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By |May 3rd, 2021|Books|0 Comments

Artificial Intelligence: Boon or Bane?

 A Social Science Perspective

This edited book aims to provide an overview of the main dimensions and challenges of artificial intelligence (hereafter AI) from a social science perspective.

The AI is the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks that are commonly associated with intelligent beings. In a very short span from its introduction, AI has become omnipresent in contemporary human lives. Human being interacts with AI, whether knowingly or unknowingly, daily when using their phones, digital assistants, undergoing medical treatment, or during web browsing. AI has proven it can produce immense social good. However, every new technology comes with considerable caveats, there are always unforeseen consequences, which  we  tend  to  observe  once  set  in  motion.  Those  unintended  outcomes  of  AI will  likely challenge us all.

Although we are counting on AI as the next tool to revolutionize the way we live, work and interact with each other, it remains unclear as to how these intelligent agents will help to solve more complex problems than the ones existing today e.g. poverty, social inequality, human rights and social security, climate changes, pandemic crisis and so on. So, it becomes pertinent at current times that we see through social sciences perspective on AI to unpack and explain what AI means to be human.

In this background, this edited work is a novel attempt to ponder upon the social dimension of AI. Combining work from researchers active in different academic fields of social science, it will also include contributions from professionals and entrepreneurs who work with artificial intelligence. The book will be an edited volume in which the chapters are written by researchers, as well as experts, to understand the different aspects of AI in the broader societal context.

For more details on themes and submission process, see here:

 

Anthropological Explorations in East and South–East Asia

By |April 5th, 2021|Books|0 Comments

 

Book Description   

This volume  is a collection of eighteen ethnographic essays  on Anthropological Explorations in East and South–East Asia, reprinted from the almost forgotten Journal of the Anthropological Society of Bombay, published during 1886-1936. Divided into five parts,  it includes works on history, religion, tea cult, the Torii  of Japan and the Torans of India;  a  paper that deals with the veneration of  dead in China; eight papers on Tibet: on its customs, devil driving processions, book procession of Lamas, Tibetan folklore in eastern Himalayas, and the method of computing distance by means of tea-cups; a paper on Burma on the monastic institution and its Phongys;  and four papers on Malaysia dealing with the tiger in Malay folklore, folk medicine, etiological folktales, Burmese   and Indian folk beliefs about the man tiger and the Malay version of two ancient Indian apologues.The volume suggests that the history of anthropological writings in India is much older than is  believed  to be.  In addition, it also portrays glimpses of  non-tribal societies beyond India studied by indigenous scholars. This book should interest anthropologists, sociologists, Buddhists, and students of East and South-East Asia.

Revisiting Suicide:From a Socio-Psychological Lens

By |March 17th, 2021|Books|0 Comments

Book Description                                                

This book provides a socio-psychological enquiry of the phenomenon of suicide in the Indian context. It addresses the rising trend of suicides across the world and through case studies explores its primary reasons, the after-effects on survivors and families, and measures to prevent them. The volume focuses on deciphering the social and psychological meanings associated with suicide. Through an examination of psycho-social autopsies of numerous cases, it highlights the patterns and trends which emerge around mental well-being, suicide, and bereavement. It examines the primary roadblocks for robust suicide prevention measures and provides great insights into behavioural and personality categories and their relationship with suicide. Offering theoretical and empirical perspectives on the issue of suicide and self-harm, this book will be of interest to students, researchers, and faculty of behavioural sciences, psychology, social anthropology, demography, criminology, social work and sociology. It will also be an essential read for psychologists, counsellors, policy makers, NGOs, CSOs, legal experts and media personnel working in the area of suicide prevention and research.

 

Webinar on- Artificial Intelligence: Boon or Bane?

By |March 16th, 2021|Webinar|0 Comments

Interested Participants

 

Concept Note

Artificial intelligence (AI), the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings[i]. It was all started in 1950s when a mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing[ii] designed a test, originally called the ‘imitation game[iii]’, to examine the machine’s ability to be ‘intelligent’ if a human interacting with it could not tell whether it was a person or a machine. It was the first step in the development of what would become the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), a term first coined by John McCarthy in 1956.

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देश में बदला शिक्षण का स्वरूप!!!

By |August 1st, 2020|Media Coverage, Research Project|0 Comments

प्रवासी श्रमिकों के पलायन पर सर्वे

By |June 1st, 2020|Research Project|0 Comments

Structure and Behaviour of Daily Labour Markets in Gujarat: VTV Gujarati Debate

By |February 18th, 2020|Research Project|0 Comments

Structure and Behaviour of Daily Labour Markets in Gujarat: VTV Gujarati Debate

Book Launch:Changing character of religiosity in Gujarat: Sacred Space,Time and Persona

By |February 5th, 2020|Books|0 Comments

 With the level of religiosity breaching the 90% mark as per the latest World Value Survey, India today is in the select club of highly religious nations. At this point of time, many scholars have warned about the dangers of religious illiteracy among staunch religious followers especially in multi-faith societies where misunderstanding and ignorance can escalate into hostility, abuse and violence, and hinder cooperative endeavours in all arenas of human experience.

This book studies the inextricable relation between religion and religiosity across space, time and persona. With these concerns, the authors emphasise empirical externalities of religion by observing the evolution of religious spaces and changing character of religious festivals over time. Findings from the empirical data justify the use of economic variables to understand religion and the changing demographics of religious pluralism. The analysis of religious and caste organizations throws light on how they have responded to the changing character of sacred time due to the economic shifts. In contrast to the ideas about spiritual gurus of old like hermits living in mountains, or bearded sages living in remote ashrams,  this book shows the role of technology- powered  godmen  and women, some of whom  have  become India’s most influential and powerful figures. No matter how deeply held our beliefs may be today about perpetuity of religion, they are likely in time to be transformed, or simply fade away.

The book raises many questions for social scientific research on religion. If religions have changed dramatically in the past, how might they change in the future? Is there any substance in the claim that belief in gods will die out altogether? As our civilisation and its technologies become increasingly complex, could entirely new forms of worship and celebration of festivals emerge?

This book should interest scholars of philosophy, theology, religions, and social sciences. Book detail

3rd Foundation Lecture

By |February 4th, 2020|Foundation Lecture|0 Comments

The Paradox: Nationalism and Pluralism

By Rudolf C. Heredia

Abstract: The paradox of nationalist pluralism is resolved only with an inclusivenationalism and a tolerant pluralism. Nationalism is a powerful unifier and motivator,pluralism demands tolerance and understanding of difference. Our Constitution affirmsliberty, equality fraternity for all citizens, while protecting minorities’ rights andaffirmative action for the marginalised, the poor and discriminated.Our cultural diversity and religious pluralism could be an example to a broken andviolent world. Unfortunately, authoritarian ethno-nationalism favours uniformity andsingle party dominance. It took two World Wars before the European nations were ready

for the European Union. It is still a work in progress, but yet an example for The Unionof India.
I. Introduction: Method and Context
1. The Approach

The way we conceptualise a situation already sets the parameters for our response,which will inevitably reflect the limitations and leads, the confusion or the clarity inour thinking. Hence the more incisive our understanding, the more decisive can be ourresponse.

In this presentation, we will take a hermeneutist rather than a deconstructionist-stance. We will exercise our “sociological suspicion”, but we will try at the same time toindulge in the “art of listening” to the various voices that speak from different perspectives.But if we want to set the meaning of their text in a meaningful context, then we must alsoattempt to uncover the pre-judgements that pre-set their ‘horizon of understanding’, as well as the pre-options that predispose their responses.

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A Summary Report-National Seminar on Social Structure of Tribal India

By |December 13th, 2019|Seminar:-Summary|1 Comment

A Summary  Report

National Seminar on

Social Structure of Tribal India: Concepts, Debates and Empirical Realities

(November 22-23, 2019)

 By Kanchan Bharati and Dhananjay Kumar

Anthropologists and sociologists have for long focused their studies on the tribal communities of India on their culture (sanskriti) comprised of ecology, agriculture, arts, crafts, dance, language, folklore religion, festivals, witchcraft and so on. However, studies of social structure (samaj) of the tribes have been relatively sidelined. Hence we have lesser knowledge of their groups, classes and categories, such as family and marriage, lineage and clan, the network of kinship and affinity and their political structure. During the 1960s some anthropologists/sociologists have initiated studies on the social structure of the tribals of eastern and central India. But not many studies have been done in the western part of the country.

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