PhD Theses (Humanities and Social Sciences)

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    Archaeology of the Digaru-Kolong River Valley with Special Emphasis on the Neolithic Period
    (2023) Kumar, Jitendra
    Northeast India has long been considered a significant region for archaeological research. The geographical setting, biodiversity, diverse ethnic culture, ancient settlement, and traces of migration play a crucial role in creating a dynamic landscape of Northeast India. Assam and Meghalaya are crucial regions for archaeological research in Northeast India. However, most of the research in the region has been limited to site-specific studies. The present study area of Digaru – Kolong river valley is located in the foothills of the Meghalaya plateau and is surrounded by several archaeologically potential regions, such as North Cachar Hills, Khasi, and Garo Hills. Sarutaru and Marakdola are the only reported and excavated sites in this region. The reports of accidental findings of artifacts are widespread throughout the region, which further indicates the potentiality in terms of archaeological research.
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    Bilingual Language Processing: The Role of Socio-Cultural and Linguistic Context
    (2022) Kechu, Opangienla
    Language, following the Cognitive Revolution, is seen primarily as a higher mental function, working in tandem with other such faculties, like attention, executive functions and so on. Hence the focus has shifted from the analysis of the surface structures to how language is processed online, in a dynamic fashion, on the go. This underlines what goes on in the human mind when one either comprehends or produces language; the factors responsible behind the scene, that regulate how one processes language. Following this, the notion of bilingualism and bilingual language processing has been a much focused and discussed topic among researcher. Current discussions on bilingualism in the scholarly circles have focused on issues as myriad as social, cultural, cognitive, psychological, developmental, educational and even political aspects, alongside the obvious linguistic factors and has seen immense growth from the Revised Hierarchical Model (Kroll & Steward, 1994), Bilingual Interaction Activation Model (BIA, Dijkstra & van Heuven, 1998), Inhibitory control Model (Green 1998) to the recent Adaptive control hypothesis (Green & Abutalebi, 2013). The Adaptive Control Hypothesis specially has gained much traction with researchers finding compelling evidence (Hartanto & Yang, 2016; Verreyt et al., 2015) for the importance of interactional context on bilingual language processing. In tandem with this is the research on the influence of cultural context on language processing which first started a decade ago and is still continuously finding evidence. Thus, the main emerging trend in bilingual language processing research today is on the influence of context, be it linguistic context or non-linguistic context like culture.
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    Social construction of lnformation and communication Technologies: A study of the selected Departments of the Government of Assam
    (2022) Das, Tripti
    Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have played an essential role in modernity and the social sciences today and have contributed to debates on how modernity has been fluid in the 21st century. ICTs have brought about changes in social, cultural, political, economic, ethical, legal, and institutional domains, and these changes are referred to as late modernity or postmodernity. Investigating the role of ICTs in building human capabilities and their role in shifting social life is essential. Information and communication technologies are perceived as a tool for development. Further, it has been acknowledged as a problem-solving source and generating growth that aims at concrete deliverables to society. Development agencies have applied ICTs in various projects as a means of development. Policymakers of developing countries have introduced ICTs to establish good governance. The present study is an attempt to examine about the relevant technologies that different departments of government of Assam have been introducing to connect different communities, to improve livelihood of people, and to facilitate the activities of the state run institutions. As the study aims to look at the ICT application and its diffusion from Social Construction of Technology approach, therefore this study assumes greater significance in the context of the conflicting interest of various stakeholders, viz. the state, state- regulated departments, civil society organizations and the citizens i.e. the interest and meanings associate with different technologies indicate differing perspectives of various stakeholders. Organizations are chosen for the present study as they are such platforms where different stakeholders can act together. A part of the study also looks at the emergence of Information and Communication Technologies in the context of cultural and social factors in India and government initiatives on the diffusion of Innovation for the broader development of the nation and the development of the various regions. The study also applies Actor Network Theory and culminates that a particular technology is shaped by a combination of individuals, groups, organizations, and practices interconnected to cause change towards a particular purpose. While shaping a particular technology, individuals, groups, organizations, and practices are networks seen as a mix of humans and non-humans with different identities. The study aims to observe the ICTs’ implementation and diffusion in government organizations and its institutionalization by seeing ICT as a social practice that establishes social interaction among different entities through communication channels. The study of impact of ICTs is also a part of the Information System Research. Therefore, in this study it is found that changes occurred as a result of an innovation in general and ICTs in particular is not a linear process. It is more or less influenced both by the characteristics of the innovation itself and the particular context where it operates. ICTs is not something that can be injected from outside to bring some changes. Rather it has to be examine in terms of a number of factors such as economic resources, employment, health, education, civic engagement and culture to make it inclusive in nature.
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    Park, People and Politics: An Environmental History of the Kaziranga National Park
    (2022) Sarmah, Biswajit
    The Kaziranga National Park (KNP) is considered a remarkable success in wildlife conservation history. In the last one hundred years, the Greater One-horned Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) population revived from its near-extinction. The success is often credited to the bureaucratic and technocratic efforts to create wildlife habitats free of human intrusion.
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    Prohibition on lrpe, Culture Change, and the Apatanis in Arunachal Pradesh
    (2022) Sen, Tania
    This thesis explores various social events and associated complex relations surrounding the event of prohibition on trpe among the Apatanis in Arunachal Pradesh. The main contribution of the thesis lies in the changing contours of the idea of development and modernization constitutive of modernity. The categorical imperative is to interrogate the idea of modernity itself. ln other words, the idea of modernity remains unsettled and contemporary researches continue to be engaged in this. This study is a contribution in the same direction as new methods of looking at the indigenous people, and studying their struggles and negotrations with modernity. Ethnography is critically embedded in the present study. The study on the Apatanis in their homeland of zio vatley attempts to grasp the underlying causes of culture change and its transition. The dynamic intenelations between the economic, cultural, political and psychological factors have important implications for the changing patterns of the Apatani lrfe, Developing the postcolonial and postmodern concepts of development, the thesis aims to move towards a new understanding of ,,modernity,, and break the chains of ""Western"" civilizatronal drscourse of studying community and/or knowledge' The field is where the theories are drawn from, The results have been drawn through an amalgamation of experiences shared by the respondents as well as the past research and theories surrounding the ideas of culture change, indigenous studies and the idea of modernity.
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    Strategic choices and negotiations in insurgencies: National Democratic Front of Boroland in Assam
    (2022) Daimary, Jimmy Sebastian
    Insurgencies have been prevalent in many parts of South Asia including India at different points in time with demands ranging from sovereignty, autonomy arrangements to other socio-economic and political inducements. Northeast India also witnessed the onset of several insurgencies with various demands ranging from secessionism to autonomy arrangements and other socio-economic and political incentives for their respective communities. However, a deeper analysis reveals that some non-state armed groups (NSAGs)/insurgent groups decide to renounce the violence after a certain points in time and engage in the negotiation process with the state actors while others chose to remain in conflict. The thesis focuses on the former set of insurgent groups. The conditions or the factors that motivate the insurgent groups to engage in the political process vary from case to case.
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    (An) Evaluation of Electronic Wage Transfer under MGNREGA in the Barak Valley Region of Assam
    (2022) Pandit, Harish Chandra
    India's most ambitious rural employment programme – the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) – is close to two decades now. In the most recent times, conflicting reports have emerged on two counts. One shows that the programme has not made many dents in poverty despite a legal entitlement framework. The non-revision of minimum wage payments, delay in wage payments, and massive corruption are some reasons for its non-performance. Another form of reporting led by the Digital India campaigns of the present government shows that the electronic payment system initiated under the MGNREGA has resulted in indirect benefits to the beneficiaries under the scheme, thereby fulfilling the primary objective of timely wage payments and the secondary aim of financial inclusion. New technologies can control corruption and enhance operational efficiency by shortening payment delays, automatically providing for unemployment allowances, and improving communication with beneficiaries. However, we reiterate that technology alone will not help.
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    Colonial Knowledge and the Quest for Unnati among the Boros of North-East India, 1880s-1940s
    (2022) Daimari, James
    The thesis examines the formation of Boro identity from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. This is being done in the light of knowledge that came to be produced on Boros by British administrators and ethnographers, and the consequent engagement with that knowledge among the Boros as they strove for unnati (progress) and respectability within the existing social context. Boros were, what could be termed, a ‘fuzzy’ but ‘practically precise’ community, sharing kinship ties with various other communities in the north eastern region of the Indian sub-continent. However, the ethnological and classificatory exercises of the British during the nineteenth century gradually tried to fit them into more definite and rigid categories, wherein they came to be placed within a racialised hierarchy of castes/tribes. Rather than being docile subjects, Boros engaged with this knowledge produced about them and attempted to use it to chart out their own path. The articulations of the Boros were varied and sometimes divergent, but the thesis argues that what was common in all these multifarious articulations was the quest for unnati and ‘regeneration’. The religious conversions, socio-religious reform, political mobilisation and attempts to reclaim histories, prevalent among Boros in the first half of the twentieth century were all placed within the desire for ‘progress’. In this respect, while acknowledging the overarching dominance of colonial knowledge, the thesis also tries to be acutely aware of the agency of Boros themselves in the making of their modern self.
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    Lakshminath Bezbaroa and His Times: Language, Literature and Modernity in Colonial Assam
    (2021) Tamuly, Gitashree
    The thesis is an attempt to write a biography of Lakshminath Bezbaroa (1864-1938), an acknowledged writer of modern Assamese literature, situating him against the broader social history of the time. While exploring language, literature, religion, history, folklore, gender and all-pervading cultures of mundane life, from cooking to child-rearing, the study’s prime focus is on the question of modernity in south Asia, particularly Assam. It tries to explore the real and psychological worlds of the modern intelligentsia of Assam in colonial time, who consciously chose to live their lives in particular ways, but always found themselves among certain dilemmas, contradictions, confusions, anxieties and doubts. Initiating its journey with Dinanath, the father of Lakshminath, a representative of pre-colonial gentry, who had to negotiate with the colonial time in its early days, the study’s central concern is the changing panorama and perspectives of life in colonial modern situations. It tries to understand the formation of the regional Assamese identity, and its complex relations with caste, ethnicity, language, religion and the emerging notion of a broader identity of being an Indian. The study tries to understand the cherished ideology of matribhasa and nationalism against the concrete situations of the life of a celebrated crusader of linguistic nationalism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century- Assam, who fortuitously had to live a long expatriate life. Thus, it tries to examine and question such dominant ideologies of the time from within. Rather than perceiving language and literature as disinterested activities of the nationalist intelligentsia of the time, the thesis explores the economic and political aspects of such seemingly apolitical ventures. Coming away from the simplistic notion of a self-conscious intelligentsia’s concerted attempt to form an Assamese identity, the thesis examines multitudinous components which became interactive in the field, and became crucial in shaping the intellectual- cultural activities of the time. It explores the print world in Assamese as a gateway to modernity in colonial situation, and tries to concentrate on the issues like literary-historiographical mentalities, celebration of platonic love theme as a new version of bhakti or emotional attachment with God, experimentations and hybridization of existing and new genres, exploration of history as an inspirational force of assertion of identity and above all, emergence of a reading public, which subsequently came to form the public opinion. The study also examines the historical necessity and processes involved in it, by which, the society explores its heroes of different kinds, whether it be a religious guru, mahapurush, a great person, ‘jatir janak’, a begetter of ‘jati’ or an authorial figure, both from the past and the present. It examines the process of elevation of such celebrated figures, and focuses on the journey of an author like Lakshminath from an anonymous writer to a canonized, largerthan- life figure in the realm of the literary. It tries to understand how a literary persona has been constantly being made and unmade to serve the causes of the imagined life of a community, and elevated to the status of a hero. It also asks why Lakshminath was chosen for this purpose, emphasizing why a man of letters and a creative writer, rather than a contemporary politician, was chosen to represent a regional identity in Assam. It also tries to understand how a song composed by Lakshminath, without concern to its literary merit, came to signify the whole life of a nationality, and subsequently acquired a symbolic value. Finally, the thesis explores the making of cultural symbols like singing a particular song in particular places and ways, as attestation of one’s claim to the Assamese identity.
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    Land and Credit Market in a Bodo Village of Assam
    (2021) Daimari, Mizinksa
    The Bodos, as peasants, have featured significantly in the colonial agrarian history of Assam. However, there is a massive research gap on the transformations surrounding the Bodo peasantry in more contemporary times. The plains tribes of Bodos, despite a long history of identity politics, cannot be claimed as a homogenous group. Private ownership of land, which marks capitalist agriculture, features significantly among the Bodo peasantry. A free land, labour, and credit market are the mainstay of capitalist agriculture. How has capitalist agriculture advanced and transformed the Bodo peasantry in recent times? This thesis studies agrarian relations among the Bodo community through an examination of the land and credit market in an all Bodo village of Assam. The objective of this research is to investigate the socio-economic differences within the Bodo peasantry as opposed to discontentment between the Bodos and others. The fieldwork is in an exclusively Bodo dominated revenue village named Majrabari located in the Baksa district of Assam. The method of fieldwork is through a survey of Bodo peasant families, with the help of structured interview schedules interwoven with selected case studies. Our village study is based on 126 peasant families after a house listing of 310 Bodo families. The land market of Majrabari is dominant in sharecropping tenancy arrangements. We noted five agrarian classes in terms of the operation of agricultural land. They are Pure Tenants, Pure Lessors, Owner Operator cum Tenant, Owner Operator cum Lessors, and Owner Operator. Since non-agriculture is also an important contributor to the total earnings of households, we cannot say which of the above classes of land cultivating households are the richest. However, tenant-landowner relationships are not necessarily guided only by impersonal relations in Majrabari. Landowners prefer to lease land to tenants who they have known for a longer duration and can trust. The owners of capital (land, machinery, and irrigation) in this village are a few peasant families belonging to the Basumatari clan, who, incidentally, are also the landed. We see traditional practices of ‘summoning’ exchange labour (saori) during the agricultural season in our study area. We conclude that traditional labour relations co-exist along with modern capitalist agriculture in Majrabari. The credit market is dominant in the informal sector. Although there is a presence of public and private sector banks, including a rural credit cooperative, the dependence of peasant families on moneylenders is high. The village is dominant in the Basumatari clan of Bodos. From this present study, we cannot and do not intend to conclusively claim if a peasant family’s position in a specific clan can be a determining factor of socio-economic class differentiation among the Bodos. However, in the particular context of Majrabari, peasant families of the Basumatari clan seem to be enjoying a privilege over the others in terms of land ownership as well as asset ownership. The petty landowning cultivator classes are relatively better-off. In contrast, the marginal land-owning tenants, as well as the pure tenants, juggle with limited resources to make ends meet. As a result of continuous integration to the market, we see peasant differention in Majrabari. The role of the market notwithstanding, peasants in Majrabari are petty commodity producers. As a result of a small scale of production, the peasant sees little capital accumulation instead funding the reproduction of the means of production from incomes earned elsewhere. With increased costs and little income peasants are increasingly indebted to informal lenders in an under-banked region. Therefore, in an environment of increasing market integration, the Bodo peasantry of Majrabari is also undergoing agrarian distress and proletarianization.
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    Fideism- A Critical Evolution
    (2021) Deka, Chandana
    This thesis attempts to critically evaluate issues related to fideism. Fideism as an idea upholds that in the issues of religion, reason has no or minimal place, and only faith matters. Some fideists hold that religious faith and reason are not compatible with each other. According to them, faith requires absolute certainty and personal commitment. That faith goes beyond rational justification. Therefore, it is not necessary to look for evidence or reason in religious beliefs. This stance puts fideism in a problematic spot many times. Fideism faces challenges from different philosophical positions, severely from rationalism and evidentialism. But fideism manages to deal with such challenges from the doctrinal dimension. The challenges to fideism concerning doctrinal dimension may be less or unsolvable sometimes. But the toughest challenge is how fideism deals with the other dimensions of religion, specifically the social and ethical dimensions of religious practices. I highlight these challenges in this thesis and contend that if fideism is to hold its position, it has to combat these criticisms without getting itself into dogmatism
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    Movement of Agricultural Commodity Prices in Post-reform India
    (2021) Baruah, Prerona
    At a time when several Asian countries are reeling under acute agrarian distress, this dissertation focuses on India to conduct disaggregated uni-variate time-series analysis on the behaviour of prices for four major agricultural commodities produced in the country. The study specifically analyses two important time-series components, viz. seasonal variations and irregular fluctuations (or volatility). To meet its objectives, the study examines prices reported in over 300 wholesale markets (mandis) across the country and uses monthly data spanning more than a decade (2003-2016). In order to obtain reliable and robust results, care has been taken not to compromise on the methodological rigour. Towards this end, the work has adapted from recent contributions made to the literature on price-behaviour estimation for agricultural commodities. The research objectives taken up in this study have been guided by a critical review of the academic literature. When commodity prices are low in general, the nature of intra-year variability has crucial implications for farmers as the price received against harvest is a basic determinant of their income-streams. If primary agricultural-markets are prone to large seasonal price drops, it is an indication that certain constraints may be inhibiting farmer-sellers from behaving as rational economic agents. To obtain the estimates of price-seasonality, the dissertation tests harvest-pattern based specifications of seasonality (viz. trigonometric and saw-tooth functions) against an unrestricted dummy-variable specification to reduce estimation bias. The results show that there is a considerable variation in magnitudes of seasonal price gaps across space and commodity. In several cases, the seasonal price drops in domestic markets are higher than in international prices. Further, a cross-sectional analysis of the estimated seasonal gaps over socio-economic indicators reveals that the magnitude of the seasonal price drop has a direct relationship with the proportion of resource-poor smallholders in the district to which a particular mandi belongs. Thus, the study infers that the smaller farmers are the ones who mostly engage in the sub-optimal behaviour of “sell-low”. And this leads to a glut in the market. Thus, they are the ones who receive the lowest price for their produce. Given their high economic vulnerability, negative shocks to income-streams of smallholder households may threaten their livelihood sustainability. Therefore, this finding raises critical concerns and calls for policy makers’ attention. Since the global food-crisis of the last decade, volatility in food prices has become a major concern world over (Gilbert & Morgan, 2010; Ott, 2012;Bathla, 2012; Tripathi, 2014; Baffes & Haniotis, 2016; Gilbertet al., 2017). Although, volatility, in itself, is a short-run phenomenon, it can have adverse long-run implications in a country like India, which is teeming with resource-poor farmers. Therefore, this dissertation engages in a detailed investigation of the nature and degree of volatility in realised wholesale prices across the country. To accommodate for the possibility of time-changing variance, the study uses appropriate pre-estimation tests on each of the individual mandi-level series under study. Wherever the variance is non-stationary, a suitable generalised autoregressive conditional heteroscedasticity (GARCH) model has been identified to obtain an estimate of the price volatility. The findings, once again, highlight the wide dispersion in both the nature and magnitude of commodity price volatility across the country. On an average, for most of the commodities under study, the domestic market volatility estimates are close to international levels. Several markets also show evidence of time-varying volatility with marked clustering and persistence. Based on its findings, the study concludes that effective delivery of policy necessitates location-specific approaches. The diversity observed in price behaviour (both across and within the different states of the country) is an important contribution of this dissertation. It points out that certain locations are in more urgent need of policy support than others. Thus, continuing with blanket policy responses to the agrarian crisis may end up aggravating existing inequalities.
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    Border Creation, Citizenship and Identity: A Case Study of the Chakmas in Arunachal Pradesh
    (2021) Boro, Konkumoni
    The study attempts to investigate and analyze how the creation of post colonial borders impact the political status and identity construction of people crossing the borders and in the process how do these communities perceive the ideas of citizenship. The study is based in South Asia, making of its post colonial borders, resulting in sparking issues of majority and minority; native and settler; insider and outsider. This process resulted in large numbers of minority groups who were compelled to leave their countries of origin and they were neither accepted as citizens in the country of origin nor in their country of residence. Thus, many lingered as stateless people with no political status nor any rights and benefits. One such community is the Chakmas of the Chittagong Hill Tracts who migrated to India from East Pakistan due to religious persecutions and submergence of their arable land due to construction of Kaptai Hydel Dam. The Chakmas make continuous efforts to determine their status, rights and identity. In 1964, a large number of Chakma people migrated to India and were resettled by the Union Government of India in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. The Chakmas are still claiming for their political status, rights and identity even after more than six decades of their migration from Chittagong Hill Tracts (part of erstwhile East Pakistan) to India and resettlement in then Northeast Frontier Agency (NEFA). The various demands of citizenship claims made by the Chakmas, role of various Chakma organizations, responses of the state will be discussed in the study. The study analyses both the claims of the incoming community and the responses of the receiving community, particularly the contesting claims by political organizations like the All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU). The study concludes with discussion on the responses of the governments, both the Union and the State and the Judiciary on the issue of the Chakmas in Arunachal Pradesh.
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    (A) Philosophical Exploration of the Goddess as Role Model for Women with Special Reference to The Great Goddess and Her Various Representations in the Text and Some of its Contexts
    (2021) Kalita, Sunu
    The present research work examines some of the various representations of women seen through the lens of Vedic literature, mythology, and even contemporary writings in this significant research area. This background literature has helped immensely to reflect the current scenario and the changing status of women in the present period up to the modern day and the roles women have to play as per society’s requirements and their ability to adapt. It attempts to systematically study different role models that women are expected to play within social setups in Indian Hindu society. It addresses matters faced by different women who keep looking for role model in these chronological phases from goddess till modern woman Until modern social upgradation can harmoniously blend tradition with modernity. Generally, Hindu scriptures and mythology are full of gods and goddesses who are held in high esteem to be suitable as role models. Such divine role models are usually mythological figures from whom others can acquire divine virtues and imbibe some such virtues in them; then, an ordinary individual in life can be socially accepted also as goddess-like. One thus tries to establish a connection between the divine and the human in a very natural way. Thus, it is expected that every one of us can transform our lifestyle. These possible role variations need to be awakened so that our inner qualities can be brought into action by adopting the attributes of the role models
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    Encountering State: A Study of State–Society Interface in the Tea Garden Labour Community of the Brahmaputra Valley, Assam
    (2022) Sarma, Sumit Kumar
    This thesis examines the link between society and the state by exploring the everyday lives of communities located at the margins of the Indian state. This study argues that a meaningful way to understanding processes like state-building, democratisation and participation is to examine them at micro-levels. This work attempts to study people's experience and engagement with the state in their everyday lives. To a large extent, we can understand it by looking into the processes associated with governance in the local contexts.
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    Citizenship, Nationality and Assam: A Political History Since 1950
    (2021) Saikia, Prathana
    The thesis probes the question of the history of the making of the Indian citizenship in the context of Assam, the northeastern state of India. In Assam, the idea of citizenship has always been set against the trope of the foreigner. The notion of citizenship originated as a resource and culture specific consciousness much earlier. Assam as a province of the British India developed a distinct nature of discourse about membership. After independence, born out of the tumultuous history of India’s Partition at 1947, this idea went through various phases of political and cultural evolution. The citizenship question gradually got shaped within the constitutional and legal framework, but Partition continued to haunt the process. While for large part of India, the highly complex question of the citizenship did not remain a part of popular political discourse, for Assam, ‘who will not be an Indian citizen?’ came to be highly contested. Since 1950, the process of conferring citizenship in India remained entangled between two categories of people - the (mainly Muslim) migrants and (primarily Hindu) refugees from Pakistan. Assam’s embattled journey critically influenced India’s citizenship discourse. This redefining of legal citizenship in India was affected through constant reinterpretation of citizenship laws and everyday engagement of Assam’s residents. The thesis attempts to unfold this long journey of Indian citizenship in Assam, starting from pre-independence to the most recent.
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    (A) Risk and Protective Factors Framework for Indian Army Soldier’s Subjective and Psychological Well-being
    (2021) Kashyap, Shivali
    Army is a difficult profession which demands a great deal of physical, moral and mental strength of a person. They experience frequent and diverse occupational stressors such as separation from family members, adverse climatic conditions, isolation, unknown enemy in counter insurgency areas, uncertainty of life, difficult living conditions, fatigue, lack of control at work, role conflict and so on. Apart from these, stress can precipitate psychiatric illnesses like depression, anxiety, insanity, and alcohol and drug abuse. These stressors may adversely affect the well-being (both subjective and psychological well-being) of soldiers. However, a negligible amount of empirical research addressing occupational stress and well-being of Indian Army soldiers is available. Therefore, this thesis aimed to explore following objectives- (1) To develop and validate a scale to measure occupational stress among soldiers of Indian Army. (2) To identify and explore the role of significant risk and protective factors in the well-being of soldiers (3) To understand the interaction effects of both risk and protective factors in influencing the well-being of soldiers Risk factors included in the study are social isolation, occupational stress and death anxiety. Protective factors included are personality, resilience, leadership and group cohesion. Two studies were planned to address these objectives. Study 1 aimed at development and validation of occupational Stress Scale for soldiers (OSSS) to identify major occupational stressors experienced by soldiers. Study 2 aimed at understanding how risk and protective factors independently as well as interact to influence subjective and psychological well-being. As an outcome of study 1, occupational Stress Scale for soldiers was developed with 37 items and four factors namely, job related stressors, individual/personal stressors, administrative stressors and group/team stressors. The scale showed acceptable reliability and validity measures. In the study 2, path analysis was conducted to explore the role of risk and protective factors on subjective and psychological well-being. Results revealed significant risk and protective factors of soldier’s subjective and psychological well-being. Among the risk factors, death anxiety negatively predicted subjective well-being (SWB). However, death anxiety positively predicted overall psychological well-being (PWB). Among the occupational stress dimensions, only group stressors predicted significantly (negatively) both the subjective and psychological well-being dimensions. Job related and individual stressors significantly (negatively) predicted only psychological well-being. However, administrative stressors significantly (negatively) predicted only subjective well-being. Similarly, social isolation significantly (negatively) predicted both the subjective and psychological well-being dimensions. The analysis of the protective factors model showed that among the personality factors, only Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Openness to experience and Emotional stability significantly (positively) predicted PWB. However, Conscientiousness also significantly (positively) predicted SWB. The personality dimension of Extroversion negatively predicted SWB. In terms of Group cohesiveness, a group climate that is engaging has been found to be very highly significantly and positively predictive of both SWB and PWB. Avoidance of certain group members also significantly and a positively predicted SWB. A conflicting group climate on the other hand, very significantly (negatively) predicted PWB. Leadership (quality of leader-follower relationship) and resilience significantly predicted (positively) SWB. The analysis of the interaction or moderator factors model revealed the presence of four significant relationships which are: 1. Group engagement reduces the negative impact of social isolation on SWB. 2. Resilience reduces the negative impact of death anxiety on SWB. 3. Leadership helps to reduce the negative effect of death anxiety on SWB. 4. Engaging in a group reduces the negative impact of occupational stress on SWB.
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    Tribe, Class, Status and Power: Dynamics of Social Stratification and Change among the Kukis in Manipur
    (2020) Touthang, Savio Hollienthang
    Tribal societies are often described as having collective conscience and representations, group solidarity, communal ownership of property and egalitarianism, thereby maintaining social equality rather than social inequality and differentiation. Such a depiction of tribal society is a clear indication of a lack of understanding of the existing social structure prevalent among the tribals that deviates from the reality. No doubt, social relationship is determined by a strong sense of collective consciousness and based on kinships relations. In this context, the present study is an attempt to bring out the fact that social inequality or differentiation has been part and parcel of the Kuki tribal society, even in the traditional past. Existing scholarship hardly addresses social inequality resulting from such differentiation in status, economic endowments and power relations. A thorough examination of tribal community like the Kuki tribe depicts that differences operate in the economy, social and political milieus. Perhaps, the overemphasis in portraying tribals as an egalitarian community may purposefully lead to overlook the presence of social stratification based on class, status and power. This study also attempts to contest the general understanding that tribal society is perceived to be static or unchanging. The colonial encounter, Christian missionaries, modernisation processes, Western education and inroads of market economy have influenced tribal societies in Northeast India and the Kukis are no exception to this. To what extent has change or modernisation process influenced the overall social structure of the community particularly in transforming the social values and ways of life? The study argues that social stratification is not a new phenomenon for the Kukis rather it is as old as the traditional and customary practices themselves. Tribe in general and the Kuki in particular though decorated with the concept of egalitarianism is rather debatable, be it in the past traditional social setting or in the present modern domain. In fact, social stratification based on status, power and class is the core social reality of the community and the backbone of the system through which the social system operates. However, the significance and inevitability of social stratification has been neglected as in the case of studying the Kukis where the existing social stratification and inequality are suppressed while synonymously labelling it as to egalitarian community. Based on historical-sociological perspectives, the thesis foregrounds the problematic of social stratification and change in terms of tribe, class, status and power.
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    Hermeneutics as a Methodology in the Inter-Cultural Dimension of Philosophy of Consciousness with Reference to Buddhism and Vedanta
    (2020) Devi, Rekhamoni
    The thesis examines the application of the hermeneutical methodology in the intercultural dimension of the philosophy of consciousness. The theories of textual meaning that are evolving from the hermeneutical movement more appropriately applied in various fields of academic disciplines, such as postmodernist reading, feminist studies, psychoanalysis, ecology, and many others. However, its methodological application in cross-cultural dialogue is yet to emerge. Keeping that in mind, the present research identifies an area of possible cross-cultural discourse. The thesis explains the hermeneutical understanding in two ways- first hermeneutics as a methodology to understand the cross-cultural discourse, and secondly, tracing the hermeneutical roots in the Indian tradition. From the Indian tradition, the study explores the Advaita Vedanta concept of consciousness. Vedanta, for example, keeps room for hermeneutical disclosure of layers of meaning behind the smooth visible surface. However, the most distinctive feature of Advaita Vedanta philosophy of Sankara is that it not only introduces its non-dualist position, but it also has a unique way of interpreting the Upanishads and revealed the scriptures. In order to better approximate, this study explores some modernist positions and their translation of traditional Indian philosophical concepts into the terminology of the modern western world and their aspirations toward universalization and pluralism. They tried to interpret the Advaita Vedanta philosophy in a way that is acceptable to all. The neo-Vedantic philosophers give it a different turn by making some fusion with other cultures. Among them, some tried to merge it with Buddhism while some other with the western philosophical tradition. Vivekananda, Aurobindo, Tagore, Gandhi, Radhakrishnan all attempted to blend Advaita Vedanta with other cultures. However, their method of interpretation comes very close to the hermeneutics of Heidegger and Gadamer. As Heidegger regarded Being as the ultimate reality, similarly in the Advaita Vedanta philosophy also by keeping Brahman in the highest position, they tried to make a fusion of horizon, like Gadamer. Keeping this view in mind, the scope of the study widens to include the Heideggerian hermeneutics with some comparative notes with Vedanta and Buddhism. The overall objective of the thesis is to throw light on ‘hermeneutical understanding,’ which keeps room for an ontological dimension in hermeneutics, which freeing ourselves from the methodologism. It ensures the fact that understanding became a transaction between the creative consciousness of the author and the purely reproductive consciousness of the interpreter.
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    Caste in City: A Study of a Residential Settlement in Delhi
    (2020) Devi, Rama
    This research attempts to understand the manifestations of caste in an urban context, through a qualitative field study of a residential locality in the city of Delhi. It primarily focuses on Dalits, the members of marginalised castes, who have been residing in Ashanagar for over four decades. It explores various aspects of their lives and seeks to understand the manner in which caste exerts influence on their everyday interactions, experiences, opportunities and economic mobility in the city. Scholars continue to debate the nature, presence and persistence of caste in contemporary times. Some argue that caste has been de-ritualised and domesticated under the modern conditions, and, as a result it ceases to exert influence on sociopolitical and economic life. Others, in contrast, underline caste based socioeconomic disparities and discrimination and insist that modern structures conceal its role even as it reinforces inequalities. In the light of these broader debates, this study examines the modes of operation of caste and the ways it appears in urban landscape. More specifically, this study provides a descriptive account of the nature of quotidian inter-caste interactions in Ashanagar; it explores aspirations of members of various castes, especially the youth, and the realities of socio-economic mobility; and, it analyses local politics including electoral representation and Dalit politics. The study underscores that rather than being domesticated, caste occupies public spheres, and influences intercaste relations and interactions. It also fuses with different forms of modern hierarchies and plays a significant role in shaping urban inequalities. This study is based on data collected through qualitative research methods, including observation of various activities, interviews of individuals and groups, and case studies. This fieldwork for gathering information extended over a period of one year to understand the interactions and dynamics in the locality and individual/family life courses. It covered members from across caste/community, age and gender groups.