Social Studies offers an interdisciplinary major upholding the twin promises of modern social theory: to understand the nature of social realities and to intervene in the world to make it a better place. Our focus is to study the social by deconstructing the term into several concepts and frameworks. The intellectual and moral imperatives of studying the social are realized by offering an interwoven umbrella that accommodates multiple perspectives. Anchored in Sociology and Social Anthropology, Social Studies Major investigates the systemic and the structural on one hand and the experiential and the everyday on the other. To navigate across the individual-collective binary, the program is unfolded in a state-market-community triad through which we look at theories, practices, institutions and agencies. The triad captures the way social fabric weaves its constituent elements viz. the political, economic, historical, technological, cultural and environmental realities. Consequently, for studying the interactions between land, communities and the environment, we derive from Human Geography and Ecological Studies; we engage with Critical Race and Ethnic Studies to explore the making and functioning of racial, ethnic, national and diasporic identities; Global Studies alerts us to the production of inequities as well as radical possibilities of globalizing processes; Science and Technology Studies inquire into the nature of scientific research and technological innovation as well as their impact on society and polity; and finally, Urban Studies draws attention to the rapid urbanization globally and the ecological as well as the social consequences.
To respond to this kaleidoscope of perspectives and dimensions that Social Studies champions, we offer a variety of Required and Elective courses encapsulating the ‘social’ from multiple disciplines. The program also enables students to write a capstone thesis at the final phase of the Major. Consequently, our courses range from social thoughts to empiricism, ethnography to big data analyses, STS to gender relations, critique of development to hallmark of neoliberal cities, migration studies to economy and poverty, to name a few. Required courses like History of Social Theories and Researching the Social for example are aimed at offering epistemic knowledge of Social Studies. Several Electives arise from the Required courses to provide a plethora of and often contrasting social realities based on the foundational knowledge. For example, we derive the elective on Future of Migration from the required course on Political Economy of Development, from Researching the Social emerges electives on Statistics and Computational Modelling. The capstone thesis offers an opportunity for the students to showcase their conceptual and research skills based on field immersions, data gathering and analyses. Faculty from across the three divisions of SIAS come together to teach courses in this major.
In order to earn an honours degree in Social Studies, a student must complete a total of twelve courses as well as a capstone thesis and earn 56 credits, out of which:
In order to earn a minor in Social Studies, a student must complete six courses and earn 24 credits, out of which:
Required courses must fulfil the following conditions:
In order to earn a concentration in Social Studies, a student is required to complete any 4 courses and earn 16 credits in Social Studies.