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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Social problems and policies

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Dr. Uttam Kumar Das reviews some burning issues of social, economic  political plots that illustrated by the author.

This book is written by Professor Dr. Profulla C. Sarker. Currently he is distinguished Vice Chancellor of Royal University of Dhaka. It is thought about breeding grounds of various social problems and policies are needed to be taken to overcome those problems to improve quality of life and well being of the people. This book is divided into seventeen chapters of 256 pages.

All of these chapters excepting the first one are independent scientific papers that were presented by the author in different international seminars, conferences, congresses, and symposia across the world. This book is a compilation of those papers related to population explosion and uncertain future of the people of Bangladesh, terrorism, peace, development and anti-terrorism intervention policies, peace accord and the problems of their execution which affect the life and society of the people of Chittagong Hill Tracks (CHTs).

It focuses on 'monga': a seasonal food insecurity and its impact on poverty, problem of female illiteracy in socio-economic perspectives, widow remarriage through the process of viasnavization,  gender discrimination against women, seclusion among the Muslim and the Hindu women, problem of infertility and adoption, decline of joint family system and its impact on juvenile delinquency, beliefs in arsenicosis and social disintegration.

It also touches upon Christianization and its impact on de-tribalization, trafficking of women and children, ageing and the problems of elderly people, and marital rites, fertility behavior and their impact on human fertility. This book appropriately designed to inspire readers to gain knowledge about the different dimensions of social problems and policies suggested to overcome those various problems.

Professor P. C. Sarker expressed that the breeding grounds of social problems are inequality, discrimination, natural disasters, poverty, illiteracy, ignorance, unemployment, stress and frustration which make the people vulnerable and put them in difficult circumstances. This volume highlighted that natural disasters like floods, droughts, tornadoes and storms, cyclones, river bank erosion also quite frequent in Bangladesh are causing serious threat and extensive damages to crops, lives and property. On the other hand, many problems have already emerged due to the process of industrialization, urbanization, pauperization, landlessness, migration, and globalization which disturb the normal functioning of the people.

This book is well designed to understand the contemporary social problems, their causes and consequences and at the same time it focuses the social policies which have already been formulated for the reduction as well as solution to different problems in order to improve the quality of life and well being of the disadvantaged people. It is the expectation of the author that Social Problems and Policies will be able to contribute to the discipline of Anthropology, Sociology, Social Work, Population Studies, Women and Gender Studies and Development  Studies in particular but in general  wide-ranging subjects such as Economics, Psychology,  Gerontology, Peace Studies and Law and so on. The book is well-written and is undoubtedly a comprehensive repository of knowledge about social problems and policies. This book can be an excellent source of reference for academics, researchers, administrators, practitioners and students as well.

While the book is architecturally well-designed with models, diagrams, graphs, references in individual chapter and very informative, some of the important concepts, which could have been expanded further, thus elucidating vital concepts with practical examples, have been kept to a minimum, probably with the objective of keeping the volume agreeable to a majority of readers. Moreover, there some spelling mistakes because of typing error. I do believe that the author will address such concerns and appropriately revise the text in the next edition. Despite this minor shortcoming, the book is a complete guide for those who are devoted to research, especially those focused on Social Sciences.


The reviewer is a Deputy Secretary of  People's Republic of Bangladesh

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