INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY-I
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Q. 1. How does sociology look at reality? Explain.
Ans. According to Mills the historical realities tell us that there are a variety of social systems and social structures and the first and foremost task in comparing them is to keep an unbiased attitude.
A sociological perspective puts all societies on the same scale in terms of values and only grades them in structural terms like complexity and demography.
Although social structure can be defined differently, the basic understanding was the “combination of institutions classified according to the functions each performs” which is seen as a political state in recent terms.
What dominates the world and life of every man is the nation-state. The study of the nation state and how the power of the nation state permeates society is done by contemporary sociology.
What Mills calls “classical social science,” and which he advocates, always includes three things. IGNOU BSOC 101 Solved Free Assignment
The first is biography, or the study of men’s private problems. The second is social structure, or the institutions of a society and how they are related.
The third is history, or how societies are different from each other across time and place.
Good social science, according to Mills, includes all three of these at once, connecting personal “milieu” with public social structures. In studying society, the sociologists also concur with the social anthropologist, economists and political scientists.
The variety in social life has enabled the social scientist to divide the work. There is mutuality in disciplines though there might be disagreements, as well as a respect that all disciplines have originated in their own way.
Society is based on the social construction of reality. How we define society influences how society actually is. Likewise, how we see other people influences their actions as well as our actions toward them.
We all take on various roles throughout our lives, and our social interactions depend on what types of roles we assume, who we assume them with, and the scene where interaction takes place.IGNOU BSOC 101 Solved Free Assignment
According to Bauman, values originate from culture and the received wisdom of generations which might change sometimes with big social interaction but some core values always remain the same.
The shift in values may affect the way in which a person aspires for certain goals. Through the internalized values, some of the actions are self justified and do not involve any attempt at making a choice and others might be debated with outside influence.
A change in values of a person might be affected by someone having more authority, either person or institution. The more legitimacy a source has, the greater influence it is likely to have.
Traditional values hold a legitimation, and its acceptance holds more authority than the recent ones who need to prove themselves, and in times of changes the former hold ground firmly. IGNOU BSOC 101 Solved Free Assignment
Persons with charisma can only forge ahead with new values in comparison with ordinary people initiating something new and getting it accepted.
Three types of authorities were identified by Max Weber, the traditional, the charismatic and the legal-rational.
Those who have the legal rights and a rational and legitimate source to deliver their authority are the Legal rational ones.
In actual situations these three types are only analytical constructs, and they might easily overlap producing different kinds of effect.
Q. 2. Discuss the relationship of sociology with political science.
Ans. Political science is that branch of the social sciences that studies the state, politics, and government. IGNOU BSOC 101 Solved Free Assignment
Political Science deals extensively with the analysis of political systems, the theoretical and practical applications to politics, and the examination of political behaviour.
The concept of politics is central to political science. Commonly, politics could be defined as a process where people form, preserve and modify general rules that govern their lives where normally both cooperation and conflict are allowed.
Politics is an art of governance and is involves with the issues of public affair, conflict, multiple decisions making, compromises and consensus at different levels and, thus, essentially delineating concerns related to power and distribution of resources.
The terms ‘Sociology’ and ‘Political Science’ are closely related. They both lack clearly defined meaning. IGNOU BSOC 101 Solved Free Assignment
The origin of the term ‘Political Science’ is rather old, as it is associated with the Greek word polis whereas the term ‘Sociology’ was coined by Auguste Comte in 1839 to designate the science of society.
Political Science and Sociology are so intimately connected that the “Political is embedded in the social and if Political Science remains distinct from Sociology, it will be because the breadth of the field calls for the specialist, and not because there are any well-defined boundaries marking it off from Sociology.”
They are mutually contributory. Political Science gives to sociology facts about the organisation and functions of the State, and obtains from it knowledge of the origin of political authority and laws which controlled society.
The State in its early stages was more of a social than a political institution, and Giddings is of the opinion that “to teach the theory of the State to men who have not learned the first principles of sociology, is like teaching astronomy or thermody-namics to men who have not learned the Newtonian law of motion.”
If we study revolutions, we must take into account their social as well as their political causes as appearing in different environments.
The analysis of political parties cannot be divorced from their relationship to social classes and the sociology of the electorate-behaviour of man in the associated process solves the difficulties emerging from the basic democratic mechanism.
In spite of this close affinity between Sociology and Political Science, the study of both the sciences is distinct and their problems are by no means the same.
Giddings has said that the province of Political Science is not co-extensive with “the investigations of society but that the lines of demarcation can be drawn.”
Sociology deals with man in all his varied social relations and in all forms of human associations. IGNOU BSOC 101 Solved Free Assignment
Its study is not confined to one aspect of man alone. Political Science, on the other hand, is a study of the political governance of man and it is a specialised branch of sociology.
It has a narrower and more restricted field to cover than Sociology. Secondly, the political life of man begins much later than his social life. Sociology is prior to Political Science.
Thirdly, Sociology embraces the study of organised and unorganised communities and the conscious and unconscious activities of man.
The province of Political Science is the politically organised society and conscious political activities of man. IGNOU BSOC 101 Solved Free Assignment
Finally, Political Science aims at the past, present and future determination of the political organisation of mankind whereas, Sociology is the study of various social institutions that exist or have hitherto existed.
A large number of scholars such as: Marx, Weber, Gramsci, Pareto, Parsons and Mosca, etc. equally have contributed to the growth and development of both the disciplines.
Q. 3. Explain Mead’s theory of the development of self.
Ans. American sociologist George Herbert Mead (1972) gave his theory as young children begin to develop as social beings by imitating the actions of those near them.
By doing so the child is able to develop the ability to understand the action of the person with whom he is interacting. IGNOU BSOC 101 Solved Free Assignment
Children starts imitating there elders whatever they do. Mead relates the act of imitation as “Taking the role of the other”.
Now children begin to attain maturity and develop a sense of self and others. This particular stage is called the game stage which is quiet complex.
Mead founded ‘theory of the self’ believed that in the beginning, we see ourselves as to how others see us and eventually we not only see ourselves as to how others see us but actually take on or pretend to take the roles of others, allowing us to anticipate what others expect of us, thus learning through the eyes of others.
According to Mead, the Two Parts of the Self: ‘T’ and ‘Me’. Mead also theorized that the ‘social self consists of two aspects:
“I”: the acting, subjective part of the self (a self-awareness)
“Me”: the conventional, objective part of the self (a self-image)
Remember: Mead’s ‘theory of the self, is based upon his belief that socialization is a life-long journey’.
Around the age of eight or nine is also an important stage of development for a child. Mead introduces the concepts of “generalised other” and “significant other”.
“Generalised other” can be understood as those rules and values of the culture of a particular group in which the child is engaged. Mead was one of the first thinkers to understand the role of “significant other” in the development of self.
Q. 4. Discuss the perspectives on social institutions.
Ans. Social institutions are systematic beliefs and norms that are centred on fulfilment of basic social needs. IGNOU BSOC 101 Solved Free Assignment
These social needs pertain to replacement of members of the society (reproduction and family) and preserving order. Social institutions provide insights into the structure of the society.
For instance, the norms and beliefs surrounding kinship and incest help understand the structure of a society.
The structure of the society becomes apparent through the constraints that these norms mandate as well as their adaptive feature to serve the interest of the members of the society.
Social institutions have been studied by sociologists in varied ways.
While some perceive social institutions to be critical parts that must function well for the overall society to function well, others may look at social institutions as establishing a status quo that under optimum conditions causes friction.
Below we look at some of these perspectives. All of these perspectives highlight some aspect of social institutions that may deepen our understanding of social institu-tions.IGNOU BSOC 101 Solved Free Assignment
Theories in sociology provide us with different perspectives with which to view our social world. A perspective is simply a way of looking at the world.
Sociological theories help us to explain and predict the social world in which we live. Sociology includes three major theoretical perspectives: the functionalist perspective, the conflict perspective, and the symbolic interactionist perspective (sometimes called the interactionist perspective, or simply the micro view).
Each perspective offers a variety of explanations about the social world and human behaviour.
The functionalist perspective attempts to explain social institutions as collective means to meet individual and social needs.
It is sometimes called structural-functionalism because it often focuses on the ways social structures (e.g., social institutions) meet social needs.
In the functionalist perspective, societies are thought to function like organisms, with various social institutions working together like organs to maintain and reproduce societies.IGNOU BSOC 101 Solved Free Assignment
According to functionalist theories, institutions come about and persist because they play a function in society, promoting stability and integration.
Functionalism has been criticized for its failure to account for social change and individual agency; some consider it conservatively biased.
Functionalism has been criticized for attributing human-like needs to society.
Emile Durkheim’s work is considered the foundation of functionalist theory in sociology. Merton observed that institutions could have both manifest and latent functions.
The functionalist perspective views society as composed of different parts working together. In contrast, the conflict perspective views society as composed of different groups and interest competing for power and resources.
The conflict perspective explains various aspects of our social world by looking at which groups have power and benefit from a particular social arrangement.
For example, feminist theory argues that we live in a patriarchal society – a hierarchical system of organization controlled by men.
Although there are many varieties of feminist theory, most would hold that feminism “demands that existing economic, political, and social structures be changed” (Weir and Faulkner 2004, p.xii).IGNOU BSOC 101 Solved Free Assignment
For example, conflict perspective has stressed how a major institution such as education has worked to privilege the powerful groups within a society.
Both the functionalist and the conflict perspectives are concerned with how broad aspects of society, such as institutions and large social groups, influence the social world.
This level of sociological analysis is called macro sociology: It looks at the big picture of society and suggests how social problems are affected at the institutional level.
Micro sociology, another level of sociological analysis, is concerned with the social psychological dynamics of individuals interacting in small groups.
Symbolic interactionism reflects the micro-sociological perspective, and was largely influenced by the work of early sociologists and philosophers, such as George Simmel, Charles Cooley, George Herbert Mead, and Erving Goffman.
Symbolic interactionism emphasizes that human behaviour is influenced by definitions and meanings that are created and maintained through symbolic interaction with others.IGNOU BSOC 101 Solved Free Assignment
Q. 5. Are association and community similar? Discuss.
Ans. An association is basically a group of people who have some common objectives. Without a group of people no association can be formed.
Association and Institution: Often, in general parlance, association and institution are confused with each other and used interchangeably as synonymous concepts but scientifically such uses are not correct.
Associations refer to the group – the interaction system – while institutions constitute the formalised and regularised procedures through which the group interacts and functions.
An institution is basically a set of norms and ideas, together with the necessary rules and procedures, while an association is basically a group of people who have organised to pursue a particular activity or objective.
This is why, Maclver and Page observed, “we belong to associations but not to institutions.” IGNOU BSOC 101 Solved Free Assignment
How can we belong to institutions which constitute rules, regulations or procedures of working, but we do belong to associations which are groups of people like families, clubs, unions, etc.
Associations are deliberately formed groups such as political parties and trade unions, while institutions are system of norms, such as education or religion.
When we consider something as an organised group, it is an association, but when we consider it as a form of procedure or a system of behaviour, it is an institution.
Association denotes membership, whereas institution denotes a mode or means of service.IGNOU BSOC 101 Solved Free Assignment
Q. 6. Differentiate between culture and civilization.
Ans. Culture is everything about human society, i.e. it refers to the knowledge and features of a specific group of people living in a region.
On the other extreme, civilization is the breakthrough of human society meaning that it is the advanced level of social and human development.
According to Ogburn and Nimkoff (1947), civilization is the latter phase of culture. Our culture describes what we are, but our civilization explains what we have or what we make use of.
Culture is an end; it has no measurement standards. As against this, civilization has precise measurement standards, because it is a means.
Culture denote the greatest level of inner refinement, and so it is internal. Unlike, civilization which is external, i.e. it is the expression of state of the art technology, product, devices, infrastru-cture and so forth.
Q. 7. Distinguish between Great and Little communities.
Ans. Little community has its own characteristic or factures. Briefly speaking these are: It is homoge-neous and a unitary body as against heterogeneity and diversity. In other words in this community there is not much of diversity of any big community.
The members of the little community actively participate in community activities and have great unifying links with each other. They personally know each other, and appreciate each other’s view point.IGNOU BSOC 101 Solved Free Assignment
There is neither any disunifying force nor indifference nor detachment among the members.
The members show deep concern about each other’s welfare. There are emotional bonds and community feelings among the members. There are strong community feelings in it.
Another characteristics of little community is its smallness. Though big and small is one relative terms, yet small is understood in traditional terms. This community is a small group of individuals having mutual interrelationship.
Though it is difficult to define precisely as to what is big of small but reference is to small population which can maintain direct contacts among the members. When that is not possible, it can be said that the population is large.
It can be said that Indian villagers are small communities. In a little community all people have direct contacts with each other and they know each other personally.
Next then comes the homogeneity. A little community is homogeneous group of people which means that the members of the community have similar way of life, culture, language and religious beliefs.
They have same gods and goddesses and their mode and method of worship is the same. They have common culture and common folk ways. They also have common interests. traditions. IGNOU BSOC 101 Solved Free Assignment
They have some cultural outlook and living ‘Standard, Their attitude towards socio-economic problems is almost the same.
Not only this but they also face almost same socio-economic problems and are also ‘equally interested in solving those. Still another feature of little village is self-sufficiency.
It tries to satisfy all its needs by itself without depending on the outside world. It meets diverse need of all its members.
Each little community believes in the idea of producing by itself what it need to consume. Though self-sufficiency anywhere is a self-defeating cry yet what it means is that it meets by itself most of its needs.
It becomes possible because the members have limited needs and the community can meet these. The members do not try to increase their needs and remain satisfied with what they have got.IGNOU BSOC 101 Solved Free Assignment
The great community brings us opportunity, stability, economy, the constant stimulus of a richer, more varied culture.
The larger community provides peace and protection, patriotism and sometimes war, automobiles and the radio. Both great and little communities are essential for life.
Q. 8. What is an out-group?
Ans. One of the ways that groups can be powerful is through inclusion, and its inverse, exclusion.
The feeling that we belong in an elite or select group is a heady one, while the feeling of not being allowed in, or of being in competition with a group, can be motivating in a different way. IGNOU BSOC 101 Solved Free Assignment
Sociologist William Sumner (1840-1910) developed the concepts of in-group and out-group to explain this phenomenon (Sumner 1906).
In short, an in-group is the group that an individual feels she belongs to, and she believes it to be an integral part of who she is. An out-group, conversely, is a group someone doesn’t belong to; often
we may feel disdain or competition in relationship to an out-group. Sports teams, unions, and sororities are examples of in- groups and out-groups; people may belong to, or be an outsider to, any of these.
Primary groups consist of both in-groups and out-groups, as do secondary groups.
While group affiliations can be neutral or even positive, such as the case of a team sport competition, the concept of in- groups and out-groups can also explain some negative human behaviour, such as white supremacist movements like the Ku Klux Klan, or the bullying of gay or lesbian students.
Q. 9. What is ‘primary sociolisation??
Ans. Primary socialisation refers to socialisation of the infant in the primary or earliest years of his life. It is a process by which the infant learns language and cognitive skills, internalises norms and values.
The infant learns the ways of a given grouping and is moulded into an effective social participant of that group. IGNOU BSOC 101 Solved Free Assignment
By direct and indirect observation and experience, child gradually learns the norms relating to wrong and right things. The primary socialisation takes place in the family.
Example: A child hears his father talk bad words against an old lady. The child would think that this behaviour is socially acceptable, so he would start talking bad words against older people.
Q. 10. What is contemporary economic sociology?
Ans. Economic sociology experienced a remarkable revival in the 1980s. The flurry of articles in the subfield formed what is now called the new economic sociology.
This term was coined by the economic sociologist Mark Granovetter, who emphasized the embeddedness of economic action in concrete social relations.
Granovetter contended that institutions are actually congealed social networks, and, because economic action takes place within these networks, social scientists must consider interpersonal relationships when studying the economy.
Markets themselves were studied as networks of producers watching each other and trying to carve out niches. IGNOU BSOC 101 Solved Free Assignment
Such network perspec-tives explicitly account for interrelationships, theorizing about the implications of network structures for economic activity and organization.
Although networks have been at the core of new economic sociology, other economic sociologists criticized network analysis for its inability to account for the interactions of economies with politics and culture.
A well known sociologist, Karl Polanyi also contributed to economic sociology, argued that the birth of the free market was an institutional transformation necessarily promoted by the state. Which received general acceptance in the domain of economic sociology.