IGNOU BSOE 148 Solved Free Assignment 2022- Helpfirst

BSOE 148


BSOE 148 Solved Free Assignment 2022

Assignment – I

Q1. Discuss the functionalist approach of social stratification.

Ans. The functionalists accept the fact that all societies are stratified. In other words, all the functions carried out by the various members of society are functional for its survival but they are not equal in status.

Some of the functions are superior to the others. They are ranked higher.

The people who perform these functions are also regarded as superior to others, i.e. those below them.

The functionalist theories of stratification attempt to explain how social inequalities occur and why they are necessary for society.

The functionalists presume that there are certain basic needs of the every society.
These needs have to be met or else there will be instability in society. These needs are known as functional prerequisites.

Secondly, though these functional prerequisites are important, they are ranked according to the importance that is granted to them in that society. For example, workers and managers are needed to run a factory.BSOE 148 Solved Free Assignment 2022

No factory can exist with only workers and no managers or only managers and no workers. Hence managers and workers are integral for running a factory.

At the same time it will be wrong to assume that because both groups are necessary, both have equal status. This is not so.BSOE 148 Free Solved Assignment

The managers enjoy higher status than the workers do. Hence integration does not mean equality.

It means that all the different groups together contribute towards stability but they do so because they are stratified in a hierarchy.

Davis and Moore : BSOE 148 Solved Free Assignment 2022

Davis and Moore state that all societies need some mechanism for ensuring that the best people are selected for the positions and they perform well.

According to them the most effective means for ensuring this is social stratification.

This system is effective because it offers unequal rewards and privileges to the different positions in society.

If all people are given the same rewards then there will be no motivation for people to work harder.

There may also be a tendency for people to avoid taking up positions of responsibility or challenging jobs.BSOE 148 Solved Free Assignment 2022

They know that no matter how well they perform and no matter what position they occupy they will get the same rewards.

Therefore stratification is necessary for the efficient functioning of the system.

Davis and Moore explain that this system of stratification holds true for both modern societies based on competition and for traditional societies that are based on ascription.

In modem societies people occupy positions according to their skills and qualifications.

Those who are better qualified get better rewards and they occupy positions of prestige. In traditional societies positions are ascribed through birth.

In traditional caste oriented Indian society people occupied their positions not due to their competence but through the status they had by birth.

The son of a labourer would become a labourer even if he had the intelligence to do other type of superior work.BSOE 148 Solved Free Assignment 2022

Similarly the son of a landlord would become a landlord even if he were totally incompetent for the job. In such a system the provision of unequal rewards would have no effect in improving the efficiency of the system.

However Davis and Moore argue that in such societies the stress is on performance of duties attached to the positions.

Thus even though the son of a labourer will remain a labour, if he performs his duties well he will be rewarded though other means.

BSOE 148 Solved Free Assignment 2022
BSOE 148 Solved Free Assignment 2022

Q 2 Briefly outline the bases of social stratification.

Ans. On the basis of some empirical findings, sociologists present three bases of stratification wealth, power and prestige i.e. class, power and status. These can be listed as follows:

i) Class: It refers to differentiation at the level of wealth. In this sense it can be termed as economic differentiation.BSOE 148 Solved Free Assignment 2022

Wealth is generated in societies only when technologies advancement takes place and there is a change in the mode of production.

Examples are: change from hunting and food garnering economy to settled agriculture, change from agriculture based economy to one based predominantly upon manufacturing and industry.

Such changes, not only brought about the institution of social stratification, but in course of time also altered the principles of organization of social stratification.

Economic advancement led to generation of more wealth in society, more accumulation of markers of wealth is it in the form of food grains or cattle, or metals and minerals (silver, gold precious stones etc.) or money.

At this stage, the groups which had greater control over the economic resources and wealth or which possessed more wealth were ranked higher in society than groups which controlled less of it, or groups which had little or negligible access to wealth (for example, landless workers or industrial workers).

The social stratification based on class is its prime example.

ii) Power: It refers to differential access to power in society. It includes political, social and other types of power.BSOE 148 Solved Free Assignment 2022

It is always possible that a group with higher status in society or that which enjoys greater wealth, also exercises more power in society.

Nevertheless, one could make a distinction between say, principle of privileges where as the latter tends to be based on the group’s ability to use coercive means for other group’s conformity with actions, values and beliefs determined by it.

The concept of power as Max Weber has discussed in his treatment of social stratification rests on the fact that it endows the persons or groups which have power to impose their will on other groups by legitimate use of coercive method.

In this sense, state offers us a good example of an institution which has maximum power. It has sovereign authority to impose its will on citizens of the society.

When legitimacy of exercise of power, is widely accepted by groups, in other words, when it is institutionalized in society, power becomes authority. Authority as a concept could be defined as legitimate power.BSOE 148 Solved Free Assignment 2022

Power as a principle also enters into the notion of social stratification when its functions or its social ramifications begin to be influenced by the political processes in society, and when state begins to take more active or direct role in influencing the principles of social stratification.

A relevant example of this could be found in the policy of positive discrimination or reservation of jobs, political offices and entry into educational institutions in our country by the state in favour of castes and tribes now declared as ‘scheduled’ or as ‘other backward classes’.

Max Weber, in his treatment of power as an element in the formation of social stratification has rightly emphasised the significance of politics, political parties and their role in optimizing their access to power. BSOE 148 Solved Free Assignment 2022

iii) Status: It refers to distribution of prestige or social honour.

Status in the language of social stratification means ranking of groups in a society on the basis of their relative position in terms of honour or respect.

Honour is a qualitative attribute which members in a status group enjoy by birth.

Any such attribute which is inherited by birth is ascribed and cannot be acquired by effort.BSOE 148 Solved Free Assignment 2022

Therefore, status principle of social stratification is also termed as the principle of ascription.

In our country, caste is a very appropriate example of status groups.

The qualities which go to make a status groups are related more to values and beliefs, to legends and myths perpetuated in societies over a period of time than to principles which are achievable by efforts, whether economic, political or cultural.

Assignment – II

Q3. Give the definition of ethnicity.

Ans. The word ethnic has a long history. It is derived from the Greek word ethnos meaning nation which is not depicted as a political entity but as a unit of persons with common blood or descent. BSOE 148 Solved Free Assignment 2022

Its adjectival form ethnikosused in Latin as ethnicusreferred to heathens, the ‘others’ who did not share the faith.BSOE 148 Free Solved Assignment

In English, the term referred for a long time to someone who was neither Christian nor Jew, i.e., a pagan or heathen.

In other words, ethnics were those ‘others’ who are not ‘us’.

By the twentieth century its meaning changed again with reassertion of its Greek roots indicating the end of the ‘them vs us’ idea, (them or the others being ethnics).

Now it is used as a particular way to define not only others but also ourselves (Cornell and Hartmann, 1998).

Oommen (1990) using the French version of ethnics, namely, ethniedefines them as a people characterised by a common history, tradition, language and life style.

However, he also adds the feature of ‘uprootedness from home to this definition.

In other words, for him, ethnicity emerges when people are uprooted from their homeland due to conquest, colonization or immigration and diverse groups come into contact with each other in a new setting. BSOE 148 Solved Free Assignment 2022

If such displaced people are away from their homeland and yet continue to follow their native’ life style, they are ethnies.BSOE 148 Free Solved Assignment

BSOE 148 Solved Free Assignment 2022
BSOE 148 Solved Free Assignment 2022

Q 4 Write down Marx’s ideas on the mode of production.

Ans. In Marx’s writing, stages of social history are differentiated not by what human beings produce but by how, or by what means, they produce the material goods for subsistence.

In this way, we can say that historical periods are founded and differentiated on the basis of the modes of material production.

In other words, at the basis of history are successive modes of material production.

The forces and relations of production are two aspects of mode of production.

The productive forces of society reflect the degree to which human beings control nature.

The more advanced the productive forces, the greater is their control over nature. In order to produce, people enter into definite relations with one another.

This is the relations of production aspect of how material goods are produced. Production takes place within these social relations.

Any historical mode of production is an integral unity between the forces of production and the relations of production.BSOE 148 Solved Free Assignment 2022

The forces of production shape the relations of production and the two together define the mode of production.

That is the general economic frame or particular manner in which people produce and distribute the means to sustain life.

In this sense, the successive modes of production are the basic element of a systematic description of history.

Keeping aside the debate among the Marxist scholars concerning the definition of ‘mode of production’, we can say that crucial element in defining mode of production is ‘the way in which the surplus is produced and its use controlled” (Bottomore 1983: 337).

Surplus means the amount that remains when use or need is satisfied.

According to Marx, under capitalist mode of production, the surplus takes the form of profit.

Surplus is produced by exploiting the working class and is sold for more than the wages given to the workers.BSOE 148 Solved Free Assignment 2022

Because production of surplus enables societies to grow and change, this factor is taken to be most important in defining mode of production.

Q 5 Differentiate between the Weberian approach and Marxian approaches of social stratification.

Ans. For Marx the basis of stratification was class. The formation of class was objective in the sense that a class was not forned because a group of people got together and decided that they forin a class.

Its forination was because of the production relations that existed in a society.

Therefore a person’s position in the class structure was based on his position in the production relations. If he happened to own or control capital and he employed others, he was a capitalist.

Those who did not own or control property belonged to the opposing class of Opposition of classes was an important aspect of Marx’s analysis.

It was through this opposition that social and economic change took place. The capitalists invent new ways to counteract workers.

This could be new technology resulting in better production techniques or new laws preventing workers from becoming more powerful. The workers too in their struggle become more united.BSOE 148 Solved Free Assignment 2022

They tend to drop their internal differences when they realise that their main opponent is another class. This leads to greater unity among them.

Thus for Marx, class and class-consciousness do not mean mere categories in society. They are fundamental for social development

At one level, Weber accepts Man’s view on class. However he does so not to support Marx but to show how his analysis has weaknesses.

He stresses that society cannot be divided into only two main classes.

There are more classes that emerge due to the market situation and the type of work done. He therefore finds that there are four main classes in society.

This in effect confuses the class relations. Thus Weber feels that neither class nor class-consciousness can explain stratification completely.

He thus lays greater stress on status, whereas Man; lays stress on class-consciousness.

Weber tries to show that class consciousness in not an important aspect of social stratification.BSOE 148 Solved Free Assignment 2022

For him status groups are the basis. He finds that classes are static whereas status stretches across classes.

Assignment – III

Q6. Power

Ans. Power refers to differential access to power in society. It includes political, social and other types of power.

It is always possible that a group with higher status in society or that which enjoys greater wealth, also exercises more power in society.

Nevertheless, one could make a distinction between say, principle of privileges where as the latter tends to be based on the group’s ability to use coercive means for other group’s conformity with actions, values and beliefs determined by it.

The concept of power as Max Weber has discussed in his treatment of social stratification rests on the fact that it endows the persons or groups which have power to impose their will on other groups by legitimate use of coercive method.

Q7. Social mobility

Ans. Social mobility refers to the shift in an individual’s social status from one status to another.BSOE 148 Solved Free Assignment 2022

The shift can either be higher, lower, inter-generational, or intra-generational, and it cannot necessarily be determined if the change is for good or bad.

According to Sorokin, no two societies are the same in terms of movement allowed and discouraged, and that the speed of social mobility can change from one time period to the next.

It depends on how developed the society is. Such a societal shift can happen over time as individuals move from one position to another due to various social interactions, Mobility, more or less,BSOE 148 Solved Free Assignment 2022

provides people with benefits as they are motivated by different factors in society and work to reach new roles that offer them a better standard of living and greater rewards.

Q8. Features of caste

Ans. The features of the ‘caste model’ are:

i) It is based on the ideas held and expressed by certain sections of the people and not on observed behaviour, although secondary empirical materials have been used.

ii) It attaches kind of primary and universal significance to caste in India as this has been conceived in the classical texts.BSOE 148 Solved Free Assignment 2022

iii) The entire system is viewed as being governed by certain more or less explicitly formulated principle or ‘rules of the game’.

iv) The different castes which are the basic units in the system are conceived as fulfilling complementary functions, and their mutual relations are seen as being non-antagonistic.

Q9. Race

Ans. In a common parlance race is understood as the external physical features of various human beings whose categorization depends upon such features like the skin colour, facial features, height, etc.

Race is thus a category of human beings due to some of the physical features including skin colour and other facial features.

If we see people from various continents and countries, we will see that most of the people of Europe are largely having fair skin where as people of Africa are often having black skin.BSOE 148 Solved Free Assignment 2022

Apart from the skin colour, some people have curly hair, some have straight hair, some people are short and some are relatively taller.

Q10. Slavery system.

Ans. Slavery is a system of stratification in which one person owns another, as he or she would own property, and exploits the slave’s labor for economic gain.

Slaves are one of the lowest categories in any stratification system, as they possess virtually no power or wealth of their own.

Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work.BSOE 148 Solved Free Assignment 2022

Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase, or birth; and can also be deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation.




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