Subject wise — social network


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
Subject wise — social network

The nature of some humanities courses helps graduates play a key role in solving contemporary issues. Here is a list of some of these postgraduate programmes

The humanities have always attracted students with a keen interest in civic, political, demographical, cultural and societal dynamics. A stream with diverse branches, the humanities open a plethora of op tions, including courses in linguistics, sociology cultural studies, interna tional relations, developmental studies, rural development, psychology, economics, to name a few. While some of these courses pave the way for satisfying careers, others offer the privilege to contribute to society at large. Here's a look at some such postgraduate programmes. MASTER'S IN SOCIAL WORK Stark inequality in the country continues to influence many to study social work. According to Satyajit Majumdar, chairperson, Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), a Master's in social work (MSW) trains students to identify social issues and generate as well as channel resources towards eradicating it.

However, fund shortages and the myopic vision of most social agencies that look for curative rather than preventive measures have made aspirants shift their focus to social entrepreneurship. While only a few universities offer a Master's in Social Entrepreneurship, according to Majumdar, "A degree in this field provides one the opportunity to deal with social ills and issues in a community by finding innovative models that can not only ensure progress of the community on various social and economic fronts, but also help build a self-sustaining, inclusive and viable enterprise." However, he adds, "A career in social entrepreneurship mandates immense dedication and commitment to a cause and it may not match up to the salaries and perks offered by corporate houses."

Globalisation has spurred rapid development across developing nations. Experts suggest that the developmental trajectory that most countries follow, owing to the trade driven capital inflow, fails to address basic socio-economic and environmental issues. Thus, there is a need for professionals who can undertake policy-related analysis and work on a wide range of issues that affect people's livelihoods. Says Shreeshan Venkatesh, pursuing his Master's in the subject at Maastricht University, The Netherlands, "The course puts stu dents through a mix of subjects in sociology, economics, anthropol ogy and politics to ex plore multiple as pects of global issues such as labour, mi gration, environmental degradation, etc. The field of developmental studies, as the name suggests, involves academic critiquing and offers a wide scope for focussed research. For those who do not want to carry out research, the degree can either help them take up jobs in NGOs, government agencies, consul tancies, and think tanks, or can be an ideal addition to allied degrees in the humanities." Venkatesh, a postgraduate in journalism, took the degree as an add-on to work as a development journalist.

The integration of various nations, owing to trade, has spurred the growth of international relations (IR). Informs Gautam Kumar Basu, professor, department of international relations, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, "IR is an all-embracing interdisciplinary field, the study of which not only includes interstate strategic and diplomatic relations, but also involves politico-economic, cultural and inter-societal and other dynamics." With subjects as diverse as global security studies, conflict studies, human rights issues, as well as regional studies, this field allows students to specialise in their area of interest.

Reiterates Basu, "PG courses in IR include optional papers in area studies and issue-related themes. After the completion of the course, students may join the foreign service, journalism, think tanks, security agencies, etc. A career in teaching and research, too, is an attractive option."

Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi; Loyola College of Social Science, Thiruvananthapuram; Visva Bharati (a central university), Santiniketan, West Bengal; Madras Christian College, Chennai; and Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda Development studies/ rural development: Annamalai University, Chennai; Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati; and National Institute of Rural Development, Hyderabad Politics (international relations): Jawarharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala; and University of Pondicherry. *Indicative listing

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