Miranda House has been ranked as the Number 1 amongst colleges by NIRF Ranking 21. | Virtual Tour of Miranda House


The Department of Sociology offers an undergraduate three years Honours course and Generic Electives to other Honours courses. The department was started in 1974. It trains students to develop a 'sociological imagination' and to make connections between the private and the public domain. The department has consistently been producing two or three University rank holders from each class every year. Equipped with these skills our students move on to successful postgraduate programmes such as social work, sociology, mass communication, human resource management, development studies, and law in the best universities all over the world. Our students find placement in diverse fields such as the media, publishing houses, the corporate sector, the public sector, NGOs (national and international), research, and many other sectors related to development. The students of the Department have represented India at International Youth Exchange Forums, World Youth Forum and as UN volunteers.

In the academic year 2019-2020, the department has also started teaching the BA Programme.

Teaching-Learning



The uniqueness of Sociology demands that creative and imaginative methods are adopted to teach students. The Department believes in the adage that Sociology surrounds us and that the only way to be truly sociological is to have dialogue with one another. Therefore, the classroom teaching is not top down but is done in an interactive way through the use of chalk and talk, newspaper analysis, films, multimedia and field visits. One of the first lessons given to the students is based purely on visuals. Visual methods provide a means to understand the practices of representations as cultural texts, to develop interpretations of meanings in socio-cultural contexts, and to decode images of social relations and individual experience. These methods applied along with reading the relevant texts drive student motivation and interest in learning, and induce sociological imagination and critical thinking. There are also invited lectures, panel discussions and seminars on themes and issues pertaining to the syllabus as well as sociologically important. Given the pandemic situation in the world methods of online teaching and learning have been adopted.

Capacity Building



2019-20

Projects are not a mandatory part of the curriculum. However, since its inception the Department has strongly encouraged students to undertake project work. 100% of the first year and third year 100% do a project. In the second year they all make short ethnographic films. The choice of projects is collaborative with the faculty, and the projects are designed to promote an understanding of the subject across papers. Regular series of lectures are held by the faculty members to teach students techniques and methods of sociological research. The projects involve fieldwork and the use of various research tools like questionnaires, interview schedules, focus group discussions, case studies, film making, social media, and secondary sources of literature and also to make use of techniques of sampling. They are assessed on full class interactive presentations. They also make short ethnographic films. These films are available at Sociology Ethnographic Films. The Project reports are available in the Research Compendium.

The students also have online magazines ‘The Lighthouse’ (by the Honours students) and ‘Social VIBGYOR’ (by the B.A. Programme students). The magazines are available at Lighthouse & Social Vibgyor. As a part of capacity building we encourage students to learn Sociology hands on. A number of our students have been regularly interning with Neeti AAyog and NGOs, like Pravah, Goonj, Swechha, Centre for Media and Communication and Himalayan Environmental Studies and Conservation Organization, to name a few. Within the college the students have been members of NSS and the Enabling Unit.

2018-19

The Sociology of Department for the session 2018-19 was engaged in a multitude of events, the first one being that of the Freshers for the incoming batch of 2018-2021. On a more educational note, the first talk hosted by the Department was one on "Why surrogates do not want a ban on surrogacy?" given by Professor Tulsi Patel, a former Professor at Delhi school of Economics, on August 14, 2018. She started her talk on the kind of relationships that now takes place in society, later she moved into an interesting phenomenon of surrogacy which is a societal culmination of relationships into childbirth. She spoke of the technologies that came about and its impact on the Indian context and its reaction towards it. She concluded her talk by speaking of the perspective of the surrogate mothers and it is indeed a pertinent perspective. In the new age society where freedom of choice is revered, one needs to understand the circumstances of those who chose surrogacy in the face of its rising commercialization and commodification.

The second talk that was hosted was on the topic "Performance at Public and Cultural Sites Democracy and the People" held on 7th September, 2018. The speaker was Bishnupriya Dutt, a former actress and a director based in Kolkata and is currently a professor at the Arts and Aesthetics Centre, Jawaharal Nehru University. She spoke of the rise of popular culture in democratic societies and how it could often go against the democratic culture in itself. Some interesting topics she touched upon was "The Culture of the Left" manifested in the study of the commemoration of the October Revolution in the present decade to bring back the ideal of social equity. But the dual practices of ionization and iconoclasm reflect the existence of a non-linear narrative. What is then essential is to create cultural manifestation which would defy the binary of ionization and iconoclasm and develop a self-reflexive critique of the failures of socialism.

On 18 September 2018, Oxfam, through its associated NGOs Mittika, Ismat, Humsaa, Team Zero and Youngminds, presented to the audience stirring narratives of women in Delhi through their workshop which was titled "Celebrating the Narratives of Women." The stories were enacted by Humsaa in a nukkad natak style and showed how women have defied the diktats of society, have struggled constantly to sustain themselves in the face of backlash, and have also been able to survive admirably. This was followed by an interaction with the audience who spoke of their hopes and desires that they aimed to fulfill in Delhi in the face of difficulties, which each gave the other support by listening and by understanding.

Another event was conducted in collaboration with Lakshita, the enabling society for visually challenged students of Miranda House. It was held on 26th September and was a day of fun-filled activities aimed to sensitise one to the struggles faced by those who were visually challenged and how they overcame it. Compassion and understanding, indeed, comes not from sympathy but rather empathy.

The Department of Sociology, Miranda House celebrated its annual festival UTOPIA on February 8, 2019. Themed "Magic, Science and Religion", (...remembering Bronislaw Malinowski maybe?), the day started with Professor Roma Chatterji's (Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics) talk on "Myths in Gondi culture" wherein her focus was on the theme of abduction in Balmiki's Ramayana and the interpretation of the same among the Gonds of Madhya Pradesh. Chatterji's talk proved to be quite thought provoking for the budding sociologists who audienced the talk. Among the many interesting anecdotes that she shared, one that was particularly interesting was how Sita, in the Gondi version of this classic is not the docile, damsel in distress; she is portrayed as a character with many shades such as that of mystery and a great focus is on the playful (often with some sexual undertones) "dewar bhauji" relationship shared by Sita- Laxman.

Following this engaging talk, the "HARRY POTTER QUIZ" felt like a breath of fresh air. No wonder, when the theme is magic, a visit to the enthralling world of Potter seems mandatory! Potter heads from a number of other institutions turned up making the day more enjoyable with their presence. Not forgetting the number of UPSC aspirants that the Sociology family, Miranda House have, the department hosted a "UPSC CSE PREP SEMINAR" which was conducted by the Khan Study Group, which is not a new name when it comes to preparing for UPSC.

Quite contented with the Chinese main course, the students headed for the second last even for the day: IZHAAR POETRY SLAM. The event seemed to very well fit the theme. Magic. The young, vibrant poets indeed created magic; the words the spells and the Mike? The magic wand!

What else could have given the best ending to UTOPIA 19 if it wasn't the open mic? Some immensely talented people made the audience's hearts skip a beat whether it's with their performances on the ukulele or beat boxing for that matter!

As endings always pave way for new beginning, with the beautiful end of Utopia 19, the department awaits the arrival of Utopia 20!

2017-18

Projects are not a mandatory part of the curriculum. However, since its inception the Department has strongly encouraged students to undertake project work. 100% of the first year and third year 100% do a project. In the second year they all make short ethnographic films. The choice of projects is collaborative with the faculty, and the projects are designed to promote an understanding of the subject across papers. Regular series of lectures are held by the faculty members to teach students techniques and methods of sociological research. The projects involve fieldwork and the use of various research tools like questionnaires, interview schedules, focus group discussions, case studies, film making, social media, secondary sources of literature and also to make use of techniques of sampling. They are assessed on full class interactive presentations. They also make short ethnographic films. These films are available at Sociology Ethnographic Films. The Project reports of the films are available in the Research Compendium. The students also have an online magazine The Lighthouse with contributions from students. The magazine is available here. As a part of capacity building we encourage students to learn Sociology hands on. A number of our students have been regularly interning with Neeti AAyog and NGOs, like Pravah, Goonj, Swechha, Centre for Media and Communication and Himalayan Environmental Studies and Conservation Organization, to name a few. Within the college the students have been members of NSS and the Enabling Unit.

Student Progression

Each year students do well in the University exams. Ms. Sumra Alam (2014-17) was 1st in the University; Pragya Mahajan (2014-17) a visually challenged student was 7th in the University. Ritu Konsam (2013-16), Commonwealth Scholar reading MSc Politics of Conflict Rights and Justice at SOAS, University of London; Amrita Sengupta (2007-10) won the Chevning Scholarship to pursue a one-year Masters at Oxford, 2015; Ankita Gupta, won the Teach for India Fellowship 2017-18; Mahima Sharma (2013-15) received Times Leadership Award for Community Engagement in 2014; Eisha Roy (2012-2015) M.A. Development Studies, Sussex, 2016; Ambassador, King’s College London, 2013-2014 and 2014-2015; Ambassador for Peace, Universal Peace Federation, United National Economic and Social Council, 2014-2015; Delegate in Italy, International Leadership Programme with United Nations, 2014-2015; Ritika Sonam won the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship, funded by the European Commission and organized in partnership with some of the most prestigious universities in Europe and India, 2011-2012.

Faculty Achievements

Dr. Reema Bhatia was awarded the Distinguished Teacher Award by the University of Delhi, 2009. She was a UGC Research Fellow for five years. She has also been a National Scholarship awardee under the Centre of Advanced Studies, Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics. She has successfully completed two innovation projects under the Delhi University and has guided a team of 20 students for the projects. She has organised several National and International Conferences. In addition she has presented several papers in national and international conferences.

Dr. Avantika Bhargav has participated in several national and international conferences.

Dr. M. Kamminthang was awarded a visiting research scholarship at the Graduate Programme for Transcultural Studies (GPTS), Cluster of Excellence: “Asia and Europe in a Global Context”, University of Heidelberg, Germany (Nov 2008-Jan 2009). He has presented papers at several national and international conferences.

Dr. Binu Sundas and Ms. Shivani Rajput participated and presented papers at several national and international conferences.

Avantika Berwa, Assistant Professor

  • Participated in the Faculty Development Program on Enhancing Psychological Skills for Teaching and Practice. Ministry of Human Resource Development from 15 September 2020 to 29 September 2020.
  • Participated in Refresher Course on Curriculum Design, Development and Assessment, Ministry of Human Resource Development From 03 March 2021 to 16 March 2021.
  • Serving as Convenor to the TANZ- Western Dance Society of Miranda House College.
  • Attended an Inter Disciplinary Workshop on Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability. Ministry of Human Resource Development 22 March 2021 to 26 March 2021.

Binu Sundas, Assistant Professor (Ad hoc)

  • Nominated Member, National Book Trust, Advisory Panel for Nepali Language, 12 th March 2021
  • Presented a paper titled ‘The Dynamics of Agriculture and Markets in India’, HINDASS SEMINAR, Hiroshima University, 6 th March 2021
  • Coordinator, E+ start programme, organised by Hiroshima University.
  • Presented a paper titled ‘Rural Development in India’, 30 th January 2021
  • Sundas, B. (2020), Identity, Fans and Football Clubs: A Case of United Kurseong Football Club, Senhri Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies, Vol. 5, No 1 (Jan - Jun), pp. 45-50.
  • Sundas B. and Bhatia R. (2020), Gender and Violence, in Bhatia, Sociology of Gender, Pearson, New Delhi
  • Presented a paper titled ‘Covi-19, People and Industry: Their Relationship’, One day National Level Webinar on Covid-19 and Socio-Economic Institutions: Their Relationship, organized by Department of Sociology, Suhdiranjan Lahiri Mahavidyalaya in collaboration with Bamanpukur Humayun Kabir Mahavidyalaya, 11 th July 2020.
  • Presented a paper titled ‘People Politics and Protest: Understanding Through Goffman's Dramaturgy’, One day National Level Webinar on Nationalism, People and Protest: A Perspective from Himalayan Region, organized by Kalimpong College, 25 th August 2020.
  • Presented a paper titled ‘People and Food Culture in Darjeeling', One day National Level Webinar on Gorkha Food and Culture, organized by Darjeeling Free Society, 27 th September 2020.

Invited Lectures

Dr. Reema Bhatia was invited to deliver lectures on

  • “Misogyny: A Result of Failed Socialization. Who is to be Blamed?” by Sanskriti School on 2 July 2020, as a part of the Faculty Development Programme for the faculty of the Liberal Arts, English and Social Science Departments.
  • “Visual Anthropology: Looking, Relooking & Rethinking the Obvious” , on 12 December 2019 by the Centre for Culture, Media and Governance, Jamia Millia Islamia as a part of Two Week Capacity Building Workshop on Media and Communication Studies, Under Centre with Potential for Excellence in Particular Area (CPEPA) 11-17 December 2019.
  • “Social Ecology of the Yamuna” at SOCIOCRI’16 Organized by DAKAM ( Eastern Mediterranean Academic Research Center) International Sociology and Critical Perspectives Conference. Istanbul, Turkey; 3- 4 June 2016
  • “Health Policy Plan & Its Implementation: The Role of The Health Workers”. Seminar On Beyond The West From Western Medicine To Global Medicine: The Hospital Wellcome Unit For The History Of Medicine, Oxford, UK International Oxford, UK. 18 – 19 March 2004
  • “Situating, Declining Sex Ratio: Evidence from North India”. In Undesired Daughters: The Paradox Of Modern India Workshop Organized By Profs. N. Hatti and Tulsi Patel, University Of Lund, Sweden And University Of Delhi, IndiaInternational. New Delhi. 12 – 13 February 2010

Dr. Reema Bhatia was also invited National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) for the following lectures

  • “Introduction to Sociology” on 2 December 2019, by National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) for a live Television Interaction on Swayamprabha Channel by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, (Watch here)
  • “Caste System in India” on 18 November 2019, by National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) for a live Television Interaction on Swayamprabha Channel by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. (Watch here)
  • “Society and Environment” on 21 January 2019, by National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) for a Video Lecture. (Watch here)
  • Relationship of Sociology with other Social Sciences (Watch here)
  • Kinship (Watch here)

Dr. Binu Sundas was invited to deliver a lecture on

  • ‘Covid 19- People and Industries: Their Relationship’ on 11 July 2020, as a part of the National Webinar on ‘Covid 19 and Socioeconomic Institutions’ organized by the Department of Sociology, Sudhiranjan Mahavidyalya, University of Kalyani, West Bengal.
  • "Fruits and Vegetables Market in India: Policies, Marketing and Actors" 27th October 2018, Hiroshima University, Japan
  • "Food Availability, Consumption Behaviour and Bring back value to Food" on 29th October 2018, 119 Study Session of the Development and Cultural Change Forum, Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation, Hiroshima University, Japan.
  • Gorkhaland Movement and it's Rhetoric, Miranda House, 10th October 2018
  • "The Politics of 'the field' and field methods" St. Joseph College, Darjeeling, 16th February 2019

Distinguished Alumnae

After graduating from the Department of Sociology, Miranda House many of our students pursue post-graduation and doctoral programmes in many of the institutes of higher learning both within India and outside of India. Our representation can be seen in universities like the University of Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and South Asian University, Jamia Millia Islamia, Ambedkar University, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Ashoka University and many others in India. Many of our students have also gone to pursue their higher learning at London School of Economics and University of Manchester, University of Oxford, University of Cambridge and many other institute of repute.

Some of our alumnae in academics are

  • Professor Susan Visvanathan at Centre for the Study of Social Systems, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • Professor Ravinder Kaur at IIT, Delhi
  • Dr. Radhika Chopra at Delhi School of Economics
  • Dr. Abha Chauhan, University of Jammu
  • Dr. Azailu, University of Hyderabad
  • Dr. Ravtosh Bal, Visiting Lecturer, Duke Center for International Development, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University, Durham, NC Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Engineering in Society, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
  • Dr. R Rajyalaxmi, Associate Professor, Sociology, JDMC, University of Delhi, Delhi.
  • Ms. Aruna Pandey is a Senior Research Fellow and Faculty at Indian School of Development Management, NOIDA

Some of our recent alumnae in the civil services include

  • Ms. Aikantika Das is an Assistant Programme Officer at Population Council
  • Ms. Preeti Agrawal is a SSPO at the Department of Posts;
  • Ms. Ananya Kulshreshtha is an Assistant Commissioner Income Tax;
  • Ms. Megha Sidhu is an Assistant Commissioner Indian Revenue Services;
  • Ms. Rosy Talukdar is an Assistant Commandant, Assam Police Services.

In the banking sector we have

  • Ms. Shilpa Goyal is an Assistant Manager at Union Bank of India;
  • Ankita Sharma is a Manager at SBI.
  • Ms. Amrita Sengupta is working as Senior Consultant at Capgemini Consulting - Digital Transformation Institute, Bengaluru.
  • Ms. Anushree Bardhan is an Associate - Ramachandran and Associates, The Law Firm.
  • Ms Silpa Shukla, Eminent Theatre Artist and Bollywood Actor is also from our department.