No Publication, No Degree

Of Knowledge Production in Anthropology/Sociology in India

Keywords: academic labour, knowledge production, cognitive worker, doctoral candidates, infrastructure


The paper rekindles a three-decade-old debate in the annals of Indian anthropology / sociology which became dormant after no significant headway was made. The debate which goes by the name of “crisis in sociology” in India provides the backdrop against which the paper makes sense of current regimes of knowledge production that a doctoral candidate in India must navigate. By doing so, the paper reflects on the limitations of epistemological critiques wherein an epistemic critique stops at the corridors of an academic workplace. The paper argues that doctoral candidates in India today are cognitive workers engaged in exploitative relations of knowledge production. However, these exploitative relations are obfuscated by the postcolonial epistemological critiques that indulge in foregrounding the hegemony of the North / West. The paper proposes an infrastructural critique of knowledge that does not respond with despair to perceived transformations and crises.

Author Biographies

Cheshta Arora, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore

Cheshta Arora is a researcher at the Centre for Internet and Society, Bengaluru, and a member of Kibitz Research Organisation. Cheshta’s PhD work offered an illustrative critique of situated knowledge while interrogating relations of work / labour in the contemporary (National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore; Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, 2022).

Debarun Sarkar, University of Mumbai

Debarun Sarkar is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Sociology, University of Mumbai and a member of Kibitz Research Organisation. His dissertation intervenes in the scalar debate while empirically studying New Town, West Bengal. He is currently working as a researcher at Vidyashilp Research Center, Vidyashilp University, Bengaluru.


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How to Cite
Arora, Cheshta, and Debarun Sarkar. 2023. “No Publication, No Degree: Of Knowledge Production in Anthropology/Sociology in India”. Swiss Journal of Sociocultural Anthropology 28 (February):84-104.