The state’s publishing bureau, Balbharati, has made some significant changes in the Sociology textbooks of class 11th. For example in the introduction of different kinds of family structures apart from hetero — joint or nuclear families they have depicted single-parent and same-sex families too. This change in discourse is a result of the changing social structure. This progressive step by the Maharashtra government is to ensure that the students are learning about contemporary changes. It has been introduced to develop a sense of responsibility and liberate their limited ideas around society. The academic year 2019-2020 will observe these changes with immediate effect.

Extending the idea they will now learn about single-parent families, live-in relationships, families with same-sex parents, and those with step-parents.

Significant Additions To The Course

Besides the traditional structure of a family, that is a joint or nuclear families, now students will learn about other family structures. Extending the idea they will now learn about single-parent families, live-in relationships, families with same-sex parents, and those with step-parents. Other than that the textbook also talks about cultural hybridisation in the age of social media. The topic of cultural hybridisation talks about same-sex marriages, gender equality and the blending of different cultural influences. The book quotes the historic Supreme Court judgement on article 377, in 2018, which decriminalised homosexuality. Now the book aims to normalise homosexuality in our society.

Co-relating the concepts with contemporary social changes the book has topics related to live-in relationships. They have quoted 2013 Supreme Court judgement which said, “live-in relationships were neither a crime nor a sin.” Also the 2018 judgement, “reiterated that adult couples had the right to stay together without marriage.”

Highlighting the need for gender equality, the book has a chapter on “social stratification,” raising a significant question of “Where are the women?” Clearly raising concern for an unequal economic setup where we need to pay women equally and improve their health standards. Similarly talking about the effects of mass media on the society, the books contain topics such as “How real are the reality shows?” This topic explores the actual reality of reality shows and their promotion of bully culture and harsh words.

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Upgrading Books With Changing Society

According to the state authority, there’s a need to take out students from traditional setups and teach the students about contemporary developments in the society. Vaishali Diwakar, the chairperson of the subject committee that framed the new curriculum said, “The committee was of the opinion that students need to learn more than just the concepts. We also wanted the book to be a reflection of the changing social fabric.” Further adding to this she talked about the significance of cultural hybridisation saying, “The concept of cultural hybridisation is explained with an illustration of a hijab-clad Barbie doll. These are the images that children see all around them which interest them in knowing the underlying concepts” reports Hindustan Times.

“The text helps link concepts in sociology to our lived realities which make it relevant. For students to become critical about issues, they first need to know the changes that are taking place in our society”

“The text helps link concepts in sociology to our lived realities which make it relevant. For students to become critical about issues, they first need to know the changes that are taking place in our society,” said Trupti Vaity, subject head for Sociology at VG Vaze College, Mulund. Vaishali Joshi, associate professor of Sociology, St Mira’s College, Pune, highlighted the importance of changing the attitude of the young generation and making them more acceptable towards changing society. “We are not just saying that same-sex relationships exist but are putting across a point that such couples are very much a part of our society. We are hoping that this would help remove the taboo associated with non-normative relationships. The decriminalisation of homosexuality has acted as a good starting point for this conversation,” she said.

Read Also: Maharashtra Textbooks To Have New ‘Progressive’ Pictures Of Women

Divya Tripathi is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv

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