Department of Sociology
Prof. Sudha Vasan
Head-Department of Sociology
Delhi School of Economics
The Department of Sociology was established by the University of Delhi in 1959 as a constituent of the Delhi School of Economics under the leadership of eminent sociologist Professor M. N. Srinivas. It developed excellence in teaching and research under the guidance of renowned scholars Profs. M. S. A. Rao, Andre Beteille, A.M. Shah and J.P.S. Uberoi in the 1960s, and Profs. B. S. Baviskar, Anand Chakravarti, E. A. Ramaswamy and Veena Das subsequently. The Department has progressed under the headships of Profs. Aneeta A. Minocha, Virginius Xaxa, Tulsi Patel, Meenakshi Thapan, Rajni Palriwala, Nandini Sundar, Satish Deshpande, Abhijit Dasgupta and Roma Chatterji, and Prof. Sudha Vasan as the Head since April 2021. 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, which was in 1976 with a one-year M. Phil. Degree. In 1968, the Department was recognized as the only Centre of Advanced Study (CAS) in Sociology by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and completed 50 years of continuous CAS programme in 2018. At present, the sanctioned strength of the faculty includes seven Professors, ten Associate Professors, nine Assistant Professors, and three Research Associates. In addition, there are 10 sanctioned office staff.
The Department draws students from different parts of India and abroad for all its courses and offers them a coordinated teaching and research programme, including some courses developed for the first time in the country. 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 the student. Small groups of students meet their tutor every week for discussion and each student writes one long essay per course every semester. Each student receives continuous feedback on his or her progress. Our alumni have distinguished themselves in a wide variety of fields including development of the discipline of sociology. Department faculty are actively engaged in research in diverse areas such as family and kinship, education, political movements, affirmative action, castes, religion, society and environment, urban life, agrarian structure, development and so on (details available at sociology.du.ac.in). This has resulted in the publication of a long list of books, reports, and research papers in different fields of sociology. Research projects in a wide range of sociological themes have been completed in the last five decades. Faculty have also been associated with the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) and the UGC in preparing surveys of research and teaching in the discipline. We have a robust research training program that has produced nearly 500 M.Phil. dissertations and more than 185 Ph.D. thesis, and many of our alumni continue research and teaching in Universities across the world. Significant studies have been published by faculty on community power structures, local-level politics, trade unions, co-operatives, textual and contextual studies of Hinduism, religious symbolism, family and kinship, social and religious movements, and environment and society. Research contributions of the department are recognized in the fields of stratification, gender, sociology of development, environment, historical sociology, urban sociology, the sociology of collective violence, medical sociology, sociology of masculinity, demography, popular and visual cultures, education, migration, the sociology of violence and documentary practices of the state among others. Distinguished scholars from India and abroad regularly visit and deliver lectures and seminars, some of them as Visiting Professors and Fellows. Department faculty are active in National and International Sociological Associations and organize and participate in many national and international conferences, seminars and workshops.
Further details about the department can be accessed at sociology.du.ac.in