ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by A M ShahSubscribe to A M Shah

The Mirage of a Caste-less Society in India

The goal of creating a caste-less society in India, written into the Constitution, has become a mirage. And the mirage is moving further away.

The Village in the City,the City in the Village

Many villages gradually get included in cities and urban people also migrate to villages transforming them into towns. Both phenomena require intensive study, including an examination of the defi ning criteria of a "town", and the estimates of urban population.

Arbitrariness in the Colonial Census of Ethnic Groups

Even today the administration of the census during the colonial era is highly regarded. But actually chance, luck, caprice and idiosyncrasy played a major role in the census classification of tribes and castes during the colonial regime.

A Heady Mix: Gujarati and Hindu Pride

The results of the December 2007 elections in Gujarat show that the declining role of tribe and caste identities and increasing cultural uniformity due to extensive urbanisation helped Narendra Modi hammer home the 'Gujarati asmita' (Gujarati identity) slogan and successfully counter the Congress' charge of communalism.

Caste in the 21st Century: From System to Elements

The argument that while caste as a system is more or less dead, individual castes are flourishing is widely accepted. However, the notion of "caste as a system" is derived mainly from studies of the rural rather than the urban community. In this article, individual caste is seen in the context of both rural and urban communities and its several aspects, particularly the rule of endogamy as its defining criterion, are analysed at some length and some implications of the analysis are pointed out.

The Indian Sociologist, 1905-14, 1920-22

This article is mainly an introduction to a monthly periodical, The Indian Sociologist, edited by the well known Indian freedom fighter Shyamaji Krishnavarma in 1905-14 and 1920-22, successively in London, Paris and Geneva. While it takes the history of Indian sociology back in time to 1905, it has wider sociological significance also.

Parashuram: Icon of New Brahminism

The brahmins all over India are involved in competition with other castes in the modern political arena, leading them to forge unity within the caste and alliances with other castes, including the dalits. Parashuram, the mythical ancient brahmin warrior has become the icon of this new brahminism.

Higher Education and Research

Higher Education and Research Roots of Mediocrity The fact that standards of higher education and research in universities in India have declined during the last few decades is widely recognised, but the fear that there are no signs of improvement is growing. Solutions have been sought mainly at higher levels of funding, particularly for hardware, and in minor administrative changes. Hardly any attempt is made to address the problems arising out of the long established basic structure of the university system and to deal with the changing ground realities. An attempt is made in this paper to draw attention to these and suggest a few thoughts on structural reform.

Family Studies: Retrospect and Prospect

Recent work in family studies has not advanced our understanding of the family. In most instances, the family continues to be seen as a static unit and defined in stereotypical terms. At the same time, the family as a unit of study continues to suffer as certain disciplines retain their academic distinctions. There is also a dearth of scholars with good reporting and observation skills that are required to pick up the nuances a study of the family inevitably involves.

The Matter of Facts

The Matter of Facts A M SHAH There is an increasing tendency among our sociologists and social anthropologists to be careless about facts and fly high in theory. The latest example is Anant Kumar Giri

The Tribes - So-Called - of Gujarat

If social scientists are surprised or puzzled by the participation of tribal people in the communal riots and in voting for the BJP in Gujarat, they have to blame themselves. They have carried in their mind stereotypes about tribal society and failed to conduct intensive and fundamental field research on tribal society for a long time. Some of them have not even read relevant available literature.


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