February 20, 1958
Sophian reports on American students’ ignorance about India
In the middle of a year featuring the publication of a series of articles by Smithies about their time abroad in India, the Sophian reported on the findings of Palayam M. Balasundaram in his report “What Do American Students Think About India?” Balasundaram was a visiting scholar at Columbia University, and conducted a 1956 survey on American students’ knowledge of India both socially and politically. The survey was distributed at a number of schools, including most of the American Ivy League, Smith College, and a few other women’s colleges. The conclusion of the survey was that American students’ opinions on India were often not factual so much as they were a product of vague knowledge and cliches. However, many students expressed a belief that cultural exchange and increased access to information could improve their ignorance.
[Last updated on October 8, 2018]