Social Theory

The name of the course reveals a lot less about the scope of this course, given vast possibilities that it opens up. Thus an exciting challenge is to frame the scope of the course in such a way that possibilities remain open allowing each of us to pursue our own interest. The course thus attempts to locate social with respect to theory. Subsequently it focuses on locating theory in social. In other words, the course dissembles the two terms in the title and assembles and reassembles in two separate layers: social in theory; theory in social. Towards this end:

  • To understand where is social; how to study it; and how to theorise. Sociological theories are the chief source of addressing this set of questions.
  • To understand, is theory abstract, thus independent of social? Does social differences, changes, hierarchy etc. determine theory (knowledge)? (Sociological and social) Theoretical reflections on modernity, postcolony and political economy will be chief source to address the issues.
  • To understand certain key critical theorists’ role (like Marx, Foucault etc.) in shaping up theoretical reflection’s on present; Also to explore key issues like cultural change, development, capitalism etc.