The discipline of Sociology was established under the umbrella of Department of Agricultural Economics in the year 1997 and in same year admission in Sociology was offered while Masters in Anthropology was initiated in 2000. Both the programs of M. Sc. Sociology and Anthropology were separated from the Department of Economics and Agricultural Economics and new Department was established as Department of Sociology and Anthropology in 2004. The schemes of studies of both the disciplines were revised in the year 2010 to make the programs more responsive to meet the current demands of the degree program and job market. Currently 161 students are enrolled in the Department. The total strength of Faculty Members is eight. All Faculty Members have their own diverse academic area of interests that include gender, development, culture, demography, rural livelihoods etc. and in this way the Department is disseminating a variety of knowledge to students not only during lectures but also through adding valuable input to their research. The Department is also engaged in developing links with other Organizations/Universities in order to strengthen its linkages and take advantage of expertise of others.
The programs of Sociology and Anthropology are designed to provide necessary skills to understand the developmental issues of Pakistani society especially the rural areas of Pakistan. Understanding of human behavior is important for all kinds of developmental activities, particularly, with reference to agriculture as the major occupation of Pakistan’s rural society, the need for Social Science disciplines in the Agricultural University is of great significance. Programs leading to Master’s Degree in Sociology and Anthropology are intended to produce graduates who can contribute to development projects requiring participatory approaches. Needs of the people are to be assessed and people are to be mobilized to accomplish projects cooperatively to ensure sustainability. The Department, since its inception has carried out its curricular activities in this direction.
The Department started M.Sc. Sociology program in 1997 and a total of 292 students have passed so far. Master of Anthropology was started in the year 2000 and 165 students have got their degrees so far. In this way a total of 448 students have passed out of the Department. The current enrolment in the Department is 180 in both disciplines. The Department has recently started M. Phil Program in Sociology and is planning to start M. Phil Program in Anthropology in near future.
Thesis/Research is compulsory for M.Sc. in Anthropology and M. Sc in Sociology. All research studies are based on the data collection from the field. Student research projects touch a vast variety of social areas including crimes, adoption of innovations, environment, health, cultural transformation, media, women issues, rural farming community etc. The target population is diverse that may include youth, women, farmers or students and they are expected to be benefited with the outcome of research.
Projects & Achievements
The Department has been actively involved in the Micro-Credit Scheme under which loans were granted to a poor stratum of society, generally to those living in areas adjacent to Rawalpindi and Islamabad. It is a matter of pride that this University is the pioneer which has planned and launched the Micro-Credit Scheme in 2004. Seven phases have been launched so far and a total of 928 borrowers have benefited from this scheme. Five students have conducted research on various aspects of this project as a requirement of their M.Sc. degree in Sociology.
The Department in collaboration with Population Council of Pakistan organized a 10 days workshop on Qualitative Research Methodology in September, 2004; April, 2005 and April, 2006. Participants from all over the country attended the workshop and benefited with presentations and interactive discussion with reputed International and National experts in the field.