composition and functioning of NHRC/SHRCs and other national or state Government organizations.
The third section was taken by Ms.Rajakumari Michael, Sr.Manager-Child Rights and You (CRY), Bangalore. She spoke about the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women, 1979, and its optional protocols, as well as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989, and its optional protocol.

The fourth section was taken by Mr.Vasudevan Sharma, Executive Director Child Rights Trust, Bangalore. He focused on the Bonded Labour issues and the Bonded Labour System Act, 1976, Child Labour Issues and child Labour Act,1986 and SC/ST issues and Scheduled caste and Scheduled tribe Act,1989,Civil Liberties Act, 1988 and Forest Rights Act, 2006. This programme had helped us to know more about the Human Rights, Human Rights Institutions in India, Rights of Women and Children and Rights of other Vulnerable Groups.

Meethu and Anupama

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Student Seminar on Social Exclusion

The theme for the seminar conducted by the 1st M.A Applied Sociology students on September 24, 2013 was Social Exclusion. There were 12 speakers who addressed various issues dealing with the theme. Moumita, spoke on Gender and focussed on the Ideology of domesticity in three important ways: Feminity, Paid work and their tendencies. Keerthana focussed on the Disability Discrimination Act and Disability in work place. Ritu spoke on the Caste system in India, Ramya spoke about Transgender and Transsexual, Soumya spoke on homosexualily, Anisha spoke on HIV/AIDS, Ann Teresa spoke on social exclusion and media and she included the results from her survey. Leela spoke on the topic of Homeless people, Margaret talked about the spinsters and the factors causing exclusion, Ringanung spoke on  aging where he focussed on the study by W.H.O. on Global aging, Anupama spoke about racial discrimination in India and lastly Tanarupa spoke on the exclusion of women in Politics.

The seminar brought the practical picture of India and how social exclusion works in India. Social exclusion was a feature of the past and continued to be so in the present, but as deducted from the seminar, initiatives should be taken at personal level to dust social exclusion scenario from the world, with India in particular.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Panel Discussion on Gender

Francis Bacon once famously said, “Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man”
Pure academia sees to the strategies of reading and writing. And Panel discussions and conferences help all round development. For this particular session, the topic of Gender was given to the panellists: Shreya Murali and Kasturi Chatterjee from EPS, Raeshmi R. and Aswathi S. from PSEco and Rachna Baruah and Priyanka Chakrabarty from PSEng.

Gender… That one word is impregnated with enormous amount of information. It draws on History, Biology, Psychology, and most of all, Sociology. The concepts of gender and sex are increasingly becoming multilinear, touching and influencing several aspects of a person’s life.
Some of these aspects were discussed through a Panel Discussion that took place among the students of Sociology. The chief themes discussed were Gender Identity and Consumer Behaviour and their usage in advertisements; Portrayal of Gender in Media; Discrimination against women and the LGBT community; and Feminism and Western Philosophy related to this domain. Indeed, this panel discussion went well beyond the common goal of gender sensitization which such discussions often have.

With these sub-topics, the panellists covered the past and present of the concept and relevance of gender and attempted to foresee its future: perhaps, as Marx viewed a classless society on the horizon, we could, as one of the panellists remarked, hope to transform into a gender creative society.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

HIV/AIDS, Cinema and Sociology

The movie Philadelphia was screened on the 30th August. The classes present for this activity were IIIPSEco, IIIPSEng and IIIEPS. The reason as to which this movie was shown was to increase awareness among the students on the long since dreaded disease AIDS.

Directed by Jonathan Demme, the movie is set in 1970 United States. The script of the movie revolves around a homosexual man Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks) who is a lawyer working in a leading Philadelphia law firm. Andrew is a quick learner, a hard worker and potentially one of the senior partners of the firm. The viewer is initially given the impression of a successful lawyer who is quickly working his way up in a leading law firm. He is young, systematic and seemingly sophisticated- the kind who is not only good with words but also with people. The problem, he has AIDS. Although, nobody around him knows it and he has kept it that way. 
On being handed an important case, he manages to file the report, but because of some last minute mishaps it is misplaced and later found again, just in time for submission- the failure of which would have resulted in substantial loss to the firm. Following the mishap, Beckett is summoned to a board meeting which concludes in the firm terminating his employment on grounds of inefficiency and carelessness on the job, which Beckett is convinced are inconclusive and the real reason of his termination is due to the fact that he is HIV+. 
On his termination Andrew is hell bent on proving that he was wronged by the law firm and needs a lawyer to represent him in court. At first (Denzel Washington) denies his request based on his own stigma on people with AIDS but on further realization agrees to represent him in court. The curtain closes with Denzel Washington winning the Beckett case and Tom Hanks (Andrew Beckett) finally giving in to the dreaded disease and dying.
Philadelphia projects the dreadful disease in all its reality. It showcases the social stigma HIV+ individuals face in their everyday life. Since the movie is shot in a 70s setting when the disease was just coming out of the closet, the movie showcases the ignorance, the indifference and low comprehension of the American society. The movie also exhibits the powerful emotions of the Homosexual society in terms of the discrimination which has become their social paradigm as such.

The screening surely and most definitely left a dent in everyone’s psyche, creating awareness among the students and following up to a full-fledged discussion in class where students gave their opinions and notions on the social stigma still prevalent in the world. 

Panel Discussion on 'Inequalities in India'

A Panel discussion was held on 16th August on the topic “Inequalities in India”, which comprises of areas such as Globalisation issues, Impact of Industrialisation and Commercialisation of Agriculture. The venue was the class room of Ist  MA. Applied Sociology. First group started their discussion on “Globalisation issues” which was for three hours. Initial speakers Ritu and Moumita began defining its origin, history, theoretical positions plus the contextual relevance of concepts like “McDonaldization” and Rise of individualism. Thirdly Soumya spoke on its influence in  rural life citing examples like the usage of term ‘Bangalored’ and how an Indian candy named ‘kis-mis’ had disappeared. Further Thywill focussed on its effect on caste system and marginalised populace, followed by Rommie, discussed on its impression in the life of middle class along with concept of ‘mobility’. Varsha discussed on how Globalisation and Gender is related with respect to media, career and gender equality, then  Keerthana on how it has reflected on  the occupational sector lifestyle, migration and unemployment. Lalndrika talked on transformations in cultural aspect, Ringanung spoke on Modernisation’s relation with Globalisation and finally by Tanarupa on state and sovereignty. We are thankful to Dr.Sheila Mathew for guiding us through an intellectually rich discussion.

Cross Cultural Experiences with II PSEng

Ruth Benedict, one of the first women to earn international recognition for her work in anthropology and folklore noted, “The purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differences”. And one major difference that is observed today is cultural difference. In a fast globalizing world, one is constantly exposed to different cultures. By sensitizing ourselves to the different cultures, and also learning from them, “human differences” are much easier to deal with.
What are we, if not bearers of our culture? Ethnocentrism is a powerful force, used in the right way, can unite cultures, rather than separate them. As sociology students, we explored this very important domain of our lives. Having many foreign students amongst us, we were exposed to various cultures.

 What started out as a “cross-cultural experience and exposure” tantamounted to something much more: a profound learning experience too. Students from various countries like Bhutan, Thailand, Korea, Nepal and Japan enlightened us on their respective country touching upon several significant areas including Education, Polity, Religion, and overall social status. We gained essential insights on their cultures. They were indeed, anthropological ‘informants’ in the truest sense. They were not only knowledgeable about their culture but also were able and willing to transmit this knowledge in a comprehensible way to an outsider. As Claude Levi-Strauss said, “In order for a culture to be really itself and to produce something, the culture and its members must be convinced of their originality and even, to some extent, of their superiority over the others” We learnt much about the public welfare propagandas of Bhutan, the much celebrated self-sufficiency of Thailand, the importance of education in Korea, the socio-political structure of Japan and the life-loving culture of Nepal; to name a few. After these students conveyed all the information they could, the floor was open to a question-answer session. Students were most enthusiastic to know more about these cultures and gain more insight. Thus ended the cross-cultural experience and exposure event.

Report: Voices from the Waters

The Department of Sociology, Christ University hosted Voices from the Waters 2013, the 8th International Travelling Film Festival on Water on August 29, 30 and 31 in collaboration with Goethe Institut, Rolling Frames Film Society, Karnataka Chalanachitra Acdemy, Federeation of Film Societies of India, Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, Swaraj and Deep Focus Cinema and the Bangalore Film Society. Films were screened between 9 and 4 pm on August 29 and 30 and between 9 and 1 pm on August 31. The venues were Room No.101 and Room No.105 in the Central block.

The Film Festival at Christ Campus was inaugurated by Prof. John Joseph Kennedy, Dean Humanities and Social Sciences. The newsletter prepared by the undergraduate students of Sociology ‘Reflections’ was also released by the Dean during the inauguration. Over 40 films from all over the world related to water were screened in the venues. It was attended by the students at Christ University as well as film enthusiasts from outside the university. Each film/documentary was followed by discussion led by the students of MA Applied Sociology as well as students from PSEco, EPS, PSEng, EMS, CEP, HEP, CJC, BBA and BBM.

The valedictory program was held in Room 105, at 12.45 pm on August 31, 2013, after three days of exhibiting these films on water related issues. Fr Jose CC, Director, Department of Sociology, offered the concluding remarks which brought the film festival to a glorious conclusion.


2013 is celebrating the International Year of Water Cooperation. The Department of Sociology has taken this as the central theme for their annual Sociology festival ‘Sambandh’. A range of events like news letter making, creative writing, quiz, were held during July-August 2013.                                                          

 The finale was on 23rd August 2013 with a panel discussion on Water Cooperation. The event was kicked off with the screening of the documentary “Damocracy”, which debunked the myth that dams are a source of “green” energy. It showcased how dams can be a threat to not just the environment but also how they are a threat to culture, heritage and community. It showed the real life examples of the Belo Monte Dam and the Ilisu Dam. This was followed by the recitation of a “Letter from the Year 2070” which spoke about the perils of water consumption without checks.

The invocation ceremony for the event was particularly unique. Instead of the regular “lighting of the lamp”, the dignitaries and student’s representatives poured water into a cauldron to symbolize the need for cooperative efforts to save water.

The inaugural dance by the cultural team of the University was a spectacular program! 
Father Jose C C, Director, Department of Sociology delivered the opening remarks to mark the start of the finale of the festival.
Shreya Murali of II EPS led a pledge taken by the students to save water and to use it judiciously.

The first speaker for the Panel Discussion was Mr Sharachandra Lele from ATREE who spoke on how water cooperation is dependent on good water governance. He pointed out how humans interfere with the water cycle and emphasized on the fact that water governance should take into view three factors-equality, fairness and sustainability.  He also talked about the importance of understanding the science of water in order to study it using social science.
The second panelist, Mr Deepak Malghan presented his views about when hydrology becomes social hydrology and how large cities affect and modify the water cycle. He pointed out that socio-economic and political factors affect it too.
After Mr Malghan’s speech, Ramya and Anupama of I MA Applied Sociology spoke about water conservation initiatives by Christ University. They talked about the role played by Centre for Social Action (CSA), the Waste Water Treatment Plant in Dharmaram Campus and the Rainwater Harvesting in Kengeri Campus.
Dr Kshitij Urs of Action Aid gave the concluding address of the panel discussion. He emphasized that water is a source of power. He criticized the faulty, unfair and contradictory policies adopted by the Government and privatization of water, claiming that it is anti-democratic.
After Dr Urs closed the Panel Discussion, a short interactive session was led by the moderator Dr.Tony Sam George.
The prizes for the different events conducted for Sambandh 2013 were given out by Prof. John Joseph Kennedy, the Dean, Humanities and Social Sciences. The runner up for the Class trophy was II PSEco and the winner’s trophy was bagged by I EPS.
This was followed by a cultural program which included a solo dance performance and a group song, both by students of II PSEco. The Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, Dr John Joseph Kennedy gave the closing remarks of the event. He reiterated the need to pursue water conservation and cooperation efforts.

The finale dance by the students of I EPS was a visual treat! The event will go a long way in setting the tone for socially responsible behavior for the Christ community. The Panel Discussion was highly erudite and made us question and think about issues related to water around us, infused with a perfect amount of entertainment and fun!


   I EPS

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Voices from the Waters 2013, 8th International Travelling Film Festival on Water

The Department of Sociology, Christ University, will be screening films as part of Voices from the Waters 2013 8th International Travelling Film Festival on Water

Given below is the schedule for the screenings at the two venues. These films will be screened on August 29, 30 and 31. Please contact the Department of Sociology for further details at (080) 4012 9436/9068

Venue 1, Room 105, Central Block

Day Time  Schedule
Thursday 9 to 10am Inauguration + Wetlands: Sponges of the earth(26min)+ Discussion
10 to 12pm Holy Water(1:21:59) + Discussion
12 to 1pm 86 centimeters(40min) + Discussion(15mins) 
1 to 2 pm  Break
2 pm to 2.30 pm  A changing delta(25:39)+discussion
2.30 to 3pm Kochuripana(25:28) + discussion
3 to 4pm Life and Freedom(47:48) + Discussion
Friday 9 am to 10 am The sea in me(59:52) + Discussion
10 to 11am Bagalkot saga(23.36) +10 Paisa(9:46) +  Discussion 
11 to 12pm The whistle blowers(45min) + Discussion
12 to 1pm Kumen Kohan(39.07)+ Bhoot bant(3:27)  + Discussion
1 to 2 pm  Break
2 pm to 2.30 pm Valakanuikal(15:37) + Discussion 
2.30 to 3pm The king's River(14:39) + Discusion
3 to 4pm Tim Bakti(35:43) + Discussion
Saturday 9 to 10am Remains of a river(47min) + Discussion
10 to 11am Anna,Emma and the condors(20:19) + Nile Perch(16:46) + Discussion
11.05 to 12pm I whish I went to feuodor(34:52) + Discussion
12 to 1pm Entry for voices from the water(12:11) + The thirsty crow(7:1) + Notoilri no bedi(5:22) + Discussion

Venue 2, Room 101, Central Block

Day Time  Schedule
Thursday 10 to 12pm Smoking Fish(1:20:55)+ Discussion +  Discussion
12 to 1pm Remains of a river(47min) + Ganga at risk(2:43) + Discussion
1 to 2.30pm Break
2.30 to 3pm Rain forest waters of cascadia(3:39) + Pyaasi(4:8) + discussion
3 to 4pm I whish I went to feuodor(34:52) + A can of water risky(4:26) + Discussion
Friday 10 to 11am  A changing delta(25:39)+Embedded water (6:10)  + Discussion 
11 to 1pm Life/death(1:03:32) + Discussion +Out in the open(9:32)  + Discussion
1 to 2.30pm Break
2.30 to 3pm Water harvesters of the western ghats(12.56) + The plentifulness paradox(5:34)+  Discussion
3 to 4pm Save our water(4:08 )+Change for the better(3:43) + Nanku air ajj(12:50)+Discussion 
Saturday 10 to 11am Water and natural resources(56:52) 
11 to 12pm 86 centemeters(40min) + Patangi(2:45)+ Discussion
12 to 1pm Little Hands(6.56) + Meghnadi(11:42) + Democracy +Discussion 

Tuesday, 13 August 2013


Each team may comprise of a maximum of 5 and a minimum of 3 members.
The newsletters have to be submitted to the department on the date specified
The newsletter must contain: 1 original photo and 2 original articles. The news will cover events occurring in Bangalore, India and the world, from the day’s paper; at least 1 article in the business section, sports section and entertainment section; title, classifieds, advertisements, cartoons must be included in the draft. The theme for the festival, 'Water cooperation' should be reflected.
Submit entries to Maya M /Suparna Kar

First: I EPS

  1. Trisanki saikia
  2. Ayushi Mehta
  3. Ankita Baruah
  4. Annanya Bhuyan

August 20
Creative Writing
Individual Event: Submission of essay, poem, story, comic strip
Venue: 101/105
Essay: JS Chaithraa, II PSEco
Poem: Elizabeth Shaji, II PSEco
Comic Strip: Roshni Kurien, II PSEco
August 14
12 noon
Individual Event
3 – 6 photographs should be stuck on to a single chart paper with captions
These charts have to be submitted to the Department by the date specified
Theme: Water
Submit entries to Maya M /Suparna Kar
First: Anumathi G Malak, II PSEco 
Second: Isha, I EPS
August 19
Teams of 2
Rounds: Current Affairs, World of Sociology, Audio Visual, Rapid Fire and others
Venue for Prelims:C101/C105
Venue for Final Quiz: Sky View
Team 1: I EPS, Saagar and Tasneem  FIRST PRIZE  
Team 2: III PSEco, Brinda and Prajwal
Team 3: II PSEng, Sajan and Bishal
Team 4: I EPS, Puneeth and Nikhil  SECOND PRIZE  
Team 5: II PSEng, Shruthi and Akhila
Prelims August 14
Finals August 21

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Debate on the Reservation System prevalent today in Educational Institutions

On 20th July 2013, a debate was conducted by the Department of Sociology, the topic being “The Reservation System prevalent today in Educational Institutions”. There were four students debating this topic, two of whom were for the motion and two, against. The topic demanded opinions on whether or not the current Reservation system in the Indian society should continue to function.
The major aspects which were covered by those going for the motion were mainly regarding how this system gave the backward classes a fair chance of competing with those who belonged to relatively wealthy families. The speakers went on to talk about the Indian society being a highly stratified one and how there was a requirement of making the economically poor, backward classes of our society aware of the rules, policies, etc. as relevant to reservation. However, they further went on to mention about the need to regulate the reservation policies which rose eyebrows in the audience as it was felt that this aspect of regulation did not justify the speaker’s stance of speaking for the topic.
On the other hand, those going against the topic, disagreeing with the above mentioned points put forth their views arguing that the people belonging to the General Quota were deprived of the seats due to the concept of reservation. The strongly believed that due to corruption, the creamy layer of the They dwelled on the history of reservation policy making a mention of the basic aim for which this system was formed in the first place. They further spoke about how the politicians took advantage of this system to gain more votes giving an example of Tamil Nadu where the percentage of reservation has gone upto 69%, their point being that the reservation should be proportionate to the population.
The audience also took active part and one of the points that emerged was that by encouraging reservation the backward classes in a way were further being marginalized, making them feel inferior. Another suggestion that came about was the idea of introducing reservation in schools and in primary phases of education rather than in higher education institutions like colleges and universities.

Suggestions were varied and in plenty but it was obvious that the current system needs to be improved upon.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Film Club July 2013

The second meeting of the Film Club of the Department of Sociology was held on July 31, 2013. It was conducted by the students of M.A Applied Sociology. The resource person for this session was Amutha Manavalan, Assistant Professor with the Department of Media Studies, Christ University. Ms. Manavalan has done her Post Graduation in Communication from Bangalore University. She is an amateur film maker, who came with the intention of providing tips and techniques on Film making. The session was attended by two faculty members of the Sociology Department; Maya Mohan and Sudhansubala Sahu.
The welcome speech was given by Namrata Paul where she gave a brief background about the speaker. The intention of the talk was to provide quick steps of Script Writing. During the session, the speaker screened four documentaries; Buoyants, the Black Hole, Embrace Life and World’s best 1 minute movie. Every documentary emphasized different aspects of life which often go unnoticed. Issues like Refugee Camps, importance of seatbelts and the Human’s undying greed are some of the areas which were projected through these short films.
The audience was quite interactive and clarified their doubts. This session helped us in viewing different key points which needs to be in consideration while making a Short Film and emphasising on the “Sole Purpose” behind making a movie.
Report by

Margaret Johnson

Monday, 22 July 2013

'Deviant Heroes': A talk by Dr Brian Wolf

A talk by Prof. Brian Wolf

In everyday understanding, human beings associate deviance with something that is not the usual form of functioning or act of behavior. Thus anything that goes against this usual way is considered to be bad or detrimental to the society. In various contexts, rules and instruments of social control can represent an unjust and oppressive social force. 
On Wednesday, July 17 2013,we welcomed Prof. Brian Wolf, from the University of Idaho, Moscow, who helped us to understand this from a different perspective through his article on “Deviant Heroes” as agents of justice and social change. In his article he holds that deviant heroes are those who violate the existing unjust rules and norms and face the repercussions of social control, even as they simultaneously effect positive change. They bring about such changes in their own way. 
This session has been very interactive. It began with the definition of what deviance and its ways are. Students participated by stating their own views, and Prof Wolf elaborated further. There were also examples given with comparisons on how deviance and its understanding differ depending upon one’s culture. There are, for example, differences in the Indian and USA ways of considering an act to be deviant. He also laid emphasis upon the classical ways of understanding deviance by Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, and Socrates.
There were instances of real life deviant heroes who fought and struggled against the firm norms and rules which were harmful or were considered unjust. In India, Phoolan Devi, the Bandit queen fought against the existing system and could be considered to be a deviant hero too. There are religious leaders as well who showed great example of heroism. There was the instance of a woman given wherein she climbed and stayed on a tree for two years just to stop the cutting of trees. She remained there until the people concerned undertook not to cut them down. Deviance may be regarded as a crack in the society. Social control is one of the measures that could be used to keep a check.
Finally at the end of the session there was discussion with regard to the various perspectives of how and what students felt about deviance being a part of life and to share instances of heroic deviance. Heroic deviance can be practiced to some degree by anybody. Yet if more people were to embrace the principles of such heroism it could help alter the environment. Conformity in contrast to deviance would mean accepting the hurtful situations which is not right. Therefore deviance becomes important in order to have conformity of some kind or the other. The session thus ended with active participation and exchange among everyone present. We would like to thank Prof Brian Wolf for such an interesting and active session.
Anusuya Borkotoky

Saturday, 20 July 2013

'Scientifying the Orient: Race, Gender and Sex in the Colonial Tropics'

The National Institute for Advanced Studies (NIAS), had organized a talk on “Scientifying the Orient: Race, Gender and Sex in the Colonial Tropics” by Samiparna Samanta. She’s an eminent historian who is an Assistant Professor of History at Georgia College and State University, Milledgeville, Georgia, USA. The talk was scheduled in NIAS on July 19, 2013. Students and other professionals from different colleges and universities were invited. The postgraduate students of the Department of Sociology of Christ University attended the talk along with some of their faculty member.
The talk was based on the “Oriental” East. The focus was on constructivism as a historical approach. The other main arguments of the lecture were the Colonial Construction of race, sex and gender with respect to India, Africa and West Indies. The abstract for the talk is given below:
Abstract: Over the past decade or so, a growing number of scholars have argued that science is a social construct much like art or music. In light of this new development, concepts of race, gender, sexuality, and identity formation have undergone massive transformations as historical categories. Using this larger historiographical framework, my paper demonstrates how an ‘Orient’ came to be perceived and pictured in European imagination in the nineteenth century through the lens of ‘science.’ By drawing examples from Asia, Africa and Latin America, I show the varied ways in which the West often employed the legitimizing power of ‘science’ to romanticize, eroticize and at times demonize colonial cultures. But more importantly, I examine how nineteenth century colonial constructions of ‘race’ and ‘sexuality’ were used to project the relative backwardness of non-European cultures and societies and thus activate the tension between the “modern” and the “archaic.” The paper thus attempts to problematize the construction of colonial knowledge around ‘thuggee,’ ‘criminal communities,’ ‘prostitute,’ Hottentot Venus, among others to show the power of nineteenth century race science. An exploration of the multiple portrayals of ‘Orient’ also manifests within itself a larger, crucial theme ---- the power of representations, and the way that can form a dominant trope for subjugation of a colonized people. In the course of this meandering trajectory however, I conclude that the colonized were not passive recipients of Western cultural intrusion. Rather, my own research on nineteenth and twentieth century dietary discourses in Bengal demonstrates how the colonized populations (for instance, twentieth century Bengali literati) in their understanding of diet, disease and germs, at times translated Western notions of science, sanitation, and medicine and imagined it in their own cultural contexts.
A key argument was on the social construction of science and its basis as being affected by culture and the social context of a society. It’s not a value-free knowledge.
The talk was interesting as it was based on fundamental ideas of how the Westerners have constantly ignored the East. As a result the non-westerners do not have an identity, a history and an existence of their own. Nineteen Century “Imperialism” was discussed in details and also the universalization of Europe. The essence of the paper lies in the statement by Karl Marx, “Asia fell asleep in history.”
The lecture covered important ideas of science as a dominant paradigm, imperialism, the Westerners as dictators, notions of race, gender and sex. A couple of questions and arguments followed the talk. Ideas were exchanged between the speaker and other students and scholar who raised important issues related to the topic.
On behalf of the students of Christ University I would like to convey my thanks to the Department of Sociology for giving us the opportunity for being a part of such an intellectual event.

Chandni Sarda

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Cross Cultural Dialogues

Date: 29th June, 2013, Wednesday
John F. Kennedy  rightly said, “If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.
The session on CROSS CULTURAL EXPOSURE AND INTERACTION”, by II PSEco, which involved international classmates sharing stories from their native lands,  validated this statement.  
Having the privilege of interacting with classmates from Nepal, Korea, Nigeria and Congo the session not only acquainted them with the differences, but also similarities between these cultures. The students spoke about the history of their country and the current socio-political scenario. Nepal, for instance was ruled by Narang before it became a democracy. All these places are inhabited by people from various ethnic groups, in Nigeria for example, where regions are divided based on the language they speak. Food, exhibited the taste, sweet or spicy, of the different regions, in great variety.
Each speech left with food for thought. The students from Nepal stressed on the importance of culture for them in spite of the western influence, those from Korea and Nigeria emphasised on the growth of their country attributed to education. “We take our culture very seriously and are extremely proud of it” added Cristelle from Congo. The hour ended with a brief question answer session between the speakers and the students on the literature, art and customs of these myriad cultures. This activity hour left the students, as students of sociology, under the esteemed supervision of Dr. Sheila Mathew, with an enriching experience.
                                                                                                            Aishwarya Menon

                                                                                                            Somya Bajaj

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Two Perspectives on the 
National Young Sociologist Workshop by Shreya Murali (II EPS)
On Saturday,the 30th of June 2013, Shreya Murali student of II EPS and winner of the ‘Young Sociologist 2012-2013’ visited I EPS to give a presentation on the ‘Young Sociologist’ competition and discussed her experience as a participant. The Annual ‘Young Sociologist’ Competition conducted by Christ University provides a platform for undergraduate students across the country to interact, participate and exchange their views on important social matters.
  In the presentation Shreya Murali introduced this competition and stressed on the importance having reliable and primary data to support one’s academic research paper. She also gave the students valuable insight into how to structure and format a research paper and collect accountable data.
Shreya Murali also gave an account of her experience with the competition. The topic she had chosen for her research was ‘India the biggest democracy: A Farce’. In her paper she sought to unveil the deep seated social stigma against the transgender community in India and critique the Amendment to section 36 (A) of the Karnataka Police Act which empowered the commissioner to pass orders to maintain a register on names and places of all the transgenders, who are reasonably suspected of kidnapping or emasculating boys. Her research also revealed that only 8% of the people that participated in her survey (on the perception of the rights of the transgender community) were willing to have people from the transgender community in the workforce, the rest were either neutral or appalled by the idea. This research unmasks the dichotomy in the system where an entire section of the population has been deprived of its political rights.
As many students raised their hands to ask the speaker questions it was clear that they were quite inspired by the presentation and were curious to know more about the subject. Shreya Murali’s passion was contagious and encouraged us all to participate in the following ‘Young Sociologist’ competition.
By:   Ishita Karra

The students of I EPS attended a workshop on the National Young Sociologist Competition, an annual inter-collegiate event where budding sociologists avail the opportunity to prepare and present a full-scale academic paper. This national-level competition is held by Christ University in December every year which witnesses participation from across the country. The workshop was conducted by Shreya Murali of II EPS who was the “National Young Sociologist” for 2012. Having conducted a previous workshop on academic writing with I EPS, Shreya quickly went through the basics of a good academic piece and as always, emphasised on the importance of avoiding plagiarism and giving credit where is it due to be given. 

After establishing the codices of academic writing, Shreya moved on to another important factor in academic writing; Authentic and reliable research.  Research was the soul of any academic piece and it was to be done with utmost sincerity and dedication. Research, she said, has to be intense and could possibly last for weeks which means that one should never have a laid-back attitude regarding the same. Towards the end of the workshop, Shreya presented her award-wining academic paper Titled “India is the world’s biggest Democracy – A FARCE” in which she took up the research regarding the lack of emancipation of the third gender. Her presentation gave the students a sound idea of what an academic paper looks like and how research is meant to be carried out. Post the workshop, the students of I EPS seemed to be nervous regarding the fast-approaching deadline for CIA 2 in sociology which involved writing of a well-researched academic paper. Although we don’t know whether Shreya will take part in the “National Young Sociologist 2013”, we would have liked her to break a leg at the competition this year but considering that has just broken her hand, we would, instead, just like to wish her All the Best for her future endeavors in appreciation for the help given and time devoted to the students of I EPS.
Jaikishan Agarwal