Volume 6, Issue 1 (2015)


Forms of Social Asymmetry and Cultural Bias. Of Gender and Science in India and the World
V Sujatha
The relative absence of women in science and technology, especially at the apex positions, is a common trend throughout the world. But the asymmetry could be associated with different set of factors in different parts of the world. Catholic countries like Italy and Portugal, smaller socialist countries like Latvia, and Lithuania, countries like India renowned for its patrifocality and developing countries like Brazil - all have a good record of women’s entry and participation in scientific research. The lowest participation of women is found in those countries like Germany, US, France and Japan with greatest advance in science and technology and those with a very high military budget. Based on a literature survey in India this paper argues that we need to pay attention to variations in the level of asymmetry and the cultural moorings of bias in order to explain the relation between the social structure of asymmetry on the one hand and, cultural resources that sustain the asymmetry, on the other.

The Incorporation of Symbolic Inequality
Boike Rehbein, Jessé Souza
Research on social inequality has mostly focused on capitalism, studied the relation between the capitalist division of labour and stratification and used socio-economic criteria in the process. While all of this is important, it is only one side of the coin. Inequality in capitalist societies reproduces precapitalist structures, which is largely invisible due to the focus on capitalism itself. Under the guise of formal equality and freedom, invisible dividing lines between classes emerge. These are incorporated and institutionalized distinctions between social environments. People internalize patterns of action in these environments and thereby acquire symbolic classifications that constitute a shared hierarchy of values.

A Marxian ‘Moment’ in the ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’: Infrapolitics and Making of the 'Naxal Narrative’ in South-Eastern Uttar Pradesh
Anand Kumar, Subir Rana, Ashish Kumar Das
Persistence of chronic poverty, social injustice perpetuated by the caste system besides gender and class based discrimination has resulted in a systemic crisis and gave rise to the ultra-left movement called Naxalism or Naxalbari. The raison d’être for this movement is still rife and relevant since the adivasis and dalits have not only been denied their Constitutional rights even after half a century of independence, but are confronting new and bigger challenges by the neo-liberal regime. This paper presents an in-depth study of South eastern Uttar Pradesh against a historical backdrop and underlines the interconnectedness of growing incidences of Naxalism given the region’s feudal agrarian trajectory and the malaise of chronic poverty, under-development and misuse of office by the political class. It points to major ways of collective mobilization by the underprivileged sections of the society including heightened class consciousness, Gandhian constructivism and electoral democracy.

The Egyptian Case: Can Subjects become Citizens?
Julten Abdelhalim
The paper enquires into the Egyptian transformation associated with the uprisings in 2011. It asks whether the transformation was capable of completely changing state-society relationships. The focus is on the transformation of dominated subjects into democratic citizens. To answer the guiding question, the paper reviews state-society relations before the Tahrir uprising and then analyzes the current state of affairs.

Othering, an Analysis
Lajos Brons
Othering is the construction and identification of the self or in-group and the other or out-group in mutual, unequal opposition by attributing relative inferiority and/or radical alienness to the other/out-group. The notion of othering spread from feminist theory and post-colonial studies to other areas of the humanities and social sciences, but is originally rooted in Hegel’s dialectic of identification and distantiation in the encounter of the self with some other in his “Master-Slave dialectic”. The paper distinguishes two kinds of othering, “crude” and “sophisticated”, that differ in the logical form of their underlying arguments. The essential difference is that the former is merely self-other distantiating, while the latter – as in Hegel’s dialectic – partially depends on self-other identification.

Exploring the Invisible: Issues in Identification and Assessment of Students with Learning Disabilities in India
Fouzia Khursheed Ahmad
Students with learning disabilities have special needs in academic, classroom, behavioral, physical, and social performance, and the most common area requiring adaptation of classroom procedures is academic instruction. The issue of timely identification, assessment and remediation to help students to cope up with the difficulties in education has started gaining attention in India as a crucial step needed for ensuring an education system that proves truly inclusive since much yet still needs to be done in this regard. The relevance and urgency of exploring this area is therefore of utmost importance. This paper attempts to explore and discuss the concept, need and issues in the identification and assessment of students with learning disabilities in India

Orient und Okzident in Calicut. Muslimische Studenten und Studentinnen in Kerala, Südindien, im Spannungsfeld zwischen lokaler Verwurzelung und globalen Verflechtungen, by Barbara Riedel
A Review by Gernot Saalmann