IGNOU BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment 2022- Helpfirst

BSOC 133


BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment Jan 2022

Q. 1. Discuss the Marxian concepts of dialectics and social change.

Ans. The Concept of Dialectics: The word dialectics’ is a logical term which means the method of intellectual discussion by dialogue. The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) said that the term meant the art of deputation by question and answer.

Plato (427-397 B.C.) also developed this term before Aristotle in relation with his doctrine of ideas. Before Plato, Socrates (470-590 B.C.) used this term to investigate the presuppositions at the back of all sciences.

The word was also used by the German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) to describe the impossibility of applying to objects of a non-sensuous understanding the principles which are found to govern phenomena of sense-experience.

Dialectics can also be understood as a process which means that it is a process of reason in ascending and descending forms.

The ascending form of dialectics believes that one is able to exhibit the existence of a higher reality, e.g., the forms of God and in the descending form of dialectics, one is able to describe the manifestation of a higher reality in the phenomenal world of sense-experience.

Karl Marx used the term ‘dialectics’ on the basis of his critique of the German philosopher Hegel’s theories of idealism. BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

According to Hegel, the two strands of dialectic can be combined as the idea of dialectic as reason and as process. He used the idea of dialectics as a logical process and also traced it as the generator or motor of the logical process.

Hegel also believed that dialectics can be understood as grasping of opposites in their unity and as a process which brings out what is implicit. This meant that each development is a product of a previous less developed phase and new development is a fulfilment of the previous state.

Hegel believed that history is progress in the consciousness of freedom.
The philosophy of Hegel initially attracted Marx but later on he criticised it due to its idealist nature and set forth his own dialectical materialism.

Hegel’s philosophy was criticized by Marx for deducing the laws of dialectics from consciousness instead of material existence.

Marx stated that to get a scientifically sound dialectical method one will have to totally invert the logic of Hegelian dialectics.

Social Change and Revolution:

This section deals with the ideas of Marx on social change and revolution. Both the sociologists, Marx and Engels outlined their scheme of history in which the main idea was that based on a mode of production there was a succession of historical phases.

They saw the change from one phase to the next as a state of revolution brought about by conflicts between old institutions and new productive forces.

Later on both Marx and Engels gave more time and studied English, French and American revolutions and named it as bourgeois revolutions.

Marx’s hypothesis of bourgeois revolution has given us a perspective to look at social changes in Europe and America. But more than this, it has stimulated further research by scholars on this subject.BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

Marx also stated about another kind of revolution which pertained to communism. He saw communism as a sequel to capitalism.

He believed that communism would wipe out all class divisions and therefore would allow for a fresh start with moral and social transformation. This was the vision both Marx and Engels carried in their minds for future society.

The idea of socialist revolution of Marx pre-supposes an era of shift from capitalism to socialism. According to him, the bourgeois revolution is a defeat of the aristocracy which came at the end of a long period of growth of capitalism.

On the other hand, the overthrow of the bourgeoisie is only the first phase of the revolutionary change from capitalism to socialism.

Marx believed that the socialistic phase of revolution would not be without classes, occupational division of labour and market economy, etc.

It is only in the higher phase of revolution there would be distribution of goods to each according to his needs which would be the phase of communism.

Therefore, Marx saw communism as a series of steps to completely revolutionise the entire mode of production.BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

Marx also devised the intensification of class antagonism in capitalism, because the new forces of production do not correspond to the relations of production.

The gap between the levels of distribution of gains between the two classes will be increased which shall leave the have-nots extremely alienated and conscious of their class interests.

Marx opined that the socialist revolution would be qualitatively different from all the revolutions of the past as it would for the first time, after the beginning of history of inequality and exploitation emerged in a stage of classless society with a hope for all members of society.

Q. 2. What is social revolution and how it will be reached? Discuss from Marxian perspective.

Ans. Revolutionary Marx: Karl Marx became the leader of a revolutionary party while working with the Communist League, a federation of workers.

The London branch of the Communist League endowed him with writing of a document in the year which would spell aims and objectives of the party which was presented by Karl Marx early in 1848. BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

The document was called the Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848) and after that Karl Marx and his family were expelled from Belgium and its territory.

Then, he was invited back to Paris by the new French Government. Marx once again left Paris and went to Cologne to find out what he could do to promote his idea in his native Rhineland.

BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment
BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

The new journal started by Marx was named as “The New Rheinische Zeitung’ which was read avidly by the public. But then Marx was arrested for sedition and tried in Cologne court where he delivered a speech on socioeconomic conditions in Germany and other countries.

The jury thanked him but the Government had already taken away his citizenship and therefore he was dismissed from Rhineland in July 1849.

He again went to Paris where the French Government ordered him to either leave France or to retire to the obscurity.BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

Marx believed that Revolution was both fundamentally essential and inevitable to the progress of human society.

He anticipated that eventually the workers of the world would realise they have nothing to lose but their chains’ and revolt against the industrialists and capitalists who covertly controlled their lives.

In the aftermath of the Revolution, a new global Communist society would be created, where all would be equal regardless of their wealth, status or nationality.

Concepts such as nations and currency would, in fact, be abolished in the new world order.

Marx is seen by some as a visionary and the father of the modern welfare state, and by others as a deluded utopian-whose well-meaning but impractical ideas have been the cause of much global suffering.

Marx’s legacy is therefore difficult to assess, as though the impact he has left upon history is clear, he remains a deeply divisive figure, both loved and hated by many.

Whatever polarised views they may hold of him, there are few historians who are apathetic towards Marx.BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

Born in Trier (Prussia), Marx was the son of a lawyer and read philosophy as well as law (the latter at his father’s instance) at several different universities. Marx would later migrate from Prussia.

He moved across Europe settling a number of intellectually vibrant cities: in Paris, Brussels, Cologne and finally London.

His nomadic life style was motivated by a desire to escape censorship and the pursuit of the authorities who were displeased with him and the revolutionary ideology he increasingly espoused.

He ultimately settled in Britain, due to the nation’s greater leniency in terms of censorship than other European states.

The life of a revolutionary activist was not a lucrative one, however, and Marx frequently relied on his lifelong friend and co-author Frederick Engels to provide him with
money. BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

During his education, Marx was particularly inspired by the thinking of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel saw society as evolving through stages.

Each era, Hegel believed, was defined by two contradictory sets of ideas, which later scholars would dub ‘thesis’ and ‘antithesis’.

These two opposing ideals would ultimately come together to produce synthesis and thus bring an advance to a next stage. This next stage would. in turn, be defined by a new thesis and antithesis.

Marx drew on Hegel to describe history as evolving through a series of stages, though Marx saw the struggling of social classes, rather than opposing ideas, as the driving force of history.

Prior to the development of society, Marx states that humans existed in a state of Primitive Communism’. Hunter-gatherer communities, Marx asserts, were based upon sharing and egalitarian principles, which became lost as time marched forward and societies developed.

Whether or not this vision of hunter-gatherers living in communal cooperation is accurate is a matter of debate amongst historians. The vision served to justify Marx’s idea of the inevitability of communism in the future.BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

Marx’s presentation of hunter-gatherers as proto-Communists allowed him to argue that Communism was man’s natural form of existence, that we will all eventually be able to return to once the ‘unnatural’ presence of Capitalism has been removed.

Moving forward from Proto-Communism’, Marx argued that man then began to settle into ‘Ancient Societies’.

The birth of society led to the formation of class struggle, which became more pronounced as wealth and ownership of labour and property became more stratified.

Marx’s analysis proposed that the working classes or the ‘proletariat were still just as oppressed under the capitalist bourgeoisie’ at the end of the eighteenth century as earlier slaves or serfs had been under feudal systems.

He also asserted that capitalism is fundamentally self-destructive and that it results in cycles of exponentially increasing prosperity and decline.

Eventually, once the workers of the world become aware of their potential they will overthrow the capitalist system, through the means of revolution, and establish an international Communist society.

Marx’s two most famous, and most impactful books, are the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital. The Manifesto was published in 1848, not coincidentally the year of several social and political revolutions across Europe. BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

The Manifesto served to codify the precepts of Communism and the Marxist view of history.

His ideas were written in an accessible format, that could be distributed and understood by a wide audience, thus spreading the seeds of revolution across Europe – beginning with the famous definitive line, the history of all hitherto existing societies, is the history of class struggle.’

Whereas the Communist Manifesto was a book largely about politics and history, the unfinished Das Kapital was a book on economics, and a rebuttal, on Marx’s part, to those who called him attempting to provide a mathematical demonstration of how Capitalism was fundamentally unstable relative to the alternative of Communism.

The impact and legacy of Marx’s ideas cannot be overstated – many of them initially taken up by his fellow writer Engels and then innumerable radicals and theorists.

Most importantly, they persuaded communities of labourers under pressure because of the industrialisation of workplaces to identify together and pursue unionised action to challenge rampant exploitation.

Institutions such as the National Health Service, as well as many amenities and forms of welfare such as pensions and reasonable working hours simply would not exist.

Marx’s ideals encouraged people to defend their civil rights and to campaign for equal treatment in the face of adversity or discrimination.

Marx played a central part in creating a more egalitarian world, and modern workers would have significantly fewer liberties, and be forced to work in significantly worse conditions in a world without him.BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

several historians find fault in Marx for his advocacy of violence. His belief that revolution was the only way to secure the ideal future, and that any means can be employed, in the attempt to establish Communism, have come under scrutiny.

The Communist Manifesto, for instance, states that Communists should openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions and that ‘the ruling classes should tremble at Communistic Revolution.

‘ Marx’s fervour here explains the repressive nature of many Communist societies which have existed in the past.

Writing in the context of the Soviet Union, Peter Holquist states that violence became invested with a redemptive and purifying significance’, as state-sponsored use of force could be justified through Marx’s ideals.

Marx’s vilification of the bourgeoisie ensured that victims of repression in Communist societies could be presented as counter-revolutionaries or enemies of the people, giving an ideological pretext to the suppression of their rights.

Showing that man can be giving and selfless, yet also brutal and unforgiving. Whether the inevitable Communist revolution Marx prophesied ultimately comes to pass, or remains forever intangible, his ideas have undoubtedly changed the world.


Q. 3. Compare and contrast the view point of Durkheim and Marx on division of labour.

Ans. In The Division of Labour in Society Durkheim attempts to determine what is the basis of social solidarity in society and how this has changed over time.

This was Durkheim’s first major work, so it does not address all the issues that be considered important. But in this work he began his study of how society is sui generis, an entity of its own. BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

This work presents many of Durkheim’s views and illustrates his methodology. Durkheim’s argument is that there are two types of social solidarity – how society holds together and what ties the individual to the society.

These two forms mechanical solidarity, which characterizes earlier or traditional societies, where the division of labour is relatively limited.

The form of social solidarity in modern societies, with a highly developed division of labour, is called organic solidarity.

Durkheim argues that the division of labour itself which creates organic solidarity, because of mutual needs of individuals in modern society.

In both types of societies, individuals for the most part interact in accordance with their obligations to others and to society as a whole”.

In doing so, each person also receives some recognition of his or her own rights and contributions within the collectively.

Social morality in this sense is ‘strictly necessary for solidarity between people to occur; without morality, “societies cannot exist.”BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

Marx says that the modern division of labour makes it necessary to have an increased number of workers under one capitalist. The minimum amount of capital that the capitalist has must continue to increase.

The worker is transformed by these manufacturing developments. He loses some of his identity in order to fit his specific job; he must become an appendage of a larger machine.

Marx says the worker is brought face to face with the intellectual potentialities of the material process of production as the property of another and as a power which rules over him.”

The worker becomes impoverished of his individual productive power. Capitalists wish to discourage imagination, and they make the worker machine-like.

Manufacture attacks the individual at his very basis, and is thus the first system to provide the materials and the impetus for industrial pathology.”

BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment
BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

Q. 4. What did Durkheim mean by ‘Collective Conscience’?

Ans. Collective Conscience: ‘Common Conscience’ or ‘Collective Conscience’ is another basic concept that was focused by Durkheim on the Division of Labour.

He believed that conscience is the body of beliefs, practises and common sentiment held throughout society and it gives social purpose and structures social life. The collective conscience is described by a likeness of moral and mental sentiments.

The collective conscience is different from individual conscience and is diffused throughout society. BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

The collective conscience helps in maintaining social solidarity and also connecting different generations to each other.

When the collective conscience is uniform, the better will be the individual attachment to collective beliefs and sentiments (Morrison 1995). The box below will help us learn more about collective conscience and society.

Box: Collective Conscience and Society “Durkheim explained the collective consciousness as the body of beliefs and sentiments common to the average of the members of a society’. The system of these beliefs and sentiments has a life of its own.

It is assigned throughout the whole of the society and has specific features, which make it a distinct reality.

Collective consciousness is independent of the particular conditions in which individuals are placed and is distributed over the whole of the territory of a society – to large and small towns and villages.

Individuals come in and go out of society, however collective conscience remains. The collective conscience can only be understood through individuals; it has a form beyond a particular person, and operates at a level higher than him/her.

There is a variation in collective conscience in the extent and force from one society to another. BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

The collective conscience embraces the greater part of individual consciousness in less advanced societies. In such societies the extent of collective conscience is stronger and greater.

Q. 5. Distinguish between normal and pathological social facts.

Ans. Rules for Distinguishing between the Normal and the Pathological Social Facts: Durkheim also distinguished between ‘normal’ and ‘pathological social facts.

According to him, these aspects are important because the scientific study of human beings has been held back to a large degree by the tendency of many writers to consider as ‘pathological’ forms of behaviour, which were different from their own.

Durkheim (1950: 64) described that the social fact is considered to be normal when it is understood in the context of the society in which it exists.

He also opined that a social fact is ‘normal’ in nature when it has utility for that societal type. The scientific nature of the study of medicine impressed Durkheim and opined that the study of both the features helps one identify the nature of the body.

He made use of the method to study social facts. He also explained the normal features in the first two parts, and the abnormal features in the third part of the book while studying the division of labous According to him, both crime and punishment are normal


Q. 6. What did Weber mean by verstehen or interpretative understanding?

Ans. Verstehen is a German term that means to understand, perceive, know, and comprehend the nature and significance of a phenomenon. To grasp or comprehend the meaning intended or expressed by another.BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

Weber used the term to refer to the social scientist’s attempt to understand both the intention and the context of human action.

Max Weber and Georg Simmel introduced interpretive understanding (verstehen) into sociology,

where it has come to mean a systematic interpretive process in which an outside observer of a culture (such as an anthropologist or sociologist) relates to an indigenous people or sub-cultural group on their own terms and from their own point of view, rather than interpreting them in terms of the observer’s own culture.

Verstehen can mean either a kind of empathic or participatory understanding of social phenomena.

In anthropological terms this is sometimes described as cultural relativism, especially by those that have a tendency to argue toward universal ideals.

In sociology it is an aspect of the comparative-historical approach, where the context of a society like twelfth century “France” can be potentially better understood (besserverstehen) by the sociologist than it could have been by people living in a village in Burgundy.

It relates to how people in life give meaning to the social world around them and how the social scientist accesses and evaluates this “first-person perspective.”

This concept has been both expanded and criticized by later social scientists. Proponents laud this concept as the only means by which researchers from one culture can examine and explain behaviors in another.BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

While the exercise of verstehen has been more popular among social scientists in Europe, such as Habermas, verstehen was introduced into the practice of sociology in the United States by Talcott Parsons, an American follower of Max Weber.

Parsons used his structural-functionalism to incorporate this concept into his 1937 work, The Structure of Social Action.

Q. 7. Describe the three types of authority.

Ans. Types of Authority: We have already studied that authority implies legitimacy. Weber said that there are three systems of legitimation, each with its corresponding norms, which justify the power to command.

It is these systems of legitimation which are allotted as the following types of authority:
(i) Traditional authority
(ii) Charismatic authority
(iii) Rational-legal authority

We will now study these authorities in detail:

Traditional Authority:BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

The traditional system of authority is the system of legitimation which flows from traditional action.

In other words, it is based on customary law and the sanctity of ancient traditions. Also it is on the basis of the belief that a certain authority is to be respected because it has existed since time immemorial.

In this type of authority, the rulers enjoy personal authority by virtue of their inherited status. Their commands are in accordance with customs and they also possess the right to extract compliance from the ruled.

The power is often abused by them. The persons who follow them are subjects in the fullest sense of the term and go in accordance with their master out of personal

loyalty or a pious regard for his time-honoured status. One example from the society is the caste system in India. Why did the ‘lower castes bear the atrocities inflicted by the upper’ castes for centuries. BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

This can be explained as in the way that it is because the authority of the upper castes had the backing of tradition and antiquity. The ‘lower castes some say had become socialised into accepting their oppression.

Therefore, we can say that the traditional authority is based on the belief in the sacred quality of long-standing traditions. This gives legitimacy to those who exercise authority.

The function of the traditional authority is not through written rules or laws and is transmitted by inheritance down the generations.

Traditional authority is works out with the help of relatives and personal favourites. There is a decline in the incidence of traditional authority in the modern times.

One classic example of traditional authority is Monarchy which is still prevalent but in a highly diluted form.BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

The Queen of England is a traditional figure of authority but as you may be aware, she does not actually exercise her authority.

The laws of the land are enacted in her name, but their rules are decided by the legislators, the representatives of the people.

The queen has a parliament, which governs the kingdom, but she does not appoint ministers. She is a nominal head of state.

To sum up, the traditional authority takes the legitimacy from longstanding traditions, which help some to command and compel others to obey.

The authority is hereditary in nature and does not require written rules. The authority is
exercised by the masters with the help of loyal relatives and friends.

According to Weber, this kind of authority is irrational and is therefore rarely found in modern developed societies.

Charismatic Authority:BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

The meaning of the word Charisma is an extraordinary quality possessed by some individuals (see Box 9.1). The people get some unique powers to capture the fancy and devotion of ordinary people.

Charismatic authority is based on extraordinary devotion to an individual and to the way of life preached by this person.

The authority rests upon the belief in the supernatural or magical powers of the person. The powers of the charismatic leader are proved with the help of miracles, military and other victories or the dramatic prosperity of the disciples.

The authority remains intact as long as charismatic leaders continue to ‘prove their miraculous powers in the eyes of their disciples.

We have now understood that the type of social action that charismatic authority is related to is affective action. The disciples are in a highly charged emotional state as a result of the teachings and appeal of the charismatic leaders. BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

They worship their hero. Charismatic authority does not depend upon the customary beliefs or written rules and is a result of the special qualities of the leader who governs or rules in his personal capacity.

The Charismatic authority is not organized therefore there is no paid staff or administrative set-up.

There is no regular occupation with the leader and his assistants and often reject their family responsibilities.

These features make the charismatic leaders revolutionaries as they have rejected all the conventional social obligations and norms.

On the basis of the personal qualities of an individual, the problem of succession arises with the death or disappearance of the leader. The person who succeeds the leader may not have charismatic powers.BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

There is a development of an organization in order to transmit the original message of the leader and the original charisma gets transformed either into traditional authority or rational-legal authorit According to Weber, this is called as the routinisation of charisma.

When the charismatis figure is followed by a son daughter or some close relative then the result is traditional authority and if the charismatic qualities are identified and written down, then it changes into rational legal authority, where anyone acquiring these qualities can become a leader.

Therefore, the Charismatic authority is unstable and temporary.

The examples of charismatic leaders throughout history are the saints, prophets and some political leaders like Kabir, Nanak, Jesus, Mohammed, Lenin and Mahatma Gandhi, to name a few were charismatic leaders.

They were revered by people for their personal qualities and for their preachings and not because they represented traditional or rational-legal authority. We will now study the third type of authority identified by Max Weber.

Rational-legal Authority :BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

The term indicates towards a system of authority, which are both, rational and legal in nature. It is vested in a regular administrative staff which works in accordance with some written rules and laws.

The people who are in authority are appointed to do the job on the basis of their achieved qualifications, which are prescribed and codified.

The people who are in authority consider it a profession and are paid a salary and hence we can call it as a rational system.

The legal nature can be defined as it is in accordance with the laws of the land which people recognise and feel obliged to obey.

The people accept and respect the legality of both, the ordinance and rules as well as the positions or titles of those who implement the rules.

One of the typical features of the modern society is the rational-legal authority which is a reflection of the process of rationalisation. BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

According to Weber, rationalisation is the key feature of western civilization and also a specific product of human thought and deliberation.

We know by now the connection between rational-legal authority and rational action for obtaining goals.

We will now take a look at the example of rational-legal authority. We obey the tax collector because we believe in the legality of the ordinances he enforces.

We also believe that he has the legal right to send us taxation notices. We tend to stop our vehicles when the traffic policeman orders us to do so as we respect the authority vested in him by the law.

Modern societies are governed by the laws and ordinances and not by the individuals. We obey the policeman because of his position and his uniform which represents the law, not because he is Mr. ‘X’ or Mr. ‘Y’.

Economic organisations like banks and industries and the religious and cultural organizations also have rationallegal authority.

Q. 8. Explain the difference between ‘value relevance’ and ‘value neutrality’.

Ans. If other words, even if a researcher selects a particular problem for investigation because of his/her interest or value orientations, the process of inquiry and the study of the phenomenon at hand must be strictly in accordance with the value-neutral principles of science.BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

In other words, the researcher cannot twist or manipulate the findings to suit his or her own ideology or value system.

Value neutrality highlights the gap between facts and ‘values’; Weber held that an empirical science can never advise a person what she should do, however, it can clarify for that persons what s/he can or wants to do.

According to Weber, the role of the scientist was not to engage in moral debates or to act like prophets or sages, but rather, to throw light upon facts and their interrelationships.

Assigning moral values to social phenomena is an inescapable result of being part of society. This inevitably renders truly value-free research inconceivable; however despite this, sociologists should strive for value neutrality.

According to Max Weber, a German sociologist and philosopher who profoundly influenced social theory, value neutrality is the duty of sociologists to strive to be impartial and overcome their biases as they conduct their research, analyze their data, and publish their findings.BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

Weber understood that personal values could distort the framework for disclosing study results.

While he accepted that some aspects of research design might be influenced by personal values, he declared that it was entirely inappropriate to allow them to shape the interpretation of the responses.

Max Weber was a German sociologist, philosopher, and political economist who profoundly influenced social theory, social research, and the discipline of sociology itself.

Sociologists, Weber stated, must establish value neutrality a practice of remaining impartial, without bias or judgement, during the course of a study and in publishing results.

To do this, they must be conscious of their own personal values. Sociologists are obligated to disclose research findings without omitting or distorting significant data, even if results contradict personal views, predicted outcomes, or widely accepted beliefs.

Furthermore, and perhaps more importantly, it is the duty of sociologists to avoid bringing their ideology into their roles as instructors.

Is value neutrality possible? Many sociologists believe it is impossible to set aside personal values and retain a practice of remaining impartial, without bias or judgement, during the course of a study and in publishing results. BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

To do this, they must be conscious of their own personal values. Sociologists are obligated to disclose research findings without omitting or distorting significant data, even if results contradict personal views, predicted outcomes, or widely accepted beliefs.

Furthermore, and perhaps more importantly, it is the duty of sociologists to avoid bringing their ideology into their roles as instructors.

Is value neutrality possible? Many sociologists believe it is impossible to set aside personal values and retain complete objectivity.

They caution readers, rather, to understand that sociological studies may, by necessity, contain a certain amount of value bias. It does not discredit the results but allows readers to view them as one form of truth rather than as a singular fact.

Some sociologists attempt to remain uncritical and as objective as possible when studying cultural institutions. However, this is difficult to obtain.

Being human and studying human subject’s results in some degree of subjectivity, due to cultural influences. BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

This is not necessarily negative, but it should be reported in any study being done so people can interpret the results as clearly as possible.

Value neutrality does not mean having any opinions, however. It just means that sociologists must strive to overcome personal biases, particularly subconscious biases, when analyzing data.

It also means that sociologists must avoid skewing data in order to match a predetermined outcome that aligns with a particular agenda, such as a political or moral point of view.

Although subjectivity is likely in almost any sociological study, with careful consideration, a good sociologist can limit its effect on any particular study.

The concept of value-neutrality was proposed by Max Weber. It refers to the duty and responsibility of the social researcher to overcome his personal biases while conducting any research. BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

It aims to separate fact and emotion and stigmatize people less. It is not only important in sociology but outlines the basic ethics of many disciplines.

An example of it is as follows: a teacher is asked by the principal to provide a report of how well the students had performed in the class tests.

On the basis of that report, the principal would provide necessary resources to those children including books, copies, or stationeries.

If the teacher in order to show his capabilities presents a report where although maximum students had actually failed were shown to be passed with good grades, the students would not get the benefits they deserve from the principal.

Again, in the field of medicine, if a doctor lets his emotions and personal biases get hold of him, he might not perform his duties properly.

Value neutrality is of enormous importance to social workers because their contribution towards the knowledge of society and social phenomena immensely affect laws, legislations, people, groups, policies required to be made, social changes that should emerge and so on.

According to Max Weber, it is important for sociologists to be value-neutral because otherwise their findings and analysis could provide distorted and manipulated results.

They need to remain impartial while conducting the research, and should not omit or deduct any important information from the findings and should present the results without distorting ang parts of it. BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

A sociologist needs to keep him/herself away from manipulating the outcomes or findings of the sociological research even if those results contradict with his own views or beliefs.

A sociologist can become value-neutral by being aware of his own values beliefs, or moral judgements.

He should be able to identify the values he held and prevents them from influencing Being a part of the society, it becomes difficult to not incorporate one’s personal values and moral judgements to the social phenomena.

So, most sociologists warn readers to understand how particular social research to some extent might not be entirely value-neutral.

The readers are made to see those kinds of outcomes as one of the many possible truths. They believe that while studying certain social phenomena, it becomes difficult to sideline one’s personal values or biases. BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

However, in spite of such difficulties, it must be the prime motive of sociologists to maintain value neutrality as much as possible.

They should try to maintain objectivity, but, if that becomes too difficult, their duty is to inform the people of the subjectivity so that the people can interpret the data clearly.

The duty of maintaining value neutrality, however, does not forbid him from having any opinions on the subject matterr.

It only means that the sociologist should not add or skip any information in order to match the outcome with his opinions or personal beliefs.

Q. 9. What did Marx mean by ‘mode of production’?

Ans. According to Marx, social change occurs as a sequel to class struggle. The seeds of class struggle which generate change are found in the economic infrastructure of society.

At the dawn of human history, when man used to live, in the words of Marx, in a state of primitive communism, those contradictions or conflicts of interest among classes did not exist.BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

Both the forces of production and the products of labour were communally owned. As such, class distinctions did not exist.

With the emergence of the private ownership of the forces of production, however, the fundamental contradictions or class distinctions were created.

In other words, the forces of production give rise to particular relations of production. Through its ownership of the forces of production, a minority is able to control command and enjoy the fruits of the labour of the majority.

This dominant group also determines the superstructure in keeping with the interest of the group. Law, literature, philosophy, etc. are all created accordingly.

In other words, the impact or influence of the dominant group is discernible in all areas of social life.BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

The forces of production do not, however, remain unchanged.

Whenever the forces of production undergo a change, there is a corresponding change in the relations of production also.

A new class emerges as dominant and seeks to control command and enjoy the fruits of the labour of the majority.

A conflict naturally ensues between the emerging dominant group on the one hand and the group which had hitherto enjoyed all the privileges.

The emerging dominant group endeavours to determine the superstructure in terms of its own interest. The society, as a whole, thus undergoes a change.

Marx seeks to explain all social changes in terms of the contradictions which are found in the economic infrastructure of society.

“The history of all hitherto existing society”, says Mary is the history of class struggle”. In his view, class struggle will continue till class distinctions are completely obliterated and a classless society comes into being.BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

Marxian theory of social change has been criticized from various point of view to begin with, it has been argued that the forces of production do not uniquely determine the relations of production.

Thus, the same mode of production may be applied in situations that differ radically from one another in terms of social and economic systems.

The technological bases of the American and the Soviet economy are not as different as are the relations of production obtaining in these countries.

Moreover, the influence of science and technology is very widespread and far-reaching, in so far as thinking, behaviour-pattern and value-systems are concerned.

In this context, it is not unrealistic to assume that the people of two different societies may share similar thinking, behaviour-pattern and value-systems despite and fact that the economic systems in these countries are different.

Another important factor should not also be overlooked. The terms ‘socialism’ and communismo do not convey today the same meaning as they did a few decades ago.

Both the systems are undergoing transformation in response to the demands of technology.
The new economic experiment that is being tried in the Republic of China, Soviet Russia and socialist countries of Eastern Europe, dramatically illustrates this point.

Marx recorded his observations at the dawn of industrial revolution. It was not, therefore, possible for him ‘to anticipate the far-reaching and all-embracing developments in the sphere of science and technology,BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

Secondly, the Marxist thesis that those who are economically dominant become, by virtue of their economic power, dominant in society is not fully supported by historical facts, thus, the organized religion, such as the Church in Europe,

the Brahmin priesthood in India, etc., established its domination in almost all societies in the past through non-economic influence.

It is true that economic power helps one to gain other forms of power. But it is equality true that other forms of power help one to gain economic power.

The conclusion of the Marxist doctrine that economic power is primary and that other forms of power are consequential cannot, therefore, be accepted.

Thirdly, the Marxist thesis that politics and culture of a particular epoch are explained by the fact that they subserve the interest of the economically dominant class in that epoch is also open to several objections. BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

All human actions cannot always be explained in terms of economic motivations. Religious pursuits, for example, cannot be explained in economic terms.

The prayerful attitude of a true devotee has nothing to do with considerations of economic gain or loss.

The motives which impel a poet to write a poem are, in most cases, non-economic. Again, the pursuits of eminent scientists are inspired by non-economic motives.

It is also wrong to assume that those who exercise political power are always influenced by economic motives.

If we try to analyse closely the motives of some of the well-known figures of history, we shall find that sometimes purely non-economic motives, such as the desire for distinction or personal glory or a desire for doing good to people, deeply influenced their thoughts and actions. BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

King Ashoka, for example, decided to give up warfare as a means of winning other kingdoms from motives that were decidedly non-economic

Hitler was probably more influenced by the lure of personat glory than by the balanced calculations of probable material gain.

A consideration of the motives that inspire art, culture, music, painting, and sometimes even politics of a country will show that human nature is too complex to be explained simply in terms of economic motives.

It is, of course, true that sometimes art and culture are made to sub-serve the interests of the economically dominant class in society.

But such cultural products cannot permeate the whole of society because they lack the qualities, such as spontaneity of expression, strength and vitality, which characterize genuine works of art.

Fourthly, all the aspects of social dynamics, barring economic forces, are ignored in Marxian analysis. BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

For example, can disputes between two religions or racial groups be explained simply in economic terms? Economic reasons may or may not generate such conflicts.

Even when economic reasons are responsible, there may be many other non-economic reasons which are no less responsible for fanning the fire of dispute.

If we view the genesis of such disputes from this angle, it is apparent that emphasis on economic reasons, to the exclusion of all others, makes the study biased and partial.

Q. 10. Explain the purpose and use of ideal types in social sciences.

Ans. Ideal types are not formed out of a nexus of purely conceptual thought, but are created, modified ang sharpened through the empirical analysis of concrete problems.

This in turn, increases the precision of that analysis.

Ideal type, a key term in Weber’s mythological essays has been used by him as a device in understanding historical For this he constructed ideal types that are to understand how events had actually taken place and to show that if some antecedents or other events had not occurred or had occurred differently,

the event we are trying to explain would have been different as well. For example, because of the implementation of the land reform laws and penetration of other modernizing forces like education, modern occupation, etc. BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

the joint family system has broken down in rural India. This means that there is a causal relation between the event (Land reform, education, etc.) and the situation (Joint family). In this way Ideal type concept also helps in the causal explanation of a phenomenon.

Weber does not believe that one element of society is determined by another. He conceives the causal relations both in history and sociology as partial and probable relations.

It means that a given fragment of reality makes probable or improbable, favourable or un-favourable to another fragment of reality.

Certain Marxists would say that private ownership of the means of production makes inevitable the political power of the minority possessing these means.

Weber would say that an economic regime of total planning makes a certain type of political organisation more probable.

In Weber’s work such analysis of causal relationships was related to his interest in worldwide comparisons or ir analysis of events and establishment of general proposition.

That is he used Ideal types to build up a conception of a particular historical case, and used the same Ideal type conceptions for a comparative analysis.

This interdependence of history and sociology appears most clearly in Weber’s conception of the Ideal type. BSOC 133 Free Solved Assignment

Besides examining any particular historical case Weber also used ideal types to analyze the abstract elements of social reality and to explain particular kinds of social behaviour.



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