Chapter 2 : Terms, Concepts and Their Use in Sociology – Class 11 Sociology Notes, Solved Questions

Class 11 Sociology Notes: Terms, Concepts, and Their Application in Sociology

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Chapter 2: Terms, Concepts and Their Use in Sociology – Short Notes

The Role of Sociology in Understanding Social Influences on Individual Choices

Sociology examines how social, economic, and political factors influence individual decisions and societal conditions. It systematically studies human society as a connected whole and explores the interactions between society and individuals. This discipline seeks to identify how personal problems are linked to broader public issues by understanding cultural, economic, and political influences.

Short Pointers:

  • Interconnectedness of Society: Sociology views human society as interconnected, focusing on how societal components influence each other.
  • Beyond Individual Effort: Individual success is shaped not just by personal effort but also by job market needs, gender, and social or family background.
  • Systematic Study: Sociology is distinct from philosophy or everyday observations, offering a structured approach to understanding societal dynamics.
  • Historical Context: Understanding sociology involves looking back at its intellectual origins and material developments, mainly in Western contexts but with global impacts.
  • Inequality in Societies: Individuals belong to multiple societies, which are not equal; social esteem is dependent on the culture of one’s relevant society.
  • Factors Affecting Job Market: The job market, which affects career opportunities, is influenced by economic needs and societal norms regarding ‘good jobs’ and desirable subjects for study.

Class 11 Sociology Notes, Solved Questions for Terms, Concepts and Their Use in Sociology

Definition and Characteristics of Society

Society is defined as a group of people who share a common culture, occupy a specific territorial area, and are connected by common historical ties. Sociologists view society as a system of relationships where individuals coexist and form various social connections. These relationships are formed, regulated, and modified by humans themselves, influenced by both individual and collective dynamics.

Short Pointers:

  • Common Culture and History: Society consists of individuals sharing a common culture and history.
  • System of Relationships: It is fundamentally a system of social relationships, not just a group of people.
  • Influence of Family and Social Background: Individual personality and societal roles are influenced by family, political, and economic contexts.
  • Characteristics of Society:
      • Based on Relationships: Society is a complex web of social relationships.
      • Similarities and Dissimilarities: It thrives on both similarities (which attract people to each other) and differences (such as gender roles).
      • Interdependence: Essential for societal function, emphasising mutual dependence among individuals.
      • Abstract Nature: Social relationships are intangible and can only be felt, not seen or touched.
  • Individual and Collective Dynamics: The interaction between individual actions and collective societal norms shapes society.
  • Sociology’s Role: Sociology explores these dynamics, aiming to link personal problems to wider societal issues.
  • Global and Historical Contexts: Understanding the historical and global development of sociology enhances comprehension of its concepts.

Sociological Imagination: Connecting Personal Troubles to Public Issues

Sociological imagination is a concept developed by C. Wright Mills in 1959, that explains the ability to connect personal troubles to broader social structures. It helps us understand the relationship between an individual’s private life and wider societal contexts. Personal troubles are those directly affecting an individual and occurring within their immediate social environment, while public issues transcend individual experiences and relate to larger social forces.

Example: As Mills illustrates, the impact of societal changes like industrialization can transform a peasant into a worker or a feudal lord into a businessman. Similarly, during wars, ordinary roles transform dramatically: an insurance salesman might become a rocket launcher, and a store clerk might become a radar man, significantly altering personal and family life.

Short Pointers:

  • Definition of Sociological Imagination: Ability to link personal experiences with wider societal trends.
  • Origin by C. Wright Mills: Introduced in 1959 to help understand the complexities of society.
  • Personal Troubles vs. Public Issues:
      • Personal Troubles: Problems faced by individuals that are confined to their immediate social settings.
      • Public Issues: Larger social problems affecting groups of people stem from the structure of society itself.
  • Examples of Transformation: Industrialization and wars causing shifts in personal roles and societal structures.
  • Understanding Society: Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be fully understood without appreciating how personal troubles are linked to public issues.
  • Application of Sociological Imagination: Helps in comprehending historical events and their impact on individual lives and society.

Pluralities and Inequalities in Societies

Pluralities and inequalities among societies reflect the diverse and unequal nature of social groups that an individual can belong to in the contemporary world. These differences are based on factors like ethnicity, religion, caste, or economic status.
The concept illustrates that, depending on the context, the term ‘our society’ can refer to various groups, from a national community to more specific social or ethnic communities.
Sociologist Amartya Sen emphasises that these societal differences manifest in various forms of inequality, such as wealth, political power, education, and treatment by law enforcement, which are central to the study of sociology.

Example: Satyajit Ray, the filmmaker, is used as an example to show the difficulty in choosing what aspect of society to focus on, whether it’s the idyllic rural life or the chaotic urban environment. Another example is provided by Freeman (1978), depicting a Dalit man’s experience in a village, highlighting the stark inequalities within even a small community.

Short Pointers:

  • Concept of Plural Societies: An individual can belong to multiple societies simultaneously, each with different cultural or social identities.
  • Contextual Meaning of ‘Our Society’: The term changes meaning based on social context, from broader (national) to specific (tribal, caste).
  • Societal Mapping Challenges: It is challenging to define exactly what constitutes a society due to its varied and complex nature.
  • Inequalities Highlighted by Sen: Inequalities are central to societal differences and require attention across dimensions such as wealth, power, education, and respect from authorities.
  • Importance to Sociology: Understanding these pluralities and inequalities is crucial for studying sociology, as it helps link individual experiences with larger societal structures.
  • Real-Life Implications: The treatment of individuals within societies can vary dramatically based on societal structures and individual attributes, influencing everything from daily interactions to systemic opportunities and limitations.

Definition of Sociology

Sociology is the scientific study of human social life, groups, and societies. It focuses on understanding how individuals behave as social beings within various social contexts. Originating from the Latin “Socius” (companion) and Greek “Ology” (study of), sociology explores the intricate relationships and structures within societies.
Unlike the reflections of philosophers or the common sense views of everyday life, sociology applies a systematic approach to study the patterns and dynamics of society, drawing on historical intellectual ideas and material contexts.

Short Pointers:

  • Study of Social Life: Sociology examines human behaviour in social contexts, including how individuals interact within groups and societies.
  • Hybrid Discipline: The term sociology derives from Latin and Greek, indicating its comprehensive approach to studying society.
  • Beyond Common Observations: Sociology differs from philosophical or everyday observations by employing a structured, scientific approach to understanding societal dynamics.
  • Historical Roots: The discipline has historical roots in Western intellectual traditions, with significant global influence leading to its development in other regions such as India.
  • Focus on Relationships: Central to sociology is the study of social relationships and how these shape individual and group behaviours.
  • Interconnected Society: Sociology views society as an interconnected whole, emphasising the links between economic, political, familial, and educational institutions.

Sociology versus Philosophical Reflections

Sociology is a scientific discipline that studies human social life, focusing on how norms and values function within actual societies rather than how they ought to be.
Unlike philosophical or religious reflections that often discuss what is moral or the ideal way of living, sociology employs empirical methods to understand and report on social behaviours and structures as they exist, free from personal bias.
This approach is akin to a spy gathering unbiased information, as illustrated by sociologist Peter Berger. Sociology adheres to scientific methods and procedures that allow findings to be verified and replicated by others, distinguishing it from common sense or philosophical thoughts.

Example: Peter Berger compares a sociologist to a spy, suggesting that both must provide accurate, unbiased information about their observations. This comparison underscores the objective nature of sociological research, which is crucial for its scientific validity.

Short Pointers:

  • Empirical Study: Sociology focuses on the empirical study of societies to understand how social norms and values actually operate.
  • Objective Analysis: Sociologists must observe and report without personal biases, similar to the role of a spy in gathering intelligence.
  • Scientific Discipline: Unlike philosophical or common sense views, sociology is bound by scientific procedures that ensure the reliability and replicability of its findings.
  • Value Neutrality: While sociologists do not ignore values, their primary task is to observe societal functions objectively, regardless of personal opinions.
  • Verification: Sociological statements and conclusions are subject to rules of evidence that allow others to verify and further develop the findings.
  • Distinct from Philosophy: Sociology differs from philosophical reflections in its method and focus on actual rather than ideal societal conditions.

Sociological Knowledge vs. Common Sense Knowledge

Sociology distinguishes itself from common sense knowledge by employing a systematic and scientific approach to studying human behaviour and social structures. Common sense is often based on naturalistic and individualistic explanations, reflecting the views and experiences of specific social groups without questioning their origins.
In contrast, sociology questions and analyses these perspectives, using a body of concepts, methods, and data that are developed through scientific investigation. This enables sociologists to uncover meaningful and often unsuspected connections within society, beyond the intuitive understandings provided by common sense.

Short Pointers:

  • Difference in Foundations: Common sense is based on individual and immediate observations; sociology uses scientific methods.
  • Questioning Origins: Unlike common sense, which rarely questions why certain beliefs are held, sociology consistently questions the origins and validity of social beliefs and behaviours.
  • Systematic Approach: Sociology employs a systematic and rigorous approach to study, akin to scientific research, which is structured and allows for the replication of results.
  • Uncovering Connections: Sociology aims to reveal hidden connections within society that are not apparent through common sense.
  • Incremental Advances: Advances in sociological knowledge typically occur incrementally rather than through dramatic breakthroughs.
  • Scientific Influence: The development of sociology was greatly influenced by modern science, emphasising the need for a methodological approach in understanding societal issues.

Intellectual Foundations of Sociology

Sociology was shaped by various intellectual traditions, prominently influenced by the scientific theories of natural evolution and empirical observations of early travellers and colonial administrators. These influences led sociologists and social anthropologists to classify societies into different types, such as pre-modern (hunters and gatherers, pastoral, agrarian) and modern (industrialised societies).
This classification was underpinned by an evolutionary perspective, often assuming Western societies as the pinnacle of advancement. Sociology also drew heavily from the Enlightenment ideals of reason and individualism, pushing the notion that scientific methods could address and solve social issues like poverty, which were previously seen as natural phenomena.
This belief in progress and scientific rationality fueled the development of methodologies like social surveys to study and address societal problems.

Short Pointers:

  • Influence of Natural Evolution: Early sociology was influenced by Darwin’s theories of organic evolution, viewing society as a living organism that evolves through stages.
  • Classification of Societies: Societies were categorised into pre-modern and modern, with the latter often seen as more advanced.
  • Impact of Enlightenment: Enlightenment thought emphasised reason and individualism, shaping sociology’s approach to studying human behaviour scientifically.
  • Scientific Methodology: Sociology adopted scientific methodologies like the social survey to empirically study and address social issues.
  • Critique of Colonial Bias: The classification of societies often reflected a colonial bias, viewing non-Western societies as less developed.
  • Auguste Comte’s Vision: Comte, a key figure in early sociology, believed that sociology could improve humanity by applying scientific principles to solve social problems.

Impact of the Industrial Revolution on Sociology

The Industrial Revolution, catalysed by the rise of capitalism, significantly influenced the development of sociology. This period marked a transformation from agrarian economies to industrial manufacturing, leading to profound changes in societal structure and social relations. Capitalism introduced a new economic system where markets determined the value of goods, services, and labour, promoting a systematic pursuit of profits. The shift from rural to urban life led to the degradation of traditional labour roles and the rise of industrial cities characterised by poor living conditions.
Sociology emerged to study these changes, analysing how economic systems like capitalism influenced human behaviour and societal organisation.

Example: The text includes a reference to a Hindi film song from “C.I.D.” (1956), which poetically captures the harsh realities of urban life in Bombay, illustrating the impact of industrialization on societal norms and personal experiences.

Short Pointers:

  • Capitalism as a Driving Force: The introduction of capitalism reshaped economies, emphasising profit and market-driven values.
  • Transformation in Society: Transition from agrarian to industrial societies altered the social fabric, from close-knit rural communities to stratified urban centres.
  • Urbanisation Effects: Industrialization led to the growth of cities with significant social and environmental challenges like overcrowded slums and poor sanitation.
  • Degradation of Traditional Roles: Traditional occupations such as artisans and peasants were disrupted, leading to a loss of status and community.
  • Sociology’s Role: Sociology studies these transformations, offering insights into how economic and social changes affect human interactions and societal structures.
  • Significance of Clock Time: The industrial era introduced clock time as a critical element of social organisation, changing the natural work rhythms to a more structured and controlled schedule.

The Relevance of Studying the Origins of Sociology in Europe

The study of the origins and development of sociology in Europe is crucial due to the transformative impacts of capitalism and industrialization during the 18th and 19th centuries. These changes introduced significant social issues like urbanisation and factory production, which are still relevant in modern societies globally.
European developments in sociology are particularly important for understanding societies with colonial histories, such as India, as they reflect and are intertwined with the broader history of Western capitalism and colonial expansion.

Example: R.K. Laxman’s travelogue of Mauritius illustrates the lingering impact of colonialism, showcasing a multicultural society where diverse groups, including Africans, Chinese, Biharis, Dutch, Persians, Tamils, Arabs, French, and English, have mingled to the extent of losing their original cultural identities.

Short Pointers:

  • Capitalism and Industrialization: The rise of these systems in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries brought significant social changes that formed the basis of sociological study.
  • Key Social Issues: Issues such as urbanisation and factory production originated during this period and continue to be relevant across modern societies.
  • Impact of Colonialism: The expansion of Western capitalism and colonialism had global effects, influencing diverse societies, including India.
  • Importance of European Sociology: Understanding the beginnings of sociology in Europe helps contextualise its applications and relevance in post-colonial societies.
  • Cultural Integration: The blending of various cultural identities under colonial rule is exemplified by individuals losing connections with their native languages and customs.
  • Relevance to Indian Sociology: The historical ties between Indian society and British colonialism make the study of European sociology particularly relevant for understanding the sociological framework in India.

Capitalism and Its Global Impact Through Forced Labour

Capitalism, during its expansion from the 17th to the 19th centuries, played a central role in transforming societies globally but in a highly uneven manner. This era was marked by the massive forced displacement and enslavement of approximately 24 million Africans, of whom only 11 million survived the journey to the Americas.
This mass movement of populations underlines how modernity and capitalism were often built on the exploitation of unwilling individuals. The decline of slavery in the 1800s paralleled the rise of indentured labour, particularly from India to other British colonies, to work in cotton and sugar plantations, highlighting another form of economic exploitation under capitalism.

Example: V.S. Naipaul, a Nobel Prize-winning English writer, is noted as a descendant of these indentured labourers. His ancestry traces back to those transported to unfamiliar lands under harsh conditions, who lived and died in exile from their homeland.

Short Pointers:

  • Historical Context: Between the 17th and 19th centuries, capitalism drove major population movements, including the enslavement of Africans and the indentured labour system.
  • Forced Labour: Enslavement and indentured servitude were used to meet the labour demands of capitalist enterprises in new colonies.
  • Global Displacement: Millions were removed from their homes and subjected to severe hardships in foreign lands as part of the economic strategies of colonial powers.
  • Economic Exploitation: The forced labour systems were integral to the development and maintenance of capitalist economies in the colonies.
  • Cultural Impact: The movement of these populations led to significant cultural transformations and exchanges, albeit often under oppressive conditions.
  • Legacy of Displacement: Descendants of these labourers, like V.S. Naipaul, reflects the long-lasting personal and cultural impacts of these historical practices.

Growth of Sociology in India and its Colonial Context

Sociology in India has developed uniquely due to the country’s colonial history and its resultant socio-economic transformations. While the writings of Western sociologists on capitalism are crucial to understanding social changes in India, the Indian context has shown that the impact of industrialization is not directly comparable to that in the West.
For example, the British exploitation of India’s cotton industry adversely affected native manufacturing while benefiting British capitalists. Moreover, the Western distinction between sociology (the study of industrialised societies) and social anthropology (the study of simpler, non-Western societies) blurs in India due to its vast diversity and complexity, encompassing a range of social strata, from tribal communities to urban centres, making the discipline more integrative and expansive.

Short Pointers:

  • Colonial Influence: The impact of British colonialism fundamentally shaped Indian society and, by extension, the development of sociology in India.
  • Western Sociological Impact: Western sociological theories, particularly those related to capitalism, are essential for understanding the transformation of Indian society during and after the colonial era.
  • Karl Marx’s Observations: Marx highlighted the destructive impact of British policies on India’s traditional industries, particularly cotton, which exemplifies the broader socio-economic exploitation under colonial rule.
  • Integration of Disciplines: In India, sociology and social anthropology are not distinctly separate; instead, they overlap extensively due to the diverse and complex nature of Indian society.
  • Misrepresentation by Western Scholars: Western scholars often misunderstand and misrepresent Indian society as static and primitive, not recognising its dynamic nature.
  • Diversity in Indian Society: The immense diversity within Indian society, including regional, linguistic, religious, and ethnic differences, challenges simplistic sociological or anthropological classifications.
  • Evolution of Social Anthropology in India: Originally focused on ‘primitive’ societies, social anthropology in India has expanded to include studies of peasants, ethnic groups, and both ancient civilisations and modern industrial societies.

Scope of Sociology and Its Relationship with Other Disciplines

Sociology is a broad field that examines interactions and relationships across various levels of society, from personal interactions between individuals such as a shopkeeper and a customer to larger social issues like national unemployment, caste conflicts, or the effects of globalisation on local economies. The discipline is not defined solely by the subjects it studies but by the analytical methods it employs to understand these relationships. Sociology intersects with other social sciences like anthropology, economics, political science, and history, sharing common interests and methods with these fields.
The boundaries between these disciplines are not rigid, highlighting the importance of an interdisciplinary approach, especially in areas like feminist theories, which explore the intersection of gender roles with social, political, and economic dynamics.

Short Pointers:

  • Wide Scope: Sociology studies a vast range of subjects, from micro-interactions to macro-societal issues.
  • Interpersonal Dynamics: Examples include everyday interactions such as those between teachers and students or shopkeepers and customers.
  • National Concerns: Sociology addresses broader issues like unemployment, caste conflict, and the impact of state policies on marginalised communities.
  • Global Influence: It also considers global influences such as labour laws, media impacts on youth, and international education systems.
  • Methodological Approach: The discipline is defined by its method of study rather than just the topics it investigates.
  • Interdisciplinary Nature: Sociology overlaps with other social sciences, sharing tools and concepts, thus underscoring the need for interdisciplinary research, particularly in understanding complex issues like gender roles in society.
  • Importance of Integration: Emphasises the integration of different social sciences to fully understand social phenomena without overly exaggerating the distinctions between disciplines.

Sociology and Economics: Comparative Perspectives

Sociology and economics are distinct but interconnected disciplines within the social sciences. Economics focuses on the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, often dealing with economic variables such as price, demand, supply, and market flows. It traditionally views economic activity narrowly, emphasising the allocation of scarce resources. In contrast, sociology examines economic behaviour within a broader context of social norms, values, practices, and interests.
It incorporates various societal factors that economics might overlook, such as the impact of advertising on consumption patterns or the role of gender in economic activities.
Pierre Bourdieu, a prominent sociologist, argues for a more inclusive economic science that considers all societal costs, advocating for an “economics of happiness” that accounts for both material and symbolic aspects of human activity.

Short Pointers:

  • Core Focus: Economics studies the allocation of resources, while sociology examines the broader social contexts of economic behaviours.
  • Narrow vs. Broad Perspectives: Traditional economics often focuses on precise laws of economic behaviour, whereas sociology considers wider social influences like cultural norms and institutional structures.
  • Interdisciplinary Approaches: Trends like feminist economics bridge the gap between sociology and economics by integrating social dimensions such as gender into economic analysis.
  • Critique of Economics: Economists are often critiqued by sociologists for their narrow focus which might ignore important social factors affecting economic outcomes.
  • Pierre Bourdieu’s contribution: Advocated for an economic science that recognises all costs associated with economic activity, including those impacting individual and collective well-being.
  • Practical Implications: While economics is known for its precision and practical policy applications, sociology provides a critical perspective that questions underlying assumptions and evaluates the social desirability of economic outcomes.
  • Resurgence of Economic Sociology: Reflects a growing recognition of the need to consider the broader societal impacts of economic policies and practices.

Sociology and Political Science: A Comparative Study

Sociology and Political Science are distinct yet overlapping disciplines within the social sciences. Traditional political science primarily focuses on political theory, exploring philosophical ideas about government from historical figures like Plato to Marx, and government administration, which examines the formal structures rather than the actual operations of government.
It typically emphasises the study of power within formal organisations. In contrast, sociology examines all aspects of society, including how various institutions, such as the government, interact and influence each other.
Political sociology, a branch within sociology, specifically looks at political behaviour, studying elements like voting patterns, membership in political organisations, decision-making processes, and the sociological factors influencing political party support, including the role of gender in politics.

Example: In recent Indian elections, extensive studies of political behaviour have been conducted, such as analyses of voting patterns, which highlight the influence of sociological factors on political decisions.

Short Pointers:

  • Focus Areas: Political science focuses on political theory and government administration, while sociology studies all societal aspects, including political behaviour.
  • Study of Power: Political science traditionally views power as embodied in formal organisations, whereas sociology considers broader societal interactions.
  • Political Sociology: This branch of sociology focuses on actual political behaviour, examining how social factors influence politics.
  • Interdisciplinary Approaches: Both fields increasingly share methods and approaches, particularly in studying actual political operations and behaviours.
  • Practical Implications: Studies within political sociology provide insights into the sociological reasons behind political support and the dynamics within political organisations.
  • Role of Gender: Political sociology also considers how gender influences political participation and party support.
  • Max Weber’s Contributions: Weber’s work in political sociology bridges the gap between analysing formal political structures and understanding sociological impacts on political behaviour.

Sociology and History: Comparative Perspectives

Sociology and history are academic disciplines that focus on different aspects of societal analysis.
Sociology primarily examines contemporary social phenomena and the recent past, emphasising the establishment of causal relationships within society. Historians traditionally focused on delineating past events, particularly the lives of kings and the dynamics of wars, to determine how things actually occurred.
Modern historians, however, increasingly incorporate sociological methods to explore less traditional subjects like gender relations, social customs, and land relations, which have long been central to sociological inquiry.
This integration marks a shift towards a more sociological approach to history, emphasising social patterns and institutions beyond merely political and military events.

Short Pointers:

  • Focus of Study: Sociology is concerned with current and recent societal phenomena; history primarily examines past events.
  • Traditional Emphasis: Historically, history concentrated on the actions of rulers and wars, while sociology focused on underlying societal dynamics and causal relationships.
  • Methodological Shifts: Modern historians now use sociological methods and concepts, moving towards an analysis of social patterns and institutions.
  • Areas of Interest: Sociology has traditionally explored areas like changes in land and gender relations within families—topics now increasingly studied by historians.
  • Convergence of Disciplines: There is a growing overlap where history adopts sociological perspectives to study less glamorous but sociologically significant events.
  • Social History: Contemporary historical studies now look at gender relations, customs, and other social factors that influence societal development beyond just political narratives.

Sociology and Psychology: Interdisciplinary Insights

Sociology and psychology are distinct yet interrelated fields within the social sciences. Psychology focuses on the individual, studying aspects like intelligence, motivation, memory, and emotions. Social psychology bridges the gap between psychology and sociology by examining how individuals behave within social groups.
In contrast, sociology seeks to understand behaviour as organised within society, exploring how various societal factors like economic systems, family structures, and cultural norms shape personalities and social behaviours. Emile Durkheim’s study of suicide exemplifies this approach by prioritising the analysis of social characteristics over individual intentions, thereby establishing a clear scope and method for sociology.

Example: Durkheim’s study on suicide is cited, where he analysed societal factors influencing suicide rates rather than individual motivations, illustrating the sociological approach to understanding human behaviours within a societal context.

Short Pointers:

  • Focus of Study: Psychology concentrates on individual traits and behaviours, whereas sociology examines these behaviours within a societal framework.
  • Social Psychology: Acts as a bridge by focusing on individual behaviour in social contexts.
  • Influence of Society: Sociology studies how societal structures like politics, economics, and family dynamics influence individual personalities and behaviours.
  • Durkheim’s Contribution: Emphasised the importance of societal factors in studying behaviours, using suicide rates to explore broader social influences rather than personal reasons.
  • Interdisciplinary Approach: Highlights the need to understand individual behaviours through both psychological and sociological lenses.
  • Methodological Differences: Psychology often uses experimental and clinical methods, while sociology predominantly employs statistical and comparative methods to study social patterns and structures.

Sociology and Social Anthropology: A Comparative Analysis

Sociology and social anthropology are closely related but distinct disciplines within the social sciences. Sociology focuses on the study of modern, complex societies, analysing specific aspects such as bureaucracy, religion, caste, or social mobility.
Social anthropology has historically concentrated on simpler, non-literate societies, examining these societies in their entirety, often through ethnographic fieldwork and holistic studies.
Both disciplines have evolved, with anthropology now incorporating sociological methods to study global impacts like colonialism and globalisation on societies previously considered ‘simple.’
Similarly, sociology has broadened its methods to include both quantitative and qualitative research, addressing complex social dynamics in both urban and rural settings.
The merging of methodologies and theoretical approaches in recent times reflects a blending of the two disciplines, particularly evident in regions like India where the distinction between ‘simple’ and ‘complex’ societies is increasingly blurred.

Short Pointers:

  • Core Focus: Sociology studies modern, complex societies, while social anthropology focuses on simpler, traditional societies.
  • Methodological Differences: Historically, sociologists have used surveys and statistical data, whereas anthropologists have engaged in long-term fieldwork using ethnographic methods.
  • Holistic vs. Particular Studies: Anthropologists traditionally study societies as whole, whereas sociologists often focus on specific societal aspects.
  • Impact of Globalisation: Both disciplines now examine how global processes like colonialism and globalisation affect societies, challenging the traditional boundaries of each field.
  • Blurring of Disciplines: In contemporary practice, especially in diverse settings like India, the lines between sociology and social anthropology are increasingly converging.
  • Interdisciplinary Approaches: Modern studies often draw methods and concepts from both disciplines to better understand the complexities of societies.
  • Evolution of Social Anthropology: The field has expanded beyond the study of non-literate societies to include complex social phenomena like state politics and global impacts.
NCERT Solutions

NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Sociology Chapter 1 Sociology and Society

Why do we need to use special terms and concepts in sociology?

Answer: We need to use special terms and concepts in sociology to better understand society. These terms and concepts help us look at society in different ways and study it more scientifically.
For example, Max Weber focused on individuals in society, while Emile Durkheim emphasised society as a whole. Using their special concepts lets us understand society from multiple angles. These terms also help us avoid narrow, common sense views of complex social issues.
Additionally, they allow us to study the structure and functions of society in an objective way. The various terms reflect how social thinkers have tried to understand society in varied ways, since sociology permits different viewpoints to coexist. So in summary, we need sociological terms and concepts as tools to make sense of society in a broad, scientific manner that goes beyond simplistic everyday thinking.

Mindmap to remember this answer:

  • Special terms & concepts needed to:
      • Understand society better
      • Look at it in different ways
      • Study it scientifically
  • Examples:
      • Weber: focus on individuals
      • Durkheim: emphasis on whole society
      • Terms provide multiple angles
  • Help avoid narrow common sense views
  • Allow objective study of society’s structure & functions
  • Reflect varied ways thinkers understand society
  • Sociology permits coexisting viewpoints
  • Terms are tools for broad, scientific understanding beyond simplistic thinking

As a member of society you must be interacting with and in different groups. How do you see these groups from a sociological perspective?

Answer: As a member of society, I interact with various groups on a daily basis. From a sociological perspective, I see these groups in terms of primary groups, secondary groups, in-groups and out-groups.
In my classroom, my classmates and I form a social group. Within this larger group, I have a smaller circle of close friends. This group of friends is my primary group, where we interact closely and cooperate with each other. The rest of my classmates form a secondary group, with whom I have more formal interactions.
My classmates and I share common interests and ideas. However, the way we interact differs between my primary friend group and the larger secondary group. With my friends, our interactions are informal and intimate. With the rest of the class, we interact in a more structured manner.
I am also part of the student association at school, which is another secondary group focused on specific goals. In this group, we discuss issues related to school and work together to address them.
So in summary, I am constantly moving between primary and secondary groups, as well as in-groups and out-groups, in my daily interactions. Sociology provides a framework to understand the different types of groups and how they shape my social experiences.

Mindmap to remember this answer:

  • Interacting with various groups daily
  • Sociological perspective:
      • Primary groups
      • Secondary groups
      • In-groups
      • Out-groups
  • Classroom:
      • Classmates form social group
      • Smaller friend circle is primary group
      • Rest of class is secondary group
  • Interactions:
      • Primary group: informal, intimate
      • Secondary group: formal, structured
  • Student association:
      • Secondary group with specific goals
      • Discuss school issues, work together
  • Constantly moving between groups
  • Sociology provides framework to understand group dynamics

What have you observed about the stratification system existing in your society? How are individual lives affected by stratification?

Answer: In my society, I have observed that the stratification system is mainly based on discrimination related to caste, religion, gender, and region. This stratification has a significant impact on individuals’ lives.
Caste-based discrimination creates barriers to social progress and limits people’s occupational mobility. It also restricts social consciousness and intellectual growth in society.
Religious discrimination leads to communal and political tensions, as well as intolerance among different groups. This affects the sense of solidarity and empathy within society.
Discrimination based on region and race promotes concepts like racism and regionalism. These ideas can cause disintegration of thought and even physical separation within a country.
Overall, the stratification system negatively affects individuals by limiting their opportunities and freedoms based on factors outside their control. It creates social, economic, and political inequalities that are difficult to overcome. Stratification hinders the development of a fair and just society where everyone can thrive and reach their full potential.

Mindmap to remember this answer:

  • Stratification system based on discrimination
      • Caste
      • Religion
      • Gender
      • Region
  • Impacts on individuals’ lives
  • Caste discrimination:
      • Barriers to social progress
      • Limits occupational mobility
      • Restricts social consciousness & intellectual growth
  • Religious discrimination:
      • Communal & political tensions
      • Intolerance between groups
      • Affects solidarity & empathy
  • Region/race discrimination:
      • Promotes racism & regionalism
      • Causes disintegration of thought & physical separation
  • Overall negative effects:
    • Limits opportunities & freedoms
    • Creates social, economic, political inequalities
    • Hinders fair & just society for all to thrive

What is social control? Do you think the modes of social control in different spheres of society are different? Discuss.

Answer: Social control refers to the social processes, techniques, and strategies used to regulate the behaviour of individuals and groups in a society. I believe that the modes of social control do differ across various spheres of society.
There are two main types of social control: formal and informal. Formal social control is official, codified, and enforced by laws and the state. In contrast, informal social control is personal, unofficial, and uncodified. It involves things like criticism, ridicule, and social pressure from family, religion, and other social institutions. While informal control is very effective in daily life, it may not always be adequate to enforce conformity, and can even lead to negative outcomes like honour killings.
In different spheres of society, the dominant modes of social control vary. For example, in religious spheres, behaviour is primarily regulated by religious ideologies and the need for religious legitimacy. In caste-based societies, the caste system itself serves as a means of social control, even leading to monopolies over resources along caste lines. And in race-based societies, ideas of indigenous rights and citizenship based on native status become the main forms of control.
So in summary, social control is a key aspect of how societies regulate behaviour, but it operates quite differently depending on the specific social sphere and cultural context. Sociologists need to carefully examine these variations to fully understand social control.

Mindmap to remember this answer:

    • Social control: processes to regulate behaviour
  • Types of social control:
      • Formal: official, laws, state
      • Informal: personal, uncodified, family/religion
  • Informal control:
      • Effective in daily life
      • But can be inadequate for conformity
      • Can lead to honour killings, etc.
  • Modes differ by social sphere:
      • Religious: regulated by ideology, legitimacy
      • Caste: caste system controls, resource monopolies
      • Race: indigenous rights, citizenship by native status
  • Social control varies by sphere & cultural context
  • Sociologists must examine variations to understand

 

MCQ Questions

Chapter 2: Terms, Concepts and Their Use in Sociology – MCQ Questions

Which type of social group is characterised by formal, impersonal interactions and is goal-oriented?

(a) Primary group

(b) Secondary group

(c) Community

(d) In-group

Answer: (b) Secondary group

In sociology, what term is used to describe a sense of belonging that identifies members with the group itself, including its rules, rituals, and symbols?

(a) Social structure

(b) Group identity

(c) Group consciousness

(d) Group dynamics

Answer: (c) Group consciousness

Which of the following best describes a ‘quasi group’?

(a) A group with well-defined organisational structure

(b) An aggregate without structure, where members may be unaware of the grouping

(c) A small, primary group with intimate connections

(d) A secondary group focused on achieving specific goals

Answer: (b) An aggregate without structure, where members may be unaware of the grouping

What is a key feature of primary groups according to the sociological perspective in the textbook?

(a) Large and impersonal

(b) Intimate, face-to-face interaction

(c) Goal-oriented interactions

(d) Structured based on formal roles

Answer: (b) Intimate, face-to-face interaction

Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of a social group as outlined in the textbook?

(a) Persistent interaction to provide continuity

(b) Shared interest

(c) Acceptance of common norms and values

(d) Homogeneity in personal backgrounds

Answer: (d) Homogeneity in personal backgrounds

According to the textbook, ‘society’ can be contrasted with ‘community’ in that society is characterised by:

(a) Intimate and personal relationships

(b) Impersonal and superficial relationships

(c) A lack of shared values and norms

(d) Close, face-to-face interactions

Answer: (b) Impersonal and superficial relationships

What is the role of ‘social stratification’ in society as described in the textbook?

(a) It ensures equal access to resources for all members

(b) It defines the power and prestige of different groups

(c) It eliminates differences in status and class

(d) It encourages social mobility across different strata

Answer: (b) It defines the power and prestige of different groups

Which theory views society as a structure with integrated parts that function for the stability of the whole?

(a) Conflict theory

(b) Functionalism

(c) Symbolic interactionism

(d) Feminist theory

Answer: (b) Functionalism

What does the term ‘role conflict’ refer to in sociology?

(a) The struggle between different roles within a single status

(b) Conflict arising from the expectations of a single role

(c) Discrepancies between roles corresponding to two or more statuses

(d) The inability to perform roles due to lack of skills

Answer: (c) Discrepancies between roles corresponding to two or more statuses

In the context of the textbook, what defines an ‘in-group’?

(a) A group that one aspires to join

(b) A group where members share hostility towards an out-group

(c) A group marked by a distinct sense of belonging among its members

(d) A group characterised by formal relationships

Answer: (c) A group marked by a distinct sense of belonging among its members

What is the sociological significance of ‘status’ as discussed in the textbook?

(a) It represents a temporary position in society that changes frequently.

(b) It refers to the permanent economic position one holds within the market.

(c) It is a recognised position in society with specific rights and duties.

(d) It solely depends on the individual’s income and wealth.

Answer: (c) It is a recognised position in society with specific rights and duties.

Which concept in sociology explains how people learn to perform behaviours expected by society?

(a) Social mobility

(b) Socialisation

(c) Stratification

(d) Social structuring

Answer: (b) Socialisation

How do functionalists and conflict theorists differ in their view of society?

(a) Functionalists see society as conflict-ridden, while conflict theorists view it as harmonious.

(b) Both view society as fundamentally based on inequality.

(c) Functionalists view society as harmonious and stable, while conflict theorists see it as characterised by inequality and conflict.

(d) Both agree that society functions without any inherent conflicts or inequalities.

Answer: (c) Functionalists view society as harmonious and stable, while conflict theorists see it as characterised by inequality and conflict.

According to the textbook, what role does ‘social control’ play in society?

(a) It only refers to legal systems and laws enforcing behaviour.

(b) It involves methods to ensure individuals conform to societal norms, using both formal and informal mechanisms.

(c) It is used exclusively in traditional societies to maintain cultural practices.

(d) It has no real impact on modern societies due to individual freedom.

Answer: (b) It involves methods to ensure individuals conform to societal norms, using both formal and informal mechanisms.

What is described by the term ‘peer group’ in the textbook?

(a) A group formed between individuals of different ages and interests.

(b) A formal group formed within professional settings only.

(c) A group typically formed between individuals of similar age or common professional group, influencing social behaviours.

(d) A group with no influence on its members’ decisions or behaviours.

Answer: (c) A group typically formed between individuals of similar age or common professional group, influencing social behaviours.

Which of the following best describes the term ‘reference group’ as used in the textbook?

(a) A group that an individual belongs to and interacts with regularly.

(b) A group that individuals use as a standard to evaluate themselves, regardless of membership.

(c) A legally recognised group that provides social services to its members.

(d) A group that only exists in formal organisational settings.

Answer: (b) A group that individuals use as a standard to evaluate themselves, regardless of membership.

What is a primary driver behind the creation of social roles, according to the textbook?

(a) Government regulations and laws.

(b) Personal choices and individual freedoms.

(c) Social expectations and norms.

(d) Economic needs and labour market demands.

Answer: (c) Social expectations and norms.

How does the textbook describe ‘role stereotyping’?

(a) It is the dynamic interaction between various social statuses.

(b) It reinforces specific, often oversimplified, behaviours for certain members of society.

(c) It promotes flexibility in how individuals perform their roles.

(d) It is encouraged in modern societies to enhance social mobility.

Ans: (b) It reinforces specific, often oversimplified, behaviours for certain members of society.

What is implied by ‘social stratification’ according to your chapter?

(a) It is a transient phase that affects only certain types of societies.

(b) It refers to the layering of social groups in a hierarchy based on various criteria like class, caste, or status.

(c) It suggests a social structure where all individuals have equal status and power.

(d) It is a concept irrelevant to modern societies.

Answer: (b) It refers to the layering of social groups in a hierarchy based on various criteria like class, caste, or status.

Which sociologist is noted for observing the impact of caste in modern urban settings in the textbook?

(a) Max Weber

(b) Karl Marx

(c) A.R. Desai

(d) Emile Durkheim

Answer: (c) A.R. Desai

Very Short Answer Type Questions

Chapter 2: Terms, Concepts and Their Use in Sociology – Very Short Answer Type Questions

What defines a social group?

Answer: A social group is defined by persistent interaction, shared interests, and a sense of belonging among members.

Describe the concept of a quasi-group.

Answer: A quasi-group is a collection of people who share no organised structure, often not even recognizing their group identity.

What is the difference between primary and secondary groups?

Answer: Primary groups are small, intimate, and personal-oriented; secondary groups are larger, formal, and goal-oriented.

Explain the term “social stratification.”

Answer: Social stratification is the structured inequality of groups within a society, affecting access to resources and power.

How do roles and status function in society?

Answer: Roles and status guide behaviour and expectations, organising interactions and defining societal positions.

What is meant by “social control”?

Answer: Social control refers to the methods society uses to maintain order and enforce norms.

Distinguish between in-groups and out-groups.

Answer: In-groups include members who identify as ‘us’, feeling a deep connection and shared identity, while out-groups consist of ‘them’, often viewed with indifference or hostility.

What is the significance of peer groups?

Answer: Peer groups influence social skills and values, providing support and shaping behaviour through interaction.

Define the concept of status in sociology.

Answer: In sociology, status refers to a person’s recognised social position within a group, carrying specific rights and duties.

How does a role differ from status?

Answer: Status defines one’s social position, while a role describes behaviours and actions expected from that position.

What are aggregates in sociology?

Answer: Aggregates are collections of people in one place without any structured interaction or connections.

Explain the term “community” in sociological terms.

Answer: Community in sociology means close, personal, and enduring relationships, like family or close friends.

Define the term “society” as used in sociology.

Answer: Society in sociology refers to structured social relationships, often impersonal and goal-oriented.

What are reference groups?

Answer: Reference groups provide social and lifestyle standards we aspire to achieve or maintain.

Describe how social stratification impacts individual opportunities.

Answer: Social stratification limits opportunities as individuals’ access to resources varies based on their social class.

How do conflict theorists view social control?

Answer: Conflict theorists see social control as a tool to maintain the dominance of powerful classes over others.

What role does socialisation play in the understanding of roles?

Answer: Socialisation teaches us roles through interaction, helping us internalise societal expectations and behaviours.

Discuss the concept of role conflict.

Answer: Role conflict occurs when expectations from different roles clash, making it hard to satisfy each.

What is meant by “role stereotyping”?

Answer: Role stereotyping assigns fixed roles based on gender, often limiting personal and professional growth.

How are caste and class systems different in terms of stratification?

Answer: Caste is ascribed by birth and rigid; class is based on achievement and more fluid.

Explain the concept of deviance in sociology.

Answer: Deviance refers to actions that don’t conform to a group’s norms or values.

What is a sanction within the context of social control?

Answer: Sanctions are rewards or punishments used to enforce conformity to social norms.

How does the functionalist perspective view society?

Answer: The functionalist perspective views society as a system where all parts work together for stability.

What are the effects of urbanisation on caste in India?

Answer: Urbanisation in India challenges caste systems by promoting interactions across different castes.

How do sociologists define and use the concept of ‘life-chances’?

Answer: Sociologists define ‘life-chances’ as opportunities individuals have for accessing societal resources and benefits.

Short Answer Type Questions

Chapter 2: Terms, Concepts and Their Use in Sociology – Short Answer Type Questions

What is the central task of sociology in understanding the interplay between society and the individual?

Answer: The central task of sociology is to understand how society and the individual influence each other. Sociology studies how we are shaped by our family, tribe, class, etc., and how we, in turn, affect these groups through our actions and roles within them.

Mindmap to remember this answer

  • Key Focus: Interplay between individual and society.
  • Influences: Family, tribe, class, nation.
  • Sociology’s Role: Study how individuals and groups shape and are shaped by society.
  • Concepts: Social roles, status, group dynamics.
  • Application: Understand individual behaviour in a societal context.
  • How are primary and secondary groups differentiated in sociology?

Answer: In sociology, primary groups are small, intimate, and personal, like families or close friends, where relationships are face-to-face. Secondary groups are larger, more formal, and goal-oriented, like schools or companies, focusing on specific tasks or objectives.

Mindmap to remember this answer

  • Primary Groups: Small, intimate, personal, face-to-face relationships (e.g., family, close friends).
  • Secondary Groups: Larger, formal, task-focused (e.g., schools, workplaces).
  • Characteristics: Emotional depth, group size, relationship nature.
  • Examples: Family vs. corporate office.
  • Define the term “social stratification” and its importance in sociology.

Answer: Social stratification is the division of society into layers based on inequalities in wealth, power, and status. It’s important in sociology because it helps us understand how resources and opportunities are distributed across society.

Mindmap to remember this answer

  • Definition: Division of society into hierarchical layers.
  • Key Factors: Wealth, power, status.
  • Sociological Importance: Understanding resource distribution, opportunities.
  • Examples: Class, caste systems.

What is the role of social control within a society?

Answer: Social control is essential for maintaining order and stability in society. It involves methods like laws and social norms that guide and control how people behave, ensuring that societal rules are followed.

Mindmap to remember this answer

  • Main Role: Maintain order and stability.
  • Methods: Laws, norms.
  • Purpose: Guide and control behaviour.
  • Outcome: Ensures societal rules are followed.

How does the concept of status function within social groups?

Answer: In social groups, status defines a person’s position within the group, associated with specific roles and expectations. It influences interactions and how individuals are treated based on perceived social importance.

Mindmap to remember this answer

  • Concept: Status
  • Function: Defines position and roles
  • Impact: Influences interactions and treatment
  • Perception: Based on social importance

Describe the impact of role conflict within social structures.

Answer: Role conflict in social structures creates stress and can lead to decreased productivity and satisfaction. It occurs when a person faces conflicting demands from different roles, making it challenging to fulfil each effectively.

Mindmap to remember this answer

  • Key Concept: Role Conflict
  • Causes: Conflicting demands, multiple roles
  • Effects: Stress, reduced satisfaction and productivity
  • Contexts: Work, family, personal life

What is the significance of peer groups in social development?

Answer: Peer groups play a critical role in social development by influencing behaviours, values, and norms. They provide support and a sense of belonging, helping individuals navigate social complexities and develop personal identities.

Mindmap to remember this answer

  • Key Concept: Peer Groups
  • Influences: Behaviours, values, norms
  • Benefits: Support, belonging
  • Outcome: Social navigation, identity formation

Explain the concept of quasi-groups and their characteristics.

Answer: Quasi-groups are collections of individuals who share a location or characteristic but lack formal structure or organisation, such as passengers at a station. They often lack awareness of group membership but can evolve into social groups under certain conditions.

Mindmap to remember this answer

  • Concept: Quasi-groups
  • Characteristics: Lack structure, informal, location-based
  • Examples: Passengers, audiences
  • Potential: Can evolve into structured social groups
  • Awareness: Generally low among members

What is the difference between ‘community’ and ‘society’ in sociological terms?

Answer: In sociology, ‘community’ refers to personal, intimate relationships like those in families or close-knit groups, where people have deep connections. ‘Society’ or ‘association’ involves more impersonal, superficial interactions typical of modern, urban life, like those in workplaces or large cities.

Mindmap to remember this answer

  • Community: Personal, intimate, deep connections (e.g., family, friends)
  • Society: Impersonal, superficial, large groups (e.g., workplaces, cities)
  • Focus: Community is about emotional depth, Society is about functional interaction
  • Example: Family vs. Corporate Office

How do in-groups and out-groups influence social identity?

Answer: In-groups create a sense of belonging and identity by differentiating ‘us’ from ‘them,’ influencing our behaviour and attitudes. Out-groups can lead to prejudice but also help us define our identity by what we are not.

Mindmap to remember this answer:

  •  In-Groups: Belonging, ‘us’, similar values
  • Out-Groups: Differentiation, ‘them’, possible prejudice
  •   Social Identity: Defined by both in-group inclusion and out-group exclusion
  • Effects: Influences attitudes, behaviours, self-definition

Describe how social roles are internalised through socialisation.

Answer: Social roles are internalised through socialisation as we interact with others and learn the expectations of our culture. By observing and mimicking others, especially in close relationships, we adopt behaviours and norms that define our roles.

Mindmap to remember this answer

  • Socialisation: Learning through interaction
  • Observation: Watching others
  • Mimicking: Copying behaviours
  • Close Relationships: Family, friends influence
  • Adoption: Accepting norms and behaviours
  • Role Definition: Shaping our social roles

What are the characteristics of a social group according to the textbook?

Answer: A social group is described as having persistent interaction, a stable pattern of interactions, a sense of belonging among members, shared interests, acceptance of common norms and values, and a definable structure.

Mindmap to remember this answer

  • Persistent Interaction: Continuous communication
  • Stable Pattern: Regular behaviours
  • Sense of Belonging: Connection felt by members
  • Shared Interests: Common goals or hobbies
  • Common Norms and Values: Agreed principles
  • Definable Structure: Organised framework

How do modern and traditional societies differ in their social interactions?

Answer: It notes that traditional societies feature close, face-to-face interactions often within primary groups like families. Modern societies, however, tend to have more formal and impersonal interactions, typical of secondary groups such as companies.

Mindmap to remember this answer

  • Traditional Societies: Close, intimate, face-to-face
  • Modern Societies: Formal, impersonal
  • Interaction Types: Primary vs. Secondary groups
  • Examples: Family vs. Companies

Explain the concept of ‘role stereotyping’ and its social implications.

Answer: Role stereotyping in our textbook is described as assigning fixed roles to people based on their gender or social group, like men as breadwinners and women as homemakers. This can limit personal growth and perpetuate inequalities in society.

Mindmap to remember this answer

  • Definition: Fixed roles based on gender/social group
  • Examples: Men as breadwinners, women as homemakers
  • Implications: Limits growth, reinforces inequality
  • Social Impact: Perpetuates stereotypes, affects personal freedom

Discuss how social stratification affects individual opportunities and societal structure.

Answer: Social stratification shapes both individual opportunities and societal structure by organising people into layers. Those in higher layers generally have more access to resources, influencing their health, education, and political power.

Mindmap to remember this answer

  • Key Concept: Social stratification
  • Impact on Individuals: Varies access to resources, opportunities
  • Impact on Society: Creates structured layers
  • Examples: Health, education, political influence
  • Understanding: Reflects and reinforces inequalities

How does functionalism interpret social phenomena?

Answer: Functionalism interprets social phenomena as parts of a greater system, where each part has a role that contributes to societal stability and function, much like organs in a body.

Mindmap to remember this answer

  • Concept: Functionalism
  • Comparison: Society like a body
  • Roles: Each part has a specific function
  • Goal: Stability and proper functioning of society
  • Example: Education system, law enforcement

What challenges do caste and class systems present in modern societies?

Answer: Caste and class systems create barriers to social mobility, as they often lock individuals into predetermined social statuses based on birth or economic background. This can limit access to resources, education, and opportunities for advancement.

Mindmap to remember this answer

  • Concepts: Caste, Class
  • Impact: Limits social mobility
  • Results: Inequalities in education, resources, opportunities
  • Barriers: Predetermined by birth or wealth
  • Social issues: Restricted access to advancement

Define the term ‘deviance’ and its variability across cultures.

Answer: Deviance refers to behaviours that do not follow the norms and values of a group or society. What is considered deviant can vary widely across different cultures and can change over time.

Mindmap to remember this answer

  • Key term: Deviance
  • Definition: Behaviour not aligning with societal norms
  • Variability: Different across cultures, changes over time
  • Examples: Cultural norms, societal values
  • Concepts: Norms, values, cultural variability

What mechanisms constitute formal and informal social control?

Answer: Formal social control includes laws and regulations enforced by the state, like police and legal systems. Informal social control involves personal behaviours like criticism, laughter, and social norms within families and communities.

Mindmap to remember this answer

  • Formal Control: Laws, police, courts
  • Informal Control: Criticism, laughter, norms
  • Examples: Family, community behaviour
  • Key Differences: Official vs. personal enforcement

How do sociologists differentiate between ascribed and achieved status?

Answer: Sociologists distinguish ascribed status as positions given by birth, like caste or race. Achieved status is earned through personal effort, like education or career achievements. It shows how society values different kinds of success.

Mindmap to remember this answer

  • Ascribed Status: Born into, no control, e.g., race, family
  • Achieved Status: Earned by actions, e.g., job, education
  • Key Differences: Given vs. earned, control vs. no control

Examples: Caste (ascribed), Career position (achieved)

Case Based Questions

Chapter 2: Terms, Concepts and Their Use in Sociology – Case Based Questions

  • Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow:

“The groups to which we belong are not all of equal importance to us. Some groups tend to influence many aspects of our lives and bring us into ‘personal association’ with others. The term ‘primary group’ is used to refer to a small group of people connected by intimate and face-to-face association and co-operation. The members of primary groups have a sense of belonging. Family, village and groups of friends are examples of primary groups. Secondary groups are relatively large in size, maintain formal and impersonal relationships.”
(i) The term used to refer to a small group of people connected by intimate and face-to-face association and co-operation is:

(a) Quasi group (b) Primary group
(c) Social group (d) Political group

(ii) Secondary groups are characterised by:

(a) Intimate relationships (b) Formal and impersonal relationships

(c) Face-to-face interactions (d) Small size

  • Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow:

“Social stratification refers to the existence of structured inequalities between groups in society, in terms of their access to material or symbolic rewards. Thus, stratification can most simply be defined as structural inequalities between different groupings of people. Often social stratification is compared to the geological layering of rock in the earth’s surface. Society can be seen as consisting of ‘strata’ in a hierarchy, with the more favoured at the top and the less privileged near the bottom.”

(i) The most basic definition of stratification is:
(a) Social inequality (b) Social equality

(c) Political equality (d) Political inequality

(ii) Which concept refers to the existence of structured inequalities between groups in society, in terms of their access to material or symbolic rewards?
(a) Macro sociology (b) Micro sociology

(c) Social stratification (d) None of the above

  • Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow:

“Role stereotyping is a process of reinforcing some specific role for some members of the society. For example, men and women are often socialised in stereotypical roles, as breadwinner and homemaker respectively. Social roles and statuses are often wrongly seen as fixed and unchanging. It is felt that individuals learn the expectations that surround social positions in their particular culture and perform these roles largely as they have been defined.”

(i) Which theoretical viewpoint is founded on the idea that social phenomena can be explained in terms of the purpose they serve?
(a) Association (b) Functionalism
(c) Aggregation (d) Stratification

(ii) The role of a person in a community or society is referred to as:
(a) Status (b) Concept
(c) Role (d) All of these

  • Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow:

“Social control refers to the social process, techniques and strategies by which behaviours of an individual or a group are regulated. It refers both to the use of force to regulate the behaviour of the individual and groups and also refers to the enforcing of values and patterns for maintaining order in society. Social control may be informal or formal. When the codified, systematic, and other formal mechanism of control is used, it is known as formal social control.”

(i) A mode of reward or punishment that reinforces socially expected forms of behaviour is known as:
(a) Peer group (b) Social group
(c) Sanction (d) Secondary group

(ii) Which theoretical perspective believes that the scarcity and value of resources in society produces conflict as groups struggle to gain access to and control those resources?
(a) Deviance (b) Conflict theorists
(c) Community (d) None of these

  • Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow:

“The term ‘community’ refers to human relationships that are highly personal, intimate and enduring, those where a person’s involvement is considerable if not total, as in the family, with real friends or a close-knit group. ‘Society’ or ‘association’ refers to everything opposite of ‘community’, in particular the apparently impersonal, superficial and transitory relationships of modern urban life.”

(i) Which term refers to highly personal, intimate and enduring human relationships?
(a) Community (b) Society
(c) Association (d) Primary group

(ii) Impersonal, superficial and transitory relationships of modern urban life are referred to as:
(a) Community (b) Society or association
(c) Secondary group (d) Reference group

  • Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow:

“Historically four basic systems of stratification have existed in human societies: slavery, caste, estate and class. Slavery is an extreme form of inequality in which some individuals are literally owned by others. Estates characterised feudal Europe.”

(i) Which was an extreme form of stratification where individuals were literally owned by others? (a) Slavery (b) Caste (c) Estate (d) Class

(ii) The system of stratification that characterised feudal Europe was: (a) Slavery (b) Caste (c) Estate (d) Class

  • Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow:

“An ascribed status is a social position, which a person occupies because of birth, or assumes involuntarily. An achieved status on the other hand refers to a social position that a person occupies voluntarily by personal ability, achievements, virtues and choices.”

(i) A status occupied by birth or assumed involuntarily is known as: (a) Achieved status (b) Ascribed status (c) Status set (d) Status sequence

(ii) Which type of status refers to a social position occupied voluntarily by personal ability and achievements? (a) Achieved status (b) Ascribed status (c) Role (d) None of the above

  • Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow:

“Role conflict is the incompatibility among roles corresponding to one or more status. It occurs when contrary expectations arise from two or more roles. Role stereotyping is a process of reinforcing some specific role for some members of the society.”

(i) When contrary expectations arise from two or more roles a person occupies, it leads to: (a) Role conflict (b) Role stereotyping (c) Status sequence (d) Status set

(ii) Reinforcing specific roles for certain members of society is known as: (a) Role conflict (b) Role stereotyping (c) Achieved status (d) Ascribed status

Long Answer Type Questions

Chapter 2: Terms, Concepts and Their Use in Sociology – Long Answer Type Questions

Discuss the role of social stratification in shaping the interactions between different groups within a society. How do modern and traditional stratifications differ, and what impacts do these differences have on social interactions and mobility?

Answer: Social stratification plays a significant role in shaping interactions between different groups within a society. The nature of stratification systems, whether traditional or modern, has a profound impact on social mobility and the dynamics of group interactions.
In traditional stratification systems like the caste system, an individual’s position is largely determined by birth and ascribed status. Social mobility is highly restricted, and interactions between different caste groups are governed by rigid norms and hierarchies. This can lead to entrenched inequalities, discrimination, and limited opportunities for upward mobility for lower castes.
On the other hand, modern stratification systems, such as class-based societies, are theoretically more open and achievement-based. Individuals have the potential for social mobility through personal abilities, achievements, and access to opportunities like education and employment. However, even in modern societies, ascribed factors like race, gender, and inherited wealth can still influence an individual’s life chances and interactions with other groups.
The differences in these stratification systems have significant impacts on social interactions and mobility. In traditional systems, group boundaries are more rigid, and interactions are often characterised by strict adherence to social norms and hierarchies. Transgressing these boundaries can lead to social sanctions and ostracization. Upward mobility is challenging, and marginalised groups may face systemic barriers to accessing resources and opportunities.
In contrast, modern stratification systems, while not entirely free from ascribed factors, offer greater potential for social mobility and fluid group interactions. Education, economic opportunities, and legal reforms can facilitate upward mobility and foster more inclusive social interactions across different groups. However, historical legacies, institutional biases, and persistent inequalities can still hinder social mobility and perpetuate group divisions.

Mindmap to remember this answer:

  • Traditional stratification systems (caste)
      • Position determined by birth and ascribed status
      • Rigid social hierarchies and group boundaries
      • Limited social mobility and opportunities for lower castes
      • Interactions governed by strict norms and discrimination
  • Modern stratification systems (class)
      • Theoretically more open and achievement-based
      • Potential for social mobility through education and employment
      • Ascribed factors like race, gender, and inherited wealth still matter
  • Impacts on social interactions
      • Traditional systems: rigid group boundaries, strict adherence to norms
      • Modern systems: more fluid interactions across groups
  • Impacts on social mobility
      • Traditional systems: systemic barriers to upward mobility
      • Modern systems: greater opportunities but persistent inequalities
  • Role of legal reforms, education, and economic opportunities
    • Facilitating upward mobility and inclusive interactions
    • Addressing historical legacies and institutional biases

Analyse the evolution of the caste system in India from its origins to its present state. What changes have occurred in terms of social mobility and the interplay between traditional caste boundaries and modern democratic principles?

Answer: The caste system in India has a long history, originating from the ancient Varna system that divided society into hierarchical groups based on occupation and birth. Over time, it became rigid and defined by birth rather than occupation. The caste system imposed strict rules regarding social interaction, marriage, occupation, and even food habits, with the goal of maintaining purity and superiority of the upper castes.
However, the caste system has undergone significant changes due to the influence of urbanisation, modern industries, and the democratic principles enshrined in the Indian Constitution. Some of the key changes and interplay between traditional caste boundaries and modern democratic principles are as follows:

  • Social mobility: While caste was traditionally ascribed at birth and immutable, modern society has witnessed some degree of social mobility. Education, economic opportunities, and legal reforms have enabled individuals from lower castes to achieve higher social status through their achievements.
  • Weakening of caste-based occupational restrictions: The rise of modern industries and urbanisation has led to a weakening of the traditional caste-based occupational restrictions, allowing individuals to pursue careers based on their qualifications and interests.
  • Assertion of democratic rights: The principles of equality and non-discrimination enshrined in the Indian Constitution have empowered marginalised castes to assert their democratic rights and challenge discrimination. Movements and legal measures have aimed to uplift and protect the rights of lower castes, albeit with varying degrees of success.
  • Persistence of discrimination: Despite legal and social reforms, caste-based discrimination and prejudices persist in many spheres of life, including access to education, employment, and social interactions. Instances of caste-based violence and untouchability practices are still reported, especially in rural areas.
  • Politicisation of caste identities: Caste identities have become politicised, with various caste groups forming political organisations and lobbying for their interests within the democratic framework.

In summary, while the caste system has undergone significant changes due to modernization and democratic principles, it remains a complex and deeply rooted social phenomenon in Indian society. The interplay between traditional caste boundaries and modern democratic principles has led to a gradual erosion of caste-based inequalities and discrimination, but complete eradication of caste-based disparities remains an ongoing challenge.

Mindmap to remember this answer:

    • Origins: Varna system, hierarchical occupational divisions
    • Rigidity: Birth-based, endogamy, purity-pollution concept
  • Changes:
      • Urbanisation and modern industries
      • Social mobility through education and economic opportunities
      • Assertion of democratic rights and legal reforms
      • Weakening of occupational restrictions
  • Persistent issues:
    • Discrimination and prejudices
    • Caste-based violence and untouchability practices
    • Politicisation of caste identities
  • Key concepts: Social stratification, ascribed status, achieved status, endogamy, purity-pollution, social mobility, democratic principles.

Examine the concept of social roles within various types of groups (primary, secondary, in-groups, and out-groups). How do these roles influence individual behaviour and societal expectations, and what conflicts might arise from these roles?

Answer: Social roles within different types of groups significantly influence individual behaviour and societal expectations, and can lead to role conflicts. In primary groups like families and close-knit communities, roles are often ascribed based on kinship, age, and gender. These roles shape individual identities, norms, and expectations from an early age. For instance, a child may be expected to fulfil specific roles within the family based on their birth order or gender.
In secondary groups such as workplaces, schools, or professional associations, roles are typically more formal and goal-oriented. Individuals are expected to conform to certain behavioural norms and responsibilities associated with their roles. For example, in a workplace, employees are expected to adhere to specific roles and hierarchies, which can influence their behaviour, decision-making, and interactions with colleagues.
In-groups and out-groups also shape social roles and expectations. Members of an in-group often share a sense of belonging, common norms, and expectations, while out-group members may face discrimination or hostility. This dynamic can lead to role conflicts, particularly for individuals who belong to multiple groups with conflicting norms and expectations.
Furthermore, societal expectations and stereotypes can reinforce certain roles based on factors like gender, race, or social class. These societal expectations can create pressure for individuals to conform to specific roles, even if they conflict with their personal identities or aspirations.
Role conflicts can arise when an individual occupies multiple roles with contradictory expectations or demands. For example, a working mother may experience conflicts between her roles as a professional and a caregiver, leading to stress and difficulties in balancing these roles effectively.
Overall, social roles within various groups play a crucial role in shaping individual behaviour, identities, and societal expectations. While roles provide structure and a sense of belonging, they can also lead to conflicts, particularly when individuals navigate multiple group memberships or societal expectations that contradict their personal beliefs or aspirations.

Mindmap to remember this answer:

  • Primary groups
      • Ascribed roles (family, kinship, age, gender)
      • Shaping identities and norms from early age
  • Secondary groups
      • Formal, goal-oriented roles (workplace, school, professional)
      • Adherence to behavioural norms and responsibilities
  • In-groups and out-groups
      • Sense of belonging and common expectations (in-group)
      • Discrimination and hostility (out-group)
      • Potential for role conflicts
  • Societal expectations and stereotypes
      • Reinforcing specific roles (gender, race, class)
      • Pressure to conform, even if conflicting with personal identity
  • Role conflicts
    • Multiple roles with contradictory demands
    • Stress and difficulties in balancing roles
  • Key concepts: Role expectations, group norms, identity, conformity, discrimination, role conflict, societal stereotypes.

Evaluate the effectiveness of both formal and informal social controls in maintaining societal order. Provide examples of how each type of control operates within different societal contexts and discuss the consequences of these controls on individual freedom.

Answer: Both formal and informal social controls play a crucial role in maintaining societal order, albeit through different mechanisms and with varying consequences for individual freedom.
Formal social controls refer to the codified laws, regulations, and institutionalised systems enforced by authorities like the government, law enforcement agencies, and the judicial system. These controls operate through legal sanctions, punishments, and the threat of consequences for non-compliance. Examples include criminal laws, traffic regulations, and workplace policies. Formal controls aim to establish and maintain order by setting clear boundaries and enforcing conformity through the use of coercive power.
On the other hand, informal social controls are the unwritten norms, values, and expectations that shape behaviour within social groups, such as families, peer groups, and communities. These controls are enforced through social sanctions like disapproval, ridicule, ostracism, or loss of respect. Examples include cultural traditions, social etiquette, and moral codes. Informal controls rely on the internalisation of societal norms and the desire for acceptance and belonging within social groups.
Both formal and informal social controls are effective in maintaining societal order, but their consequences on individual freedom differ. Formal controls, while necessary for ensuring public safety and upholding the rule of law, can sometimes infringe on personal liberties if applied excessively or unjustly. On the other hand, informal controls, while often more subtle, can exert significant pressure on individuals to conform, potentially limiting their ability to express individuality or challenge societal norms.
In societal contexts where formal and informal controls are balanced and applied fairly, they can work together to promote order while still allowing for individual freedom within reasonable boundaries. However, in contexts where either type of control becomes too oppressive or discriminatory, it can lead to the suppression of individual rights and the erosion of personal freedoms.
Ultimately, the effectiveness of social controls in maintaining societal order depends on striking a delicate balance between establishing necessary guidelines for collective well-being and preserving individual autonomy and expression.

Mindmap to remember this answer:

  • Formal social controls
      • Laws, regulations, legal sanctions
      • Enforced by authorities (government, law enforcement,
        judicial system)
      • Aim for conformity and order through coercive power
      • Examples: criminal laws, traffic regulations, workplace policies
      • Potential infringement on personal liberties if applied excessively
  • Informal social controls
      • Unwritten norms, values, and expectations
      • Enforced through social sanctions (disapproval, ridicule, ostracism)
      • Internalisation of societal norms and desire for acceptance
      • Examples: cultural traditions, social etiquette, moral codes
      • Potential limitation on individuality and challenging societal norms
  • Balancing order and freedom
    • Effective when formal and informal controls are balanced
      and applied fairly
    • Excessive or discriminatory application can suppress
      individual rights
    • Striking a balance between collective well-being and
      personal autonomy
  • Key concepts: Social order, conformity, legal sanctions, social sanctions, individual freedom, personal autonomy, balance of controls.

Explore the concept of ‘status’ in sociology. Discuss different types of statuses, how they are acquired, and their effects on individual identity and social interactions. Include an analysis of the implications of status on personal and professional relationships.

Answer: In sociology, the concept of ‘status’ refers to the position an individual occupies within a group or society. It is a crucial aspect that shapes individual identity, social interactions, and societal expectations. There are different types of statuses, and they can have significant implications for personal and professional relationships.
Statuses can be broadly categorised into two types: ascribed and achieved. Ascribed statuses are those that an individual acquires by virtue of birth or involuntary factors, such as gender, race, caste, or family background. These statuses are not earned but rather assigned by society. On the other hand, achieved statuses are those that an individual attains through personal effort, merit, or accomplishments, such as educational qualifications, occupational roles, or social positions.
Ascribed statuses play a significant role in traditional societies, where an individual’s position and privileges are largely determined by their birth. In modern societies, however, achieved statuses tend to have a greater influence on an individual’s social standing and opportunities. Nevertheless, ascribed statuses can still impact an individual’s life chances and experiences, even in societies that emphasise meritocracy.
Individuals often occupy multiple statuses simultaneously, forming a ‘status set.’ For example, a person may simultaneously hold the statuses of a daughter, a student, an employee, and a club member. These statuses can interact and sometimes conflict with one another, leading to role conflicts or the need to prioritise certain roles over others.
Statuses are closely linked to societal expectations and norms. Each status carries a set of rights, duties, and expectations that shape an individual’s behaviour and interactions. For instance, the status of a parent comes with the expectation of providing care and guidance to one’s children, while the status of a doctor carries the responsibility of delivering professional medical care.
The prestige associated with a particular status can significantly influence personal and professional relationships. Statuses perceived as high-status or prestigious often command greater respect, authority, and social capital. Conversely, low-status positions may face discrimination, marginalisation, or limited opportunities. These dynamics can create power imbalances and shape interpersonal dynamics within families, workplaces, or social circles.
In summary, the concept of ‘status’ in sociology encompasses the positions individuals occupy within groups or societies, the rights and responsibilities associated with those positions, and the societal expectations and prestige attached to them. Understanding the interplay between different types of statuses, their acquisition, and their effects on individual identity and social interactions is crucial for analysing and comprehending the complexities of social structures and relationships.

Mindmap to remember this answer:

  • Status
      • Position within group/society
      • Shapes individual identity and social interactions
  • Types of statuses
      • Ascribed (gender, race, caste, family background)
      • Achieved (education, occupation, social positions)
  • Status set (multiple statuses occupied simultaneously)
      • Potential for role conflicts
  • Societal expectations and norms
      • Rights, duties, and expected behaviours associated with each status
  • Prestige and social capital
      • High-status positions command respect and authority
      • Low-status positions may face discrimination and limited opportunities
  • Personal and professional relationships
    • Influenced by status dynamics and power imbalances
  • Key concepts: Ascribed, achieved, status set, role conflict, societal expectations, prestige, social capital.

Describe the impact of globalisation on traditional social structures in societies. How have traditional groups and collectivities adapted or transformed in response to the pressures and changes brought about by globalisation?

Answer: Globalisation has had a profound impact on traditional social structures and collectivities in societies around the world. With the increasing interconnectedness and flow of ideas, cultures, and people across borders, traditional groups and communities have had to adapt and transform in response to the pressures and changes brought about by globalisation.
One of the significant effects of globalisation has been the erosion of traditional boundaries and the blurring of cultural distinctions. Traditional groups that were once isolated and insulated from external influences have been exposed to diverse perspectives, values, and lifestyles. This exposure has challenged long-held beliefs, practices, and norms, leading to the renegotiation of identities and the redefining of social roles within these groups.
Globalisation has also facilitated the movement of people, both physically and virtually, through migration, tourism, and the rise of digital communication. This mobility has led to the formation of diasporic communities and transnational networks, which have reshaped traditional notions of belonging and group affiliations. For instance, migrant communities have often had to navigate the tensions between preserving their cultural heritage and adapting to the norms and values of their host societies.
Moreover, the forces of globalisation have introduced new economic and social opportunities, as well as challenges, for traditional groups. Some have embraced these opportunities, leveraging global markets and technologies to enhance their economic well-being and social standing. Others, however, have struggled to maintain their traditional livelihoods and cultural practices in the face of rapid modernization and homogenization.
Traditional groups and collectivities have responded to these changes in various ways. Some have fiercely resisted globalisation, seeking to preserve their cultural authenticity and traditional ways of life. Others have selectively adopted aspects of globalisation, blending modern elements with traditional ones in a process of cultural hybridity. Still others have fully embraced globalisation, seeing it as a means of empowerment and progress.
Importantly, globalisation has also given rise to new forms of social mobilisation and collective action, as traditional groups have sought to assert their rights, protect their interests, and shape the forces of change on their own terms. This has led to the emergence of transnational social movements and advocacy networks that transcend national boundaries and traditional group affiliations.
In summary, globalisation has presented both challenges and opportunities for traditional social structures and collectives. While some groups have struggled to maintain their traditional identities and practices, others have adapted and transformed in response to the changing global landscape, navigating the complexities of cultural exchange, mobility, and socio-economic transformations.

Mindmap to remember this answer:

  • Impact of globalisation on traditional groups
      • Erosion of traditional boundaries and cultural distinctions
      • Exposure to diverse perspectives, values, and lifestyles
      • Renegotiation of identities and social roles
  • Movement and mobility
      • Migration, tourism, and digital communication
      • Formation of diasporic communities and transnational networks
      • Challenges in preserving cultural heritage and adapting to host societies
  • Economic and social opportunities and challenges
      • Access to global markets and technologies
      • Threats to traditional livelihoods and cultural practices
      • Modernization and homogenization
  • Responses to globalisation
      • Resistance and preservation of cultural authenticity
      • Selective adoption and cultural hybridity
      • Embracing globalisation for empowerment and progress
  • Social mobilisation and collective action
    • Assertion of rights and protection of interests
    • Emergence of transnational social movements and advocacy networks
  • Key concepts: Cultural exchange, mobility, diasporic communities, economic opportunities, cultural preservation, social mobilisation, transnational movements.

Critically assess how different sociological theories explain social inequalities. Use examples to illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of at least two major theoretical perspectives in explaining the causes and consequences of social stratification.

Answer: Different sociological theories offer varying explanations for the causes and consequences of social inequalities and stratification in society. Two major theoretical perspectives that provide contrasting viewpoints are the functionalist theory and the conflict theory.
The functionalist theory, espoused by sociologists like Talcott Parsons and Robert Merton, views social stratification as a necessary and functional aspect of society. According to this perspective, inequality serves a purpose by motivating individuals to work hard and achieve positions that are essential for the smooth functioning of society. The functionalists argue that stratification ensures that the most talented and qualified individuals are allocated to the most important and demanding roles, thereby contributing to societal stability and efficiency.
However, a key weakness of the functionalist theory is its assumption that stratification is based solely on merit and that everyone has an equal opportunity to achieve higher positions. This perspective fails to acknowledge the structural barriers and systemic discrimination faced by certain groups, such as racial minorities, women, and lower socioeconomic classes, which limit their upward mobility and perpetuate inequalities.
On the other hand, the conflict theory, influenced by the works of Karl Marx and other critical theorists, views social stratification as a result of unequal power relations and the exploitation of certain groups by those in power. According to this perspective, inequalities are not functional but rather a consequence of the dominant group’s efforts to maintain their privileged position and control over resources. Conflict theorists argue that stratification is a means of preserving the status quo, benefiting the ruling class while oppressing and marginalising others.
The strength of the conflict theory lies in its recognition of the role of power dynamics, systemic discrimination, and the perpetuation of inequalities through societal structures and institutions. It highlights how factors such as race, gender, and class intersect to create complex patterns of advantage and disadvantage. However, a limitation of this perspective is its potential overemphasis on conflict and its inability to account for instances where stratification may serve functional purposes or emerge from non-exploitative processes.
In conclusion, sociological theories like functionalism and conflict theory offer valuable insights into the causes and consequences of social inequalities, but each has its strengths and weaknesses. A comprehensive understanding of stratification requires considering multiple perspectives and recognizing the complex interplay of various factors, including structural barriers, power dynamics, and systemic discrimination, as well as the potential functional aspects of stratification within specific social contexts.

Mindmap to remember this answer:

  • Functionalist theory
      • Stratification as functional and necessary
      • Allocation of roles based on merit and talent
      • Contributes to societal stability and efficiency
      • Weakness: Ignores structural barriers and discrimination
  • Conflict theory
      • Stratification as a result of unequal power relations
      • Exploitation of certain groups by the dominant class
      • Perpetuation of inequalities through societal structures
      • Strength: Recognizes power dynamics and systemic discrimination
      • Limitation: Potential overemphasis on conflict
  • Causes of social inequalities
      • Structural barriers and systemic discrimination
      • Unequal access to resources and opportunities
      • Intersectionality of factors (race, gender, class)
  • Consequences of social inequalities
    • Perpetuation of privilege and oppression
    • Limited social mobility and life chances
    • Societal instability and conflict
  • Key concepts: Stratification, power dynamics, systemic discrimination, functional necessity, conflict, social mobility, intersectionality.

Discuss the concept of ‘deviance’ in sociology. How is deviance constructed socially, and what roles do societal norms and laws play in defining and managing deviant behaviour? Provide examples of how perceptions of deviance might vary across different cultures or historical periods.

Answer: In sociology, the concept of ‘deviance’ refers to behaviour or actions that violate the established norms, values, and expectations of a society or social group. Deviance is socially constructed, meaning that what is considered deviant is determined by societal norms and laws, which can vary across different cultures and historical periods.
Societal norms and laws play a crucial role in defining and managing deviant behaviour. Norms are the informal rules and shared expectations that govern social interactions and conduct within a group or society. Laws, on the other hand, are formal legal codes that regulate behaviour and impose sanctions for violations.
The perception of what constitutes deviance is heavily influenced by societal norms and cultural values. Behaviours that are considered acceptable or even desirable in one culture may be viewed as deviant in another. For example, certain forms of dress or diet practices that are normative in one society may be seen as deviant in another cultural context.
Furthermore, societal perceptions of deviance can change over time, reflecting shifts in social attitudes, values, and power dynamics. Behaviours that were once considered deviant, such as interracial relationships or same-sex marriages, may become more accepted and normalised as societal norms evolve.
Laws also play a significant role in defining and managing deviant behaviour. Criminal laws codify certain acts as illegal and subject to punishment, reflecting the values and interests of those in power. However, not all deviant behaviour is necessarily illegal, and not all illegal behaviour is universally considered deviant within a society.
It is important to recognise that the labelling of certain behaviours as deviant often reflects power imbalances and societal biases. Dominant groups or institutions may impose their norms and values on others, marginalising or criminalising behaviours that challenge the status quo or threaten their interests.
In summary, deviance is a socially constructed concept that is shaped by societal norms, cultural values, and legal frameworks. What is considered deviant can vary greatly across different societies and historical periods, reflecting the dynamic and contextual nature of social norms and power structures.

Mindmap to remember this answer:

  • Deviance
      • Violation of societal norms, values, and expectations
      • Socially constructed concept
  • Societal norms
      • Informal rules and shared expectations
      • Govern social interactions and conduct
  • Laws
      • Formal legal codes
      • Regulate behaviour and impose sanctions
  • Cultural variations
      • Acceptable behaviour in one culture may be deviant in another
  • Historical changes
      • Perceptions of deviance evolve over time
  • Power and marginalisation
    • Dominant groups impose norms and criminalise dissent
  • Key concepts: Social norms, cultural relativism, legal sanctions, power dynamics, social control, marginalisation, labelling.

Analyse the role of ‘peer groups’ in social development and cultural transmission among adolescents. Discuss the impact of peer groups on socialisation processes and how they might contribute to or mitigate social deviance.

Answer: Peer groups play a crucial role in social development and cultural transmission among adolescents. As a primary group, peer groups exert significant influence on socialisation processes and can contribute to or mitigate social deviance.
During adolescence, individuals seek to establish independence from their families and form strong bonds with their peers. Peer groups provide a sense of belonging, acceptance, and validation, which are essential for healthy social and emotional development. Within these groups, adolescents learn social norms, values, and behaviours through peer interactions and observations.
Peer groups serve as agents of cultural transmission, facilitating the exchange and adoption of cultural elements such as language, fashion, music preferences, and leisure activities. Adolescents often adopt the cultural markers of their peer groups as a means of solidifying their group identity and distinguishing themselves from other groups.
Moreover, peer groups can significantly impact an individual’s attitudes, beliefs, and decision-making processes. Peer pressure, both positive and negative, can influence various aspects of an adolescent’s life, including academic performance, risk-taking behaviours (e.g., substance abuse, delinquency), and social conformity.
While peer groups can promote positive social development by encouraging prosocial behaviours, cooperation, and support, they can also contribute to social deviance. Deviant peer groups may reinforce and normalise antisocial or delinquent behaviours, leading some adolescents to engage in activities that violate societal norms or laws.
However, it is essential to recognize that peer groups do not operate in isolation; their influence is shaped by the broader sociocultural context, including family dynamics, community structures, and societal values. Positive peer influence and strong family support can mitigate the potential negative effects of deviant peer groups, fostering resilience and promoting positive youth development.
In summary, peer groups play a pivotal role in adolescent socialisation, cultural transmission, and the formation of social identities. While they can contribute to social deviance, their influence is multifaceted, and their impact can be moderated by positive family and community influences, highlighting the complex interplay between various socialisation agents in shaping individual development and behaviour.

Mindmap to remember this answer:

  • Peer groups in adolescence
      • Primary group, sense of belonging and acceptance
      • Social and emotional development
      • Learning social norms, values, and behaviours
  • Cultural transmission
      • Exchange and adoption of cultural elements
      • Language, fashion, music preferences, leisure activities
      • Solidifying group identity
  • Influence on attitudes, beliefs, and decision-making
      • Peer pressure (positive and negative)
      • Academic performance, risk-taking behaviours, social conformity
  • Contributing to social deviance
      • Reinforcing antisocial or delinquent behaviours
      • Normalising norm violations
  • Mitigating factors
    • Positive family support and community structures
    • Promoting resilience and positive youth development
  • Key concepts: Socialisation, cultural transmission, peer pressure, social deviance, resilience, positive youth development.

Evaluate the role of sociology in understanding societal changes and challenges in the 21st century. How can sociological tools and concepts be applied to address issues such as inequality, discrimination, and social change in contemporary societies?

Answer: Sociology plays a crucial role in understanding societal changes and challenges in the 21st century. Through its theoretical frameworks, empirical research methods, and conceptual tools, sociology offers valuable insights into the complex dynamics of contemporary societies and provides a lens to analyse and address pressing social issues.
In the context of inequality and discrimination, sociological perspectives shed light on the structural factors that perpetuate disparities and marginalisation. Theories such as conflict theory and critical race theory examine how power imbalances, systemic biases, and historical legacies of oppression contribute to the unequal distribution of resources and opportunities. Sociological research can uncover patterns of discrimination in areas like employment, education, housing, and criminal justice, informing policies and interventions aimed at promoting equity and social justice.
Moreover, sociological concepts like intersectionality highlight the complex interplay of multiple identities and social locations, such as race, gender, class, and sexuality, in shaping individual experiences and life chances. This understanding is crucial for developing nuanced and inclusive approaches to addressing intersectional forms of inequality and oppression.
Sociology is also well-equipped to analyse and understand social change processes in contemporary societies. Globalisation, technological advancements, and shifting cultural norms are reshaping social structures, identities, and relationships. Sociological theories and research methods can shed light on the impact of these transformations on various aspects of social life, including family dynamics, work patterns, community formation, and social movements.
Additionally, sociological tools can be applied to examine emerging social phenomena, such as the rise of digital communities, the gig economy, and new forms of social activism. By studying these dynamics, sociology can contribute to developing strategies for navigating the challenges and opportunities presented by rapid social change.
Furthermore, sociological perspectives can inform policy-making and social interventions by providing evidence-based insights into societal issues. For instance, sociological research on urban planning, healthcare access, and crime prevention can guide policymakers in developing effective and equitable solutions that address the root causes of social problems.
In summary, sociology’s diverse theoretical perspectives, empirical methods, and conceptual tools make it well-suited to understanding and addressing the complex societal changes and challenges of the 21st century. By examining structural inequalities, analysing social dynamics, and informing evidence-based policies, sociology can contribute to creating more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable societies.

Mindmap to remember this answer:

  • Role of sociology in understanding societal changes and challenges
      • Theoretical frameworks (conflict theory, critical race theory)
      • Analysis of inequality, discrimination, and marginalisation
      • Concept of intersectionality
      • Understanding social change processes (globalisation, technology, cultural shifts)
      • Emerging social phenomena (digital communities, gig economy, social movements)
      • Informing policy-making and social interventions
      • Evidence-based insights into societal issues
  • Addressing inequality and discrimination
      • Uncovering systemic biases and structural factors
      • Promoting equity, social justice, and inclusion
  • Navigating social change
      • Impact on social structures, identities, and relationships
      • Strategies for challenges and opportunities
  • Informing policy and interventions
    • Urban planning, healthcare access, crime prevention
    • Evidence-based and equitable solutions
  • Key concepts: Structural inequalities, intersectionality, social change, emerging phenomena, evidence-based policies, social justice.

Discuss the historical development of sociology as a discipline and how various sociological theories have emerged in response to changing social conditions. Compare and contrast the foundational ideas of Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber.

Answer: Sociology as a discipline has a rich historical development, with various sociological theories emerging in response to the changing social conditions of different eras. The foundational ideas of prominent thinkers like Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber played a significant role in shaping the field of sociology and offering diverse perspectives on understanding society.
Sociology emerged in the 19th century during a period of rapid social transformation brought about by industrialization, urbanisation, and the rise of capitalism in Europe. In this context, Karl Marx developed his conflict theory, which focused on the struggles between different social classes and the exploitation of the working class by the bourgeoisie. Marx’s ideas revolved around concepts like class conflict, alienation, and the critique of capitalism, providing a critical lens for analysing the power dynamics and inequalities inherent in modern societies.
In contrast, Emile Durkheim, considered one of the founders of sociology, emphasised the importance of social solidarity and the need for a collective consciousness in maintaining social order and cohesion. Durkheim’s work focused on understanding the factors that hold society together, such as shared norms, values, and beliefs. His concepts of mechanical and organic solidarity, the division of labour, and anomie shed light on the societal changes brought about by modernization and industrialization.
Max Weber, another influential sociologist, offered a multidimensional approach to understanding society. Weber’s theory of stratification highlighted the interplay of class, status, and power in shaping social hierarchies. He introduced the concept of the “Protestant work ethic” and explored the relationship between religious beliefs and economic behaviour. Weber’s ideas on bureaucracy, rationalisation, and the disenchantment of the world provided insights into the processes of modernization and the emergence of modern societies.
While Marx’s conflict theory emphasised class struggle and the role of economic forces, Durkheim’s functionalist perspective focused on social integration and the maintenance of social order. Weber’s interpretive approach, on the other hand, examined the subjective meanings and motivations underlying social action and the impact of cultural and religious factors on societal development.
These foundational theories have not only shaped subsequent sociological thought but have also influenced various fields such as political science, economics, and anthropology. They continue to provide valuable frameworks for analysing contemporary social issues, such as inequality, social movements, and the impact of globalisation on traditional social structures.

Mindmap to remember this answer:

  • Historical development of sociology
      • Emergence during Industrial Revolution and social transformations
  • Karl Marx
      • Conflict theory
      • Class struggle, exploitation, alienation
      • Critique of capitalism
  • Emile Durkheim
      • Social solidarity and collective consciousness
      • Mechanical and organic solidarity
      • Division of labour, anomie
  • Max Weber
      • Stratification: class, status, power
      • Protestant work ethic
      • Bureaucracy, rationalisation, and disenchantment
  • Contrasting perspectives
      • Marx: Class conflict and economic forces
      • Durkheim: Social integration and order
      • Weber: Interpretive approach, subjective meanings
  • Influence on various fields
      • Political science, economics, anthropology
  • Contemporary relevance
    • Analysing inequality, social movements, globalisation

Examine the notion of ‘social group’ and its significance in sociology. Discuss the distinguishing features of quasi groups, primary groups, and secondary groups, and provide examples of how these groups function within society.

Answer: The notion of ‘social group’ is a fundamental concept in sociology, as it recognizes that individuals do not exist in isolation but rather form collectives with shared interests, norms, and interactions. Social groups play a crucial role in shaping individual identities, behaviours, and societal structures.
Sociology distinguishes between different types of social groups, each with its unique characteristics and functions within society. One such categorization is quasi groups, primary groups, and secondary groups.
Quasi groups are temporary, loosely structured aggregates of individuals who share a common location or situation but lack a sense of belonging or shared goals. Examples include people waiting at a bus stop, cinema audiences, or crowds at a public event. These groups are ephemeral and lack the defining features of a true social group.
Primary groups, on the other hand, are characterised by intimate, face-to-face interactions and a strong sense of belonging. Family, close friends, and small communities are prime examples of primary groups. These groups play a vital role in an individual’s socialisation process, shaping their values, beliefs, and identities from an early age. Primary groups are often emotionally supportive and foster a sense of unity and solidarity among their members.
Secondary groups are larger, more impersonal, and goal-oriented. Examples include workplaces, professional organisations, political parties, and clubs. These groups are typically formed for specific purposes, such as achieving a shared objective or pursuing common interests. Interactions within secondary groups are more formal and regulated by established rules and hierarchies. While secondary groups may lack the emotional intimacy of primary groups, they provide individuals with opportunities for social connections, personal growth, and collective action.
The significance of social groups in sociology lies in their ability to influence individual behaviour, shape social norms, and facilitate collective action. Primary groups, in particular, serve as powerful agents of socialisation, instilling values, beliefs, and norms that guide an individual’s conduct throughout their life. Secondary groups, on the other hand, offer avenues for individuals to pursue shared interests, engage in collective action, and contribute to societal change.
In summary, the concept of ‘social group’ is essential to understanding the interplay between individuals and society, as it highlights the ways in which people form collectives, interact, and shape social structures. The distinctions between quasi groups, primary groups, and secondary groups provide insights into the diverse roles and functions these groups serve within society.

Mindmap to remember this answer:

  • Social group
      • Collective of individuals with shared interests, norms, and interactions
      • Shapes individual identities, behaviours, and societal structures
  • Quasi groups
      • Temporary, loosely structured aggregates (e.g., crowds, audiences)
      • Lack sense of belonging and shared goals
  • Primary groups
      • Intimate, face-to-face interactions (e.g., family, close friends)
      • Strong sense of belonging and emotional support
      • Crucial for socialisation and identity formation
  • Secondary groups
      • Larger, impersonal, and goal-oriented (e.g., workplaces, organisations)
      • Formal rules and hierarchies
      • Opportunities for social connections, personal growth, and collective action
  • Significance
    • Influence individual behaviour and social norms
    • Primary groups: Powerful agents of socialisation
    • Secondary groups: Facilitate collective action and societal change

Analyse the sociological implications of ‘community’ and ‘society’ as understood in traditional and modern contexts. How do these concepts influence the way individuals form identities and interact within their environments?

Answer: The concepts of ‘community’ and ‘society’ hold significant sociological implications in understanding the contrasting social dynamics and relationships that characterise traditional and modern contexts. These concepts influence the way individuals form identities and interact within their environments.
In traditional societies, the notion of ‘community’ is prevalent, characterised by highly personal, intimate, and enduring relationships. Communities are often defined by shared values, customs, and a strong sense of belonging among members. Within these communities, individuals derive their identities from their roles and positions within the collective, such as family, kinship, or occupational groups. Interactions are typically face-to-face, fostering a deep sense of connection and mutual support.
Contrastingly, modern societies are marked by the concept of ‘society,’ which refers to the impersonal, transitory, and often superficial relationships that define urban life. In this context, individuals form identities that are more individualistic and detached from traditional community ties. Interactions are often based on calculated self-interest, governed by formal contracts and agreements rather than personal bonds.
The transition from community to society has profound implications for individual identity formation. In traditional communities, identities are largely ascribed and rooted in one’s social position within the collective. For example, an individual’s identity might be primarily defined by their caste, family lineage, or occupation. In modern societies, however, identities become more fluid and shaped by individual choices, achievements, and affiliations with various social groups.
Furthermore, the nature of social interactions and relationships differ significantly between community and society. Communities foster a sense of shared values, norms, and collective responsibility, while societies often prioritise individual autonomy and self-interest. In communities, social control is primarily exercised through informal mechanisms, such as social norms, customs, and the influence of family and kinship networks. 

In contrast, modern societies rely more heavily on formal mechanisms of social control, such as laws, regulations, and institutional structures.
It is important to note that these concepts of community and society are not mutually exclusive, and elements of both can coexist within contemporary societies. However, the sociological implications of these concepts highlight the profound transformations in social structures, identities, and relationships that have accompanied the shift from traditional to modern modes of living.

Mindmap to remember this answer:

  • ‘Community’ (Traditional contexts)
      • Intimate, personal relationships
      • Shared values, customs, sense of belonging
      • Identities rooted in collective roles (family, kinship, occupation)
      • Face-to-face interactions, mutual support
      • Informal social control (norms, customs, kinship networks)
  • ‘Society’ (Modern contexts)
      • Impersonal, transitory relationships
      • Individualistic identities, detached from traditional ties
      • Interactions based on self-interest, contracts, and agreements
      • Fluid identities shaped by individual choices and affiliations
      • Formal social control (laws, regulations, institutions)
  • Implications for identity formation
      • Traditional: Ascribed identities based on social position
      • Modern: Fluid identities, shaped by individual achievements and affiliations
  • Nature of social interactions
      • Community: Shared values, norms, collective responsibility
      • Society: Individual autonomy, self-interest
  • Coexistence and transformation
    • Elements of community and society can coexist
    • Shift from traditional to modern modes of living

Explore the sociological impact of migration on social structures and individual identities, using M.N. Srinivas’s observations on recent and old immigrants as a case study. How do migration patterns affect the notions of in-groups and out-groups within a community?

Answer: Migration has a profound sociological impact on social structures and individual identities, as observed by M.N. Srinivas in his study of recent and old immigrants in Rampura. Migration patterns can significantly influence the notions of in-groups and out-groups within a community.
Srinivas noted that villagers differentiated between recent immigrants, described as ‘nenne monne bandavartu’ (meaning ‘came yesterday or the day before’), and old immigrants, referred to as ‘arsheyinda bandavaru’ (‘came long ago’) or ‘khadeem kulagalu’ (‘old lineages’). This distinction highlights the sociological phenomenon of in-groups and out-groups within the community.
In-groups are characterised by a sense of belonging, shared norms, and a collective identity. Members of an in-group often perceive themselves as insiders, while viewing outsiders or newcomers as out-groups. The villagers in Srinivas’s observation considered the old immigrants as part of the in-group, having assimilated into the community’s culture and traditions over time.
On the other hand, recent immigrants were viewed as an out-group, facing potential hostility, exclusion, and marginalisation from the established in-group. Their recent arrival and lack of integration into the community’s norms and values initially marked them as outsiders.
Migration can disrupt the existing social structures and challenge the traditional boundaries of in-groups and out-groups. As newcomers arrive, they may initially face resistance and discrimination from the established community, which perceives them as a threat to their collective identity, resources, or way of life.
However, over time, the process of acculturation and assimilation can occur, whereby the out-group gradually adopts the norms, values, and practices of the in-group, eventually becoming integrated into the community. This transition from out-group to in-group often involves negotiating identities, adapting to new social norms, and establishing a sense of belonging within the host community.
The sociological impact of migration on individual identities is also significant. Migrants may experience a sense of displacement, as they navigate the complexities of maintaining their cultural heritage while adapting to the new socio-cultural environment. This process can lead to the formation of hybrid or transnational identities, where individuals blend elements of their origin and host cultures.
In summary, Srinivas’s observations shed light on how migration patterns can challenge and reshape the notions of in-groups and out-groups within a community, as well as influence individual identities through processes of adaptation, acculturation, and integration.

Mindmap to remember this answer:

  • Migration and social structures
      • Recent immigrants as out-group (‘nenne monne bandavartu’)
      • Old immigrants as in-group (‘arsheyinda bandavaru’, ‘khadeem kulagalu’)
  • In-groups
      • Sense of belonging, shared norms, collective identity
      • Established community members
  • Out-groups
      • Perceived as outsiders, potential hostility and marginalisation
      • Recent arrivals, lack of integration
  • Impact on social structures
      • Disruption of existing boundaries
      • Resistance and discrimination towards out-groups
      • Acculturation and assimilation over time
  • Individual identities
    • Negotiating cultural heritage and adaptation
    • Formation of hybrid or transnational identities
  • Key concepts: In-group, out-group, acculturation, assimilation, hybrid identities, belonging.

Critically examine how the concept of ‘role conflict’ is manifested in modern societies, particularly through the lens of gender roles and occupational expectations. Discuss potential solutions or adaptations that modern societies could employ to address role conflicts.

Answer: In modern societies, the concept of ‘role conflict’ is manifested in various ways, particularly through the lens of gender roles and occupational expectations. The traditional division of gender roles, with men as breadwinners and women as homemakers, has been challenged by the increasing participation of women in the workforce and the pursuit of professional careers.
One prominent example of role conflict is the struggle faced by working mothers who have to juggle the responsibilities of their professional roles with the societal expectations of being the primary caregiver and homemaker. These conflicting roles can lead to significant stress, guilt, and challenges in achieving a work-life balance. Despite societal shifts, women often bear a disproportionate burden of domestic and childcare responsibilities, which can hinder their career advancement and contribute to role conflict.
Similarly, men who deviate from traditional masculine roles by taking on more domestic responsibilities or pursuing careers traditionally associated with women may experience role conflict. They may face societal pressure, stigma, or diminished prestige for not conforming to the stereotypical breadwinner role.
Role conflicts can also arise in the context of occupational expectations. Individuals in certain professions, such as healthcare, law enforcement, or the military, may face conflicting demands between their professional roles and personal or family obligations. For instance, a doctor might struggle to balance the demands of long working hours and emergency situations with their responsibilities as a parent or spouse.
Potential solutions or adaptations that modern societies could employ to address role conflicts include:

  1. Promoting greater gender equality and challenging traditional gender role stereotypes through education, media representation, and policy reforms.
  2. Encouraging and supporting flexible work arrangements, such as remote work, part-time options, and shared parental leave policies, to facilitate better work-life integration.
  3. Providing accessible and affordable childcare and eldercare services to alleviate the caregiving burden on individuals.
  4. Fostering a shift in societal attitudes and workplace cultures to normalise and support diverse family structures, caregiving responsibilities, and non-traditional career paths.
  5. Implementing policies and programmes that encourage and incentivize men to take on more active roles in domestic and caregiving responsibilities.
  6. Promoting open dialogue and awareness about the challenges of role conflicts and developing coping strategies and support systems for individuals navigating multiple roles.

By addressing role conflicts through a combination of societal, policy, and cultural changes, modern societies can foster greater equality, well-being, and personal fulfilment for individuals navigating the complexities of diverse roles and expectations.

Mindmap to remember this answer:

  • Role conflict in modern societies
      • Gender roles
        • Working mothers: Juggling professional and caregiving roles
        • Men in non-traditional roles: Stigma and societal pressure
      • Occupational expectations
        • Conflicting demands between work and personal/family obligations
        • Example: Healthcare professionals, law enforcement, military
  • Potential solutions and adaptations
    • Promoting gender equality and challenging stereotypes
    • Flexible work arrangements and support for work-life integration
    • Accessible and affordable childcare and eldercare services
    • Shifting societal attitudes and workplace cultures
    • Encouraging men’s active participation in caregiving
    • Open dialogue and coping strategies for multiple roles

Key concepts: Work-life balance, gender equality, caregiving responsibilities, occupational demands, societal attitudes, policy reforms.

Sample Questions Paper

Chapter 2: Terms, Concepts and Their Use in Sociology – Sample Questions Paper

Time allowed: 2 hours

Maximum Marks: 40

General Instructions: 

  • The question paper contains 14 questions. 
  • All questions are compulsory. 
  • Section A: Question numbers 1 and 2 are 1 mark source-based questions. Answer to these questions must not exceed 10-15 words. 
  • Section B: Question numbers 3 to 9 are 2 marks questions. These are very short-answer type questions. Answer to these questions should not exceed 30 words. 
  • Section C: Question numbers 10 to 12 are 4 marks questions. Answer to these questions should not exceed 80 words. 
  • Section D: Question numbers 13 and 14 are 6 marks questions. Answer to these questions should not exceed 200 words.

Section A

  1. How does the sociological perspective differ from common sense knowledge? (1 Mark)
  2. What is the significance of concepts in sociology according to the textbook passage? (1 Mark)

Section B

  1. Distinguish between quasi groups and social groups. (2 Marks)
  2. State two characteristics of a social group. (2 Marks)
  3. What are the two types of groups given by the textbook based on the size and nature of interaction? (2 Marks)
  4. Give two examples of secondary groups. (2 Marks)
  5. What is the basis of social stratification in a caste system? (2 Marks)
  6. Mention two characteristics that distinguish caste from class. (2 Marks)
  7. What is role stereotyping? Give an example. (2 Marks)

Section C

  1. Describe the two main forms of social control mentioned in the textbook passage. (4 Marks)
    OR
    Explain the concepts of deviance and sanction with examples.
  2. How did classical sociological thinkers distinguish between community and society or association? Elucidate with examples. (4 Marks)
    OR
    Distinguish between achieved and ascribed status with the help of examples.
  3. Examine the factors that contributed to changes in the caste system in India according to the textbook passage. (4 Marks)
    OR
    How does the functionalist theory explain the existence of social stratification in society?

Section D

  1. Critically analyse the concepts of status and role from a sociological perspective. Illustrate your answer with relevant examples. (6 Marks)
    OR
    Compare and contrast the understanding of religion from the functionalist and conflict perspectives as given in the textbook.

Discuss the various bases of social stratification that exist in society. How are these bases interlinked according to the sociological viewpoint? (6 Marks)
OR
What are the different types of groups discussed in the textbook? Elaborate on any two types with suitable examples.

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