HS 491: Contemporary Urban India: Sociological Perspective

This course will introduce students to urban processes and patterns in India along the following lines:

City: Basic concept and theories / approaches; nature, types and growth of cities.

Aspects of urban society and structure:

A: demographic change, occupational structure, social differentiation, spatial distribution, settlement patterns

B: migration, ethnic groups, neighborhoods, and voluntary associations

Urban space and social processes: factors influencing urban space: the built environment and urban life.

Social stratification in cities: class, caste, status, ethnicity, and power.

Aspects of urban society and culture: changes in gender, kinship and family relations.

Continuity and change: tradition and modernity in urban India.

Urbanization and social change: urban social institutions, urban influence on rural areas.

Ethnicity and social movements:

            A: issues of identity and social mobilization

B: urban social and political movements and ideologies: nationalism, secularism and communalism

 C: Urban Conflicts and violence

The Indian city in the context of globalization.


Veena Das, Mirrors of Violence, OUP, New Delhi, 1991.

R. Ramachandran, India's Urbanization, OUP, 1998.

M.S.A. Rao, Urban Sociology in India: A Reader and Sourcebook, Sangam Books, 1992.

Robert Redfield and Milton Singer, "The Cultural Role of Cities", Economic Development and Cultural Change, Number 4, 1954.

Saskia Sassen, Cities in a World Economy, Sage, 1995.

A.M. Shah, B.S.Baviskar, and E.A. Ramaswamy, Social Structure and Change: Complex Organizations and Urban Communities, Sage Publications, New Delhi, 1996.

Milton Singer When a great tradition modernizes: An anthropological approach to Indian civilization, University of Chicago Press, 1980.

M.N. Srinivas, Social Change in Modern India, Orient Longman, 1972.

Sylvia Vatuk, Kinship and Urbanization, University of California Press, 1972.