The main reason, of course, that I came to Delhi was not to ride Tuk Tuk or to eat some great food. The main reason for the trip was to attend the IIS 40th Congress. On Saturday we had our Session: Action Research for Change: applied sociology and the emerging social Justice Movements. We had 3 GREAT papers (unfortunately 2 presenters did not make it because of travel cost constraints). The papers included 1) an analysis of local protest and perceptions about a major Dam project in Northern India, and the mixed feelings of not liking the dislocation of the damn and the submersion of a temple, yet loving the jobs and economic (short term?) benefits; 2) A historical Analysis of Participatory Action Research by Sociologists in Norway — long before US folks started using the term Action Research; and 3) An analysis of the role of the Media in Social Movements in India in particular the most recent hunger strikes, etc against corruption in the Indian Government. Three fine papers and some great discussion. I will post links to papers once they are complete with revisions.
IIS Panel Members: Hans, Annpurna, Kiran, and yours truely
I couldn’t resist the opportunity to take a couple of rides in one of the Tuk Tuk’s (Three Wheelers — motorized Rickshaw’s basically. It seems I have survived, so if you would like to have some fun — Take the ride. Click here for Fear Factor P-2
After getting a bit of help from Dave at UNF I was able to put together a brief overview of riding a cab in Delhi. A couple of quick observations include 1) The LOVE to beep horns here!! 2) There is no such thing as “staying in your lane”, and 3) This is from a CAB — think what it looks like from a bicycle or one of those green three wheel jobs (that video will come when I get the courage to take one later today!). Check out Fear Factor 1
More to come
Today starts the IIS Congress – and it is actually a pretty impressive looking meeting. (click here). A quick review finds only 2 or 3 “Applied” sessions although a number of papers are mixed in that clearly are Applied in nature. With what appears to be over 300 participants (in the program – not all here) the Congress will draw about twice the number of people as we had at the AACS meetings in New Orleans last October. Unfortunately the program does no have contact information readily available to be more systematic in figuring out where folks are from. Pic of the intro panel!
While I compose this entry (there is not Internet access at the Indian Habitat Center where the congress is taking place so I am composing and will upload later) I am sitting in the All American Cafe in the courtyard of the IHC. It really looks like an all American diner – including a menu of burgers, malts, hot dogs and an ice cream sundae. And – most impressively — the jukebox is playing only 1950’s and 60’s American hit songs. I have attached a pic of the awning – the management prohibits interior pictures of the diner so you will have to believe me on the “authentic look.”. Wonder why? I really wish I could get a shot of “Elvis under glass”- A foot long Elvis doll reading the paper while stretched out n the trunk lid of a 1950’s high finned cars (can’t tel the make or model from where I sit)!! After sitting for a while they did let me take a picture with the Elvis display!
Well I am off to the opening presidential address. More to come tomorrow – and more sociology???
When I got back to the Hotel Forest Green I started work on posting this blog post — slow internet and all. Then I got hungry and decided stay at hotel for dinner. Nothing “grabbed me” on the menu — so I asked if they could just have the chef make me something he liked. Smart Sociologists take note: Your moments of Zen!
Mushrooms and Peas with Gravy, Special Fried Rice, and Yogurt with Cucumbers. YUMMY!!
More posts tomorrow — including video links of traffic!
More to come
It was a beautiful, although smoggy, day in Delhi. More specifics to come but I found some extremely interesting events. Some Musings:
1) First thing to remember when on the road and hoping (promising) to post on a blog is – Make sure there is a quality internet connection. While EVERYONE has at least one phone (including me – a small Nokia to call local and overseas for a fraction of the price AT&T charges), finding WIFI when out is difficult, and the hotel has had spotty service the past 10 hours. This post may not get up as I write at 6:30 am
2) Americans have a bit of a time concept outside of the 4 time zones in the US mainland — 2 calls at 4 am Delhi time (one was to go to happy hour 😉
3) The people here are generous and thoughtful. New friends Padmini and Sorabh (introduced through friend Denise) Provided me with a terrific gift: a statue of the god Vardaan to guide me through my visit to Delhi!
4) And one last semi-sociological/social point: One can always find signs of home when they are on the road. Here is just one reminder of why I like to travel and find it big part of my being.
More to come — Its breakfast time.
One thing for sure — it is a long way to get here. After some 28 or so hours of Airports, Airplanes and a very wild midnight ride from Indira Gandhi International airport to my hotel — I made it. And it was a fun ride, given that there was as much traffic at the airport and on the roads at midnight until getting to the Hotel Forest Green at 1 am ( http://www.hotelforestgreen.com/ ). Very friendly and accommodating folks here at the HFG — were able to find me a couple of Kingfisher beers at that hour of the morning!!! The first major notice of cultural differences once on the ground was the presence of very seriously armed soldiers in the Airport. They had an attack on an Israeli diplomat on Monday so apparently it was even more locked down than usual (from what I was told). And those efforts intensified with the bombings in Bankok. Tried finding my ride and when I went out the main door, I was met by an older gentleman in an officers uniform — backed by a younger man holding a serious rifle while perched behind a steel plate and told that in no uncertain terms I could not return to the Terminal! Luckily I found my driver after about 20 minutes outside.
But after a good nights sleep and an unsuccessful attempt to find an ATM — I am off on a walkabout for the next several hours. More to come later today!
The next five days will prove taxing — as I have several projects and class to work on before leaving, but this morning set my mind on the India Trip! On Monday I leave for Delhi, India and the International Institute of Sociology 40th IIS Congress (http://www.scasss.uu.se/iis/iis2012/). As I was working feverishly this morning I heard 2 important stories about my trip — and they seem to represent the bookends of the trip I am about to undertake. ON the “high end” of the shelf was a piece on NPR about the consumption of COFFEE DOUBLING in the past decade — particularly among the young, urban middle and upper class (Click here). Interesting — and good for me as I drink a lot of coffee and not hot tea!. The other, tho, was a bit tougher and lower on the shelf. An excellent review of “Beautiful Forevers – Surviving Slum Life In Mumbai” had me on the edge of my seat. Although I will be in Delhi, I have been told of the stories of “the Delhi Underbelly” and intend to explore while there. In the mean time – check out the book!
More to come
Welcome back (or to!) Jet Set Sociologists. While I launched this a few years ago, I have not been on top of things the past couple of years. But my goal this year is to change all that! I am off to India in 4 weeks, and then on to Spring Training for baseball, New Orleans for the Southern Sociology Meetings, and more. I will be more on top of things. Check out some of the original posts — and some pics of our friend April from the IIS in Budapest. More to come! jw
Just a few pics from the Living Knowledge Conference in Belfast Aug 27 – Aug 29, 2009.
Only a coupe of people have visited this site — and I am working with Jammie Price to get in the swing of things in posting — but we are too busy — but There are a lot of posts I hope to make soon — particularly about my recent visit to Belfast! So Hopefully when we get this Blog and Doing Sociology active we will get a lot of traffic… In the mean time, I will prepare some posts!