Urban Sociology

By Prof. Amrita Sen, Prof. Archana Patnaik   |   IIT Kharagpur, IIT Kharagpur
Learners enrolled: 849
We live in a world that currently faces multiple challenges of enormous magnitude, due to the effects of urbanization. With the rate, scale and shifting geographies of urbanization in the global South, it is important to map both challenges associated with and opportunities offered by cities. Both the challenges and opportunities are of immediate and direct relevance, with much of our urban resources and biodiversity disappearing, increasing poverty and social inequities, damaging pollution levels and landscape transformations. Urban sociology is one of the most prominent branches within the larger domains of sociology which can capture these complexities and help unravel cities as engines of economic development and social optimism. Within this context, this course would offer a mix of theories, concepts and practical cases to students, on how new approaches to think about sustainable urbanization can be framed using epistemological framings.


Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 4 weeks
Category :
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit Points : 1
Level : Postgraduate
Start Date : 22 Aug 2022
End Date : 16 Sep 2022
Enrollment Ends : 22 Aug 2022
Exam Date : 30 Oct 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Urbanization as a process
Week 2: Contemporary urban India
Week 3: Smart Cities and Urban Life
Week 4: Violence, disaster, and the City

Books and references

1. Allen, Adriana. 2010. Neither rural nor urban: Service delivery options that work for the peri urban poor. In M. Khurian & P. McCarney (eds.), Peri-urban water and sanitation services: Policy, planning and method. New York: Springer.
2. Appadurai, Arjun. 2001. Deep democracy: urban governmentality and the horizon of politics. Environment and Urbanization, 13 (2), 23–43.
3. Baviskar, Amita. 2011. Cows, cars and cycle rickshaws: bourgeoisie environmentalism and the battle for Delhi’s streets. In A. Baviskar and R. Ray (eds.), Elite and the everyman: the cultural politics of the Indian middle class (pp. 391-418). London: Routledge.
4. Castells, Manuel. 1972. City, class and power. New York: St Martin’s Press.
5. Hall, Peter. 2014. Cities of tomorrow: an intellectual history of urban planning and design since 1880. West Sussex: Wiley
6. Harvey, David. 1978. The urban process under capitalism: a framework for analysis. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 2 (1-3), 101-131.
7. Simmel, Georg. 2011. Georg Simmel on individuality and social forms. In D. N. Levine (eds.), Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
8. Cardullo, Paolo, Cesare Di Feliciantonio, and Rob Kitchin, eds. 2019. The right to the smart city. Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing.
9. Harding, David J. 2010. Living the drama: Community, conflict, and culture among inner-city boys. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.
10. Kirk, David S. 2009. A natural experiment on residential change and recidivism: Lessons from Hurricane Katrina. American Sociological Review 74 (3), 484-505.
11. Marshall, Alex. 2010. How cities work: Suburbs, sprawl, and the roads not taken. Austin, USA: University of Texas Press.
12. Pain, Rachel. 2001. Gender, race, age and fear in the city. Urban studies 38(5-6): 899-913.
13. Giddens, A. (2006). Cities and Urban Spaces. In A. Giddens, Sociology Fifth Edition (pp. 892-935). Cambridge: Polity Press.
14. Gottdiener, M., Hohle, R., & King, C. (2019). The new urban sociology. Routledge.
15. Schindler, S. (2017). Towards a paradigm of Southern urbanism. City, 21(1), 47-64.
16. Latif, M. I. (2010). Globalization: Myth or Reality?. Pakistan Horizon, 63(4), 33-49.
17. Sassen, S. (2015). The impact of the new technologies and globalization on cities. In LeGates, R. T., & Stout, F. (Eds.) The City Reader. (pp. 706-714). Routledge.

Instructor bio

Prof. Amrita Sen

IIT Kharagpur
Prof. Amrita Sen is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur . Her research interests include cultural and political ecology, politics of forest conse rvation, urban environmental conflicts and Anthropocene studies. In 2019, Amrita received the 'Excellence in PhD Thesis award ' from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, for her doctoral research on the conservation politics in Sundarbans . Recently, she has been awarded a Junior Core Fellowship by the Central European University, Budapest, to work on environmental social science issues.

Prof. Archana Patnaik

IIT Kharagpur
Prof. Archana Patnaik is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. Her research interests include community based natural resource management and common studies, law and society, sociology of .science and technology, gender, and technology . She has been working on cultural commons, food, and smart cities. In 2010, she was awarded The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)-WOTRO (Science for Global Development) PhD fellowship to research on seeds as commons.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams:  30 October 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 3 assignments out of the total 4 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Kharagpur .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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