BSW-42: Tribal Society

By Dr. Saumya & Dr. Sayantani Guin   |   Indira Gandhi National Open University
Learners enrolled: 1530
Certificate in Tribals Studies (CTRBS) is a unique programme started by the School of Social Work, IGNOU. In this course BSW-042 ‘Tribal Society’ apart from learning about the Tribal society in India you shall also be learning about the question of their identity as well as the tribal society in transition.

There are four blocks in this course comprising of 16 units which have been prepared by experts on the subjects.

Block 1 deals with ‘Introduction to Tribal Society and Culture’. The block has attempted to highlight the tribal religions and social systems as well as their rites of passage which is distinctive of every tribal group. The language, art and culture of the tribes are also discussed in the block.

Block 2 is on ‘Tribal Society in Transition’. It provides information about how the tribal societies in India have been in transition from the governance to the economy to the shift in the gender and class within the tribal society. It also points out the intersection between gender, class and caste in relation to Tribes.

Block 3 and Block 4 are about the ‘Tribal Identity and Ethnicity I and II’. The two blocks highlights the concept of difference and inequality among the tribes as well as the tribal identity in the modern world. The block also touches the issue of alienation and migration, which is prevalent among the tribal groups of different regions and also talks about the employment trends of the tribals among other issues.

Course Credit


Course Status : Ongoing
Course Type : Not Applicable
Duration : 16 weeks
Start Date : 15 Jul 2020
End Date :
Exam Date :
Enrollment Ends : 10 Jan 2021
Category :
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
Level : Undergraduate

Course layout



Block 1: Introduction to Tribal Society and Culture

Week 1

 Unit 1: Tribal Social Systems

Week 2

Unit 2: Tribals and Religions

Week 3

Unit 3: Rites of Passage

Week 4

Unit 4: Tribal Language, Art and Culture

Block 2: Tribal Society in Transition

Week 5

Unit 1: Tribal Governance and Polity

Week 6

Unit 2: Tribal Economy

Week 7

Unit 3: Gender and Class Stratification in Tribal Society

Week 8

Unit 4: Intersection between Gender, Class and Caste in relation to Tribes

Block 3: Tribal Identity and Ethnicity-1

Week 9

Unit 1: Concept of Difference and Inequality

Week 10

Unit 2: Ethnic Relation, Conflict and Change

Week 11

Unit 3: Tribal Identity in a Modern World

Week 12

Unit 4: Structural Conflict in Sectors of Tribal Development

Block 4: Tribal Identity and Ethnicity-II

Week 13

Unit 1: Development and Progress: Economic and Social Dimension

Week 14

Unit 2: Alienation and Migration

Week 15

Unit 3: Employment trends among tribals in India

Week 16

Unit 4: Land, Environment and Sustainable Livelihood

Books and references

IGNOU’s CTRBS Materials-BSW-042

Instructor bio

Dr. Saumya is an Assistant Professor at School of Social Work, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi, India. Prior to joining IGNOU, she taught at University of Delhi as Lecturer in Department of Social Work. She has received Visiting Fellowship to Shanghai Open University, China in 2014 and Commonwealth Fellowship in 2018 to attend the 32nd Annual Conference of AAOU at Hanoi, Vietnam. She has
won the 2018 Young Innovator Award for her paper at 32nd Annual Conference of The Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU). She has published books and many articles and presented several papers in national and international seminars.

Research Area: Open and Distance Learning, Tribal issues, Migration and Community Organization

Dr. Sayantani Guin is an Assistant Professor at School of Social Work, IGNOU. Dr. Guin is the coordinator of Bachelor in Social Work (BSWG) programme and Certificate in Social Work and Criminal Justice System (CSWCJS) programme at IGNOU. She has coordinated workshops on Field Work practicum in Social Work programmes and taken sessions as resource persons at several places across India. Dr. Guin has been taking Interactive Radio Counselling Sessions (IRC) through Gyanvani and teleconferencing sessions through Gyandarshan channel of IGNOU. She has also taken sessions at the Pan Africa e-network project (MEA-GOI initiative) which is a virtual face-to-face real time classroom teaching since 2010.

She holds MPhil and PhD degrees in Social Sciences from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. She was a recipient of Junior & Senior Research Fellowship from UGC between 2004 and 2009. She has presented various academic and research papers at several International and National Conferences held in India and abroad including USA, Hong Kong and Vietnam. She was awarded the Commonwealth of Learning fellowship to attend the 32nd Asian Association of Open University Conference in 2018 at Hanoi, Vietnam. She has published extensively in a wide range of international scholarly journals. Her academic and research interests include Open and Distance Learning, Tribal Studies, Case Work and HIV in prisons.

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