Sunday, 17 November 2019

“The Revelations of Field Work”

Primary research or field experiments have always played a major role in the subject matter of sociology as
society undergoes constant changes. On 12th November 2019 a student from 4EPS, Rishvanth Reddy, shared
his work on the education system in a small village within the state of Andhra Pradesh with the first-year
batch of PSEco. Based on his observations he wrote a paper titled “The Revelations of Field Work” in which
he identified the workings of the education system in Andhra Pradesh especially considering the caste system.
He shared his analysis of the data collected regarding caste of the students, caste of the head-masters and the
ratio of students based on their caste. He collected data of 2 schools each from grades 1 to 5. He also
collected data about the percentage of attendance. Surprisingly, the overall attendance was at 99%. He later
mentioned that the school provided students with food which may act as an incentive for students to attend
school regularly. An interesting observation made was that the names of students were accompanied by their
respective castes in the attendance register and both would be called out while attendance was taken. 
Besides his findings, he also shared his experience of working in the field. He established the importance
of going into research without prejudice that may cause biases skewing the results. However, at the same
time, he spoke about how a sociologist’s results will be the outcome of their experience and so it would be
difficult to nullify bias entirely. He also mentioned the tedious process of getting permission from several
people in order to receive the opportunity of conducting research. He conducted this research over a span
of 2 days and expressed his interest to continue it.
The presentation ended with a question and answer session which also included a few suggestions given by
the class to better his research. 

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