Tunvir Ahamed Shohel
MU formed my expertise, skills and sociological understanding
Even if he had already one Master degree, Tunvir completed Sociology program at Masaryk University and continues to work as a teacher and researcher at the Department of Sociology at Khulna University in his home country. In Brno, he gained not just the knowledge he can keep disseminating in sociology, but also interest in gender issues, which made him engaged in community empowerment projects in Bangladesh.
Name and surname: Tunvir Ahamed Shohel
Current residence: Khulna, Bangladesh
Study program at FSS: Master Degree in Sociology (2014)
Thesis topic: The impact of Microcredit on Gender Role Socialization of Children; a Quasi-experimental Study on Microcredit Recipient Women in Rural Bangladesh
Work and career: I've completed 2 year master degree from Masaryk University, one year master degree from Khulna University and Four year of bachelor Degree from Khulna University. All my degrees are in Sociology Majoring, and carried out in English as medium of instruction. Currently I'm working as academic faculty of Sociology Discipline, Khulna University (Since 2009)
What made you choose the Faculty of Social Sciences at MU when you decided to study abroad?
I decided to study at Masaryk University mainly because of the reputation of the Department of Sociology and their study program. The academic schedules, courses, sources of knowledge, use of technology as well as the Czech heritage and history of the university is way better in comparison to my home university. I have no hesitation to declare MU as the changer of my expertise, skills in Sociological understanding, and to grow different outlook of my analytical ability.
What do you value the most about your stay in the Czech Republic and your study at MU?
Understanding Sociology by using new analytical approaches and the friendly atmosphere of the skilled researchers – especially my Supervisor Bernadette Nadya Jaworsky and my course teacher Dr. Radim Marada, and the administrative officers Violeta and Jolana, who helped me with all the paperwork that I needed to sort out. And of course, making new friends and connecting with people across many different nationalities.
How did you overcome the cultural differences between Bangladesh and the Czech Republic?
Initially, everything was surprising for me as I was entering Europe for the first time, but the freezing cold with snowfall and women Tram or Bus Drivers were even more surprising for me. Honestly speaking, it was a cultural shock for sure. But the Czech students were quite friendly, most of them want to make contact with foreign students, and they try to make the foreigners used to the Czech life style.
What do you think about the Czech people in general?
They are good people and very helpful, even if they can’t understand your language (English sometime), but they always try to understand and help somehow (either by gestures or finding someone who can understand English and thus solve the problems). In one simple word 'Amazing Czech People'.
How did your stay at Masaryk University affect your career and personal life?
Overall cultural adaptation and regular communication with foreign students enriched my habitation progress a lot. They helped to build my adaptation skills, my communication and English speaking abilities were very well developed by the time I had finished my stay at MU. As a researcher (and a lecturer) currently undergoing a PhD program, I am still disseminating the research knowledge I got from MU to the young researchers of the Sociology department at Khulna University in Bangladesh, where I work.
What are you currently working on?
I am involved in an empirical research with ongoing graduate students. We’re trying to connect a common cultural ground of different social researches in the fields of communication, health, and especially gender. I’m developing my proposal and looking for a suitable professor and university to start my PhD research. The foundation I’ve got from Masaryk University took me further into cultural studies of gender ground and taking microcredit tools to explore the settings under a specific gender ground. Currently, I concentrate on continuing the research I started at MU, and that is microcredit vs. cultural structure to see the gender socialization ground and current empowerment discourse.
How do you conduct an experiment concerning microcredit loans and their connection to gender? What are some of the results of such a research?
I did one empirical field research on two groups of respondents (one group of microcredit recipients and another group of non-microcredit recipients) to see and compare whether microcredit as an empowerment tool is changing the current dominant discourse of patriarchy or not. I tried to find out whether getting economic emancipation could transform the gender biased situation in rural Bangladesh or not. Interestingly, my result showed that there is an economic empowerment found among the microcredit women recipients, but it doesn’t change the patriarchy in the long run. Rather the cultural ground is strong enough to shift the women’s economic emancipation towards a new male-dominated outlook in my study area. For this reason, I decided to go for a further study (a PhD research) to see the cultural ground of gender construction that is more powerful than economic emancipation.
Are you still in contact with some of the academic workers that you met at Masaryk University?
Yes I do have contact with my supervisor and few of the other professors at MU, as well as some of the academic staff. I still maintain communication with my colleagues from the English-taught program. I always contact them with different questions ranging from academic ones, to personal and social issues and I always get a good response every time I need one.
Would you advice your students or other researchers from abroad to study at MU?
Without any hesitation, I would say just enrol for the program, and trust me: you will have a good academic atmosphere there.
3 words to describe myself: Seeker of Knowledge.
3 words to describe my job: Lectures, Research, Exploration
Life Motto: Never look back for what you left, move onward to see what wonders awaiting ahead.
What I expect from the future: I want to complete my PhD research under field I want to develop expertise (gender socialization and cultural root of the continuation).
What comes into my mind when someone says Masaryk University: Knowledge.
What is my “Czech experience”: My second home.