The India Post, Chandigarh, 17th December,2008: Department of Sociology, P.U. is organizing two days 12th Conference of North West Indian Sociological Association on “Social Exclusion and Uneven Development” at ICSSR Complex, P.U. on 8-19 December 2008. The Conference is sponsored by ICSSR, NW Regional Centre, Chandigarh .
There is an intimate relation between the social form of relations and the corresponding character of economic development. Economic relations are hardly mediated by the rational actor, even in a developed capitalist society. In the regions or countries where the traditional bonds, regulated by the customary law, have been loosened to make space for the self-seeking rational actor, the polarizing economic effects have been mitigated to some extent. In contrast the societies, particularly in the Third World Countries, that are still enduring the stranglehold of the traditional frame of social structure, not only the economic exploitation is extremely high, it is also legitimized through the discourse of dominant ideology.
There is a popular view that globalization, under liberal market conditions, leads to uneven development and marginalisation. Over time, globalisation ends up intensifying the process of social exclusion. In contrast, we have proposed that the pre-existing socio-structural inequalities, particularly of the form of Indian caste system, provide a highly favourable ground to the economic marginalisation of the people from the lower echelon of social hierarchy as the market value of their labour power is determined not by the economic rationality but by the dominant ideology of the primordial social structures. And thus, social exclusion is both the cause and effect of unequal development..
North West India reflects all sorts of unevenness, viz, topographical, economic and social. The focus of the Conference would be the interface of all sorts of unevenness; and how one form of inequality becomes a source of another form of inequality, and together they end up in mutual reinforcement. The composite view of the process of social exclusion, in contrast to the popular evolutionary view supported both by liberal and Marxist theory, open more space for discursive understanding of the processes of social exclusion. In this background we propose some of the following areas/ issues for the focus of the Conference:
1. Understanding social exclusion particularly in the context of high tide of globalization.
2. Inter-relationship between caste structure, economic processes and political fall out.
3. Mitigating impact of reservation on social exclusion.
4. Social, political and economic dimensions of massive in-migration to north-western Indian states.
5. Various forms of social exclusion and the collective resistance of the people from below.
6. Exclusionary impact of MNCs and SEZs, with a focus on the poor.
7. Dalit and gender question in north-west India .
8. Any other paper related to the theme of the conference according to Prof. Manjit Singh, Prof. of Sociology and Secretary, NWISA.