The Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, established in May 2012, aims to unravel the dynamics and the multiple relationships implicit in the two defining terms in the nomenclature of this centre: society and development. The uniqueness of this centre lies in its ability to apply and train students in understanding the dynamics of change in Indian society through the lens of a 'sociological imagination'. Through teaching, research and course development, students and faculty members at this centre continually seek to enliven the connections between private worlds and public issues, within the larger frame of development.
Societies cannot be studied without referring to larger global processes that are reconfiguring the nature of social relationships, identities and institutions. The centre thus addresses this need to relocate development concerns in the study of society, in the nature of social inequalities, social exclusion, social movements and cultural critiques that render the changes in the last two decades intelligible. The endeavour is to engage in studies and researches addressing these critical issues of development in India, disseminate research output through academic interactions in workshops/seminars and in the process contribute towards a field view of development that engages with the interface between development experience, development policy and planning.
Presently, there are four faculty members in the Centre and some of the key areas of work include development theories and practice, agrarian society and agrarian change, urban space and politics, governance, visual anthropology, gender and politics, social theory and research, caste and tribal studies, culture and development, cultural resistance and critiques of development.