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

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Sociological Studies in India

The influence of the British academic tradition on Indian education is responsible for the relatively undeveloped character of sociology in India.

 Sociology was not regarded as respectable by Indian intellectuals who looked up to Oxford and Cambridge for providing them with their standards and ideals. It was only after Independence and the launching of the programme of planned development that a widespread need was felt for sociological research.

Since Independence several important field studies of villages have been carried out by sociologists Indian and foreign. But the pace of social change in India has been such that villages are increasingly affected by forces outside and the growing: links between villages and towns have forced sociologists to study the process of urbanisation and even the urban centres themselves. Problems in political sociology and the analysis of the role or non-economic factors in development are also beginning to receive attention.

The relatively undeveloped character of sociology in India today is a direct result of the influence exer cised by British academic traditions on education. It is noteworthy that there was only one chair in socio logy in Britain prior 1o 1947, but dur ing the post war years there has been a tremendous growth in the subject the number of Chairs being over forty today. Perhaps no other subject has expanded so fast in British aca demic history.

Until recently, sociology was not regarded as respectable by Indian intellectuals who looked upto Ox ford and Cambridge for providing them with their standards and ideals. It is only with India's inde pendence, and with the launching of a prdgramme of planned develop ment that a widespread need was felt for sociological research. Inde pendence also marked the increas ing exposure of Indian universities to intellectual traditions other than the British, and in particular, the American. (It is not sufficiently realized that there has been a sea change in India's intellectual orient ations since Independence.) Today fourteen Indian universities have separate departments of sociology, and besides, there are research insti tutions where sociology has an im portant place. There is a dearth of trained sociologists and it is not easy to fill senior posts in universities and elsewhere. All this is the result of the neglect from which the subject suf fered during the pre independence years.

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