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  Bangladesh Sociological Society

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Volume 1 Number 2 Society News March 2005



South Asian Sociological Association

to be formed


Nazrul Islam made convenor


The South Asia Workshop on the “State of Sociology” concluded in Surujkund, Haryana (India) with a call for forming an association of the sociologists in South Asia.  The workshop, which lasted from February 23 to 25, 2005, was attended by some fifty delegates from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The final session of the workshop was devoted to explore the possibility of forming an association of the South Asian sociologists. A panel, chaired by Professor T.K. Oommen (India) and comprising of Professor Siri Hettige of Sri Lanka, Professor Sujata Patel of India, Professor Chaudhry Inayatullah of Pakistan and Profesor Nazrul Islam of Bangladesh, led a discussion on the problems and prospects of organizing a South Asian forum for the sociologists. While the need for such a forum has been long felt and a number of attempts were made in the past, none ever matured to any level of seriousness.  Therefore, a call for total commitment to the cause was voiced by the house. Although a few delegates argued in favour of going slow, the consensus in the house was to strive for such a forum sooner than later.


At the end of the discussions, Professor Partha Nath Mukherji, Chairman of the Organizing Committee for the Workshop, proposed a Steering Committee with Professor Nazrul Islam as the Convenor. The proposal, seconded by Professor J.P.S. Uberoi, was passed unanimously. It was also agreed that Professor Islam would be supported by Professor Hettige, Professor Inayatullah, Dr. Ravinder Kaur (India), and Dorji Penjore (Bhutan) as co-convenors, with the provision for co-opting a representative from Nepal.  The Steering Committee is expected to work on a constitution and ways of realizing the demand for a South Asian Sociological Association within a reasonable amount of time.

German sociologist concludes

a busy week at Dhaka


Professor Dirk Kaesler, who visited Dhaka from February 19 to 25, 2005 on an invitation from the Society and the University of Dhaka concluded a very busy week. Professor Kaesler addressed the faculty and the graduate students at the Independent University of Bangladesh on February 22, 2005 on  “The Civil/Uncivil Distinction in Social Theory”. On February 23, 2005 Professor Kaesler met the Faculty of the Social Sciences, University of Dhaka and discussed the “Four World-Models for the year 2010”. Prof. Kaesler was the principal resource person at a two-day workshop attended by the students and the teachers of the Sociology Department, University of Dhaka. The topics for the workshop were "Sociology in the Twenty-First Century: A Discipline at the Crossroads" and "Recent Developments Of Sociology in Bangladesh and Germany".  Because of the uncertainties of the political atmosphere Professor Kaesler’s workshop was shifted from the University of Dhaka to the Goethe Institute premises.

Earlier the German professor visited the ruins at Sonargaon, the former capital of Bengal. He also paid his respects at the Shaheed Minar along with hundreds of thousands on the 21st February, the day when the country remembers the martyrs of the language movements.


Professor Kaesler also met the Society members and other sociologists at a dinner party organized by Markus Litz, Director Goethe Institute, Dhaka.

Professor Kaesler’s visit was sponsored jointly by the Goethe Institute and the Bangladesh Sociological Society.






Society Members play a major role at the South Asia Workshop



The three members of the Society, Professor Nazrul Islam, Professor Mahbub Uddin Ahmed and Dr. Mahbuba Nasreen, played a major role at the South Asia Workshop held from February 23 to 25, 2005 at Surajkund, Haryana, India. Professor Ahmed was a designated discussant at a session on the “Substantive Problem Areas of Sociological Research in South Asia: Neglected/Priority Areas of Research”, while Dr. Nasreen presented a paper titled “Need for a Paradigm Shift: Environmental and Disaster Perspectives in Sociological Study”. Professor Nazrul Islam Chaired the session on the “Substantive Problem Areas of Sociological Research in South Asia: Neglected/Priority Areas of Research”. Professor Islam was also a panelist on a discussion titled “Peace Conflict and Development: Sociological Perspectives”. The panel discussion led to the formation of a Steering Committee, with Professor Islam as the Convenor, for organizing a South Asian Sociological Association.

 The Workshop, initiated by the International Sociology Association and co-organized by three
partners - Indian Sociological Society, Pune Sociology Department and Colombo Sociology Department, was the first of its kind, bringing together practicing sociologists from the South Asian countries of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan
. The delegates from Nepal could not be present because of the prevailing political situation in that country.


Prominent sociologists from the region participated in the three-day workshop, which was inaugurated by the Dr. K.R. Narayanan, Former President of India. Among the participating sociologists were, Prof. T.N. Madan, Prof. T.K. Oommen, Prof. J.P.S. Uberoi, Prof. Satish Saberwal, Prof. Sujata Patel, Prof. S.M. Dahiwale, Prof. Rajni Palriwala and Dr. Roma Chatterji from India, Prof. Chaudhry Inayatullah and Dr. Gulzar Shah from Pakistan, Prof. Siri Hittige and Prof. N. Shanmugaslingam from Sri Lanka and Prof. Rangalal Sen and Prof. Anupam Sen from Bangladesh along with the three Society members.


The Workshop was divided into six sessions with about twenty papers presented on areas ranging from the state of sociology in different countries to sociologies of the various communities. The need for a regional perspective along with the necessity for the translation of sociology texts into the local languages were the major issues that came up during the discussion sessions. The Workshop ended with the formation of a Steering Committee for organizing an association for the South Asian sociologists.


Profesor Partha Nath Mukherji, President Indian Sociological Society and Dr. Ravinder Kaur, Indian Institute of Technology shouldered the burden of seeing this very successful Workshop to its completion.





































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