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FP601 : Cultures of Communication Assignment

Politics in the Everyday Submitted by: Renika Baruah, PhD, Mechanical Write a 1-2 page reflection paper on any aspect of everyday student life on campus (inside or outside the classroom) that according to you has a significant political dimension. Some examples could include: student participation in Nyasa activities, patterns of socializing among students based on linguistic background, seniority, gender dynamics in class participation etc. Your paper must address the following questions: What is political about your chosen example? How is its political nature communicated to an observer? How would go about studying it? What sort of data would you look for?

Broadly speaking politics involves activities aimed at improving someone's status or increasing power within an organization. With the word politics some words that ring a bell are power, authority, leadership and strategy. Politics doesn't only mean contesting elections, campaigning for seats in general assembly, but it can also be found in every sphere of life. In campus life as well we accidently or unintentionally stumble upon politics. It may involve contesting for post of General secretary, taking part in social activities, gender discrimination, seniority etc. One aspect having significant political dimension in campus life is gender discrimination. Though institutes today do not allow or encourages gender discrimination in anyway but there seems to be an untold discrimination against the ladies that can be felt from the body languages of the boys studying in the same college. Women are always tagged with words like dumb, weak, fragile, delicate, blonde and the list goes on. Being from mechanical engineering background I had to face the heat during my final semester as the girls to boys ratio in my class was 1:10. Things which sounded political to me were Mechanical Engineering is not for girls (which till today I didn't understand why). Somehow in our society there still exits a male dominated society, somehow people still fear the embarrassment that might befall them on being toppled by a girl. The major challenge came during the final year project when almost all the boys refused to take girls in their groups citing stupid reasons, but mostly because they thought having a girl in their group would mean walking with a dead stick. Also while sitting for job interviews employers seemed biased towards boys especially when it comes to job that requires physical labor. Girls were offered jobs that required managerial skills that is nowhere related whatever engineering we have studied so far. This is how the political nature is being communicated to the observer. To go about studying this political dimension I might want to stop sounding feminist and try to put myself in the shoes of my male counterparts. The best way will be to stay un-opinionated and unjudgmental. It's very hard to get people into giving honest opinions, which is why a amiable survey has to be done which will allow people to hide their identity. Data that has to be collected can be as follows: 1. Whether the subject feels that girls are inferior to boys physically or mentally or both?

FP601 : Cultures of Communication Assignment


Politics in the Everyday Submitted by: Renika Baruah, PhD, Mechanical 2. If yes then why and if no then why? 3. Whether his views reflect age-old social norms or its just his big fat male ego? 4. Does he support reservation of seats for women in educational institutions? 5. Does he support the feministic groups aimed at welfare of women in educational institutes?