India: Sustainable Development and Social Change


Browse this program's Independent Study Projects/Undergraduate Research

This interdisciplinary program is designed to provide students with an understanding of social, political, and economic change within the Indian context by exploring both the historical and contemporary dynamics of India's colonial past and present frenetic growth. Students consider the most effective transformative tools for India in the 21st century, and examine the notion of "Indian culture" from both anthropological and contemporary Indian political perspectives.

The Field Methods and Ethics course addresses culturally appropriate, ethical field methodology, in preparation for the Independent Study Project (ISP). Study of Hindi opens windows into the culture and the theme of the program.

The following syllabi are either from a recent session of this program or for an upcoming session. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term.

The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.

Shaping Sustainable Social Change – syllabus (PDF)
(ASIA 3010 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Shaping sustainable social change exposes students to conceptual frameworks for rethinking development and its application to the Indian context and introduces students to successful and potential interventions for viable economic, political, and social change to address the present as well as the emerging development crises. The course enables student to identify agents of change and analyze their role in shaping sustainable social change and to reflect on successful interventions and emerging development “alternatives” and conceptual framework and analyze their application and effectiveness through the lens of sustainability.

Development Approaches and Distributive Justice – syllabus (PDF)
(ASIA 3020 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
This course introduces India’s post-independence development scenarios. By critically analyzing and reflecting on past and ongoing development processes, students gain knowledge on post-1990s Indian development experience and the shift to liberalization and a market economy resulting in current urban, rural, and environmental crises. Emphasizing equity and power with land as a central theme, the course also provides reflection and analysis of the social justice issues of contemporary India.

Intensive Language Study: Beginning Hindi – syllabus (PDF)
(HIND 1000–1500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Intensive Language Study: Intermediate Hindi – syllabus forthcoming
(HIND 2000–2500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Intensive Language Study: Advanced Hindi – syllabus forthcoming
(HIND 3000–3500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Emphasis on speaking and comprehension skills through classroom and field instruction. Based on in-country evaluation, including oral proficiency testing, students are placed in beginning, intermediate, or advanced classes.

Field Methods and Ethics – syllabus (PDF)
(ANTH 3500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
This course provides the foundation necessary to conduct ethically sound research in India, and enables the development of research skills by practicing fieldwork within the framework of the Indian social and cultural environment.  Understanding and applying ethical research practice while conducting a one-month Independent Study Project (ISP) that may involve human subjects in a cross-cultural setting is the primary goal of this course. Topics include cross-cultural adaptation and skills building; project selection and refinement; appropriate methodologies; field study ethics and the World Learning/SIT Human Subjects Review Policy; developing contacts and finding resources; developing skills in observation and interviewing; gathering, organizing, and communicating data; and maintaining a work journal.

Independent Study Project - syllabus (PDF)
(ISPR 3000 / 4 credits / 120 class hours)
The Independent Study Project (ISP) is an opportunity for in-depth study of a particular aspect of socio-cultural changes and sustainable development initiatives and challenges in India. Conducted in various SIT-approved locations in India. Sample topic areas: theater for social change; traditional women’s crafts and the modern market; Indian wildlife conservation and international nongovernmental organization involvement; irrigation and water management issues; a critical analysis of elephant tourism; call centers as the job of the educated future; marketing culture and Rajput identity; microfinance and women’s empowerment; language and literacy; a comparison of traditional and mass production of Indian textiles.

Costs Dates

Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Jaipur

Language Study: Hindi

Prerequisites: None


View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)

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