Sociologists and social evils

Ijaz Ali

Human society is not static, which means that new challenges are inevitable part of the human condi
tions. New problems arise with the growth of societies, from new ideas, from our interactions with the natural world, and even from unintended consequences of past successes. As a result, policymakers are always going to face new problems, even when the old ones remain unresolved. In this scenario the importance of societal doctors (sociologists) cannot be ignored for the crucial adjustment of society in a maladjusted one, because they know how to approach sickness of the society systematically and scientifically. There are two things which play pivotal role to address the issues and that is ‘sufficient knowledge’ and ‘sufficient resources’. If you lack sufficient knowledge, you won’t know what to do when a new problem comes along. And if you don’t have sufficient resources, you might figure out what needs to be done but be unable to afford it. Both the things are necessary for each other. Finally, even when knowledge and resources are both available, the responsible authorities still need to be able to make good and timely decisions and allocate resources in prescribed manner, before the problem get worse. The remedy is possible through the expertise of the sociologists. Unfortunately, the situation of sociology in Pakistan is deplorable. At the first time sociology was offered as an optional subject for M.A in Political Science in Punjab University for several years. An independent department of Sociology appeared in 1955 in Punjab University – the first to be established in Pakistan. It was initiated with the help of an Inter-College Exchange Programme between Punjab University and Washington State University. The Sociology discipline was also introduced in other Pakistani Universities. And over half a century, how is it possible that Pakistani sociologists have published a mere 20 articles in Science Citation Index (SCI) journals. In third world countries, Sociology, like other social sciences, is an imported discipline, but failed to institutionalize fully. That is why there are plenty of problems in society. Take example of Sociology Department in Quaid-e-azam University which is a leading university of Pakistan. This Department was founded officially in 1972 but till 2010 it badly suffered the politics of bureaucratic structure of University authorities. Finally in 2011 it became an established department but still it has only two lecture rooms for organizing the whole M.Sc four semesters. So, when there is lack of awareness of the thing in which you are living (society) then how it would be possible to cure worse conditions of this entity. The construction of roads, Metro buses, Orange trains etc. are no doubt positive steps but all are useless without having a homogenous and integrated social set up in country. By human development you can make possible everything in society.
—Mardan

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