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Course profile: Sociology

Delhi University’s Sociology (Hons) is one of the best of its kind.

delhi Updated: Jun 18, 2008 01:11 IST

It would not be wrong to say that Sociology is the mother of all disciplines. It is a pity that it is not offered in most schools in Delhi, although it is quite a popular subject in other states and especially abroad. Fortunately, in recent years, under the impact of globalization, its demand is rapidly burgeoning.

Very often people think that since Sociology deals with society at large, their common sense is enough to know all about the discipline and that there is no need for any formal training. However, formal training in Sociology has been the route to success for many in varied fields, for it heightens the sensitivity to the physical and social environment. More importantly, training in Sociology equips the student to approach all they had taken for granted, with a fresh perspective and a receptive and responsive mindset.

The Sociology Honours course at Delhi University is one of the best of its kind. It entails comprehensive and systematic understanding of cultures, groups, institutions, parties, pressure groups and many other societal organisations. The analysis of caste, race, ethnicity and gender reveal the myriad forms in which inequalities operate in different societies. Examination of the nature of the four basic institutions — family and kinship, religion, economy, polity and the inter linkages between them is of special significance in Sociology.

This is because other disciplines specialize only in the study of specific aspects such as polity, economy, theology and so on. How is it that all societies from the most primitive to the advanced are comprised of the same four institutions, yet they are so different from each other? Ethnographic studies that unfold the multifarious structures and forms in which these institutions operate is the highpoint of the discipline. Rather than looking at them in an isolated fashion, Sociology helps contextualize the political and developmental issues in the interplay of impinging societal forces.

As an upcoming subject, the demand for Sociology springs from its versatility in application in diverse fields. Students with training in Sociology have an edge over others because they have a better understanding of the structure and functioning of organisations and institutions. An Honours course in Sociology is very useful for those seeking admission to Masters in Sociology as well as Social Work. Research in Sociology is a very exciting option and can lead to M.Phil and Ph.D degree.

Sociology is a very relevant subject for those aspiring to take up a course in law as students are able to appreciate the complexities of social order out of which laws arise. Those interested in media — both print and visual — will benefit immensely from their training in Sociology. It is also very popular with those seeking a career in the civil services and other competitive exams. They take up Sociology as one of the optional subjects in these exams.

The popular discipline is also being offered as an interdisciplinary course (IDC) for those taking up honours courses in other disciplines too. At Janki Devi Memorial College, for instance, Sociology of Contemporary India, an Inter-disciplinary course, is popular with students from Philosophy Honours, Hindi and Sanskrit Honours.