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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014
Culture connect
Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 16, 2013
First Published: 17:11 IST(16/4/2013)
Last Updated: 17:51 IST(16/4/2013)
Thought processing: Sociologists try to understand what people think and how their world views are shaped by larger social structures

The lowdown


A broad discipline, sociology is the study of all kinds of societies, institutions and relations. It includes the study of one’s own society as well as that of others. Sociologists try to understand what people say or do; what they think and how their worldviews are shaped by larger social structures. There are a range of options for students. After graduation in sociology, one can also go for professional programmes such as social work and become medical or industrial social workers. The industrial and corporate world offers opportunities in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and marketing divisions. A significant number of students go to non-governmental organisations, including Greenpeace, Oxfam, UN bodies and the World Wide Fund for Nature. They also get into publishing as copy editors and commissioning editors, as also journalists, for both print and audio-visual

Clockwork
Daily routine of sociologist involves field research for a few weeks or months, or sometimes years in a specific social setting, such as a village, film production unit, religious organisation, youth gang, or school or factory; teaching at different levels from school to university; writing articles, books and making mediaappearances as an expert on some social issue; working in the research wing of different organisations like an NGO, a government department, a firm etc

The payoff
Monthly pay packages in the academia (government sector):
Assistant professor: Rs. 40,000 a month; associate professor: Rs. 60,000 to Rs. 70,000 a month; professor: Rs. 80,000 to Rs. 90,000 a month.
A professor working on an assignment from an international funding/development body can make about Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000 a day (the project might take 40 days to complete). A person with a doctorate joining the corporate sector can earn about Rs. 80,000 to Rs. 90,000 a month

Skills/TRAITS
* To be able to empathise and understand people different from oneself
* Ability to look at oneself from others’ point of view 
* Strong analytical skills
* Reasonable quantitative aptitude

Getting there
You can take any subject combination in Class 12. After that, pursue a bachelor’s and master’s in sociology. An MPhil and/or a PhD degree is required for a career in academics and research

Institutes and URLs
* University of Delhi             www.du.ac.in
* Jawaharlal Nehru University www.jnu.ac.in
* Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi jmi.nic.in

Pros and cons
* You get to work in different areas
* You can make an international career
* It is not a professional course. Relevant career avenues are relatively limited in number

Sociology teaches you how to see the world through the eyes of people very different from yourself -- Satish Deshpande, professor, department of sociology, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi


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