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Webinar on Making Sense of “Social” during and after COVID Situation

The B.A. Department organised this Webinar on 30th January, 2021 from 11:30a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The session began with Ms. Manasi Walimbe, faculty of Arts Department welcoming the participants and introducing the resource. The resource person, Dr. Ravi Shankar Mishra, the faculty of Sociology in Arts Department conducted the webinar using the online platform Google Meet.
Dr. Ravi Shankar Mishra started by giving an introduction to the structure of his presentation, where he divided the Presentation into four broad topics: person
1. Theoretical Deliberation on the Category/Concept – “Social” in Social Sciences:
2. How the Conventional Sense of “Social” has been Operating in the Covid Situation?
3. How the Extended Sense of “Social” has been Experienced in the Covid Situation?
4. Conclusion (Possible Trajectory of “Social” in post Covid Situation)

In the first topic he historically traced the emergence of the concept and the varied sense that it has come to convey. In this regard, he went to the enlightenment period and the various changes that happened in that time in the western world and that led to the necessity of exploring the category of “social”. Thus, he pointed out that the category “social” was posited against the category “natural” and a distinct domain of inquiry was carved out by the social philosopher which led to emergence of social sciences disciplines, and hence the domain of social emerged as a distinct subject matter for the social sciences. He further went on to discuss the varied etymological sense of “social” and stated that how the domain of “social” has increasingly shrunk. He drew attention of the participants towards its conventional sense. How conventionally the term has been used to refer to the domain of human relations Further he also presented the critiques of the scholars who have criticized this conventional sense of ‘social’ and have drawn attention towards the extended sense of social.

In the second part he discussed about the conventional sense of social in the light of the present COVID crisis. How the social behaviour of people has got transformed due to the lockdowns and various restrictions that they have to undergo through He presented some factual data with regard to both—the aspects of relationship turmoil and relationship enrichment in the midst of COVID, domestic violence, loss of jobs etc. Here, he also presented a symbolical study of the social relationship through interpreting the comic strips on the COVID situation

In the third part of his presentation, he presented the critique of the conventional sense of “social”. He elaborated on the extended sense of social that includes the relationship with non-humans, like objects, technology etc. Here he gave examples of people engaging with internet and computer technology for their work and studies and how the social can be mediated through them. Further, he dealt with the concept of ‘technical mind’ and ‘technicity’ as conceptualized by philosopher Gilbert Simondon. He explained this concept through the example of computer professionals/designers who engage in the act of whipping out the techniques through using various tools of various computer aided software. Further he drew attention towards the creativity of the professional as well as common men in this regard and how they come to innovate new things

In the conclusion, he ended the presentation by appealing to look at the social in the extended sense where both humans and non-humans can have sensible interaction. Here, he also drew our attention towards our responsibility towards the other species in the environment and how we can look at these relationships in evolved sense.
After the session, Dr. Ravi Shankar Mishra, himself invited the students for a brief session of questions form the participants. The event was attended by 20 participants. The event received a positive feedback from the participants. E-Certificate were awarded to the participants.

Aldel Education Trust (AET)
St. John College of Engineering and Management (SJCEM)
St. John Institute of Pharmacy and Research (SJIPR)
St. John Junior College (SJJC)
St. John International School (SJIS)

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