Friday, 3 August 2018


31st July, 2018 – was a fateful day for the 72 teams that participated in the Discover Holland Quiz. The teams competed for the exciting opportunity to visit Holland and further their career opportunities. The quiz saw participation from esteemed institutions like National Law School, St Joseph’s College, Jain University, RV College of Engineering, PES University, IIM Bengaluru and Symbiosis Institute of Business Studies from Bangalore and Ashoka University (Sonepat), National Institute of Technology (Goa), TKM College of Engineering (Kollam), IIT Dharwad and Osmania Medical College (Hyderabad) from other parts of India.

The quiz was conducted in two stages; the preliminary round resulted in 6 finalists who then proceeded to compete for the ultimate prize. The preliminary round consisted of questions relating to the landmarks and general trivia regarding Holland. In the final round, the teams had to be quick on their feet as it was a buzzer round. There were several rounds which gave the finalists a fair shot at the prize. The air was filled with excitement as the participants answered with enthusiasm.

Syed Murtuza Hashmi and Syed Mustafa Hashmi came out on top as thee winners with their unmatched performance. Nagendra Kumar and Abhilash Namboodri from RV College of Engineering secured the second place. The winners were presented with merchandise and a letter to approve their trip to Holland. The runners-up were presented with merchandise and pendrives. The winner of the online quiz was felicitated too. The event concluded with the finalists being awarded with certificates.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

One Day Visit to a Village in Kolar Organised by the Department of Sociology and Social work in coordination with the Centre for Social Action

As part of their course, MA Applied Sociology students were taken for a field trip to Kolar on 20th and 21st July, 2018. The trip was organized by the department of Sociology and Social Work in collaboration with the Centre for Social Action (CSA) at CHRIST (deemed to be University). The intention behind organizing the trip was to provide the students with a firsthand experience of village life. Most of the students took part in the programme which resulted in great levels of interaction between the students and the villagers on the one hand and the students and the CSA activists working in the village.
Dr. Rajeev Kumaramkandath and Dr. Sudipta Garai from the department of Sociology accompanied the students. The prime initiative for the programme came from the head of the department Dr. Victor Paul who consistently pushed the idea from the beginning of this academic year. The accommodation for the group was arranged at the CSA camp office at Srinivasapura taluk in Kolar district and the team visited two villages during the trip. One group visited the Kondenahalli village and the other visited Bollepalli; both villages were located remotely at about a distance of 15-20 kilometers from the CSA office, which in itself was distant from the main highways that connected with the cities.
The students were given a detailed orientation to the activities of CSA by the officers present there that included Mr. Anjan and Mr. Nagaraja. During the village visit the teams had very elaborate interactions with the villagers – both men and women as well as their children – and the activists who worked in the villages. The primary activity of CSA was through the Self Help Groups that it had established around 10 years back and through which it consistently worked towards the welfare of the whole village and particularly for the empowerment of the women. CSA also has serious investments in the children’s welfare and special programmes for the education in general and for girls in particular.
The trip was one space that our students literally watched with all excitement. They all felt equally enriched both intellectually and emotionally as village life has its own promises, problems as well as challenges.
The group spent the night at the CSA office and started their journey back the next day early morning. Below after this report is a narrative from our students about the trip.
Dr. Rajeev Kumaramkandath

Students' Perspective
We, the Students of 1st and 2nd year Masters in Applied Sociology, CHRIST (Deemed to be University) went on an overnight trip to the Centre for Social Action office at Srinivasapura Taluk in Kolar in Karnataka on 20 August 2018. We started our Journey from Christ University at 8:00 AM and reached Kolar at around 12:00 PM. We were accompanied by two of our professors, Mr Rajeev Kumaramkandath and Ms Sudipta Garai. In Kolar our accommodation was arranged in 2 Rural Camps. It was a serene and beautiful area with vast landscapes and long tracts of arable land. On our arrival at the CSA office, the office staff gave us a warm welcome and after getting fresh we were served lunch. The lunch was a different experience for us all as it was so simple and delicious. The whole group took a stroll through the vast and beautiful landscapes to observe the surroundings and to make sense of the place. We found that the villagers are so hardworking that in a district like Kolar, which is one of the driest places in the state, one could see vegetables and fruits (primarily Mango) being actively cultivated. Tomato, Mango and different kinds of gourds were being grown with an intention of distributing in the local market. The village was, nevertheless, in an economically unsound condition and with not less amount of infrastructure. 

The village was famous for mangoes. As we walked through the village the we could see how those hardworking people have grown different varieties of vegetables and fruits in their lands. Farming was done so scientifically at the same time as following some of the traditional methods. There was paddy and maize as well in some disparate sections that remained remote from we were. The houses in the immediate vicinity were more pakka and more or less well built with concrete and some with flat terraces. As we walked we were also discussing about the socio-economic sides of village agriculture and changing cultures. One of the officers from CSA came to us and said we have to return as the activities are about to begin.
Once in CSA office, the officers there started the orientation programme. It started with some ice breaking sessions which was very interesting and all students took part with so much of excitement. During the orientation a caretaker of the local anganwadi pointed out the benefits of the self help groups initiated by CSA among the villagers. She discussed how some women started bank accounts and operated those accounts on their own. They were trained to use these accounts for emergency and personal uses. Women in Self Help Groups were provided with trainings in activities like weaving, knitting and other related tasks. During the orientation we were told about the experiences of the CSA activists in the village ever since they started operating in the place 10 years back. The village so remotely located and distinct from the reach of state interventions was in a very poor state. However CSA’s interventions could make a big difference in the not only the women’s and children’s lives in the village but also in bringing the government’s attention to this place. This is one important factor why the village is decently connected to the nearby cities and has an average level of infrastructure.
However this was not the case in several other places in Kolar. This we realized as went to field trips to the remote villages where CSA was actively engaging with the villagers.  In the afternoon, post orientation, we were split into two groups and were taken to two different villages to see and understand the village life in its entirety including their forms of occupation, dynamics of collectivities, problems with economy and infrastructure etc. Each group was guided by a CSA member. We also made sure that the Kannada speaking members in our groups were equally divided so that we have sufficient translators. The first group went to Bollepalli village which was mostly populated by the Hindus. As we explored the village we had some serious interactions with the villagers. The CSA officer gathered the children in the village in the nearby village where we conducted some activities for their infotainment.  We visited some houses and interacted with the family members.

The second group went to Kondenahalli village which was primarily a Muslim area. There was some serious interactions with the people who were part of the Self Help Groups. Some of the people we interviewed pointed out that there were total 18 members in Self Help Groups. The duty of these Self Help Groups was to pool money and sanction loans. The wage labourers in the village worked on an average from 9:00 am till 5:30 pm. They were paid a very less amount of salary (300 Rs). A sharp distinction between the upper and the lower castes was visible in both these villages. The Head of the panchayat was also the member of an upper caste. We also interviewed somemembers of these Self Help Groups. One Woman member who have been associating with the group for the last 10 years told that being part of the SHG she now feels far empowered while dealing with big landlords and other male folk in the village. The SHGs also help its members to generate loans for agricultural purposes .The woman and her family had 5-6 acres of Land. Hers was a large family consisting of 18 members. of these 6 were landlords and the others worked as daily wage labourers. The SHG would conduct meetings twice in a month in order to decide whom should be given the loans and how to repay the loans.
We found in another family that we interacted in Kondenahally, that there were 3 members who were leaders of the Sangh, that is the SHG; this included the President, Treasurer and Secretary. This family sells Mangoes at around 20 Rs per Kg which was very less comparing to the prices that mangoes fetch in the nearby cities. They said that sometimes farmers had to sell mangoes for as cheap a price as less than Rs 5 per kilo. We also interviewed another person who was a lecturer in P.U College (Girls College) and was also doing his P. H. D from Bangalore University.

This one day field visit was a new experience for the students as we all live in urban areas where we are given all the facilities but this is another reality of India that we have never experienced. The Department of Sociology and Social Work (CHRIST - DEEMED TO BE UNIVERSITY) along with Centre of Social Action had given the students an opportunity to spend one day in Rural area and analyze the problems that they had to face everyday. Though there was no proper electricity, but they were very happy with their life. One very important thing the trip has done for us as students of sociology was that it allowed us to witness firsthand what the dynamics – internal and external – of village life is. The challenges they faced – including questions of education, economy and inter caste and inter religious relations, the possibilities of community life etc., - and the opportunities they presented in understanding a different form of communal existence was very immense.
Both the PG classes of Sociology would like to thank Dr. Victor Paul (Head of the department of sociology and social work) and also the organizing committee for organizing this rural trip that had enhanced our learning skills. It was a very good experience at looking at the true face of rural India while living within it.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY National Young Sociologist Competition 2018-19

The Department of Sociology, CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bengaluru, organises an annual National Young Sociologist Competition for undergraduate students having Sociology as one of their subject. It aims to encourage the young generation to carry out small research projects on socially relevant subjects and issues to enhance their critical and analytical thinking. The competition seeks to fulfil this aim by inviting the participants to write original papers on topics prescribed below to participate in the paper presentation competition which will be held on 07 December 2018.

Theme and Topics

The theme for the National Young Sociologist Competition 2018-19 is 'Social Mobility and Identity'. Social Mobility is a phenomenon which occurs over time and involves movement from one social group to the other. This is characterised by change in social positions which arises out of social interaction. The process of social interaction aids the formation, initiation or change in identity of a social group thus making identity a historical and social construct. Additionally, identity of a social group or individual reinforces social mobility through interaction between groups. Hence the interrelation between the phenomena of social mobility and identity can be stated as being co-dependent variables that aid the formation of one another. The purpose of this competition is to explore the interrelation between social mobility and identity among the different social groups and its dynamics under the various sub themes. Contributions beyond the subthemes are also invited which further add to the overall theme of the competition.

Sub Themes

a.)    Caste and Identity
Considering that caste is still pertinent in the contemporary world, this theme aims to find   out how caste contributes to the formation of identity or vice versa.
b.)    Class and Identity
Our identity gets influenced by many factors in society. This theme explores how class plays a factor in forming our identity.
c.)    Role of media & Identity
Media has a considerable impact on identity, how it is constructed and perceived.  This theme tries to enquire into the role of media and identity.
d.)   Gender, Sexuality & Identity
Sexuality and gender plays a role in forming identity. This theme aims to look at the association between the three.
e.)    Human Movements/Migration and Identity
Migration/Human movements is one of most studied and relevant phenomena of the contemporary age. This theme aims to understand how identities are developed on the basis of human movement and cross-cultural interaction.
f.)     Occupation and Identity
An individual's labor is an integral part of what defines her or his identity as it an activity that allows one to express one's own subjectivity. This theme aims to understand the relevance of labor and livelihood practices in process if identity creation in contemporary society.
g.)    Diaspora Communities and Identity
With the extensively accounted narratives of impermanence and identity crises among diaspora communities in contemporary society, the relation between the same and identity become important in social research. This theme aims the bring out such narratives and complexities of self identification in such communities. 

The competition is open to all regular undergraduate students studying Sociology or Anthropology as one of their subjects in any of the institutions in India.

Submission Guidelines

1.      As a first step to participate in this competition all participants need to send a 250 word abstract of their paper by August 15, 2018 to the following e mail:

send a hard copy to
National Young Sociologist Competition 2018-19
C/o Dr Sudhansubala Sahu, Department of Sociology
CHRIST (Deemed to be University)
Hosur Road, Bangalore–560029
Tel: 91-80-4012 9735

2.      An abstract is a short summary in 250 words about the research project that the student has done/is planning to undertake. It should mention the overall purpose of the study and the research problem(s), the methodology, major findings/trends/scope of the research.
3.      The abstracts should be accompanied by the contact details of participants including name, college/institution details, postal address, email address, and phone number.
4.      Participants need to enclose a bonafide certificate from the Head of their Institution and a copy of their college/university identity card along with the abstract.
5.      The academic papers can be conceptual or empirical. The length of the paper need to be around 2500-4000 words. The references should be given in the APA format (the style prescribed by the Publication Manual of American Psychological Association-6th edition).
6.      A conceptual paper should develop arguments or theoretical perspectives on issues related to 'Social Mobility and Identity' using evidences from prior research. It should present a comprehensive and focused review of the relevant literature to support the argument.
7.      Empirical paper should have a brief and focused literature review to justify the need of the study. It should mention objectives of research, explain methodology, present the data and their analysis, arrive at logical conclusion and discuss the theoretical/practical implications of the research, the limitations as well as the scope of research.
8.      There is no limit to the number of entries from a single institution.
9.      All entries should be original works of the participant with appropriate references. Plagiarized entries will be disqualified. Plagiarism is the inclusion of someone else's verbatim or paraphrased text in one's own written work without immediate reference. Verbatim text must be in quotes or indented if it is longer than four lines.
A citation must follow right after borrowed material (usually the author's name and year – eg (Stephen, 2000)) and the full details of the reference must be incorporated at the end of your full paper.
10.  Co-authored papers will not be considered.
11.  Submitted abstracts will be screened and the authors of shortlisted abstracts will be notified by August 25, 2018.
12.  Authors of shortlisted abstracts have to submit two hard copies and the soft copy of their full-length paper in word format to the above-mentioned e mail or addresses by November 1, 2018.
13.  Participants whose papers have been selected for the final presentation at CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bangalore will be notified by November 15, 2018.
14.  Travel will be reimbursed (second class sleeper) for outstation paper presenters.
15.  Accommodation will be provided for outstation paper presenters.
Evaluation Process and Rewards
1        The entries will be evaluated by an eminent panel of judges and the authors of the ten best entries will be invited to CHRIST (Deemed to be University) to make a presentation and to defend their ideas in the presence of students of Humanities and Social Sciences.
2        Awards are given to the prize winners. The first prize carries Rs 15,000/-, the second Rs 10,000/-, and the third Rs 7,000/-. The conveyance expenditure of the finalists would be reimbursed as per CHRIST (Deemed to be University) guidelines and the finalists would receive hospitality from CHRIST (Deemed to be University) community.

 Important Dates
August 20,  2018
Last date for submission of abstract
August 25, 2018
Notification of shortlisted abstracts
November 1, 2018
Submission of full-length paper
November 15, 2018
Announcement of finalists for paper presentation
December 07, 2018
Final paper presentation at CHRIST (Deemed to be University)

Golden Jubilee Special Lecture Series

Talk by Prof. S. V Srinivas on Media, Hero worship and Fanculture

16th July 2018

On 16th July, 2018 the department of Sociology started its Golden Jubilee lecture series with a talk by Prof. S. V. Srinivas from  Azim Premji University, Bengaluru. A very well reputed scholar in the area of cinema and cultural studies in the south Asian region Prof. Srinivas has published papers and books on cinemas, mass communication and politics in Indian and International academic journals. His interest on research extensively focuses on literature, popular culture and mass politics, Media and Public sphere etc. He has also done considerable amount of work in the areas of film and cultural studies, audience research and cultural politics. In the talk he discussed about inherent  promises in film studies for a sociology scholar. He basically touched upon two distinct but interrelated aspects of south Indian cinema – one, the persisting fanculture in the south Indian film industry, especially Tamil and Telugu cinema, and two, the political economy of cinema in general with specific reference to its 1930s and 1940s time and the consequences of the same. The audience mainly consisted of all the teachers and students from Sociology department and teachers from Social work and other departments in the university.

He started the talk by telling the students the relation between media and social sciences and its importance in the contemporary world. The methods that are used by sociologist with regard to media studies through the different modes of analyzing a text were seen problematic by him. He said that sociologists should focus on their own research methods like ethnography, participant observation etc. They should not move into other disciplinary methods like content analysis and textual analysis which is restricted to fields like media studies and communication.
He spoke about film productions and the cinema industry. He said that the people who are the audience analyze and interpret films through different perspectives and they acquire the textual content of the films through different modes/ways. He spoke about the public sphere that is dominated by the capitalists thereby leading to the ideologies of the Bourgeoisie. He spoke of the hegemony and dominance attached towards the content in newspaper articles that favors the haves and is written from the perspective of the haves. Film production looks at how caste comes into play and he gave an example of the Telugu cinema (his area of specialization) which are run by peasants and are connected to land. He speaks of how certain upper caste people dominate media spaces and how it thereby influences films on the same lines. Hence, in Telugu film industry the Reddy’s are shown as the dominant and the film thereby overtly expresses certain caste ideologies that favor the upper caste in that particular region.
Prof. Srinivas said that film is loss making industry and said that Indian Cinema lost a lot of money over the past few decades. 80% of films have serious issues in earning the money that they have invested and the production houses in such cases face a huge loss if the film is not able to reach its audience. The cinema is also seen as a platform for the new elite where the bourgeoisie controls the media. He also spoke of archives that media houses maintain with regard to distributors, actors, laborers etc. He also spoke of the role of research in these platforms where he focused on “gendering of creative labor”. Cinema’s attitude towards women were clearly discussed as to how they are viewed as objects for the male gaze and how women from certain low caste/ race backgrounds are given roles according to their  identity. The representation of women in media is of serious discussions among the researchers. He then spoke of changes in film studies. He gave examples of books like House full- Indian Cinema and the Active Audience, written by Lakshmi Srinivas. He spoke of how the audience perceive the world, how they think and how attitudes are shaped through the films they watch.
He then focused on talking about Hero Worship and how the audiences behave in theatres. He screened few films from the Telugu and Tamil film Industries where for instance, the movie Vedhalam depicts actor Ajith (hero) showing a pistol to the villain and the audience jump in joy and scream out with happiness and when Ajith shoots him the audience are happy about the death of the villain and how the audience also embrace Ajith. He spoke of audience responses and their different emotional transformations while watching a film and observing a text. Then he speaks of hero worship in relation to religion where actors are seen as Gods and how the audiences worship them. He speaks of how media influences people and their mindset and the way they interpret the content in the films that they watch. Media also promotes a lot of violence yet he says that people will use their minds, interpret the content and act according to the norms of the society. He also speaks of how women depict the image of Goddesses (which he calls as horror) to kill the villain and the response of the audience.  He ends his talk by saying how theo -visuality transforms film consumers to devotional people through Hero worship.  Dr.Victor Paul, HOD, Department of Sociology and Social Work expressed vote of thanks to Mr.S.V. Srinivas and all partcipants.