Sociology in India
MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
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Q 1. Describe and discuss the socio-historical background of the emergence of Sociology in India.
Ans. The emergence of Sociology as a discipline in India can be traced back to the colonial period when India was under the British rule.
Sociology in India has its roots in the encounter between Indian society and colonialism, which transformed the Indian social structure, political economy, and cultural practices. MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
During the colonial period, the British administration in India encountered a complex and diverse social system that posed a challenge to their governance.
The British administration was interested in understanding the social structure, customs, traditions, and religious beliefs of the Indian society to govern it effectively.
Hence, they established several institutions and departments to collect data and conduct surveys on various aspects of Indian society, including the census, ethnography, and other administrative records.
This colonial encounter laid the foundation for the emergence of Sociology as a discipline in India. MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The first department of Sociology in India was established in 1919 at the University of Bombay (now Mumbai).
The establishment of the department was a result of the efforts of G.S. Ghurye, who is considered the father of Indian Sociology.
The socio-historical background of the emergence of Sociology in India can be divided into three phases, namely the colonial phase, the nationalist phase, and the post-independence phase.
Colonial Phase (1857-1947) MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The colonial phase in India was characterized by the domination of the British rule, which had a significant impact on Indian society.
The British administration introduced several reforms, such as the abolition of Sati, the Widow Remarriage Act, the Age of Consent Act, and the Criminal Tribes Act, among others, which had far-reaching consequences on Indian society.
The British administration also introduced a modern education system in India, which laid the foundation for the emergence of Sociology as a discipline.
The introduction of modern education provided Indians with access to Western knowledge and created a class of educated Indians who were exposed to Western ideas and concepts.MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The British administration also conducted several surveys and collected data on various aspects of Indian society, which provided the foundation for the emergence of Sociology as a discipline.
The colonial administration also established several institutions, such as the Indian Historical Records Commission, the Anthropological Survey of India, and the Census of India, which played a crucial role in the development of Sociology in India.
Nationalist Phase (1947-1990)
The nationalist phase in India was characterized by the struggle for independence from the British rule and the formation of a modern nation-state.
The nationalist movement in India was led by a class of educated Indians who were influenced by Western ideas and concepts.
The nationalist movement also had a significant impact on the development of Sociology in India. MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The nationalist leaders were interested in understanding Indian society and its problems, and they recognized the importance of Sociology as a discipline in addressing these issues.
The spread of Western education in India also played a significant role in the emergence of sociology.
The British established a system of education in India that was modeled after the British education system. MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
This system emphasized the study of Western subjects such as science, mathematics, philosophy, and history.
The study of these subjects introduced Indian students to new ideas and concepts that were not present in Indian culture.
The study of Western subjects also led to the emergence of a new class of Indian intellectuals who were exposed to Western ideas and concepts.
These intellectuals were interested in understanding Indian society and culture in the context of Western ideas and theories. They started to apply sociological theories and methods to study Indian society.
The first Indian sociologist was G.S. Ghurye, who was trained in anthropology in England. MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Ghurye’s work was influenced by the British anthropologist E.B. Tylor and focused on the study of Indian society and culture.
Ghurye’s book “The Caste System in India” (1932) was a seminal work in the field of sociology in India.
It provided a detailed analysis of the caste system in India and its impact on Indian society.
Q 2. Discuss with suitable examples the major research trends in Sociology in India
Ans. Sociology as a discipline in India has evolved significantly over the years, from its emergence during the colonial period to its current state.
Over time, the focus of sociological research in India has shifted from macro-level issues such as caste, religion, and social structure to micro-level issues such as gender, identity, and globalization. MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Caste and Social Stratification
Caste has been a central focus of sociological research in India since its emergence as a discipline.
Researchers have studied the caste system in India and its impact on various aspects of Indian society, including politics, economy, education, and religion.
They have explored issues such as the role of caste in electoral politics, the impact of caste on economic opportunities, and the relationship between caste and gender.
For example, the sociologist M.N. Srinivas studied the relationship between caste and modernization in India. MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
He argued that the caste system in India was not a barrier to modernization, but rather a source of social mobility.
His work challenged the prevailing view that the caste system was a hindrance to progress.
Gender and Feminism
Gender has emerged as a significant area of research in sociology in India. Researchers have explored issues related to gender inequality, gender-based violence, and the role of gender in shaping social norms and values.
They have also examined the impact of globalization and economic development on gender relations in India.MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
For example, the sociologist Uma Chakravarti has written extensively on the issue of gender-based violence in India.
Her work highlights the structural factors that contribute to gender-based violence and the need for a comprehensive response that addresses these factors.
Identity and Culture
Identity and culture have been another area of focus in sociology in India. Researchers have examined the role of religion, ethnicity, and language in shaping identity and social relations in India.
They have also explored the impact of globalization and modernization on cultural identities in India.MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
For example, the sociologist Yogendra Singh has studied the relationship between religion and identity in India.
He argues that religion plays a significant role in shaping individual and collective identities in India and that understanding this relationship is essential for understanding Indian society.
Globalization and Development
Globalization and economic development have emerged as significant areas of research in sociology in India.
Researchers have examined the impact of globalization on various aspects of Indian society, including economy, politics, and culture.
They have also explored the role of development in shaping social and economic relations in India.MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
For example, the sociologist Arjun Appadurai has written extensively on the impact of globalization on Indian culture.
His work highlights the need to understand globalization as a cultural phenomenon and its impact on cultural diversity in India.
Environmental sociology has emerged as a new area of research in sociology in India.
Researchers have explored the relationship between society and the environment, including issues related to environmental degradation, climate change, and sustainability. MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
They have also examined the impact of globalization and economic development on the environment in India.
For example, the sociologist Ramachandra Guha has written extensively on environmental issues in India.
His work highlights the need to understand the social and cultural factors that contribute to environmental degradation and the need for a comprehensive response that addresses these factors.
Q 3. Define the concept of caste and discuss the colonial perspective on caste with suitable examples.
Ans. Caste is a system of social stratification that has been prevalent in Indian society for centuries. It is based on the idea that people are born into a particular social status and remain in that status for life.
Caste is often associated with the Hindu religion, but it is also found in other religions and communities in India.MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The colonial perspective on caste in India was shaped by the British colonial rulers who viewed Indian society through a lens of racial superiority.
The colonial rulers were convinced that the Indian society was backward and needed to be modernized. In their view, caste was seen as a major obstacle to modernization and social progress.
The colonial government initiated various measures to reform the caste system in India.
The earliest effort was made by Lord William Bentinck, who passed the Bengal Sati Regulation in 1829 that banned the practice of sati (widow burning) in India.
This was followed by other measures such as the abolition of the Devadasi system (temple prostitution) and the introduction of laws against untouchability.
However, these measures did not eliminate caste from Indian society. Instead, the colonial government’s policies led to the consolidation of caste identities among different communities in India. MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The colonial government’s policies also reinforced the idea that caste was a fixed and immutable characteristic of Indian society.
One of the most influential colonial scholars on the issue of caste was the British sociologist, Herbert Risley.
In his book, The People of India, published in 1915, Risley classified Indian people into different racial types based on their caste. He believed that caste was a biological trait that was inherited and could not be changed.
Risley’s ideas about caste were widely accepted by other colonial administrators and scholars. MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
They argued that caste was the main reason for the social and economic backwardness of Indian society.
They believed that the caste system was a rigid and hierarchical social order that prevented social mobility and economic progress.
The colonial government’s policies towards caste were also shaped by the need to maintain social order in India.
The British feared that social unrest and political instability would result if the caste system was not reformed.
Therefore, the colonial government introduced various measures to regulate caste relations in India.
For example, the British introduced the Census of India in 1871, which collected data on caste and religion. MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The census data helped the colonial government to understand the social and economic structure of Indian society.
However, the census data also reinforced the idea that caste was a fixed and immutable characteristic of Indian society.
Another perspective on caste can be seen in the role of colonial education in shaping Indian society.
The British colonial rulers established a modern education system in India, which was primarily aimed at creating a class of Indians who would serve as intermediaries between the colonial rulers and the Indian population.
However, this education system also reinforced the idea of caste in Indian society. The curriculum of the schools and colleges was designed to reinforce the social and cultural norms of the dominant castes.
The colonial government also implemented various measures to regulate the economic activities of different castes.
For example, the colonial government introduced the Zamindari system, which gave land rights to the wealthy landlords. MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
This system reinforced the dominance of the upper castes in the economic and social life of India.
The colonial government also introduced the Criminal Tribes Act, which criminalized certain communities and castes in India. This act led to the stigmatization and marginalization of these communities.
Q 6. What are the major agrarian classes in India? Discuss with reference to the contributions of different Sociologists.
Ans. Agriculture has been a critical component of the Indian economy for centuries. Agrarian classes play a significant role in shaping the social, economic, and political landscape of India. MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The agrarian classes in India are classified based on the nature of landownership, size of landholding, and the degree of control over agricultural resources.
Different sociologists have analyzed the agrarian classes in India and their contributions to society.
The major agrarian classes in India are the landlords, rich peasants, middle peasants, poor peasants, agricultural laborers, and artisans.
These classes are not fixed and can change over time based on several factors such as land reforms, economic policies, and technological advancements.
Landlords, also known as Zamindars, are the owners of large tracts of land and exercise significant control over the agricultural resources.
They are the dominant class in the agrarian society and wield considerable economic and political power. MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Sociologist B. R. Ambedkar analyzed the agrarian structure of India and highlighted the oppressive nature of the landlord class.
According to him, landlords exploited the poor peasants and agricultural laborers and perpetuated a cycle of poverty and indebtedness.
He advocated for land reforms that would redistribute land and provide a more equitable distribution of resources.
Rich peasants own relatively large landholdings and have access to resources such as capital, technology, and credit.
They are generally more prosperous than the poor and middle peasants and have greater control over the means of production.
Sociologist D. N. Dhanagare analyzed the role of rich peasants in the agrarian society and identified their conflicting interests with the landlord class.
He argued that the rich peasants were not content with their subordinate position and were in favor of land reforms that would redistribute land and reduce the power of the landlord class.MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Middle peasants own moderate-sized landholdings and constitute a significant proportion of the rural population.
They are usually self-sufficient and have limited access to resources such as credit and technology.
Sociologist A. R. Desai analyzed the role of middle peasants in the agrarian society and highlighted their potential to serve as a bridge between the rich and poor peasants.
He argued that the middle peasants were not a homogeneous group and had conflicting interests based on their level of prosperity.
Poor peasants own small landholdings and have limited access to resources such as credit and technology. MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
They constitute a significant proportion of the rural population and are often trapped in a cycle of poverty and indebtedness.
Sociologist B. S. Baviskar analyzed the agrarian structure of India and highlighted the exploitation of poor peasants by the landlord and rich peasant class.
He argued that land reforms that would redistribute land and provide access to resources such as credit and technology were necessary to alleviate poverty in the rural areas.
Agricultural laborers are landless and work on the farms of landlords and rich peasants.
They have limited access to resources and are often exploited by the landowners Srinivas analyzed the role of agricultural laborers in the agrarian society and identified the class consciousness that emerged among them.
He argued that the exploitation and marginalization of agricultural laborers led to the formation of class-based movements that aimed to improve their economic and social conditions. MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Srinivas also highlighted the importance of caste in shaping the identity and organization of agricultural laborers.
Artisans are a diverse group of people who engage in craft-based activities such as pottery, weaving, and metalworking.
They have a long history in Indian society and have played a significant role in the rural economy.
Sociologist David Mandelbaum analyzed the role of artisans in the agrarian society and highlighted their resilience and adaptability in the face of social and economic changes.
He argued that artisans were an important part of the rural economy and that their skills and knowledge were essential for the preservation of traditional crafts.
At last, the agrarian classes in India are diverse and complex, and their contributions to society have been analyzed by different sociologists.
Landlords, rich peasants, middle peasants, poor peasants, agricultural laborers, and artisans all play a crucial role in shaping the social, economic, and political landscape of India. MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
While some classes have greater access to resources and power than others, the relationships between these classes are constantly changing, influenced by factors such as land reforms, economic policies, and technological advancements.
Sociological analyses of the agrarian classes in India have helped to shed light on the challenges and opportunities facing rural communities and have contributed to the development of policies aimed at promoting greater social and economic justice in the agricultural sector.
Q 10. Write short notes on the following:
a) Concept of urban and urbanism
Ans. a) Concept of Urban and Urbanism
Urban and urbanism are concepts that are intertwined and have been discussed and debated by scholars for many years. MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Urban refers to a built-up area, typically a city or town, that is characterized by a high population density, a wide range of economic and cultural activities, and a complex infrastructure.
Urbanism, on the other hand, is a broader concept that encompasses the social, cultural, and economic aspects of urban life.
The concept of urbanism can be traced back to the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece, where the development of urban centers was closely linked to the growth of agriculture, trade, and commerce.
In modern times, urbanism has become a dominant force in shaping the global economy and culture. MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The growth of cities and towns has led to the emergence of new social and economic dynamics, including the rise of the middle class, the development of new forms of cultural expression, and the expansion of global trade and commerce.
One of the defining features of urbanism is the creation of public spaces that are designed to bring people together.
These spaces, such as parks, plazas, and sidewalks, are essential for social interaction and community building.
They provide a place for people to gather, share ideas, and engage in cultural activities. MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Public spaces also play an important role in promoting social and economic integration and fostering a sense of belonging and identity among urban residents.
Another key feature of urbanism is the diversity of people and cultures that coexist within urban spaces. Cities and towns are often characterized by a mix of different ethnicities, religions, and languages.
This diversity can lead to social and cultural tensions, but it can also provide opportunities for cross-cultural exchange and learning.
Urbanism also involves the creation of a complex infrastructure that includes transportation networks, housing, and public services such as education and healthcare.
These services are essential for the smooth functioning of urban life and the well-being of urban residents. MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
However, the provision of these services can also create inequalities and exclusions, particularly for marginalized groups such as the urban poor and migrants.
b) Globalisation in India
Ans b) Globalization in India refers to the integration of the Indian economy with the rest of the world economy.
It started in the early 1990s when the Indian government implemented a series of economic reforms that opened up the country’s economy to foreign investment, trade, and technology.
Since then, India has become one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and has been able to attract a significant amount of foreign investment.
Globalization has had a profound impact on India’s economy, society, and culture. On the positive side, it has brought in new technology, investment, and jobs, which has helped to accelerate economic growth and reduce poverty.
It has also exposed Indians to new ideas, cultures, and lifestyles, which has led to greater tolerance and understanding. MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
On the negative side, globalization has also brought in new challenges, such as increased competition, inequality, and environmental degradation.
One of the major benefits of globalization for India has been the inflow of foreign investment.
This has helped to modernize the country’s infrastructure, create new jobs, and boost exports.
According to the World Investment Report 2021 by UNCTAD, India was the ninth-largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the world in 2020, with inflows reaching $64 billion, an increase of 27% from the previous year.
Another key driver of globalization in India has been the growth of the IT industry. India is known as the world’s outsourcing hub, with companies such as TCS, Infosys, and Wipro leading the way. MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The IT industry has not only created new jobs but has also helped to transform India into a knowledge-based economy, which is more resilient to economic shocks.
Globalization has also helped to integrate India into the global trading system. India is now a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and has signed several free trade agreements with other countries, such as Japan, South Korea, and ASEAN.
This has helped to boost India’s exports and make it more competitive in the global market.
However, globalization has also brought in new challenges for India. One of the biggest challenges has been increased competition.
As the Indian economy has opened up, domestic companies have had to compete with foreign companies, which has put pressure on them to improve their productivity, quality, and innovation. MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023
This has also led to increased job insecurity and wage stagnation for some workers.
Another challenge has been increasing inequality. While globalization has created new opportunities for some, it has also widened the gap between the rich and the poor.
This is because the benefits of globalization have not been evenly distributed, and certain segments of the population have been left behind.
For example, rural areas and low-skilled workers have not benefited as much as urban areas and high-skilled workers.
Finally, globalization has also led to environmental degradation in India. As the economy has grown, there has been an increase in pollution, deforestation, and depletion of natural resources.MSO 004 Solved Free Assignment 2023