Social Change and Development

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation ElectiveSUS1S8034

Semester and Year Offered: Second Semester, First Year of BA Sociology

Course Coordinator and Team: Anirban Sengupta along with another faculty member

Email of course coordinator: anirban[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: None

Aim: If Enlightenment, French Revolution, and Industrial Revolution are considered as three crucial phenomena that led to the rise and advancement of Sociology as a discipline, social change may be considered as the primordial Sociological theme! With the rise of modern state and discourses around its significance in influencing the wellbeing of its citizens, development has evolved as a critical avenue for understanding transformation. Sociologists have tried to understand transformation by reflecting on its diverse components including perceived roots, patterns, processes, agents, aims, and consequences. The aspiration of this course is to orient the students towards developing an understanding of social transformation specifically focusing on the meanings and manifestations of social change and development. The course is meant for beginners in social transformation. One aim of this course is to familiarize the students with the development of significant theoretical ideas in this field. The other aim is to situate these theoretical propositions in the context of contemporary socio-economic and political setting.

Course Outcomes:

  1. Understand meanings and significance of social transformation
  2. Develop ability to critically engage with contemporary changes
  3. Facilitate theoretical thinking about transformation

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

  1. Conceptualizing social change
  2. Classical theories on social change
  3. Sanskritization and westernization
  4. Globalization and cultural change
  5. Understanding development
  6. Classical theories on development
  7. Identity and development
  8. Nature, society, and development

Assessment Details with weights:



Date/period in which Assessment will take place



Assessment 1 (Open book exam)

Beginning of February

20 per cent


Assessment 2 (Closed book exam)

End of February/Beginning of March

30 per cent


Assessment 3 (Short take home essay)

Middle/End of April

35 per cent


Assessment 4 (Individual class presentations and participation in class)

Throughout the semester

15 per cent


Reading List:

  • Banerjee, Nirmala. (2006). Between the devil and the deep sea: Shrinking options for women in contemporary India In The violence of development: The politics of identity, gender, and social inequalities in India (pp. 43-68) Edited by Karin Kapadia. New Delhi: Zubaan.
  • Deshpande, Satish. (2003). Contemporary India: A Sociological view (Chapter Five: Caste inequalities in India today, pp. 98-124). New Delhi: Viking.
  • Drèze, Jean and Sen, Amartya. (2013). An uncertain glory: India and its contradictions (Chapter 3: India in comparative perspective, pp. 45-80). Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Esteva, Gustavo. (2010, First published in 1992). Development. In The development dictionary: A guide to knowledge as power (pp. 1-23) Edited by Wolfgang Sachs. London: Zed Books.
  • Haynes, Jeffrey. (2008). Development Studies (Chapter 1: What is development? pp. 1-18 and Chapter 2: History of development, pp. 19-40). Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.
  • Karlsson, Bengt G. (2009). Nuclear lives: Uranium mining, indigenous peoples, and development in India. Economic and Political Weekly, 44 (34), 43-49.
  • Noble, Trevor. (2000). Social theory and social change (Chapter 4: Theories of revolutionary change: Marx and contradiction, pp. 71-100). London: Macmillan Press.
  • Rapley, John. (2007). Understanding development: Theory and practice in the third world (Chapter 2: Development theory in the postwar period, pp. 13-34). Boulder, USA: Lynne Rienner Publishers.
  • Ritzer, George. (2011). Globalization: The essentials (Chapter 1: Globalization: Conceptualization, Origins, and History, pp. 1-27 and Chapter 7: Global culture and cultural flows, pp. 153-177). Chichester, UK: John Willey & Sons.
  • Roy, Arundhati. (1999, May 22 - June 04). The greater common good. Frontline, 16 (11). Retrieved from on 10 April 2017.
  • Shrivastava, Aseem and Kothari, Ashish (2012). Churning the earth: The making of global India (Chapter 6: Town and country: An old story gets much worse, pp. 166-192). New Delhi: Viking.
  • Singh, Yogendra. (1993, Reprinted in 2013). Social change in India: Crisis and resilience (Chapter 2: Contradictions and challenges of social change, pp. 24-40). New Delhi: Har-Anand Publications.
  • Srinivas, M.N. (1956). A note on Sanskritization and Westernization, The Far Eastern Quarterly, 15(4), 481-496.
  • Still, Clarinda (Ed.). (2014). Dalits in neoliberal India: Mobility or marginalisation? (Dalits in neoliberal India: An overview, pp. 1-43). New Delhi: Routledge.
  • Sztompka, Piotr. (1993). The Sociology of social change (Chapter 7: Classical Evolutionism, pp. 99-112 and Chapter 10: Theories of historical cycles, pp. 142-154). Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers.
  • Upadhyay, Surya Prakash. (2013). Sanskritization at large: Cultural changes in contemporary India, Indian Anthropologist, 43(2), 1-24.
  • White, Sarah. (2002). Thinking race, thinking development. Third World Quarterly, 23 (3), 407-419.


  • Eiesnsadt, S. N. 2005. Multiple Modernities (Selections). New Burnswick New Jersey: Transaction Publishers.
  • Calhoun, C. et al 2002. Classical Sociological Theory (Selections). Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
  • Fischer, E. and Marek, F. 1973.Marx in His Own Words (Selections). UK: Pelican Books.
  • Rist, G. 2009. The history of development: From western origins to global faith (Selections). New Delhi: Academic Foundation.
  • Broad, R. and Cavanagh, J. 2009. Development Redefined: How the Market Met its Match. Boulder, USA: Paradigm Publishers.
  • Inda, J.X. and Rosaldo, R. 2008. The Anthropology of Globalization: A Reader. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.
  • Kothari, U. (Ed.). 2005. A Radical History of Development Studies: Individuals,Institutions, and Ideologies. New York, USA: Zed Books.
  • McMichael, P. 2008. Development and Social Change: A Global Perspective. Thousand Oaks, California: Pine Forge Press.
  • Pieterse, J.N. 2010. Development Theory: Deconstructions/Reconstructions. New Delhi: Sage.
  • Ritzer, G. (Ed.). 2010. McDonaldization: The Reader. Thousand Oaks, California: Pine Forge Press.
  • Srinivas, M.N. 2008. Social Change in Modern India. Hyderabad: Orient BlackSwan.