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“I measure the progress of a

community by the degree of
progress which women have

–Dr. Bhimrao Ramji


Dr. N.C. Vamshi Krishna & Team

C2C Sociology Test series 2019


First of all, a big thank you for reposing your trust on IASbaba as your guide in your Sociology
optional preparation. It is our constant endeavor to simplify UPSC preparation which is often

Sociology as an optional on the surface may appear very simple but it requires constant
application of theories and sociological perspective and most importantly terminologies to
differentiate it from generalist perspective.

The team at IASbaba have worked on this a lot and have brought out this synopsis compilation
which is a mix of theory and application aspect of it with Mind maps and Value added material
which we hope would benefit you immensely especially in the crucial time before mains.


 Remember UPSC expects you to have both the attitude and aptitude of a post graduate
student of Sociology (M.A) along with ability to convey it concisely and precisely within
the word limit. Hence the need for Sociological terminology.

 Second, a sociologist is an observer of society so if any opinion based questions are asked
it is imperative for you to give both the aspects (pros and cons) with suitable examples
(empirical evidence).

e.g. Do you think marriage as a social institution is losing its relevance in the
society? Analyze.

 In the above first define what is Marriage and then what is a social institution
(Use PENGUIN Dictionary of sociology as your handbook). You can find it
 Next mention the functions of marriage given by Peter Murdock (it is
imperative) then analyze how many of the functions are getting replaced by
rise of other institutions and attitudinal changes.
 However, the sanctity surrounding marriage and the belief in the system has
not gone out. Mention Ulrich Beck‟s Normal Chaos of Love and end your
 This is a comprehensive yet concise answer with proper sociological
perspective and structure which will fetch you very good marks in the exam.
 Remember your opinion unless backed by empirical evidence from all the
angles of the question and thinker does not carry weight and many end up
scoring below average marks.
C2C Sociology Test series 2019


In my experience both as an aspirant and now as a teacher I have always encountered this
question and my answer has always remained the same.

 For paper 1:
1) Harlambos and Holborn (Blue book)-covers British Perspective
2) Anthony Giddens and Philip.W. Sutton (Green Book)-covers American perspective
(more practical).

 For paper-2:
Paper-2 is an extension of paper-1 and its application in the modern context and no one
source is sufficient.
However, I would recommend you to refer to IGNOU (M.A) notes, Shodhganga website
and EPW magazine for sociological analysis of current affairs. (We would also be
providing VAN for this part).

It is also my sincere request to all serious aspirants not to refer to small concise books or
previous toppers notes which flood the market during exam times and many of you refer only to
this and score poorly due to lack of deeper understanding of concepts and their application and
criticize that the optional was targeted etc. as excuses for these shortcuts.

Please remember, in optional it is the depth and multidimensionality (ability to analyze an issue
from various dimensions) that counts rather than superficial answers.


Those at the top of the mountain didn't fall there.

Hope your hard work and our guidance will help you climb the “Mountains of Mussoorie”.
Wishing you the very best.

Dr. N.C. Vamshi Krishna & Team

IASBaba Page 1
C2C Sociology Test series 2019

Test 1 - Synopsis
Section A
Q1. Write short answers with a sociological perspective on the following, in about 150
words each:


Normativism is a theoretical position which is opposite to that of Positivism. They are of the
belief that social sciences like Sociology, Philosophy etc. are separate than that of natural
sciences. Hence the methods studying them also must be separate.
i. Objectivity or value neutrality is unattainable, unnecessary and undesirable. For
some theorists, objectivity is used as an excuse for an uncritical acceptance of the
established status quo. One cannot consider intrinsic evaluation, feeling, beliefs
and standards as insignificant or not influential.
ii. Social scientists ought to have a standpoint on social issues, and they must
produce value judgments if they wish to solve social problems.
iii. Our general orientation is based on and is constructed with values; these values
direct our thinking and action and cannot be isolated or ignored.
iv. Disclosing the inevitable bias or personal beliefs is less dangerous than pretending
to be value free.
v. Social sciences are normative. Apart from studying what is, they should be
concerned with what ought to be.


In the social sciences, triangulation is often used to indicate that two or more methods are used
in a study in order to check the results of one and the same subject and is a popular method of
study in sociology.
The concept of triangulation is borrowed from navigational and land surveying techniques.
According to Donoghue and Punch (2003), triangulation is a "method of cross-checking data
from multiple sources to search for regularities in the research data”Denzin (1978) identified
five basic types of triangulation
 Data triangulation: involves time, space, and persons. This type may also include
gathering data from both the people involved - and the researcher's own experiences of -
a situation.
 Investigator triangulation: involves multiple researchers in an investigation
In studies that rely heavily on researcher interpretations to generate data, one way to
control reliability and validity is to use different researchers. Page 2
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If different
using the same
arrive at the
same results
this help to
confirm data
from different
ethnic, age,
gender and
class groups
can be used to
check for things like observer and interviewer bias.
 Theory triangulation: Sometimes called methodological pluralism, this type involves a
researcher combining different research methodologies, such as interpretivism and
feminism and methods (quantitative and qualitative) in an attempt to improve research
reliability and validity. It involves using more than one theoretical scheme in the
interpretation of the phenomenon
 Methodological triangulation: involves using more than one method to gather data,
such as interviews, observations, questionnaires, and documents.
It has two sub types
(i) Within method triangulation
(ii) Between Method triangulation
 Environmental Triangulation This type uses a range of environmental factors -
different locations, times of day, seasons and so forth to check data validity.

 While all research methods have strengths and weaknesses a researcher can use the
strengths of one method to compensate for the shortcomings of another.
 By gathering and aggregating different types of data (quantitative and qualitative) and
sources (such as respondents and participant observers) the researcher is more-likely to
get a complete, fully-rounded ("holistic") picture of the behaviour they're studying.
 By using different methods and sampling strategies a researcher can generally improve
overall data reliability and validity. More specifically, data collected using higher Page 3
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reliability methods (such as questionnaires) can off-set reliability weaknesses in

observational methods - with the reverse being the case for validity.
 Confidence in things like the accuracy and truth of research data can be increased using

 In terms of resources, triangulation adds another layer of time, effort and expense. This
involves things like the time needed to analyse different data types created from different
methods, the need to employ more researchers and the general co-ordination of a much
larger research project.
 If a researcher gets contradictory data from two different sources, it can be difficult - if
not impossible - to disentangle "truth" from "falsity “This can raise serious reliability and
validity issues.

c) “Economics is, in fact, but one branch of Sociology. “Comment.

According to Prof. Robbins Economics is a social “science which studies human behaviour in
relation to his unlimited ends and scarce means which have alternative uses.” It is concerned
with the activities of man such as production, consumption, distribution and exchange.
Sociology is a science of society. It is concerned with the association of human beings.
Sociology is the study of human interactions and inter-relations their conditions and
However, there exists a great deal of inter-relationship between these two sciences. Both are
interdependent and inter-related with each other. Silverman opines Economics is regarded as
offshoot of sociology which studies the general principles of all social relations.
 Economics takes the help of Sociology. For its own comprehension economics takes the
help of sociology and depends on it. Economics is a part of Sociology hence without the
help from sociology economics can‟t understand itself completely. Economics is
concerned with material welfare of man which is common welfare.
 Economic welfare is a part of social welfare. For the solution of different economic
problems such as inflation, poverty, unemployment etc. economists take the help of
sociology and takes into account the social events of that particular time.
 At the same time society controls the economic activities of man. Economics is greatly
benefited by the research conducted by Sociologists like Max-weber, Pareto etc. Some
economists also consider economic change as an aspect of social change.
 Economic draws its generalization basing on the data provided by Sociology. Thus
economics cannot go far or develop without the help of Sociology.

Similarly, Sociology also takes the help from economics. Economics greatly enriches
sociological knowledge. Economic factors greatly influence each and every aspects of social
life. Economics is a part of sociology hence without the help of economics we can‟t understand
sociology properly. Page 4
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Marx opines economic relations constitute the foundation of Society. For this reason,
Sociologists like Spencer, Weber, Durkheim and others have taken the help from economics in
their analysis of social relationships.
Thus both sociology and economics are very closely related with each other.

d) Significance of case studies as method of data collection.

Pauline V. Young describes case study as “a comprehensive study of a social unit be that
unit a person, a group, a social institution, a district or a community”.
Case study is a complete and detailed account of a single social phenomenon, along with its
antecedents and consequences, in which, in depth details of the event are studied.
The case study method is the qualitative method of data collection which involves intensive
investigation of the particular unit under consideration.
The object of the case study method is to locate the factors that account for the behavior-patterns
of the given unit as an integrated totality.
According to H. Odum, the case study method is a technique by which individual factor,
whether it is an institution or just an episode in the life of an individual or a group, is analyzed in
its relationship to any other in the group.
The various advantages of case studies are:
According to Charles Horton Cooley, case study deepens our perception and gives us a clearer
insight into life. It gets at behavior directly and not by an indirect and abstract approach.
 It takes into account the role of Geist (consciousness in shaping the behavior of

 It provides a holistic understanding of a social phenomenon. Page 5
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 The observation made through case study can be used for hypothesis formulation.
 It helps in gaining greater insight while being used with other methods of data
collection such as in constructing questionnaire.
 This method makes possible the study of social changes. On account of the minute study
of the different facets of a social unit, the researcher can well understand the social

Case Studies

Advantages Disadvantages

 It makes in-depth study possible  Can over simplify / exaggerate scenarios

 It is inexpensive  Lack of reliability

 Could be used for studying any dimension  Impersonal

of topic

 Applicable to any society  Non-practical

 Flexible with data collection methods like  Generalizations not possible

Survey, Questionnaire

However, case study also suffers from limitations like:

 Read Bain does not consider the case data as significant scientific data since they do not
provide knowledge of the “impersonal, universal, non-ethical, non-practical, repetitive
aspects of phenomena”.

 The data collected through case study cannot be used to arrive at generalizations
 Read Bain also raises the issue of objectivity and value neutrality in the case study

e) Phenomenology Page 6
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Methodology refers to the philosophy on which research is based.

There are two main theoretical strand of research methodology in sociology:

1) Positivist: Based on the assumption that the logic, methods & procedures of natural
sciences are applicable to the study of the man. It‟s is closely aligned with empiricism. Auguste
Comte, Herbert Spencer, Vilfred Pareto etc conceived sociology as a positive science.
2) Phenomenological Perspective:
It offers a radical alternative to positivist methodology. Phenomenology is closely related to the
„idealism‟, school of that gives primacy to „mental constructs‟ than the „material reality.‟
Phenomenology was originally developed by a German mathematician named Edmund
Husserl .
According to him, „social reality‟ is to be understood in terms of the „hidden meanings‟ behind
actions which at times are not quantifiable nor can be empirically captured.
Max Weber was a big influence on the development of this stream of sociology. Basic premise
of Alfred Schutz was later more systemized by Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann.
According to them, social reality keeps on changing with time with changing individual‟s

Positivist Paradigm Phenomenological Paradigm

 The world is external &  The world is socially

objective constructed & subjective

 Observer is independent  Observer is part of what is

Basic beliefs
 Science is value-free  Science is driven by human
interests Page 7
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 Focus on facts  Focus on meanings

 Look for causality &  Try to understand what is

fundamental laws happening
Should  Reduce phenomena to simplest  Look at the totality of each

 Fundamental difference in subject matter of natural science and social science. Unlike
matter, human beings have consciousness.

 He sees, interprets and experience things by imposing meanings and classifications upon
it. He actively takes part in constructing his social reality in course of their social
 This method focuses on importance of subjective experience with a focus on qualitative
 Further phenomenologists reject the possibility of producing correlations and causal
explanations of human behavior.
 There is no objective reality beyond the subjective meanings. All people, all of the time,
make decisions about how to classify things, and these decisions are the product of
social processes.
For e.g: What one person might classify as a “chair” might be “wooden object” for the other.
Thus if the classifications are different the data would be different. Furthermore, to
phenomenologists there is no way of choosing between different systems of classifications.
Phenomenology is an example of sociological approach that sees the world as a social
construction. This type of approach is often referred to as constructionism or constructivism.
Phenomenologists have identified following limitations on positivist approach:
 Social reality cannot be defined objectively.
 Methods are given more prominence that the object of research.

 Since positivists works on the principle of natural science, the respondents are treated as
objects -> No role for human agents.

The Marxists, however, critique the „influence of values‟ in understanding social realities as,
according to them, interactions are influenced by values which are defined and shaped by the
values of the „ruling class‟.

2.a) Sociology is nothing but an extension of Commonsense knowledge.

Critically comment.
Common sense ideas and explanations represent a form of social perspective since they claim to
represent the things that everyone knows about the social world and human behaviour. Page 8
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Common sense is defined as routine knowledge that people have of their everyday world and
activities. It is usually base on naturalistic and individualistic explanation based on taken for
granted knowledge
Many people believe that sociology is the study of the obvious. They claim that sociology is
nothing but the application of common sense and sometimes research does state what is easily
E.g.: A research carried out by Times magazine concluded that “Obese people have lesser
chances of marrying young”. which can be deduced by common sense.
However Sociological knowledge challenges these traditions and stereotypes. A single
perspective does not bind sociology.
 Common sense is based upon assumptions whereas sociology looks for empirical
evidence. Empirical testing does not have any value in common sense which is critical in
sociological research.
 Sociological knowledge is objective and it can result into generalization and even
theoretical formulations whereas common sense is intuitive and even personal.
 Sociological knowledge is change oriented. Common sense is unreflective since it
does not question the origin.

Therefore, every common sense observation about society is not a sociological, it is the way of
looking at things that distinguishes sociology and common sense.
However, sociology and common sense complement each other on some points. Sociology is
framed by taking into consideration the common sense knowledge. Common sense helps
sociologists in hypothesis building.
It provides raw data for sociological imaginations. It tends to answer questions generated from
common sense knowledge.
According to Anthony Giddens sometimes-sociological knowledge also becomes part of
common sense knowledge. According to Goffman this is the knowledge that people use to make
judgments and navigate their way around the world.
Andre Beteille opines that “Sociology by its empirical grounding in careful observation and
description of facts, sociology as a discipline is characterised by its rigorous search for
interconnections among different domains of society and its systematic use of comparisons.
These preoccupations make sociology anti-utopian in its claims and anti-fatalistic in its
orientation, and distinguish its 'generalised' knowledge from localised commonsensical

2 b) “Sociology can be termed as a science because it fulfills the basic

requirements of objective and rational knowledge of social reality”. Critically
Science is a body of knowledge comprising of measurable or verifiable facts acquired through
application of the scientific method, and generalized into scientific laws or principles.
The scientific method is a systematic, organized series of steps that ensures maximum objectivity
and consistency in researching a problem. Page 9
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The various steps involved in scientific method are hypothesis formulation, observations,
verifications, re-verification, testing and measurement leading to theory formulation.
The positivists argue that sociology also
satisfies these characteristics as it is an Social reality is the reality perceived by
organized body of knowledge based on individuals and their subjective
concepts, interrelation of these concepts and versions of it as well as the version
explanations. They argue that in sociology: formed by the cumulative subjectivity
of the society.
 Investigation is possible:
Sociology conducts many
experiments indirectly and
employs scientific methods such as scales of socio meter,
schedules, questionnaire, interview etc.

 Observation is possible: In sociology, observation is not done in a formal laboratory but

through statistics, such as Durkheim‟s study of Suicide.
 Comparison is possible: Sociologists use comparisons between groups, communities
and societies.
 Generalization is possible: Sociology
makes laws and attempts to predict. It tries
Objectivity is a frame of mind so to discover laws that generally applicable in
that personal prejudices, all the societies, irrespective of actual
preferences or predilections of
the social scientists do not differences, such as Marx‟s concept of
contaminate the collection of dialectical materialism.
analysis of data.
 Prediction is possible: No science can boast
making infallible predictions. In some areas
of social life prediction to a limited extent
has been possible. There is a good deal of information on family relationships and the
personally of children with the growth and maturity of sociology it would be possible to
understand more fully, the principles underlying human behavior and make more
accurate prediction about it.
 Objectivity is possible: Every idea of man is subjective when as it originates form a
person and belongs to him. A scientist while approaching his subject matter relies on his
experience and knowledge to get the desired results. Moreover, no value judgment is
personal. Page 10
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 Probability of cause and effect relationship: Sociology tries to analyze cause and effect
relationship such as rise of isolated nuclear family with rising industrialization.

However, another strand of sociologists argues that:

 Phenomenologists, like Peter Berger, contend that facts observed during a sociological
investigation are contextual.
 Weber argued that a social phenomenon can be understood only by complimenting
empirical observations with subjective meanings and motives to arrive at limited

 Myrdal argued that value neutrality is not possible in social sciences

 Adorno indicates that social life exists in layers and sociologists must use critical mind to
analyze multiple layers.
 Habermas argued that positivism reduces actors to passive entities.

2 C) Non-Probability Sampling
Sampling is a technique, made use of by the researcher when the population is too
large for the researcher to survey all its members.

Because of cost, and time constraint, a small carefully chosen sample is extracted. The
sample is expected to reflect the „characteristics of the population.‟ However, if the
population is „sufficiently small‟, the entire population can be studied. Probability
sampling is used when the purpose of research is to make predictions affecting the
population as a whole. Non Probability sampling is used when one is exploring how a Page 11
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small group, or a representative group, is doing for purposes of explanation.

Non-probability methods include

 Convenience sampling,
 Judgement sampling,
 Purposive Sampling
 Snowball sampling.

i)Convenience sampling: In this the sample is selected because it is convenient. This method is
based on using people who are a captive audience, ex., just happen to be walking by, or show a
special interest in research.
ii)Judgement Sampling: The researcher selects the sample based on judgment. The researcher
„feels‟ that the chosen sample is representative of the entire population
iii)Purposive sampling: The
researcher targets a group of people
believed to be typical or average, or
a group specially picked for some
unique purpose.
iv)Snowball sampling, is used
when the desired sample
characteristic is rare. It is used
when it is extremely difficult or
cost prohibitive to locate
respondents in these situations. It
comprises identification of
respondents who in turn refer
researches to other respondents. Page 12
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3a) Variables in Sociological Research.

Variables are an important aspect of any experimental research. Variables are the attributes of
objects, events, things and beings which can be measured e.g.: Income, Education. Variables are
therefore, empirical properties that can take two or more values. They are defined as
characteristics that are manipulated, controlled or observed by the experimenter.
Variables can be classified in several ways:
Dependent and Independent Variables. The variables that the researcher wish to explain are
regarded as dependent variables (or criterion variables). The other variable expected to
explain the change in the dependent variable is referred to as an independent variable (or
predictor variable).

The dependent variable is the expected outcome of the independent variable and the independent
variables produce dependent variables.
Beside this there are certain variables controlled by the experimenter because they are not of
direct interest but all likely to produce changes in the event measured. These are known as
control variables or relevant or extraneous variables.
Ex; Illiteracy of mothers lead to female infanticide, female infanticide is the dependent variable
and the literacy levels of mothers is the independent variable. In social mobility studies, the
dependent variable is the level of occupational attainment of individuals while the independent
variables include other phenomena that may explain this level, such as the occupations of parents
and the educational achievements of the individual concerned.

Qualitative and Quantitative Variables.

Qualitative variables are those which consist of categories that cannot be ordered in magnitude
e.g. ethnicity, religion. Quantitative variables refer to those variables which are composed of Page 13
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categories that can be ordered in magnitude e.g.: temperature, decibel levels. A hypothesis may
have variables and it may be looking for the nature of the relationship between the variables. The
variables should therefore, be related to the theory upon which the researcher is working. The
researcher should also factor in certain practical considerations, like the number of variables,
time consideration, and nature of variables.

Significance of Variables
Sociologists attempt to make sense out the world by observing the behavior of people within
society, developing theories to explain this behavior, translating their theories into working
hypotheses that can be tested, and conducting empirical research to test whether or not their
theories are supported.
One of the key factors in this process is the identification and operational definition of variables -
- traits, characteristics, or other measurable factors that can have different values -- that impact
the phenomenon of interest.
 Variable analysis of hypothesis leads to theory building.

 Extraneous variables: A well designed experiment eliminates as many unmeasured

variables as possible. This makes it easier to observe relationships between the
independent and dependent variables. These unforeseen factors can affect the result.

3b) Discuss the relevance of „Historical Method‟ in the study of society.

Sociology, as a science uses
certain methods by which
sociological facts could be
collected, analysed and put
into proper form and certain
conclusions drawn from
Sociology, like every other
science is an objective study
of natural systems and since
the social system, like all
systems, evolves in course
of time, it must be
investigated from the very
process of its evolution through methods used in such branches of study.
As the social phenomena are very complex and the data to be collected is very large sociologists
have been employing various methods for investigating social phenomenon.
According to Chapin, there are three main methods of Sociology. These are
1. The historical method,
2. The statistical method
3. Field work observation method.

Ellwood has mentioned five methods Page 14
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1. Anthropological or comparative method,

2. Historical method,
3. Survey method,
4. Deductive method
5. Philosophical method.

The Historical Method:

The Historical Method consists of a study of events, processes and institutions of past
civilizations for the purpose of finding the origins or antecedents of contemporary social life and
thus of understanding its nature and working.
This method is based on the idea that our present forms of social life, our customs and traditions,
beliefs and values, and our ways of living as such have their roots in the past and that one can
best explain them by tracing them back to their origins.
Relevance of Historical Method
The utility and wide
acceptances of the
historical method have
resulted in one of the
fields of sociology
known as “historical
sociology.” “Historical
sociology studies
societies of the remote
as well as of recent past
to discover origins of,
and find explanations
for, our present ways of
In a way, all types of
sociological researches
are historical for the sociologists make use of the records relating to the things that have
happened or have been observed. But generally, the term “historical sociology” is applied to the
study of social facts which are more than fifty or so years old.
The historical approach has taken two main forms;
(i) The first one is highly influenced by the biological theory of evolution
(ii) The second one by the economic interpretation.
(i)In the first approach concentration is made on the issues such as the origins, development and
transformation of societies and social institutions. This is actually concerned with the entire span
of human history.
Comte, Spencer and Hobhouse used this approach to study the development of the whole society.
E. Westermarck and F. Oppenheimer followed this method to study the development of
institutions such as marriage and state in their famous studies of “History of Human Marriage”
and “The State” respectively. Page 15
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(ii) The second approach was characteristic of the works of Max Weber and his followers. Weber
strongly criticised Mark‟s materialist conception of history and his “formula for the causal
explanation of historical reality”. He advocated the idea of economic „interpretation‟ of history.
Weber applied this approach in his studies of the origins of Capitalism, the development of
modern bureaucracy, and the economic influence of the world religions. In these studies,
particular historical changes of social structures are investigated and interpreted. Very recently
C. Wright Mills and Raymond Aron also came under the influence of Weber‟s methodology in
their studies.
However, this method cannot help us in studying all the problems of Sociology. The scope of
Sociology cannot be limited to the study of facts provided by History.
 The historical facts, as contained in life histories, diaries, etc., may be revealing but they
have little use for scientific investigation, they may not be able to answer all the questions
that may be raised, by a sociologist. (Inadequate content analysis)
 The historical facts also run the risk of not being studied objectively by the interpreters.
(Problem of objectivity)
The Historical Method, therefore, was being not wholly adequate and dependable for the study of
social phenomenon, calls for the employment of other methods for enquiry into field of

3c) Social Research Design

A social research is a systematic procedure to seek explanation to unexplained social phenomena
to clarify the doubtful and misconceived facts. A research is a scientific process to discover new
facts and verify old facts in attempt to explain causal relationship of a phenomenon. Research is
aimed at generating concepts, theories and reliable explanations.
A social research involves the following steps.
 Selection of Research Problem
 Review of Related Literature
 Formulation of Research Objectives
 Devising Hypotheses
 Making the Research Design - methodology
 Sampling procedure
 Data Collection
 Data Analysis and Interpretation
 Hypotheses Testing
 Deriving findings, conclusion and suggestions
 Report Writing

1) Selection of Research Problem

Research problem is simply the topic of the research. Selection of research problem involves
selecting a broad area and then narrowing it down to a specific topic. For example, a research
may select a broad area for his research such as Domestic Violence. He split this broad area into Page 16
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sub-areas to select one sub-area from them as a topic for his research. The purpose of narrowing
down the broad area in to sub-areas is to select a specific and manageable topic for the research.
2) Review of Related Literature

The next step is to study available literature on the topic – all the previously done work on the
topic including research thesis, research papers, books, reports and publications. The purpose of
reviewing the related literature is:
 To understand various aspect of the topic – required for conducting the research.
 To understand the nature of work done on the topic
 To identify research gaps – those areas which have not been explored by others
 To make a theoretical background for the study
3) Formulation of Research Objectives

Objectives are aims that you want to explore in the research. The simple way to make objectives
is to first make questions that what do you want to explore about the topic and then convert these
questions into objectives.
4) Devising Hypotheses

A hypothesis is a testable assumption showing a relationship among certain variables. It can be a

false or true statement. It is put to test in the research to check its authenticity. Hypothesis is a
logical relationship and is relevant to the theme of the research. It becomes a base for the
research. It specifies the focus of the research. It makes it easier for the researcher to carry on
the research to generate productive findings.
5) Making Research Design

The research design is a plan for a research. It outlines the methods and procedures used in the
research. It tells how the researcher wants to conduct the research. It includes the following:
 Type of methodology- e.g. quantitative or qualitative method
 Type of procedure or tools used e.g. questionnaire, interview, or observation
 Size and quality of the sample e.g. Respondents
 Data analysis e.g. software, manual, graphs, tables etc.
A research may also mention other considerations of research in the research design such as
description of the geographical area of research, ethical considerations and variables of the
study. Research design keeps the researcher on tract during the research.
6) Sampling Procedure

Sampling means to select a part of population for study. It is difficult for a researcher to study all
the population of an area due to limited resources – time, money and energy. Hence, a part of the
population is selected for research study. The number of total respondents for a sample is known
as sample-size.
Sampling procedure means how to select respondents from population to make a sample which is
true representative of the entire population. There are various sample procedures such as random
sampling, stratified sampling, purposive sampling, probability sampling, non-probability
sampling and so on. The sampling procedure and sample sized is always mentioned in the
research design. Page 17
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7) Data Collection

Data collection is an important phase of the research. The data is collected for deriving findings,
results and theories. There are two types of data: primary data and secondary data.
(i)Primary data: It is the data which is collected for the first time by the researcher from
respondents. The research has to visit the respondents and collect data from them using his
selected tool of data collection, e.g. a questionnaire, interview or observation etc. It requires a lot
of fieldwork activity.
(ii)Secondary data: It is the data which has already been collected by others and is available in
the form of books, reports, papers, websites, magazine, encyclopaedia and so on. Such a data is
called secondary data.
8) Data Analysis and Interpretation

The collected data is properly analysed to generate findings. Data analysis involves data editing,
data coding, data classification, measurement and interpretation. Data editing means to check the
collected data for errors or missing information and correct it accordingly. Data coding means to
scale the variables in the data so that they can be measured. Various scaling methods may be
used, such as nominal scale, ordinal scale or interval scale.
The data is classified on the basis of relevancy and is presented in the forms of tables, graphs,
charts, diagram or texts so that it can be easily analysed by the researcher. The data may also be
statistically measured with the help assigned scales. The researcher analyse the data to extract the
important findings from the data.
9) Hypothesis Testing

The hypothesis of the research is tested in the light of analysed data. For example, the hypothesis
„Higher the poverty in a society, higher will be the crime rate‟. The relationship of poverty and
crime rate in the analysed data will either verify or reject this hypothesis. Similarly, the
researcher may use some test to test the hypothesis such as chi-square test.
10) Deriving findings, conclusion and suggestions

Data analysis generates findings of the study. The research has to derive conclusion and
suggestions on the basis of the finding the study. The conclusion is usually a summary of the
findings which include only the most significant findings. The research has to devise some
suggestions or recommendations, in the light of findings, to the audience of the research report
11) Report Writing

After conducting a research, all the details of the research (e.g. basic concepts, literature studied,
methodology, findings, suggestions etc. are compiled into a research report. The purpose of
writing the research report is to record your observations and present it to the audience.

4(a)The goal of „value neutrality‟ is highly desirable but equally difficult to be

achieved in the study of social phenomena. Evaluate.
„Value neutrality‟, means that the researcher studies a social phenomenon „objectively‟ and
does not allow his/her values from interfering with the matter of research.
However, assigning „moral values‟, to social phenomena is an inescapable result of being part of
society. It is argued that rendering „value free sociology is „inconceivable‟. Page 18
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Positivists View
The founders of sociology believed that sociology „could and should‟ be value-free. Positivists
like, August Comte and Emile Durkheim argued that „objectivity‟ was attainable by adopting a
„scientific‟ methodology.
However, despite their claims, their own work did not meet the criteria necessary for complete
value neutrality. Marxists have shown the importance they attach to „inequality‟ in their study of
social reality
Non-Positivist view
Max Weber, however, did not think that complete „value-freedom‟, was possible, but he did
believe that, once a topic for research had been chosen, the researcher could be objective. He
recognized that values would influence the „choice of topics‟. „Value relevance‟ would
influence the choice.
According to him, it is the duty of sociologists to „identify‟ and „acknowledge‟, their own values
and overcome their „personal biases‟ when conducting sociological research.
Researchers would choose to research topics which they thought were, of central importance of
society. However, Weber‟s writings on „bureaucracy „, were strongly influenced by his fear that
bureaucratic organizations would stifle human freedom.
Contemporary View:
However, according to many „contemporary sociologists‟, there is, no prospect of a completely
value free sociology. According to them, total objectivity is impossible because values
inevitably enter every stage of the production of „sociological knowledge'
Alvin Gouldner, believed that in practice all sociologists commit themselves to a particular set
of „domain assumptions‟, and these direct the way that research is conducted and conclusions
are reached. Domain assumptions, would determine, whether quantitative or qualitative methods
are adopted.
Therefore, according to Gouldner, since sociologists must have values, they should be open
about them so that others can decide, to what degree values have influenced the research.
The choice is between an expression of one‟s values, as open and honest, or a vain ritual of
„moral neutrality‟.

Post Modern View

For the Post modernists „value laden observations‟, as yet another source of knowledge that
could be considered equally important.
Lyotard, rejects the possibility of producing any objective knowledge. According to him,
knowledge simply reflects the „viewpoint‟ and the „values‟ of different social groups.
In „designing and carrying‟ out research all researchers have to be „selective.‟ After the
collection of data, researchers need to „interpret‟, the results as the results do not speak for
Therefore, many sociologists, caution readers, to understand that sociological studies may, by
necessity, contain a certain amount of „value bias‟.
Value neutrality, therefore, does not mean having no opinions. It just means that sociologists
must strive to „overcome‟ personal biases, when analyzing data. The sociologists must avoid
„„skewing data‟, in order to match a predetermined outcome that aligns with a particular agenda
Ways of achieving „value neutrality „may be many but it is highly desirable in sociological
research, for producing valid data. Page 19
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4 b) What is validity in sociological research? Explain the relationship between

validity and reliability.
Reliability along with validity is a tool to measure the usefulness of the data collected either
through primary or secondary source.
Validity concerns itself with the degree of achieving the intended result. A result is valid if it
achieves what it has supposed to be achieved.
Reliability refers to ability of an instrument to produce consistent or same result.
 Reliability is achieved when there is uniformity of measurement but validity depends
upon the correct measurement. Reliability is a degree to which measures are free from
error. So that they give same result when repeat measurements are made under constant
conditions. In other words, a scale may be said to be reliable when it gives the same
measurement under similar conditions.
If scale makes equal measurements every time, it would be reliable but certainly it wouldn‟t be
valid. Reliability is achieved when it is free from erratic measures: it is valid only when the
measurement is real and correct.

The figure beside you show four possible situations. In the first one, you are hitting the target
consistently, but you are missing the center of the target. That is, you are consistently and
systematically measuring the wrong value for all respondents. This measure is reliable, but no
valid (that is, it's consistent but wrong). The second shows hits that are randomly spread across
the target. You seldom hit the center of the target but, on average, you are getting the right
answer for the group (but not very well for individuals).
In this case, you get a valid group estimate, but you are inconsistent. Here, you can clearly see
that reliability is directly related to the variability of your measure. The third scenario shows a
case where your hits are spread across the target and you are consistently missing the center.
Your measure in this case is neither reliable nor valid. Finally, we see the "Robin Hood"
scenario -- you consistently hit the center of the target. Your measure is both reliable and valid.
Both validity and reliability are key factors in determining the research method to be used.
Quantitative methods are seen to provide greater reliability whereas are Qualitative methods
proven to be more valid.
Goode and Hyatt has given following criteria of validity of a scale:
 Logical validation: According to this principle a scale would be valid only if it stands to
our common reason. Page 20
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 Jury Opinion: This is reliable and most frequently used. In this we don‟t rely on
common sense of one person but on the judgment of number of persons.
 Independent criteria: According to this method the scale is tested on the basis of
various variables involved. If all or most of the test show the same result the scale would
be said to be valid.
 Known Groups: According to this method the scale is administered among the persons
who are known to hold a particular opinion or belong to a particular category and the
results are compared with known fact.

4C) Can sociology be called a science? Examine.

Science is a body of systematic knowledge which is based on reason and evidences.
 Science is “a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths
systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws.
 Science adopts scientific method. Scientific knowledge is acquired through observation,
experimentation, generalization etc.
 Science has the following characteristics such as objectivity, observation, accurate
prediction, experimentation, accurate measurement, generalisation and cause-effect

Sociology is a Science:
According to Aguste Comte and Durkheim, “Sociology is a science because it adopts and
applies the scientific method. Sociology does make use of scientific methods in the study of its
subject matter. Hence Sociology is a science. It is a science because of the following reasons:
(1) Sociology adopts scientific method:
Sociology studies social events by adopting scientific method. Though it cannot do experiment
with men in a laboratory still man‟s social behaviour is subject to scientific investigation like
natural phenomenon. It employs scientific methods as case study, interview and questionnaire
which is used to quantitatively measure social phenomenon.
(2) Sociology makes accurate observation:
Observation is possible in the field of sociology even if it does not possess a laboratory. Accurate
observation is also possible outside the laboratory. The whole social world is the laboratory of
(3) Objectivity is possible in Sociology:
Like natural sciences Sociology also makes objective study. Sociology can also make objective
study of social phenomena. New techniques and methods are also introduced to make social
phenomena more objective.
(4) Sociology describes cause-effect relationship:
Like natural sciences Sociology also traces the cause and find the answers. While studying
family or population growth Sociology has traced the relationship between family
disorganization and divorce and population growth and poverty. Family disorganization is the
cause of divorce and population growth is the cause of poverty. Thus sociology describes cause-
effect relationship in social disorganization and population explosion. Page 21
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(5) Sociology makes accurate measurement:

Sociology, like natural sciences also accurately measures social phenomena or relationships. By
using statistical method, socio-metric scale, scales of measurement sociology effectively and
accurately measure social relationships.
(6) Sociology makes accurate Prediction:
Like natural sciences sociology does frame laws and attempts to predict more accurately. On the
basis of cause-effect relationship sociology can accurately predict about future.
If there will be dowry in society then it will lead to suicide, poverty. Cuvier opines this
predictive value of Sociology is improved day by day. As Sociology matures day by day it
predicts more accurately.
(7) Sociology makes generalization:
The notion that generalization drawn by social sciences are not universal proved wrong. Like
natural sciences Sociology became able to draw generalization which is universally applicable.
The concept of incest taboo-prohibited sex relationship among blood relatives is a universal
Sociology is Not a Science:
There are some others like Max-weber who deny the status of science to Sociology. He said
Sociology can‟t be an objective Science. However, those who deny the status of science to
Sociology they put forth following arguments:
(1) Lack of objectivity:
Sociology cannot be called a science because it cannot maintain complete objectivity with social
phenomena. Sociologist has his own prejudice and bias hence he cannot observe his subject with
complete detachment. Complete objectivity in the study of human behaviour is impossible
Sociology deals with social relationships which cannot studied like physical objects. Hence
objectivity is not possible in Sociology.
(2) Lack of Experimentation:
Sociology is not a science because it can‟t make experimentation. Sociology deals with human
relationships which cannot be put to laboratory test.
(3) Lack of Prediction:
Like natural sciences Sociology can‟t accurately make prediction. Natural Sciences make
prediction on the basis of certain data. But Sociology deals with social relationships and human
behaviour which are so uncertain and peculiar that we can‟t make any accurate prediction about
it. We can‟t predict what will be one‟s behaviour at a certain point of time nor we can predict
about the trends or speed of social change.
(4) Lack of accurate measurement:
Sociology can‟t make accurate measurement like natural sciences. There are definite standards of
measurement like Meter by which it is possible to measure things. But in Sociology we have no
such measuring instruments. Besides sociology deals with social relationships which is
qualitative in nature which can‟t be measured.
(5) Lack of Generalisation:
Sociology can‟t make generalisations like natural sciences which is universally applicable.
Sociology deals with human behaviour and no two individuals are alike. Hence the conclusions
drawn by Sociology can‟t be uniform or universally applicable. Social Phenomena are so
complex and complicated and is governed by so many factors that it is really difficult to draw a
conclusion which will be universally applicable.
(6) Terminological Inefficiency: Page 22
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Sociology suffers from terminological inefficiency. Sociology has not yet been able to develop
adequate set of scientific terms. Many terms used in Sociology is vague and carry different
meaning to different persons. For example, the term caste and class has not yet acquired clear
meaning. Hence Sociology is not a science.
The above argument shows that Sociology is not a science.
But famous Sociologist Robert Bierstedt in his book “The social order” clearly explain the
nature of Sociology in the following way:
a. Sociology is a social and not a natural science.
b. Sociology is a positive and not a normative science.
c. Sociology is a pure science and not an applied science.
d. Sociology is an abstract science and not a concrete science.
e. Sociology is a generalising science and not a particularising science.
f. Sociology is both a rational and an empirical science. Page 23
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1 a) Challenges to Indian Nationalism.

Weber defines nation as a community of sentiments.

David McCrone defines nationalism as „community of people who are seeking their own
government over a territory‟. He gives two type of Nationalism
1. Civic Nationalism - When nationalism is inspired by the idea of „citizenship‟ and a
2. Ethnic Nationalism- McCrone calls it Primordial nationalism where nationalism is
inspired by the sentiments of sharing an „ethnicity‟ or „cultural community‟.

Yogendra Singh asserts that if Idea of India is to survive, it has to transcend regional, lingual
and religious ties. It has to take inspiration from ideals and Institutions of National Freedom
struggle and Constitution of India‟.
Thus, various challenged to Indian nationalism are:
 Regionalism, which gives primacy to regional identity over the national identity. Beteille
says that regionalism is India exists as people gain more benefit due to their regional
identity over then national identity.
 Communalism is the use of one‟s religious identity for political mobilization.
Communalism threatens Indian nationalism as the use of religious identity in politics
leads to divide among various religious group in the society leading to majoritarianism
and minority appeasement, overlooking national interest.
 Ethnic Conflict, which again leads to greater primacy to primordial identity over
national identity and can lead to conflict between the two, such as Naga insurgency.
 Casteism, which leads to discrimination based on caste and prevent a single national
identity to emerge.
 Patriarchy, which according to Mrinal Pande is inherent in Indian nationalism and
leaves woman to enjoy status of somewhere between „alien‟ and „citizen‟.
 Cultural Colonialism due to the rise of majoritarianism which leads to the creation of a
sense of relative deprivation among the minority section and leads to ethno-centric
reaction, such as anti-Hindi movement.
 Social Classes due to poverty, deprivation and exclusion which weakens civic

b) Institutional communalism in India

Communalism is the use of religion as a source of identification for cultural and

political mobilization. Page 25
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 Institutional communalism can be defined as the failure of an institute to provide

appropriate and professional service to people and treat them equally because of their
religious identity.
In India institutional communalism can
be seen from:
 Higher social capital of the upper caste
Hindus have provided them a privileged
position in the political, social, cultural
and eventually economic networks.
 Increase in scapegoating where any
form of social disorganization is blamed
on the minorities, such as lack of
adequate number of job creation is
blamed on minority reservation in employment.
 Stereotyping of the minorities by the institutions of the state, such as Manisha Sethi‟s
study on police crackdown of Muslims right after any terrorist activity.
 Occupational stereotyping, such as in the executive it is a Muslim Member of
Parliament who is generally made the Minister of Minority of Affairs.
 Patwant Singh demonstrates how in the media reportage of Punjab afternoon Operation
Blue Star, the inherent bias due to the Hindu control of the Indian media led to distorted
reports and commentaries that perpetuated pre-existing prejudices against the Sikhs and
led to distorted information being fed to the citizens of India.
 Institutional communalism is evident in political sphere also where the political parties
allocate tickets based on the dominant community of the constituency.

c) Analysis of Indian Society through Marxist Approach:

Marx pointed out that different sub-formations within a society could not be understood
adequately if seen in the context of the historical level. Thus, the Marxist approach endeavours to
locate, within a specific society, the forces which preserve and forces which prompt it to change,
 The Marxist approach focuses on the type of property relations prevailing in the Indian
society as crucial-axial element for properly understanding the nature of transformation
that has been taking place in the country.
 This approach does not demand “Economic Reductionism “it also does not deny the
autonomy, or prevalence of distinct institutional and normative features peculiar to a
particular society.
For e.g.It does not deny the necessity of understanding the institution like caste system,
religions, linguistic or tribal groups or even specific cultural traditions which are
characteristics of the Indian society.
 Desai feels that adoption of the Marxist approach will be helpful in studying the
industrial relations, not merely as management-labour relations, but as capital-labour Page 26
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relations, and also in the context of the state wedded to capitalist path of development,
shaping these relations.
 It will help understand the dynamics of rural, urban, educational and other developments,
which is being created by the state shaping the development on capitalist path of
E.g. Engineering colleges to IT industry worker via placement cells
 The Marxist approach will also assist in understanding why institutions generating higher
knowledge-products, sponsored, financed and basically shaped by the state, pursuing a
path of capitalist development, will not basically allow the paradigms and approaches to
study, which may expose the myth spread about state as welfare neutral state and reveal
it as basically a capitalist state.
E.g. Various social and welfare reports released by the Government on improving
human development, subsidies etc.
 Desai says The constitution evolved is a bourgeois constitution and the leadership is
representing capitalist class and is reshaping the economy and society on capitalist path.
The slogan of socialistic pattern is a hoax to create illusion and confuse the masses. The
real intentions and practices are geared to the development on capitalist lines.
E.g. Recent OXFAM report shows the highest inequality in India which is in
contravention of Directive Principles.
Many of our elected representatives are Industrialists.
 According to Desai, the bourgeoisie is the dominant class in India. The Indian society is
based on the capitalist economy. The dominant culture in our country is therefore the
culture of the dominant capitalist class.
E.g. Evolution of PAGE-3 culture in India
 Desai argues that Indian bourgeoisie built up a fundamentally secular bourgeois
democratic state, which has been imparting modern scientific, technological and liberal
democratic education. This class and its intelligentsia have been, in the cultural field
revivalist and more and more popularizing supporting and spreading old religious and
idealistic philosophic concepts among the people. (Internal Contradiction)
 The social role played by this culture is reactionary since it gives myopic picture of the
physical universe and the social world, a mis-explanation of the fundamental causes of
the economic and social crises, opiates the consciousness of the masses and tries to
divert the latter from advancing on the road of specific solutions of their problems.
E.g. Jobs crisis vs communal issues in electorates.

 It provides historical location or specification of all social phenomena. It recognizes the

dialectics of evolutionary as well as revolutionary changes of the breaks in historical
continuity in the transition from one socio-economic formation to another. In this
context A R Desai tried to understand the Indian society which also reflects in his work. Page 27
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d) Characteristics of Westernization.
The concept of Westernization was constructed by M.N. Srinivas to describe the process of
social and cultural mobility in the traditional social structure of India. It has also emerged, in
Srinivas‟ study of the Coorgs of south India.
The author has defined westernisation as:
“…the change brought about in Indian society and culture as a result of over 150 years of
British rule, the term subsuming changes occurring at different levels…technology,
institutions, ideology and values “(1962).
Some of the important characteristics of westernisation included by Srinivas are
1. Humanitarianism:
Westernisation is loaded with certain value preferences. “A most important value, which in
turn subsumes several other values, is what may be broadly characterised as
humanitarianism, by which is meant an active concern for the welfare of all human beings,
irrespective of caste, economic position, religion, age and sex.” Srinivas has argued that the
term „humanitarianism‟ is quite comprehensive. It is inclusive of a large number of other
values, the important being the welfare of all.
2. Equalitarianism:
Westernisation has another value of equalitarianism. It is a democratic value and stands for
minimising inequality, removal of poverty and liberty to all. The humanitarianism, as a
characteristic of westernisation, stands for a society which could be called as a socialist
society in the long run.
3. Secularisation:
Both the British rule and at a later stage the Constitution of India introduced a new value of
secularisation. Secular India is conceived as a nation charged by the idiom of a rational and
bureaucratic society. Accordingly, the state is required to have respect for all the religions of
the society. It also includes the value of scientific ethics.
4. Initiation of social reforms:
The introduction of British law put an end to certain inequalities that were part of Hindu and
Islamic jurisprudence. The evil institutions of sati, untouchability and purdah got
condemnation from the spread of the notions of equalitarianism and secularisation.
5. Predominance of science and technology:
The British rule also introduced science and technology in Indian society. This brought
railways, steam engines and technology. As a result of this, the Indian society moved
towards industrialisation. Though, science and technology came as a setback to village
industries and local arts and artefacts, the industrial growth increased.
This also gave encouragement to urban development. Migration from village to town and
city also increased.
There was a take-off from tradition to modernity during this period. Industrialisation and
urbanisation also introduced new values in society. Many of the traditional institutions like
untouchability and caste received new interpretation.
In post-independent India westernisation got accelerated. The Indian society came in contact
with other countries also apart from the British which broadened their outlook. Page 28
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e) Examine Buddhism and its impact on Indian Society (10 M)

Buddhism emerged as a social movement in ancient India against the orthodox Vedic Hindu
religion which aimed to bring about orthogenetic change in the society.
Buddhism had transformed Indian social structure which is evident from:
 It challenged the orthodox practices of Hinduism and its notions of purity and pollution.
 It promoted equality by challenging ascription-based stratification

 Galvanized Hinduism: The thesis of Hinduism clashed with the Anti-thesis of Buddhism
to produce a new synthesized Hinduism.
 It attempted to replace mysticism in the Indian society with asceticism by promoting
frugality and hard work over rituals and notions of pre-destination.

 It promoted humanism by laying emphasis on the values of love, compassion and non-
 In the twentieth century Buddhism emerged as an ideology of subaltern class when Dr.
BR Ambedkar interpreted Buddhism as the ideology to bring social equality and justice
for the oppressed mass, especially for the Scheduled Castes.
 However, A.R. Desai is critical of the nationalistic and liberal historians view about
Buddhism and Jainism. A.R. Desai indicates that Buddhism and Jainism glorified the
dominant caste values by simply offering space for expansion of dominant class than
making India an egalitarian society.

2a) Indian tradition today exhibits a form of neo-traditionalism along with

modernization. Comment.
Neo-traditionalism means “A re-adoption or revival of traditional styles, values, practices, etc.”
Following independence modernization process in India underwent a basic change from its
colonial pattern. Modernity at all levels of structural and cultural systems became part of
developmental plan. The discontinuity between micro and macro structures which was present
during British regime was consciously abolished.
Steps taken:
1. Introduction of adult suffrage and federal parliamentary form of political structure has
carried politicization to every social sphere.

2. Conscious legal reforms in Hindu marriage and inheritance laws have affected the
structure of traditional Hindu family.
3. Community development programme has carried the cultural norms and structures of
modernity to each and every village. Page 29
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4. Land reforms and establishment of Panchayat Raj institutions has ushered in bureaucratic
form of political participation in both management and administration of justice.

5. Caste itself underwent radical transformation, developed new functional adaptations

(democratization of polity) and served as an important structural network in the process
of modernization.
6. This modernization further got strengthened after the LPG reforms initiated gradually in
India in the 80‟s and 90‟s and consolidated itself after the IT revolution in 2000‟s

However due to lack of internalization of values of modernity, our social structure had vestiges
of traditionalism which on contact with modernizing forces underwent metamorphosis to form a
sort of “Neo-Traditionalism”.

Neo-traditionalism in India:
 It can serve as a strategy of political legitimation (Right –wing parties constant reference
to sampradaya) and it is deployed in different ways by both elites and ordinary people.
 Neo-traditionalism can be especially prominent in contexts of rapid social change or
when people question the nature or benefits of that which is presented as
“developmental” or “modern.
E.g. LPG reforms causing more income inequalities many villagers have rejected the
 Democratic participation (e.g. panchayat village councils in India but rather of specific
efforts to identify and promulgate particular and always modified versions of
remembered culture and institutions as neo-traditions. (Rama-rajya).
 They can be especially useful tools for the consolidation of group identity in
circumstances of rapid and confusing social change, at a time of rapid class
transformation, urbanization, and the decline of feudal forms of social solidarity. (e.g.
Rise of Virat/Khattar-Hindu culture, Islam-kaafir culture).
 Neo-traditionalism thrives on remembered culture and contested traditions
 Precipitation of new understandings of “traditional” culture, emphasizing women‟s
subordination, powerful elder male chieftaincy, and rigid customary land laws. (khaps,
Fatwas, sriram sena, Bajrang dal etc.)
 Neo-traditional redeployments of historically rooted practices of intergroup solidarity and
trust in new, more modern circumstances.
E.g Traditional family led business houses and banks (Reliance, Birlas etc.)
 Activists, proponents of indigenous rights, and environmentalists evoke historical
patterns of holism and harmony with nature as neo-traditional alternatives to the
perceived irresponsibility, materialism, imperialism, and unsustainability of the same
liberal democratic capitalist order.

In an era of rapid globalization of trade and communication, as well as the standardization of

liberal democratic politics and free-market economics, neo-traditionalism represents an Page 30
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important mode of localist response or resistance to perceived external domination or cultural


2b) Limitations of Indological Approach.

The Indological approach rested on the assumption that historically, Indian society
and culture are unique and that this „contextually‟ specificity of Indian social realities
could be grasped better through the „texts‟.
The texts basically included the classical ancient literature of ancient Indian society
such as Vedas, Puranas, Manu Smriti, Ramayana, Mahabharata and others.
Indologists analyse social phenomena by interpreting the classical texts.
Apart from Sanskrit scholars and Indologists, many sociologists have also used exten-
sively traditional texts to study Indian society. Therefore, it is called as “textual view”
or “textual perspective” of social phenomena.
 Bernard S. Cohn has analysed orientalists‟ perspective to explain the textual
view. The orientalists took a textual view of India offering a picture of its
society as being static, timeless and space less. Thus there was no regional
variation and no questioning of the relationship between perspective and the
actual behaviour of groups.
 They were against the acceptance of theoretical and methodological
orientations of the western countries. These scholars emphasized the role of
traditions, groups rather than individual as the basis of social relations and
religion, ethics and philosophy as the basis of social organization.
E.g. R.N. Saxena agrees with this Indological or scriptural basis of studying
Indian society. He stressed on the role of the concepts of Dharma, Artha, Kama
and Moksha.
 AR Desai criticized them for ignoring inequality, exploitation, dialectic
present in Indian Society.
 Yogendra Singh advocated that Indologists take examples from the ancient
text which is based on non-observable and non-empirical evidence.
 MN Srinivas criticized Ghurye‟s study as being biased towards the
Brahmanical view. (Normally we see that the Brahmins were the people who
were having a command over the Sanskrit and for writing the scripts.)
 Personal bias in selection of the scriptures and the verses to justify one‟s
viewpoint and selective ignorance of contradictory verses etc. Page 31
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2c) Explain the concepts of Little and Great traditions along with its significance.

It is a conceptual framework that was first used by Robert Redfield in his study of Mexican
communities to conceptualize social change. It says all civilizations start from primary level of
cultural organization and in the course of time is diversified not only through internal growth but
also through contact with other civilizations.
 Civilizations or structures of tradition grow in two stages – „orthogenetic‟ or indigenous
evolution which is due to internal creative urges and „heterogenetic‟ evolution or contact
with other civilization.
 Little tradition and great tradition explain orthogenetic change through concept of
tradition and its social organization in societies with profound historical past.
 Little Tradition refers to the social structure of folks or unlettered peasants while those of
elites or „reflexive few‟ is called „great tradition‟.
 While the Little Tradition is often localized, Great Tradition has a tendency to spread out.
In Indian context it was used by Milton Singer and McKimm Marriot in their study; Village
India: Studies in the Little Community, 1955.
McKimm Marriot in his study of Kishangarh village in North India finds that structure of village
culture and its organization has elements of both little and great tradition. Some elements of little
tradition are sent upward which he terms as „universalization‟ and some elements of great
tradition are passed downwards which he terms as „parochialisation‟. Mostly great tradition
spreads to Little tradition. Eg : Sanskritisation , Bharatanatyam spread to local area via Devadasi
Eg : Eating Beef is Universalization - Earlier Tribal/lower castes practiced it but now
Westernized Indians are consuming it too. Similarly, Ganapati, Shiva were tribal deities that are
now accepted by Indian society as a whole.
 These two processes help in maintaining the unity of society according to McKimm
Marriot. Further, little and great traditions are also interdependent and modernizing
forces. They are not only accepted, but they get absorbed in tradition.
 This conception of social change is wider than Srinivas‟ concept of Sanskritization as it
deals with reverse process as well which may be termed as de-Sanskritisation.

Criticism: -
 However, according to Yogendra Singh, the concept explains only cultural change and
not structural change.

 Yogendra Singh also criticizes the approach of using the words like „little‟ for the folk
traditions and hence attaching a biased notion of inferiority.
 According to S C Dube, the dichotomy between a binary „little‟ and „great‟ simply
doesn‟t reflect the all aspects of Indian tradition. He gave a concept of „multiple
traditions‟ instead and according to him, there is a hierarchy of tradition that exists and Page 32
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according to him there are six such traditions – classical tradition, emergent national
tradition, regional tradition, local tradition, western tradition and subcultural traditions.

These twin processes fosters collaboration, cooperation and unequal interaction between the two.
Through the regularity of interaction between the two, Indian civilization marches forward

3a) Discuss the process of modernization of Indian tradition. What are the impediments to
this process?

According to Yogendra Singh modernity is a multivariable and multi causal phenomenon. He

uses Weberian approach of causal plurality to describe the constituent of modernity.
He says modernity is characterized by intensity and proportion of variables such as
1) Social mobilization
2) Capitalist markets, media
3) Democratic and political institutions

4) Internalization of values of humanity and rationality.

Yogendra Singh says tradition (value themes encompassing entire social system) prior to
modernization was based on hierarchy, holism, continuity and transcendence. Here holism means
individual is subservient to society.
Yogendra Singh says holism implied a relationship between individual and group in which
former was encompassed by the latter in respect of rights and duties. For example family, village
community caste, political territory.
Transcendence is characterized by principles of Karma and transmigration of soul.
It also legitimizes the traditional values which could never be challenged on the grounds of
rationality derived from non-sacred scales of evaluation.
Transcendence forms a super concept contributing to integration of other value themes in
perpetuating traditionality.

Is modernisation orthogenetic or heterogenetic phenomenon

There are two contrasting lines of thoughts about evolution of modernity in India. Orientalist and
Indologist claim that India was essentially modern, they cite the example of Indus valley
civilization and its modern town planning features, acceptance of nakedness (dancing
girl, socially modern) as a primary example.
Yogendra Singh says that traditional social structure of India comprising of Little and Great
traditions experienced many changes before the beginning of Western contact.
1. Buddhism and Jainism emerged as protest movements against the Hindu caste system.
Their growth led to formation of new caste like groups which later degenerated into
castes, there by contributing to the plurality of Indian society.
These movements also had impact on political and economic structure. Eg-Jainism was an urban
movement, it led to the rise of new Mercantile class. Page 33
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2. Other orthogenetic movements like Sikhism, Arya samaj, Brahmo samaj, Bhakti
movement etc also led to plurality of egalitarianism.

However, Yogendra Singh says these movements were either the breakaway processes to
establish parallel great traditions or to repair present great tradition. Hence structural changes
were very few and did not alter the system as a whole.
Andre Beteille says the role differentiation amongst the participants had segmental and lightest
character. It was confined only two upper category of society. Hence none of the orthogenetic
movements had meaningful impact on political, stratification systems against which they
Heterogenetic movements:
Islamic tradition in India came from a heterogenetic source. It was established through
Islam was a value based holistic religion, but had no hierarchy. Its value theme of
transcendence was rooted in the principle of absolute monotheism. This contrast in value
themes however did not radically transform Indian society. Yogendra Singh says this is
because both were traditional systems. Some authors point to large scale conversion to Islam
as a structural outlet for deprived Hindu castes. Yogendra Singh questions this assumption;
he says conversions led to hierarchy in Islam. Ashrafs the original immigrants never
accepted this converts and maintained social distance in terms of marriage, kinship. This
converts from Hinduism also maintained their traditional occupations and caste rituals, thus
reinforcing hierarchy. Yogendra Singh says stronger motivation behind conversion would be
new economic opportunities, security and power razor than cultural deprivation in caste
system. (Psychological appeal is far greater than sociological limitation).
Modernization in India started mainly with western contact especially with establishment of
British rule. This contact had special historicity which brought about far reaching changes in
cultural and social structure. However not all of them could be called as modernizing. The
basic direction of this contact was towards modernization, but a variety of traditional
institutions also got reinforcement. The new value themes of rationality, individualism, in
economy and society along with cumulative chain of innovation in science and technology
accelerated the process of social change. The significance of British contribution to
modernization lies in creation of such networks of social structure and culture which were
modern and pan India.
Modernizing subculture- First contact of British was with traders, interpreter in cities of
Calcutta Madras and Bombay. This led to assimilation of Western cultural norms and western
modes of learning.
E.g-Jainism Brahmo samaj, Prarthana Samaj ran a crusade against obscurantist Hindu traditions.
(Change in little tradition).
Modernization of great tradition-introduction of universalistic legal system (civil courts, high
courts), expansion and consolidation of Western type of education, industrialization,
organization, spread of new means of transport and communication, social reform paved way for
structural modernization.

 Emergence of bureaucracy (rational systems in administration, law). Page 34
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 Establishment of industrial bureaucracy.

 Formation of new classes of Indian entrepreneurs and business elite.

 Formation of new industrial working class and emergence of trade unions (mimicking
Western corporate style).
These modernizing structures had an uniform character throughout the country which led to
growth of nationalistic aspirations (change in value orientation, spread of rationality, Liberty and
equality as thought processes) further impacted in deepening of modernization.
This process however was selective and segmental as it was not integrated with the
microstructures suggest family, caste and village.

Modernity post-independence (refer first part of synopsis of 2a)

Impediments to Modernization in India:
Yogendra Singh says modernization to become an integral part of society required functional
adaptations in both structural and cultural aspects of modernizing public.
He lays out bureaucratic organization, money and market complex, generalized universalistic
norms, evolution of democratic institutions as structural conditions and normative process for
spread and deepening of modernization.
He applies Parsons theory add calls these four as evolutionary universals for a modernizing

Eisenstadt observes China and says that lack of institutional autonomy and persistence of
Confucian value systems, reiteration of strong family bonds did not lead to the modernization of
Chinese society. He says in case of India there is a peculiar structural characteristic. Here the
political system is interdependent with cultural system. For example caste that had their own
panchayats (khaps), regional autonomous groups, various political committees etc. This political
cultural autonomy facilitated assimilation of modernization without any major structural
He however says that modernity in India developed as a subculture without pervasive expansion
in to all sections of society.
A cultural prerequisite of comprehensive modernization process requires adaptive change in
value system. For instance, secularism, non-parochialism is some of the cultural demands of
modernization in modern India which traditional values continue to resist. Thus, potential
sources of breakdown in Indian process of modernization will be
 a clash between structural and cultural inconsistencies such as democratization without
spread of civic culture,
 bureaucratization without commitment to universalistic norms,
 aspiration without proportional increase in resources and distributive justice,
 verbalization of welfare ideology without its diffusion in social structure and its
implementation as a social policy,
 over urbanization without industrialization
 modernization without meaningful changes in certification system can lead to breakdown
of modernization in India of which India seems to be at a tipping point. Page 35
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3b) Discuss the limitations of structural-functionalist perspective in the analysis

of Indian society.

The main focus of Structural functionalist perspective is to account for persistence of social
reality i.e why various parts of society persist over time.
This very conception has been the source of much criticism.

The triple functional postulates;

Assuming there is value consensus in society (Functional Unity), that all things are functional
(functional universalism) and thus indispensable for society's functioning have been criticized.
This lead to functionalism being labeled as Conservative, status- quoist perspective.
Despite its limitations, the structural-functionalist tradition has been used extensively in Indian
sociology. Eminent sociologists like M N Srinivas, SC Dubey and others have used the same
methodology. Page 36
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\Limitations in the analysis of structural functionalists :

•Participant observation in structural functionalism can further generate bias in the researcher in
favor of the group under study.
•It is excessively time-consuming and limited in its scope of study.
•Structural functionalism cannot account for change in society. It emphasizes more on
persistence of social structure rather than change. Yogendra Singh says this lack of accounting
for change is because structural functionalist studies are contextual in nature
•Further, Structural functionalism is also criticized for glossing over or undermining the conflict,
injustice and exploitation in society.
•Srinivas‟s sociology has also been criticized for generalizing for the entire society based on
insights derived from village studies. That is, he is criticized for assuming macro sociological
generalization from micros-anthropological insight
•Gail Omvedt asserts that Srinivas has presented Dominant caste perspective in his study.
However, despite limitations Structural functionalism occupies an eminent place amongst
sociological tradition in India. They successfully shifted the focus of sociology from „field view‟
to the „book view‟ to understand the reality of Indian society.

Q3 c) Indian society can be seen as a system of cognitive structures. Comment.

Louis Dumont applied the Cognitive-Historical approach to study Indian society. He

asserted that Indian society is essentially different from Western traditions. And thus
Western concepts and models to study society are inapplicable in the Indian context.
 Dumont conceives of Indian social system not as a system of social
relationship but as a system of ideational and value configurations or patterns.
Accordingly Dumont developed an ideal type conception of Indian society and
approached Caste from a structuralist point of view.
 Social Change study according to Dumont should be focused on analysing
"reaction of Indian mind to the revelation of western culture"

 According to Dumont this reaction would lie in the cognitive transformation

from the principle of hierarchy to equality. It marks essentially, change in the
adoptive or transformative process within the traditional Indian cognitive

Thus cultural change is the precursor for individuality and of the social

Dumont borrowed from Bougle‟s writings and gave 3 important functions of caste:-
 Caste ensures separation on basis of rules in matter of marriage and contact. Page 37
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 It allows interdependence of work by following traditional mode of production.

 It creates a disjunction between status and power. Eg : King is the most
powerful yet Brahmins are the purest.
Criticism :
 Dumont's conception has been largely criticized for being a theoretical
assumption which doesn't correspond with the reality of caste.
 Berreman said Manu Smriti only describes what Indian society ought to be
(value prescriptions)- It does not show empirical reality of Indian society
 Static View of Society : Dumont's theory assumes that Indian society is
stagnant with little scope for social change,
 Furthermore it has been deemed to be Brahmanical view of society.
 Berreman further asserts that Status & Power are not independent of each
E.g : Dominant Caste - Low in Ritual hierarchy but achieve high status in
secular hierarchy
 Works with false dichotomy between traditional and modern - Berreman says
characterizing Caste as a uniquely Indian phenomenon is the weakest link of
his thesis.
 He doesn't acknowledge social movements against Caste ideology - Y Singh
says it is Dumont's mistake & ethnographic bias that he undermines the
influence of protests & movements in social change. Singh points out that it
was Dalit Panther movement along with political consolidation that improved
Dalit's status /subaltern classes.

Q4 a) Islamisation failed to contribute to Modernisation of Indian tradition.

Substantiate the statement while highlighting the social impact of Islamisation.

Islamic tradition in India came from a heterogenetic source - establishment by conquest Islam
was a value based holistic religion, but had no hierarchy.
Its value theme of transcendence was rooted in the principle of absolute monotheism. This
context in value themes however did not radically transform Indian tradition
Yogendra Singh says this is because both were traditional systems. Some authors point to large
scale conversions to Islam as a structural outlet for deprived Hindu Castes.
Yogendra Singh questions this assumption. He says conversion led to hierarchy in Islam.
Ashrafs, the original immigrants never accepted these converts and maintained their social Page 38
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distance in terms of kinship and marriage also. These converts from Hinduism also maintained
their traditional occupations and caste rituals. Thus reinforcing hierarchy.
Yogendra Singh says stronger motivation behind conversion would be new economic
opportunities, security and power rather than cultural deprivation in Caste system
Thus, Psychological appeal >>>> Sociological limitation.
Social Impact of Islamisation:

 Increase in social mobility by conversion.

 Hinduisation of Islam - emergence of Hierarchy + Purity - pollution criterion - Bhangis
and Ashrafs | Prevalence of endogamy, hypergamy.
 Gradual movement towards orthodoxy (internal contradiction) , reinforcement of
traditional structures , often by force and violence.
 New Identity formation.
 Emergence of new economic reference models.
 Emergence of revivalist movements.
 Symbolic integration rather than syncretism.
 Emergence of new great and little traditions (Administration became more feudal and
patrimonial), lack of recognition of equity and equality in political, civil rights.

This is why Islam failed to contribute to modernization of Indian tradition.

However, there emerged a new cultural awakening amongst the Muslims to level of the
differences of their caste sub-cultures by encouraging purist conformity with the great tradition
of Islam (Tabligh movement).

b) M.N Srinivas contends that “sociology in India is and should be social

anthropology”. What does this imply? Explain.

Sociology emerged as a discipline to study the social change being experienced by the modern
western European countries in the nineteenth century.
Social anthropology was promoted by the colonial rulers to encourage the social scientists to
study the colonies. This was so because they wanted to attain greater understanding of the
traditional colonial society, so that they can be ruled efficiently.
Sociology and social anthropology developed in India in the colonial interests and intellectual
curiosity of the western scholars on the one hand, and the reactions of the Indian scholars on the
other. Though both these disciplines are compartmentalized in western countries, in the
context of India, both these disciplines are similar and overlapping to a large extent. It is because
of this M N Srinivas argued that “sociology in India is and should be social anthropology”.
Srinivas argued that India was a traditional society but due to the forces of modernization Indian
society is today moving towards modernity. Thus, due to this the concepts of social anthropology
are still applicable for India. Further, these concepts coupled with the concepts of sociology will
allow sociologists to gather greater insight of Indian society. Page 39
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Moreover, both the disciplines use similar frameworks in the form of functionalism and
structuralism. The methodologies they adopt are also similar. For ex. MN Srinivas and Andre
Beteille used participant observation methodology in their studies. Srinivas also argued that
social anthropologists tend to closely study small societies which are relatively unchanging and
lacking in historical records. For the social anthropologists the field is a small self-contained
group of community. These features hold true for Indian society, where village studies have been
used for not only understanding the village community but generalizations have been made for
the whole society.
Social anthropology tends to be qualitative and clinical, and sociology in India has also used
qualitative methodologies to study India. Thus, there in increasing convergence between both the
disciplines, and M N Srinivas argued for that both these disciplines should be seen together due
to their vast similarities in terms of their subject matter, methodologies and perspectives.

4c) Discuss the social background of Indian Nationalism.

A R Desai used Marxist approach to study Indian society. Desai's work the social background of
Indian nationalism is not only popular for Marxist academic orientation in India but also for the
way in which it crosses fertilized sociology with history.
 For Desai Indian nationalism was a result of material conditions created by British
colonialism. New economic relations like industrialization, modernization lead to change
in traditional relations. According to Desai these new relations of production transformed
Indian society from a caste based society to class based society.

 Desai further sees the conflicting objectives of English education system. English
colonial masters wanted educated slaves but it led to emergence of class consciousness
amongst new Indian middle class.
 Here Desai emphasizes on indological method. He says writings of Tagore, Vivekananda,
Nehru reinforced self respect amongst the middle class intelligentsia.

 Desai says it is not only middle class intelligentsia that had grievances against the British.
Other newly emergent classes like Indian industrial classes had grievances about export

 Neo-industrial working class head grievances of lesser wages and poor working
 The newly developed agricultural class had problems of taxation. It was the inability of
the British colonialists to address this grievances across the social spectrum that lead to
class consciousness. (Class in itself transforms to class for itself)

 So for Desai Indian nationalism was an economic phenomenon. Page 40
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Desai further divides Indian National movement into five phases

1. Pre 1885 – There is a narrow social base, beginning of rise of middle class intelligentsia,
rise of common social platform (Indian National Congress).
2. 1885-1905 – There is a rise of new bourgeoisie (Indian entrepreneurial class),
consolidation of middle class intelligentsia, rise of economics sub nationalism (drain
theory), indianization of services, class character of Indian nationalism has begun.

3. 1905-1918 – Spread to wider social base, subaltern infusion of nationalistic sentiment

(spread to depressed classes and working class), loss of elite character of Indian
nationalism, class and ideological dichotomies led to militancy.
4. 1918-1934 – Further expansion and consolidation of social base, rise of communism
(diffusion of ideas via literature, MN Roy),shifting religious bases, rise of alternative
social movements.
5. 1934-1947 – There is consolidation of petty bourgeoisie (peasants working classes), loss
of economic backbone of British (due to World war II), diffusion of independence as an
idea (anti-colonial movement across globe), consolidation and direction to the Indian
National movement gave independence.

 Yogendra Singh says Desai ignores the importance of religion and culture. It is the
fallacy of Marxists that such a wide movement (national movement) is equated to
economic reductionism.
 Desai equated caste with the class (methodological suicide).

 Desai emphasizes more on conflict rather than on integration and solidarity.

Despite these criticisms A.R.Desai's view is a radically alternative view from all other
theoretical traditions which explained the social background of Indian Nationalism. Page 41