Teacher Student Relationship in a Classroom: Recognizing the Voices and Addressing the Silences


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This is a collaborative writing endeavour by a group of students and the teacher of the Sociology of Gender course (2021), department of Sociology, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad. The student authors are listed alphabetically, followed at the end by the teacher.

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The arguments in this paper are located within the context of a collective endeavour to engage with the idea of teacher student relationships. Teacher-student relationship could be specific to the teaching and learning experience for a specific course or develop into more nurturing long term mentoring process. We believe teaching and mentoring are distinctly apart, dynamic processes which could overlap in many instances. Teaching is a sharing of knowledge within a specific discipline, structured around a specific course, whereas mentoring is a long-term process, where the mentor guides, motivates and shapes the mentees towards professional scholarship. Both involve labour on each part and is based on relations of power, inequality and hierarchy. Teachers could become mentors of students, but the process of mentoring involves choice, it is a personal and professional relationship but also organic in nature. In this discussion the focus is on teacher and student relationship within the classroom and not on mentoring.


The attempt is to engage with multiple intersecting questions such as; How students are engaging with teacher and peer groups in a classroom? Does one’s marginal background is creating a barrier or effecting to communicate or have a dialogue with the teachers and peer groups? How could the marginality of a student be addressed in a class? Does it also include the risk of making them vulnerable in front of the classroom and the peer groups? How much equally accessible a Classroom setting within an Institution is for the students coming from diverse backgrounds? How the pedagogy and readings are treating the diverse backgrounds of the students? How to establish a comforting space for equality and responsibility of agreements and disagreements? And many more. While the questions that were emerging were varied; two issues concerned all of us- one to recognize the diverse voices and two, to understand the silences of students in our classrooms. But what is the context classroom that we are referring to?


Locating the Classroom

In the Covid times, where education has been modelled by the demands posed by the pandemic, our classroom is no different. The course ‘Sociology of Gender’ offered as an elective by the Department of Sociology, University of Hyderabad takes place in the virtual mode. The virtual space as a classroom is occupied by teacher and 46i, third Semester post graduate students. The status of the course as an elective makes it an umbrella course under which students across various disciplines come together, such as Sociology, Political Science, Gender Studies, Mass Communication and Comparative Literature. The intersectionality of identities is marked not only by disciplinary backgrounds, but also by class, caste, gender, religion, region, language and disability. While this is highly typical of a Central University, it also brings in other aspects that constitute the identity of the students such as previous educational background, the institution that they studied in before, gender non confirming identities, rural-urban settings and so on. The feminist pedagogyii adopted in the classroom tries to bring together this diversity and a conscious attempt is made to address the power dynamics at play in the interactions. Engaged conversations and discussions are not limited to study groups and classrooms but rather are encouraged between the teacher and the students in a one-to-one format in the form of office hours. This collaborative writing endeavour also is to be located within the larger feminist pedagogical framework structuring our classrooms.


The Framework

Drawing from the argument of scholars addressing importance of recognising voices of students (Bairy 2004) and feminist pedagogy (Chaudhuri 2002; Rege 1997, 2003, 2020; Chari Wagh 2018) that one needs to nurture classrooms into spaces that the students would find comfortable to share their experiences, the pedagogical framework of listening is noteworthy. This framework emphasizes, about how the teachers should encourage students to share their experiences, observations and opinions in the classroom. For this the teacher should work towards not only encouraging the students to share and speak out but also sensitise their classmates and themselves to listen with respect, empathy and self-reflexivity.


Scholars have highlighted that while, there are multiple voices to be heard in the class; one must be sensitive to the silences within the classroom. The paper perceives both the voices and the silences not in binary terms, but as a complex interlinking and interconnecting process. We argue that through the diverse voices within the classroom, the students are addressing, laying bare, questioning, and articulating the important and critical issues that concerns them and thus needing engagement. Additionally, the silences in the classroom highlight the need to recognize the various diverse and challenging experiences, which may be expressed by the students through their silences. Thus, the pedagogy of listening as used in this discussion, is not only to be understood in the context of emerging voices but also understanding the silences as emerging from the classroom.


One recognizes that one may not fully comprehend either the voices or the silences as it reflects the multiple, layered and multifaceted experiences of the students and the teachers who form the classroom. In such a complex context, an attempt here has been made to engage with the voices and silences through a reflection of the experiences within our classroom space, in context of teacher and student relationship. The four themes that have emerged from our discussions include; Addressing Diversity and Marginalisation, The Question of Language, Mental Health Matters and Building Collaboration Among Students and Teachers.


Addressing Diversity and Marginalisation

To address socioeconomic diversity and marginality in a classroom, we would first share a real-life example that critically highlights the unawareness or insensitivity of a teacher towards marginality in the class. One of us, was part of a foundation course, and there were many students from different departments. During the discussion of an assignment, one of the students asked whether he could submit the work in hand-written format; however, the teacher insisted on it being submitted in typed form. The student asked how and where to type; the teacher said using any of the available software. The student answered that he was not familiar with any of such software. However, the teacher did not allow him to submit the assignment in written format. Had the teacher realised before giving the work that there are students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds and everyone is not on an equal footing, she would not have put such conditions in the first place. Further, the online mode of teaching and learning posed new challenges, and the already existing fault lines are further widened, because of poor connectivity and affordability issues related to internet data packs.


Additionally, caste is an essential dimension of marginality which demands a separate analysis, especially in the Indian classroom context. From our teaching and learning experiences, we can confidently argue that the caste, class and gender of the students intersect with each other to create multiple layers of marginality. Particularly, the persistent caste-based marginalisation based on caste and ostracisation of Dalit students makes it harder for them to avail themselves of quality higher education. We can draw on empirical evidence of this marginalisation from the admission registration process of the University of Delhi, which charges almost double from OBC students than the EWS category students (given that EWS has an upper limit of 8 lakhs). In the same vein, the Rohit Vemula case from our university once again exposed how caste discrimination is very much present within educational institutions (Janyala, Sreenivas, The Indian Express: January 20, 2016)  Therefore, amid this apparent prejudice towards lower-caste and Dalit students, the robust reservation policies are an important means to higher education for the lower caste/class students, without which classrooms would become a highly homogeneous setting constituting only privileged students.


We therefore, argue that a teacher should never forget about the class, caste, gender, language, religion and disabilities of the students in a classroom. The recognition of the socioeconomic and other diversities of the class can also aid teachers in identifying the causes of “silence” that persistently haunts modern classrooms. It is also crucial for the teachers and the students to ensure that classrooms do not become an intimidating space, which might hamper marginalised views to come out. Drawing upon our experiences, we believe that the students often refrain from asking questions or expressing their opinions because they think that they would be judged by the whole classroom as soon as they utter a single word. There is always a standard picture of a classroom and coded behaviours that every student consciously/subconsciously imbibed. And, whenever some students tried to break away from those standard codes, they are mocked by the class either directly or indirectly. Hence, it is essential to nurture class, gender and caste sensitivity of the students to make a classroom a more inclusive space.


The above discussion aptly highlights, “A classroom is a Microcosm of a society” as expressed by the Professor in a feminist pedagogy classiii. A classroom does bring a variation of societies within itself through which the diverse backgrounds of students synthesize with each other. The ‘subconsciousness’ of identities and marginality sticks with the person’s way of interaction or dialogue with each other, and it is very crucial to ‘develop’ an equal space where each margins, each diversity, each differences, can come, co-exist and have an equal ‘breathing space’ for each other. Addressing the identities and Intersectional backgrounds in a classroom setting could be very challenging and may require more critical approach of understanding and sensitivity.


The diverse backgrounds of students, especially in a Public University like ours, needs to be recognised and measured on equal grounds so that the Institution which contributes knowledge through critical and equitable approaches and disciplines doesn’t becomes tool for conforming the inequitable hierarchies of identity making in a society. A classroom can only be an equal space for all, when it is inclusionary towards the diverse identities. Further an individual in a classroom setting will only be comfortable voicing their inputs, when their identity is acknowledged and respected in a proportional manner or when the classroom space allows them to share their vulnerabilities. The emphasis on addressing the socio-economic background of a student helps in bridging the margins of the society, where in these times of pandemic, students coming from marginalised backgrounds had to either discontinue their education or have faced severe crises due to lack of resources for online classes.


Taking example from a socially hierarchical heteronormative society, a classroom space may also bring out the same prejudice which has been internalised in the individual either consciously or subconsciously, therefore it is crucial to deconstruct such social prejudice and make the classroom an equitable space for all. Additionally, we need to be aware of how the diverse backgrounds and experiences of students especially from the margins contributes in locating the histories and importance of the Margins which usually has been invisibalised by the mainstream. This invisibalisation can further lead to the ignorance of anyone’s personal identity and could lead to their appropriation by the affluents. Ideally, an academia should be an open space for learning and unlearning, and it also has the responsibility to provide the equitable resources and education through equity, which could only be processed through its dynamics. Here a teacher- student relationship is one of the essential spectrums for cultivating the academia into an approachable-welcoming space.


The Question of Language

In this section, we address the question of language, in two ways; one, engaging with the hegemonic power of English as a medium of communication and two, examining ways in which language is part of ‘normalising’ process. In the first issue, we state that language becomes a crucial determinant not only in influencing the learning outcomes of a student but also in shaping interactions (both student-teacher interaction and interactions among students) in a classroom space. Despite many possible predicaments, English as a medium of education has gained wider currency particularly in the context of a globalizing world. Ours being a central university where students come from different linguistic backgrounds, English as a lingua-franca has been accepted or agreed upon as almost an essential, if not inevitable, precondition. But what often gets overlooked is the question of power and privilege that is inextricably linked with use of English language.


Even if we don’t get into the deliberations on the larger politics of English language tracing it back to the colonial legacy (which can’t be elaborated here given the limited scope of the paper), it becomes pertinent to acknowledge the disadvantages and difficulties that are likely to arise for students who did their earlier education in vernacular medium. In this context, it needs to be underscored that who gets to attend an English-medium school and who is left with vernacular medium education remains contingent upon several socio-economic-cultural determinants. Furthermore, not only are there marked disparities between English-medium students and vernacular medium students, but there also remains striking inequalities even in terms of quality of English education that students could avail themselves of or the kind of exposure they have had. Given this, use of English and the implications that it entails may turn the medium of instructions into a medium of power; thus, any attempt to foster enabling conditions for ‘inclusive’ interactions in a multilingual classroom needs to be predicated upon due acknowledgement of the linguistic hegemony entrenched to the English language.


Second, while engaging with the role that language plays in ‘normalising’, we focus engage with the politics of heteronormativity. We believe that the societal structures that maintain heterosexuality as the norm, is prevalent in universities, classrooms, materials, and pedagogy, cementing heterosexuality as “natural.” Language, in our opinion, here has the ability to disrupt “normal” behaviours by instilling “a critical and self-reflective discourse for both students and teachers.” ,There is a need for critical reflection on how dominant assumptions and binaries, such as male/female, hetero/homo, competent/not proficient, help to exclude particular groups, such as LGBTQIA students, students from marginalised communities, and so on, in language, learning and pedagogy. One of the constant issues in the classroom is dealing with sexual identities. Despite acknowledging the urgency of tackling the issue, many teachers have long felt unsure and concerned about how to proceed. Teachers must realize that this is one area of pedagogical practice that educators should need and desire to improve as a consequence of increased knowledge about the issue of sexual identities and the politics of language teaching and learning in general.


To do so, it is important to first understand the underlying surrounding issues about sexual identity in the classroom. Several academicians have investigated what causes silences in classrooms when it comes to LGBT identities and concerns (Coda, 2017) Some of the elements that have been recognized as contributing to this unfavourable atmosphere for queer students include various levels of homophobia and teachers who do not know how to deal with such homophobia and heteronormativity. Homophobia, defined as “hate and fear of homosexuals,” has been identified as one factor contributing to the silence of LGBT identities and concerns in the classroom. Homophobia in the classroom can be institutionalized or just an unavoidable result of the diversity of learners within a single classroom. Another reason that contributes to the silencing of LGBT matters in the classroom is that many teachers simply do not know how to deal with the issue. It is hardly surprising that many teachers either fail to tackle this bias when it arises in class or opt to avoid discussing sexual identities entirely, perpetuating the silence. Finally, heteronormativity, which is defined as “hegemonic norms that present heterosexuality, and only heterosexuality, as natural and desirable” (Coda,2017), expressed in various ways, adds to this silence. Language education texts, for example, have been discovered to be rife with heteronormative preconceptions.


This is an issue that should be addressed since a classroom is intended to be a place where students learn not only about the world, but also about themselves. A classroom should ideally be a safe space where students may explore and question a wide range of issues, including their sexuality, if they so want. However, if homophobia and heteronormativity pervade the learning environment, that is, if the classroom is constantly constructed as a “heterosexualized zone” that effectively enforces compulsory heterosexuality across the board, queer and questioning students will not have the opportunity, let alone a sense of security, to engage in this critical process of inquiry. Many are unable to really connect with their peers as well as the materials they deal with in their classes since many of the subjects discussed and activities performed in language lessons are not representative of, and hence not relevant to, LGBT students. This problem can be reduced by addressing the heteronormative bias that is present in the language spoken or used in class (Nelson 2008).


Both students and teachers can work to, one address the challenges that students from different vernacular languages face within the classroom; two, address the biasness present in language by sensitizing the presence of diverse identities within the gender spectrum and three, make the classroom a safe space for their identities, experience and voice. At the end of the day, it seems reasonable to state that if teachers wish to establish a learning environment that is equitable and works for all, awareness and openness on the part of both teachers and students appear to be the most important.


Mental Health Matters

In the Tony Kaye film Detachment,iv the lead character, a substitute teacher named Henry Barthes (played by Adrian Brody) asks a poignant question, “A Child’s intelligent heart can fathom the depth of many dark places, but can it fathom the delicate moment of its own detachment?” We are living in a world that gets increasingly difficult to deal with day by day. The period of college education should ideally be the best time of our lives. It is the time where we grow and flourish. Healthy teacher-student relationship is a key factor to attain this growth. In this age where people are battling chronic mental health issues, is it possible to have a healthy teacher-student relationship without addressing them? The answer is ‘no’. The purpose of education is to create a generation that breaks the shackles that bind them to soar high to the peaks of creativity and imagination. For this purpose, to be fulfilled, it is absolutely essential to help students and teachers to fathom delicate moments of their own detachments. In this section we talk about how instrumental addressing mental health concerns are for healthy teacher-student relationships.


Since mental health concerns are faced by students across universities, we have talked to students from different universities to see whether the issues they faced resonated with our concerns. A questionnaire was circulated and responses were collected and the insights from these conversations have inspired the authors while writing this section.


Mental health is a crucial variable when it comes to teacher-student relationships. By ignoring mental health issues, we are undermining the relationship. For students to grasp anything, presence of mind is important. Various mild to severe mental health issues are serious impediments in achieving presence of mind without which an entire two-hour lecture would sound like mindless babbling. To foster an evolution of teacher-student relationship to a mentor-mentee relationship it is necessary to have open, free and responsible conversations.


Teaching and learning are without a doubt a two-way process. Hence to build a relationship we require efforts from both students and teachers. The environment in colleges and universities are in many ways different from the school environment. Students need a process of initiation to get acquainted with the space which is a new wide world. Since teachers are in a position of authority, it would be easier for teachers to take the first step rather than waiting for students to reach out. Once this stage is accomplished, the onus is equally on both the teacher and student to take this relationship forward.


The obvious challenge when it comes to mental health issues is the lack of expertise to deal with these issues. Our schedules are otherwise packed while in college. In our rush to complete the syllabus, mental health is usually the last thing we worry about. More often than not having a sensitive approach would solve half the issues. Opening a space for dialogue can never go in vain. Each teacher and each student are situated in radically different contexts. Hence the key is to be kind to each other. Teachers can take the initiative to remain informed about the issues their students face. If the teacher should feel that the issue is beyond their scope of discussion, direct them to appropriate authorities who can guide them.


The other serious challenge is the difficulty in interpreting the occasional silences in the classroom. From a teacher’s point of view, lack of response in class can be incredibly confusing. Silences in classrooms are loaded with meanings. Silences need not always be connected to mental health issues but many a times there can be a correlation between the two. Our classrooms are inherently tuned to listen to spoken and written words. In an otherwise noisy world, the absence of some voices tends to go unnoticed. Those silences that are related to anxieties and other such impediments should be addressed. Students are usually anxious about making mistakes in an open space. Students from marginalized communities tend to keep silent due to various constraints along with the fear of being judged. These silences can be addressed by giving them the time and space to have their own growth spurt, helping them separately when in need. On the other hand, we should also acknowledge the diversity of expression. Speaking in class is one among many ways to respond. A student might respond through a social media story, by scribbling in a notebook, by listening attentively etc. More often than not, students need time to process what they learn. Once they process the data, responses can happen in varied forms.


The issues addressed in this part have gained new relevance in this pandemic. Online classrooms have been a boon for some and an instrument of torture for others. In an online classroom the only way to ensure engagement is to ask students to speak in class as the idea of participation is redefined. The non-verbal cues, like nodding one’s head or a confused expression on face, are absent in an online medium. The anonymity provided by the google classrooms have encouraged people to speak out in some cases; whereas for some the compulsion to participate in such a classroom has become a challenge. Anxiety associated with speaking out in class has been aggravated in online classrooms, especially when the classes are being recorded. Staring at a blank screen for seven to eight hours a day has considerably affected our existence. Both teachers and students are victims of this situation. One answer to the situation could be to continuously remind ourselves and each other that we need not reduce our entire life to one activity. Listening to genuine concerns from students and giving them some space to breath can work wonders for teacher-student relationships. As mentioned earlier, academic spaces need not necessarily be rigid and inflexible. A small leeway to address our concerns properly can lead to a much healthier relationship.


Ultimately the purpose of any relationship is to offer a safe space, to provide an anchor in an otherwise turbulent sea. We are increasingly realising how important it is to pay due attention to mental health along with physical health. Teacher-student relationship is no exception to this situation. As Henry Barthes says in the movie, “We have such a responsibility to guide our young so that they don’t end up falling apart, falling by the wayside, becoming insignificant.”


Building Collaboration Among Students and Teachers

In this section through a self-reflexive approach and by gathering inputs from peers across institutions we have highlighted certain practices which can be identified as a way forward in forging a healthy teacher – student relationship in a classroom. It includes:

A. Addressing Power and Authority of the teacher in the classroom

The teacher-student relationship entails a complex dynamic of power which is nothing but inevitable fallout from the hierarchical arrangement of a classroom. A teacher exercises some form of authority in the classroom; however, the degree may vary from teacher to teacher. Most often a classroom exemplifies a hierarchical space wherein a teacher is placed at a higher pedestal as compared to the students; and it is the teacher who is entitled to exercise authority over the students in terms of deciding the syllabi of a course, enforcing a standard code of conduct in the classroom, evaluating a student’s academic performance and awarding grades etc.

Power dynamics between Teacher and a student which endorses the top-down approach also makes it a space for structured/regulated learning where one’s behaviour which depends on the subjectivity could also leads to a space of discomfort and constraints. What is required is to develop a hierarchy of relationship based on guidance and mentorship than structural assembly of power through teacher to the students. It could also lead to a healthier and more substantial hierarchy of power which could further establish the space for agreements, disagreements and negotiations. However, while explicating the power dynamics of teacher-student relationship, it is important to underscore that the ‘students’ as a category is not a monolithic one and the entrenched nature of power dynamics needs to be understood by taking into consideration the heterogeneities of the students.

Further in these times of Covid Pandemic with the lack of availability of resources and mental health concerns in the academia, it is now very essential to reshape the power dynamic of teacher student relationship, where the rigid hierarchy can be addressed and a participatory technique can be established to comprehend the challenges faced by both teacher and students in the virtual mode of teaching. Thus, in the context of our classroom, why only a few students deliberatively take part in classroom discussions while a large majority of students refrain from actively participating in the digital classroom space needs to be scrutinized through the lens of power and privilege. Therefore, power needs to be conceived in terms of its diverse dimensions which call for continuous negotiation and re-negotiation on the part of both the teacher and the students.


B. Reducing prejudice and promoting exposure of diverse identities throughout the Gender Spectrum

It is widely accepted that Lesbians, gay men, and bisexual men and women are frequently overlooked by general conversations in class, which take their students’ heterosexual orientation for granted (Nelson 2008). Unless a teacher is expressly referring to heterosexual persons, teaching should be devoid of heterosexual prejudice and stigmatization of queer identities (Coda 2017). In terms of recommendations, a number of researchers/educators have provided some ideas on how teachers may go about making their classrooms really a place of learning for all children (Coda 2017). First, adopting a queer theory-based inquiry approach to sexual identities might be advantageous. Second, given how teachers’ actions and reactions can influence how issues (in this case, sexual identities) are framed and/or received in class, it would be beneficial if teachers were (1) more proactive about the topic, for example, by introducing it themselves rather than waiting for it to come up in class, and (2) presenting it matter-of-factly to demystify it. This would demonstrate to students that the classroom is a place where openness, understanding, and respect are encouraged (Nelson 2008). Finally, orientation programmes and refreshers courses for teachers should address these issues and efforts could be made to develop pedagogical methods to respond to “difficult” questions and experiences.


C. Building Collaborative Practices

Building collaborative practices requires great deal of thought, labour and initiative. Some of the practices could include:

  • Tutorials: It could provide an additional academic support to the student. Engaging senior students as teaching assistants to manage tutorials can also be fruitful. In addition to it the bridge courses, that prepares students and addresses the gap in learning is also an interesting option.
  • Study group sessions: Improving the dynamics of relationships within a classroom can also be done by encouraging peer groups. The study group sessions can be seen in this light. Students can be assigned groups based on the module and interest areas and encouraged to read and present collectively. This could be an evaluated exercise so as to motivate students.
  • Midterm Anonymous Feedback: Such an exercise not only helps the teacher to understand the experience of the students and also provide an opportunity to address some of the concerns of the students in the ongoing semester itself. The process emphasizes how the students can help in gathering inputs from their peer group that can improve the rapport between the teacher and students.
  • Peer mentoring: The institutions can make an effort to organise peer supported programmes at department level. It could include senior students acting as mentors to junior students and thereby encourage peer mentoring.
  • A personal connection and rapport can be built through informal discussion sessions with teachers. The office hours segment we had as part of our classroom is another way this can be forged. Amidst the pandemic an initiative titled ‘Let’s Talk’v, was initiated that gave the students an opportunity to get in touch with a set of teachers for any concern that they have during designated time slots. Based on conversations with student friends, it has been observed that mental health figures as a major concern in such conversations. An institutional helpline number can be provided or students can be guided to the psychology department in case of any need. In the same way engaging counsellors can also help in addressing such concerns.



Our ‘Sociology of Gender’ classroom makes an attempt in addressing the power dynamics within the classroom as very much an iterative process of continuous negotiation – far from a static and fixed structural arrangement. Starting from incorporating students’ views in formulating the course outline to taking cognizance of students’ convenience in deciding about the deadlines for internal assignments, from engaging students in leading classroom discussions through study-groups presentations to encouraging students to  voice their opinions – all these different pedagogical interventions have not only facilitated in making the classroom a ‘participatory’ space but also played instrumental role in unsettling the conventional fixity of power and authority and teacher student relationship within the classroom. The group recognizes that these are just some practices that we believe would help us in forging healthy teacher-student relations within a classroom. However, it reflects the concerns of this classroom, and thus is neither a model nor an exhaustive list, but a start which needs to be further nurtured and developed.

[i] On an average 25 students attend the classes, which is recorded and shared in the google classroom (GCR) so that students who for some reason cannot attend classes can access the lectures and discussions. The readings are also shared in the GCR.  The course also has a What’s App group to facilitate communication and every week an office hour (approx. 1.30 hrs) is scheduled to meet the teacher and to discuss matters of interest.

[ii] Feminist pedagogy involves an enduring connectedness to the living and the concrete, an emphasis on participation and interaction, collaboration and cooperation, teaching with a vision and not applied knowledge but historical perspective on knowledge (Rege 2003).

[iii] Prof. K. Suneetha Rani, Women’s Studies Centre, UOH.

[iv] ‘Detachment’ is an American movie directed by Tony Kaye released in the year 2011. The movie starred Adrian Brody in the lead role of a substitute character named ‘Henry Barthes’. The movie explores the meanings of human connections in an otherwise detached and disconnected world.

[v] It was an initiative meant for all students by University of Hyderabad Teacher’s Association to provide emotional support through informal conversations.


Bairy, T.S Ramesh (2004): Rethinking the debate on the ‘crisis’ in sociology. The Indian Sociological Society. The ACLALS 13th Triennial Conference and at a Workshop on Modern Institutions and Context of Post Modernity- Understanding the ‘Crisis’ in Higher Education.

Chari Wagh, Anurekha 2018: Sociology, feminism and mentoring: contested sites of knowledge production and consumption in Gita Chadha and M.J Joseph (ed) Reimagining Sociology in India: Feminist Perspectives. Routledge: India.

Chaudhuri, Maitreyi 2002: Learning through Teaching the ‘Sociology of Gender’. Indian Journal of Gender Studies. 9 (247), pp 245-261.

Cody, James (2017): Disrupting Standard Practice: Queering the World Language Classroom. University of Georgia. Pg 5-16.

Nelson, Cynthia (2008): Sexual Identities in English Language Education. Classroom Conversations. Routledge: New York.

Rege, Sharmila 1997: ‘Feminist Pedagogy and Sociology for the emancipation in India’. Sociological Bulletin, 44 (2), pp 223-39.

Ibid….. 2003: ‘Feminist Challenge to Sociology: Disenchanting sociology or for Sociology’, in Sharmila Rege (ed), Sociology of Gender: The Challenge of Feminist Sociological Knowledge. pp 1-49. New Delhi: Sage Publications.

Ibid…….2010 Education as Trutiya Ratna: Towards Phule-Ambedkarite Feminist Pedagogical Practice Economic and Political Weekly. XLV (44) 30th October; pp 88-98.


This is a collaborative writing endeavour by a group of students and the teacher of the Sociology of Gender course (2021), department of Sociology, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad. The student authors are listed alphabetically, followed at the end by the teacher Anurekha Chari Wagh. Views expressed are personal and do not necessarily reflect those of Confluence, its editorial board or the Academy.


This article is part of a Confluence series called “Mentor-Mentee Relationships in Academia: Nature, Problems and Solutions”

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