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2014 PIIRS Global Seminars


Growing Up in India

Mysore, India, June 9 - July 18, 2014

Internships available in summer 2014
Global Seminar India

“Growing Up in India" will be held in Mysore, India, at the Vivekananda Institute of Indian Studies, from June 9 – July 18, 2014. It will be taught by Isabelle Clark-Deces, professor of anthropology.

According to the 2011 Indian census more than 50 percent of India’s current population (1.2 billion by the end of 2013) is below the age of 25. Demographers project that in 2020 the average Indian will only be 29 years old, compared with 37 in China and the US, 45 in Western Europe, and 48 in Japan. The focus of this seminar is on Indian youth. The basic question it raises is: What is like to grow up in India? Topics include the importance of culture in child rearing; Indian notions of child development and modes of parenting; non-school based learning and socialization; institutional environments for children’s early education and their interactions with families and communities; youth subcultures; and such issues and problems faced by young Indian people as poverty, violence, competition in school, consumerism, arranged marriage, and the escalation of dowry payments.

The seminar is divided into three parts. First, it explores the interrelated factors—social, economic, demographic and symbolic—that determine the organization of the Indian family. Next, it considers the beliefs and practices—parenting, child rearing, early education, schooling, and so on—that turn children into social actors. Finally, it examines the place and experience of youth in Indian society, focusing on shifting family forms and rapid social change. 

Classes will be held at the Vivekananda Institute of Indian Studies. Established with the purpose of promoting and facilitating the study, research, development, and dissemination of Indian culture, history, arts, music, and the like, the institute is an initiative of the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement, a development organization engaged in building a new civil society in India through its grassroots to policy-level action in health, education, and community development. Because the organization offers youth classes in leadership, seminar participants will have many opportunities to interact with Indian students on campus. Excursions include visits to schools and colleges in Mysore and the many points of interest in this beautiful South Indian city. There will also be daily instruction in Hindi.

The seminar fulfills the Social Analysis (SA) requirement and counts as an elective for the Certificate in South Asian Studies. It is open to freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. Admission is by application and interview.

Throughout the Aspire campaign, which ended June 30, 2012, a number of alumni and friends generously supported the PIIRS Global Seminars.


November 20, 2013
219 Aaron Burr Hall
5:30-7 p.m.
Pizza will be served

February 10, 2014
5 p.m.

February 2014
Information Session
Interviews Begin

March 2014
Acceptance Deadline


Pre-Departure Orientation Meeting


Jayne Bialkowski, Administrator
PIIRS Global Seminar in India
210B Aaron Burr Hall