This book is a collection of autobiographical narratives by leading social scientists working across South Asia. It explores the linkages between their personal experiences and academic pursuits and analyzes how personal, political, and professional choices shape knowledge production and affect social transformation.
The narratives revisit long-standing debates on objectivity, subjectivity, self, and other and attempt to collapse the binaries that have informed the social sciences until now. Highlighting the state of research and pedagogy in the social sciences in the region, the book questions the conventional understanding of the task of the social scientist and, in doing so, blurs the distinction between theory, research, pedagogy, and activism.
A unique and compelling contribution, this volume will be indispensable to students and researchers of sociology, anthropology, history, creative writing, education, politics, biography studies, and South Asian studies. It will also be of interest to general readers.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction Part I: Engagement with Disciplinary Prisms: Expanding Horizons 2. Meandering through the Art of Medicine and the Science of Society 3. A ‘Self’ Embedded in ‘Social’ 4. Forging a Practice through Autobiographical Questioning 5. Contours of a Discipline:Perseverance, Social Sciences and the Word 6. Whither Swaraj? 7. Self, Society and Social Science Knowledge 8. The Fusing of Research and Teaching: Groovy Economics, Groovy Science 9. Travels through Changing Times: My Search for Social Relevance 10. Embodied Memories: A Journey with Ambedkar 11. Self in the Making of Partition Literature Part II: Reflections on Disciplinary Practices: Pedagogy and Research 12. Social and Institutional Engagements in a Periphery: Reflections on a Personal Journey 13. Of Tactic and Tenacity: Tale of a Teacher 14. Between (Auto) Biographical and Anthropological: Bearing of the Interplay on Teaching and Research 15. My Journey: Unfinished, Unending 16. Biography And Social Forces 17. Inside/Outside/In-between: On the Discomfort of Shifting Locations as a Border-Crossing Academic 18. Journeys in History, Personal and Professional 19. On Teaching Sociological Theory
Achla Pritam Tandon is Associate Professor at Department of Sociology, Hindu College, University of Delhi, India where she has been teaching for the last 27 years. From 2000 to 2004, she served as Honorary Research Associate at the Department of Anthropology, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. From 2015–16, Dr. Tandon was on deputation to the Cluster Innovation Centre, Delhi University, where she was Coordinator, Humanities and Social Sciences programme. Her main research interests are in media, education, gender studies and social inequalities.
Gopi Devdutt Tripathy is Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology, Maitreyi College, University of Delhi, India. She completed her doctorate on Shia observation of Muharram from the Centre for the Study of Social Systems, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. Her research interests include religion, sociological theory, popular culture, gender studies, literary texts.
Rashi Bhargava is Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology, Maitreyi College, University of Delhi. She completed her doctorate on civil society in Nagaland from the Centre for the Study of Social Systems, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. Her research interests include northeast India, identity formation, civil society, sociology of knowledge and visual culture.