ECONOMY AND SOCIETY
BSOG 176 Free Solved Assignment
BSOG 176 Free Solved Assignment Jan 2022
Q 1 Discuss the contributions of Karl Marx and Max Weber on economic sociology.
ANS: First of all, Marx applied his dialectical philosophical principles to understanding of modern society in order to find out the nature of social change.
The central idea of Marx’s dialectical method is the objectively existed contradictions to historical changes (Ritzer and Goodman, 2004, p. 130).
Inherited from Hegel’s dialectic philosophy, Marx believed that there are contradictions as dynamical forces existed in the whole process of social development.
He was able to link this idea to the analysis of modern society, which significantly helped him to perceive a certain contradiction between human nature and the capitalist labor — Alienation.
Secondly, Marx provided a critical analysis of the structure of the modern society with a reorganization of economic base as the deterministic cause to ideology.
Taking his observations of the social, economic, and political environments into consideration, Marx saw the society as a certain system composing two distinctive components – the base and the superstructure.
The base refers to material base taken form of the economic and class relations which always involves the mode of production, while the superstructure means other social organizations and prevalent ideas such as state policies (Fulcher and Scott, 2007, p. 30).
One of Marx’s best summary of the internal meaning of this structure is that, “The totality of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society, which is the real foundation on top of which arises a legal and political superstructure to which correspond definite forms of social consciousness”
Thirdly, Marx was able to predict the future of capitalism through his view of historical materialism. BSOG 176 Free Solved Assignment
David Caute (1967, p12) argues that Marx’s philosophy provide a general analysis of the past, present, and future.
Respectfully, Marx saw the present modern society through its historical past and tried to predict its future through the current social trends.
As discussed before in this essay, Marx believed that human history is a process of class conflicts and social change takes form of class struggles.
Facing the modern society, Marx pointed out that the society has been polarized into two classes – bourgeois and proletarians.
He (Marx and Engels, 1848) argued that capitalism had played a revolutionary role in the social development from the feudal relations to the modern relations, improving production and consumption, and bringing civilization to the world, however,
he considered the dominance by bourgeois towards the working class as a irrational and “inhuman” process, which would only be changed through the proletarian revolution to reach a new mode of production called communism.
Firstly, Weber conceptualized the social process of modernity as the rationalization of social actions. BSOG 176 Free Solved Assignment
Weber emphasized that social structures and historical changes should be considered as complex patterns of the subjective meanings of individual acts, because he believed that the causal explanations to the social process are based on individuals’ interpretative understanding of their social actions (Scott, 2006, p.86).
Social action is considered as the most important ideal type and it is divided into four distinctive types – instrumentally rational action, value-rational action, traditional action and affectual action.
Among the four types of social action, instrumentally rational action is the most rationalized action which involves scientific-techno method to achieve the goal, rational choice and decision.
Secondly, Weber was able to give an explanation of the genesis of capitalist development through the analysis of religious value and to see the historical change of capitalist spirit.
With the question of why capitalism existed first in Western Europe instead of the other areas in the world,
Weber took a look particularly in the relationship between religious value and economic action, and he found out that the answer lay behind its specific religious pattern (Fulcher and Scott, 2007, p. 411).
Weber believed that religion particularly Calvinsm, played a historical role in the genesis of capitalism. BSOG 176 Free Solved Assignment
According to Poggi (2006, pp. 70-71), in Calvinsm, each human being is decreed by God, that their destinies in the afterlife are salvation or damnation, requiring a believer’s faithful commitment to managing his life and his rationally controlled manner – a person “fully identified with his occupation, and who views his success in it as an indication of his own good standing in the eyes of God, guaranteeing his destination of salvation in the afterlife.”
Thirdly, Weber held a multi-dimensional view to illustrate social inequality with concerns of the distribution of social power.
With the consideration of the class constructed under the economic relations as Marx clarified, Weber pointed out that class is only one causal component of social power while the other causal components are posited in the non-economic dimensions.
Through Weber, there are three distinctive forms of power constructed according to the nature resources (Poggi, 2006, p. 43).
These three dimensions of power are class, estates and parties.
In contrast with class, a person’s social status is determined by the evaluation of his style of life which may involves different social and cultural dimensions such as his career occupations, ethic groups, gender roles, etc
Q 2 Discuss the sociological concept of economic distribution and exchange.
ANS: According to A.C. Pigou, “Economics studies that part of social welfare which can be brought directly or indirectly into relationship with the measuring rod of money.”
Here, instead of taking individualistic needs and concerns, he is concerned with the society as a whole which is the basis of the subject of Sociology.
Here, he opines that social relations are formed due to the presence of wealth which is the domain of Economics.BSOG 176 Free Solved Assignment
John Stuart Mill (1844) defines the subject of economics in a social context as:- “The science which traces the laws of such of the phenomena of society as arise from the combined operations of mankind for the production of wealth, in so far as those phenomena are not modified by the pursuit of any other object.”
Clearly, the concept of societal effect on the economic activities is reflected in the above definition and the laws of nature prevalent in the society which form the basis for the production of economic output.
According to Alfred Marshall, who was a neo-classical economist: “Economics is the study of mankind in the ordinary business of life; it examines that part of individual and social action which is most closely connected with the use and attainment of material requisites of wellbeing.”
This shows that Economics is concerned with the study of man and deals with their activities in the social setup i.e. study the activities of human being in the social setup.
It is the study of man in one hand and social organization of economic activities on the other hand.
Economic sociology is the application of sociological concepts and methods to analysis of the production, distribution, exchange and consumption of goods and services.
Economic sociology is particularly attentive to the relationships between economic activity, the rest of society, and changes in the institutions that contextualize and condition economic activity.BSOG 176 Free Solved Assignment
Although traditional economic analysis takes the atomistic individual as its starting point, economic sociology generally begins with groups, or whole societies, which it views as existing independently of and partially constituting the individual.
When economic sociologists do focus on individuals, it is generally to examine the ways in which their interests, beliefs, and motivations to act are mutually constituted through the interactions between them.
This focus on economic action as social that is, as oriented toward other people allows economic sociologists to consider power, culture, organizations, and institutions as being central to an economy.
The birth of economic sociology in the writings of Karl Marx. Smelser, N, J and Swedberg, R says that the first use of the term economic sociology seems to have been in 1879, when it appears in a work by British economist W. Stanley Jevons.
The term was taken over by the sociologists and appears, for example, in the works of Durkheim and Weber during the years 1890–1920.
It is also during these decades that classical economic sociology is born, as exemplified by such works as The Division of Labor in Society (1893) by Durkheim, The Philosophy of Money (1900) by Simmel, and Economy and Society (produced 1908-20) by Weber.
In the recent times, especially after 1980’s, economic sociology experienced a remarkable revival. BSOG 176 Free Solved Assignment
Few sociologists, who were doing rigorous research on the relationship between market and society, contributed a flurry of articles on the networks of market and society, which eventually lead to the revival of economic sociology into an important subfield of sociology.
The main contributor of 1980’s was Mark Granovetter, who emphasized on the embeddedness of economic action in concrete social relations.
In the article Economic Institutions as Social constructions, Granovetter argues that institutions are actually congealed social networks, and, because economic action mostly takes place in these networks, social scientists must consider interpersonal relationships while studying economy.
Karl Polanyi is another renowned contributor to economic sociology, argued that the birth of the free market was an institutional transformation necessarily promoted by the state. This got a general acceptance in the domain of economic sociology.
Economics is all about the economic life of human beings whereas sociology studies society as a whole with the inclusion of economic life of man as a part of this wide branch of new social science such as the belief system of a particular society,
the cultures and traditions, political and legal matters concerned and many other knowledge dealing with the social aspect.
Despite this differences, both sociology and Economics as branches of social science is interdependent on each other.BSOG 176 Free Solved Assignment
In fact, it is due to these differences that make both the two inter-dependent helping society develop and prosper.
The relationship between the two disciplines the two is such that one is considered the branch of the other discipline.
This is because economic society is greatly affected by the social aspect of society and society too is greatly impacted by the economic factors.
Q3 Examine the relationship between economics and sociology.
ANS: Sociology and Economics as social sciences have close relations. Relationship between the two is so close that one is often treated as the branch of the other, because society is greatly influenced by economic factors, and economic processes are largely determined by the environment of the society, Economics deals with the economic activities of man.
It deals with production, consumption and distribution of wealth. The economic factors play a vital role in the very aspect of our social life.
Total development of individual depends very much on economic factors. Without economic conditions, the study of society is quite impossible.
All the social problems are directly connected with the economic conditions of the people. That is why Marshall defines Economics as “on one side the study of wealth and on the other and more important side a part of the study of man.”
In the same way Economics is influenced by Sociology. Without the social background the study of Economics is quite impossible. BSOG 176 Free Solved Assignment
Sociologists have contributed to the study of different aspects of economic organisation. Property system, division of labour, occupations etc. are provided by a sociologist to an economist.
The area of co-operation between Sociology and Economics is widening. Economists are more and more making use of the sociological concepts in the study of economic problems.
Economists are working with the sociologists in their study of the problems of economic development in underdeveloped countries. Combined efforts of both the experts may be of great practical help in meeting the challenges.
Q 4 Describe the features of hunting and gathering societies.
ANS: Characteristics of Hunting-Gathering Societies
Small in Size: Hunting and gathering societies consist of very small but scattered groups. The environment in which they live cannot support a large concentration of people.
They depend upon whatever food they can find or catch from one day to the next. They live in small primary groups and sometimes their number does not even exceed 40-50 members.
Nomadic in Nature:
These people are constantly on the move because they have to leave one area as soon as they have exhausted its food resources.
Not Desire to Acquire Wealth: There is no strong desire among these people to acquire wealth for two main reasons: BSOG 176 Free Solved Assignment
(i) Firstly, no individual can acquire wealth for there is no wealth to be acquired
(ii) Secondly, sharing is a norm in such societies. Hence, people who do find substantial food resources are expected to share it with the whole community.
Sharing of food serves as a “social insurance” for it guarantees the one who shares his surplus today, some food tomorrow, from some one particularly when his collection is not good.
Family and Kinship are the only defined Institutions:
Hunting and gathering people have the only interconnected social institutions which are somewhat well defined namely; family and kinship.
Family is all in all for these people. Educating the young, economic production, protection of the members of the group and such functions (which are normally looked into by the specialised institutions in the other established societies are performed by the family itself.
Kinship is also important in the sense most of these groups are based on kinship, with most of their members being related by ancestry or marriage.
The entire society is organised around kinship ties, which means the idea of individual families existing as distinct units within society is unknown
Absence of Political Institution: In these institutions the difference between the ruler and the ruled is not there, because political institutions are not found here.
Statuses in these societies are essentially equal and hence the difference between the leader and followers is not there. BSOG 176 Free Solved Assignment
Most decisions are made through group discussion. Warfare is unknown to these people, partly because they have virtually no property and therefore have very little to fight out.
Limited or No Division of Labour: There is no scope for division of labour in these societies except along the lines of age and sex. Men and women, young and old perform different roles, but there are no specialised occupational roles.
There is gender-based division of labour but there is no gender inequality as such. Most people do much the same things most of the time.
Hence they share common life experiences and values. Production is communal and co-operative and the distribution system is based on sharing.
Constant Need to Face Danger: Some hunters and gatherers constantly face the danger of extinction in a struggle against adverse environments.
Among the Itibamute Eskimos, for example, a family’s fate rests in the hands of the father, who must find and catch the game, build the house and maintain the family.
Hunting and gathering people in order to eke out their living in the natural set up, must command a complex knowledge of the plants, animals, environmental conditions, and seasonal changes in the environment.BSOG 176 Free Solved Assignment
Simple Religious Belief: Religion is not developed among these people into a complex institution.
Their religion does not include a belief in a powerful god or gods who are active in human affairs. On the contrary, they tend to see the world as populated by unseen spirits that must be taken into account but not necessarily worshipped.
It is clear from the above description, though the hunting and gathering lifestyle seems alien to us, it appears to have been the most common form of society for most of the history of our human species.
Q 5 Discuss the concept of ‘forces of production
ANS: Marxist political economy makes an analytical distinction between two aspects of economic activity.
On the one hand are the ‘social relations’ of production, which relate to the maintenance of social domination, the extraction of an economic surplus, and the exploitation of labour.
On the other hand, there are the forces of production’, those elements and relations which are necessary, whatever the social structure, if materials, objects, and forces, drawn from nature, are to be modified into a form suitable to meet some human purpose (‘use value’).
There is no agreement about the exact scope of the term ‘forces of production, but at various times Marx and Engels included the following: raw materials’, the bodies or substances to be worked upon in the labour-process, and always considered by Marx and Engels to be the products of prior expenditures of human labour; ‘instruments of production,
the tools or machinery employed in modifying raw materials (including in some versions, human organs themselves); the human capacity for work (“labour-power’), a function of bodily organization, fitness, skill, knowledge, and such like; and, finally,
the forms of social division and co-ordination of labour required by the particular characteristics of a given labour-process (sometimes called ‘technical relations’ of production). BSOG 176 Free Solved Assignment
A further category of requirements for production—land, air, water, and other broadly environmental or contextual conditions—was recognized by Marx and Engels, but often mistakenly included among the instruments of production.
Marx and Engels postulated a long-run historical trend in human societies, dramatically accelerated by capitalism, for the forces of production (combined human productive powers) to develop.
This developmental process would enhance humanity’s capacity to control and regulate nature, and so meet universal human needs with a minimum of expenditure of unrewarding effort.
This state of developed productive forces was to be a precondition for the future communist realm of freedom beyond scarcity and the necessity for labour.
Q 6 What is conspicuous consumption?
ANS: Conspicuous consumption is the purchase of goods or services for the specific purpose of displaying one’s wealth.BSOG 176 Free Solved Assignment
Conspicuous consumption is a means to show one’s social status, especially when publicly displayed goods and services are too expensive for other members of a person’s class.
This type of consumption is typically associated with the wealthy but can also apply to any economic class.
The term was coined by American economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen in his 1889 book, The Theory of the Leisure Class.
This type of consumption was considered a product of the developing middle class during the 19th and 20th centuries.
This group had a more significant percentage of disposable income to spend on goods and services that were generally not considered to be necessary.
Q 7 What is pomology?
ANS: Pomology is the study of fruit, specifically the science of growing fruit and nuts. Pomology was officially introduced in the United States with the inception of a pomology division of the USDA in 1886.
Importance of Pomology in Horticulture Pomology is an important science. Fruit trees are not easy to grow and require specific information on how to cultivate depending upon the variety and cultivar.
Some of this information has been passed down and some has been improved upon over time by the work of pomologists. BSOG 176 Free Solved Assignment
What Does a Pomologist do? One of the major duties of a pomologist is developing new cultivars.
New and improved fruit and nut varieties are constantly being manipulated to improve things such as disease resistance.
Pomologists also study fertilization and pruning methods to identify those that are most effective at keeping the trees healthy and productive.
Along the same lines, they study pests, infections, diseases, and adverse weather conditions that might affect yields.
Q 8 What is Asiatic mode of production?
ANS: In twentieth-century Marxist politics and social sciences, the concept of the Asiatic mode of production was at the center of debates and controversies over how to apply the idea of mode of production to non-Western societies.
Marxist theorists also turned to the Asiatic mode of production to argue for different revolutionary strategies in societies subject to colonial and imperialist domination.
The concept’s status within Marx’s own work is uncertain.
The young Marx’s references to Asian societies are influenced by a political tradition that, from Aristotle (384-322 bce) to Charles Montesquieu (1689-1755) and Georg W. F. Hegel (1770-1831), saw the Asian continent as characterized by political despotism and socioeconomic stagnation.
The initial theorization of modes of production in Marx’s German Ideology (1845) makes no mention of an “Asian” mode.BSOG 176 Free Solved Assignment
His Misery of Philosophy (1847), however, discusses India as a society where village-based production coexists with common land property.
After 1850 Marx’s view of Asia became more systematic, and he outlined a specific mode of production for the region.
A series of articles he wrote in 1853 for the New York Daily Tribune dealt in detail with the Indian case, and to a lesser degree with China.
The chapter on “precapitalist economic formations” in the Grundrisse (18571858) inserted the Asiatic mode of production into a theory of stages of social development, where it followed “primitive communism.”
Marx tended to chronologically overlap the Asiatic mode of production with slavery and feudalism as two other, successive precapitalist societies where laborers are not separated from the means of production.
Q 9 What is capitalism?
ANS: Capitalism is an economic system in which private individuals or businesses own capital goods. BSOG 176 Free Solved Assignment
The production of goods and services is based on supply and demand in the general market-known as a market economy-rather than through central planning—known as a planned economy or command economy.
The purest form of capitalism is free market or laissez-faire capitalism. Here, private individuals are unrestrained.
They may determine where to invest, what to produce or sell, and at which prices to exchange goods and services. The laissez-faire marketplace operates without checks or controls.
Today, most countries practice a mixed capitalist system that includes some degree of government regulation of business and ownership of select industries.
Q 10 What is globalization?
ANS: Globalization is a term used to describe how trade and technology have made the world into a more connected and interdependent place.
Globalization also captures in its scope the economic and social changes that have come about as a result. BSOG 176 Free Solved Assignment
It may be pictured as the threads of an immense spider web formed over millennia, with the number and reach of these threads increasing over time.
People, money, material goods, ideas, and even disease and devastation have traveled these silken strands, and have done so in greater numbers and with greater speed than ever in the present age.
The benefits and disadvantages of globalization are the subject of ongoing debate. The downside to globalization can be seen in the increased risk for the transmission of diseases like ebola or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS),
or in the kind of environmental harm that scientist Paul R. Furumo has studied in microcosm in palm oil plantations in the tropics.
Globalization has of course led to great good, too. Richer nations now can—and do—come to the aid of poorer nations in crisis.
Increasing diversity in many countries has meant more opportunity to learn about and celebrate other cultures. The sense that there is a global village, a worldwide “us,” has emerged. BSOG 176 Free Solved Assignment
BSOG 173 FREE SOLVED ASSIGNMENT 2022
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