School of Global Studies

Understanding Contemporary India (L6057)

Understanding Contemporary India

Module L6057

Module details for 2017/18.

30 credits

FHEQ Level 6

Module Outline

This module introduces students to some key contemporary debates in the study of South Asian societies, with a focus on India. Starting with an interrogation of anthropological representations of South Asia, the module will explore debates about caste and hierarchy, leading to a discussion of everyday experiences of caste and its changing meaning and importance in contemporary India. It will question why bonded labour, patronage, inequality and poverty are so persistent in one of the world's fastest growing regions. It will explore how neoliberal policies and ideologies are reshaping South Asian subjectivity and society. The module will then turn to the politics of identity as shaped by class, caste and religious affiliations. It will explore the rise of the middle classes and its links with consumption, urban restructuring and the new enterprise culture, as well as its implications for growing inequalities of class and wealth. It will look into religious and communal identity formation and conflict, and will explore the nature of popular religion in South Asia. Finally, the module will look at the role of the state and politics in the making of contemporary South Asia. The state will be considered as a key actor in the shaping of neoliberal policies and ideologies, as a terrain of patronage and politics, and as the deliverer of new social welfare policies.

Assessement: 7,000 word dissertation.

Module learning outcomes

Demonstrate an awareness of key themes/debates in the anthropology of South Asia

Demonstrate an ability to locate key themes/debates in broader anthropological theory

Demonstrate an awareness of the contributions that anthropology has made to the understanding of social, economic and political relations in South Asia

Demonstrate an ability to critically read and assess accounts of society, economy and power in South Asian society

Express adequate understanding of the above through written means, using theoretical and empirical data

TypeTimingWeighting
Dissertation (5000 words)End of Year Assessment Week 1 Thu 16:00100.00%
Timing

Submission deadlines may vary for different types of assignment/groups of students.

Weighting

Coursework components (if listed) total 100% of the overall coursework weighting value.

TermMethodDurationWeek pattern
Spring TeachingSEMINAR3 hours111111111111

How to read the week pattern

The numbers indicate the weeks of the term and how many events take place each week.

Dr Geert De Neve

Assess convenor, Convenor
http://www.sussex.ac.uk/profiles/102363

Prof Filippo Osella

Convenor
http://www.sussex.ac.uk/profiles/102434

Miss Emilia Roycroft

Assess convenor
http://www.sussex.ac.uk/profiles/214700

Please note that the University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver courses and modules in accordance with the descriptions set out here. However, the University keeps its courses and modules under review with the aim of enhancing quality. Some changes may therefore be made to the form or content of courses or modules shown as part of the normal process of curriculum management.

The University reserves the right to make changes to the contents or methods of delivery of, or to discontinue, merge or combine modules, if such action is reasonably considered necessary by the University. If there are not sufficient student numbers to make a module viable, the University reserves the right to cancel such a module. If the University withdraws or discontinues a module, it will use its reasonable endeavours to provide a suitable alternative module.