The Nepal Sociological Association (NSA) and the Central Department of Sociology, Tribhuvan University, are organizing a conference on November 21 - 22, 2017 (Mangsir 5-6, 2074) in Pokhara. The theme of the seminar is Social Structureand Social Change. We believe this theme can capture the nature both of the relatively stable economic, political and cultural relations as well as the sharp turns many of such relations have taken during the last three decades in Nepal as well as the world.
The popularity of Sociology in Nepal has remained consistently high through the last couple of decades whether in terms of the number of universities, campuses and colleges that offer Sociology or in the number of students there who prefer to study the discipline. In addition, sociologists are hired by a large number of employers, including various branches of the government, private research organizations, private enterprises, social work organizations, development partners and donor organizations, international non-governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, universities, etc. There are a sizable number of sociologists in the federal legislature and in each of the political parties. Sociologists also have a notable and increasing presence in the media and have been contributing to public education.
The longer run objective of the conference is to upgrade the level of professional competence among sociologists and to contribute to valid and relevant analysis of society and state worldwide and in Nepal. We believe that a conference is, foremost, an intellectual-professional space. Wide and intense variation and inequality is as much a social reality today as the rise of the world system that throws up mutually articulated similarities and “flatness”. High quality social analysis is expected to contribute to continually refined and relevant knowledge as also to improve the parameters of policy discussion as well as the design of appropriate public intervention.
More concretely, it is expected that the panels, papers and discussions will contribute to the generation of knowledge in a few key areas that have more recently captured the public discourse in Nepal. For example we fully expect that the conference will focus on issues of gender, caste, ethnicity; democracy, governance and federalization; growth, employment and poverty and so on.
Like all other professional conferences the world over, this conferences is also designed to generate and renew professional motivation, mentoring, professional anchoring and engagement as well as personal friendships. National professional gatherings are particularly important in countries like Nepal because teachers, colleges and campuses outside Kathmandu are often isolated from state-of-the-art knowledge in the discipline. Conference presentation and discussion during national conferences often provide the window through which world-scale ideas and insights are gleaned through by the participants. Such conferences, thus, pay off both in terms of quality and productivity. The organizers feel that the gathering together of professionals is sufficiently important to label the annual conference a mela. A mela expresses the joy of a body of similarly-interested persons who are collaborating together to complete a common task. In fact, we are also inviting sociologists who do not intend to present a paper this year but just wish to chat over tea and cookies, form professional and personal friendship, discuss preferences and priorities for the coming months and years, etc. We expect that those who enjoy sharing such space will be self-motivated to present a paper next year or the one after that. In an important sense we see conferences as arenas both for the actors and for the audience. The serious audience, we believe, is bound to turn up as the principal actor within a few years.
The conference will be organized primarily within the framework of panels on key themes. Panels have been encouraged because they encourage wide-eye and multi-sided analysis of a specific issue that is currently shaping our lives and therefore has caught public imagination. Panels also generate professional camaraderie of sorts that may outlive the life of a panel as such and may contribute to sustained intellectual exchange. Panels also set the agenda for research for the next few years. In addition, panel presentations may form the kernels around which textbooks for students may be prepared within the next couple of years. In fact, the conference organizers and the NSA expect to actively nurture the authors involved in at least a couple of the panels through the next year in a manner such that they intensively rework their papers and give it the shape of a joint book. Of course, the conference will also invite stand-alone papers. This will cater both to the relatively unconnected writers as well as those who do not focus on a specific theme but on a perspective as such.
The Organizing Committee expects 200 sociologists to participate in the conference. Of this, we expect about 60 to be women. We expect another 60 participants from among the members of the ethnic groups, regional groups and the Dalits. We will also invite a few local politicians (e.g. Mayor and Chairpersons of Municipality) policy makers and media persons.
Nepal Sociological Association (NSA) is pleased to invite you to the International Conference on Social Structure and Social Change to be held on November 21-22, 2017 at Urban Development Training Centre, Bagar, Pokhara.
We also take this opportunity to inform you that the costs of the gathering will be shared between you and the organizers. The organizers will provision for three meals for each of the two days of the conference as well as for lodging for up to three nights. Meals and most of the lodging will be made available at the Urban Development Training Centre, Bagar, Pokhara. The provisions will be of a basic nature but we hope also that the gathering and the conference will be of a high quality. The organizers will also provide you with a knapsack, a book of abstracts, stationary, etc.
You will be responsible for meeting your transportation costs. You will be required to pay a NSA membership fee of Rs 2,500 and a conference registration fee of Rs 1,000. The NSA membership fee will be valid for the next two years.
Please confirm your participation in the conference by Thursday, November 16, 2017. Confirmation is compulsory and must be made by that date. As you know, confirmation enables us to sign a contract for meals and to book the lodging facility for you.
Or, to confirm, you can also call Dil Gurung at 9863-604003 between 6:30 and 8:00 pm.
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