The Sociological Spirit

As I walk like a rare breed of a commerce setting, in this more humanities driven world, I am often confronted with questions like: “Why Sociology? Are you sure you wanted to do this? Why B.Com then? Must have been a drastic switch for you, though.”

While most of my erstwhile classmates are taking their CA exam, some adorning the halls of leading B-schools, a couple of them already placed in the bustling corporate world, I, at times, uncertain, question myself if I, indeed, were the black sheep of my B.Com class; a disgrace to our much coveted Commerce Association. To have rejected a lot of sensible conventional career opportunities and land here, in a world where my position, more often than not, is that of a lost puppy. Well, I don’t really know if this growth trajectory from the black sheep to that of a lost puppy is a case of upward or downward social mobility, probably some of my new classmates would be in a better position to answer.

It was as if one day I woke up and found myself in a new planet altogether, I being the alien and the more common inhabitants being Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, to name a handful. In the beginning months I certainly was under the “misconception” that I probably had boarded the wrong bus, yet again. The professors would take for granted that everyone knew these champions of sociological thought as if we they were the Jai and Veeru of Sholay, someone whom we just couldn’t miss. Well, unfortunately, most of my peers did know them. For they had spent three years more with them than I had. My bad. So while it was the normal thing to be acquainted with these tall figures, in Durkheim’s parlance, I was the ‘pathological’ in my class.

However, it is really commendable, or shall I say, I am pleasantly surprised that for the first time in my life, I am so satisfied with what I am studying. Probably because it is not the integration and differentiation which would fetch me perfect scores, but would seldom justify their utility in my life, or be like those numerous cost accounting formats, our teacher made us do last year, heaven knows in which of my subsequent births shall I be able to use them. In the lingo of Marx, the “consciousness” that I can relate to the outside world, whatever I read here, is what has got me so fascinated about this discipline. From a “subject in itself” to a “subject for itself.” Well this enlightenment took place only today, in the midst of my end semester exams, but for once I am really glad, it happened.

A new found sense of accomplishment is driving me here. Everyday I learn something new. Every other day, I blabber and rant all my new found sociological knowledge, much to be perceived like a pseudo sociologist in the making, but more than embarrassed, I am really pleased about it.

Going back in time, it now seems almost crazy how this discipline, at first drew my attention. A former colleague had applied for an online course from The Princeton University, called ‘An Introduction to Sociology.’ In one of his attempts to impress me by his remarkable achievement, he mentioned about the same to me, later that day. Even though sociology didn’t catch much of my attention then, the tag of Princeton got me massively interested. I was like, “Wow. This shall look good in my CV.” Unfortunately, the non-humanities, placements- obsessed students disorder had kicked in. It was a free course, open for all, and thus I applied, looking forward to one hell of an ‘intellectually stimulating’ summer.

Coming to think of it now, that guy probably never even completed that course that summer, because of his other, more technical engagements back then, yet unknowingly, he showed me a guiding light. I might not be in great talking terms with that person, yet I will always remember him as that God sent soul who actually ‘arranged’ my rendezvous with Sociology. It was here that I was introduced to concepts like the Sociological Imagination by C.W.Mills, and need I say, I was greatly taken by it.

The only regret that I have is that while my ongoing courtship with this intellectually arousing discipline began almost three months ago, yet I got smitten by its charm only four days back (courtesy my exams and the pending academic overload). So as to say in the parlance of my former niche, I have alreay lost a lot of opportunity cost in redeeming its value.

Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am.” Only now have I started thinking productively, and thus justified my existence.

P.S. I am so much in love with this ‘seemingly general, yet not quite so’ discipline that despite having an exam tomorrow(technically in a couple of hours from now), I just had this urge to express my feelings, lest it would go away and leave me ‘literarily starved’ and my drought infested blog to dry up very soon.

Provided, I pass!

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