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BANC-102: Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology

BANC-102: Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: BANC-102/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BANC-102

Assignment Name: Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


There are three Sections in the Assignment. You have to answer all questions in all the Sections.


Total Marks: 100

Assignment – I


Answer the following in about 500 words each. 20X2= 40


a. Discuss the historical background of the development of Social and Cultural anthropology.

Ans) The study of social relationships and what we refer to as social institutions, such as family, kinship, political institutions, and economic institutions, are the main topics of social anthropology. They research social structures, behaviour norms, and rules of conduct. Cultural anthropologists research symbols, meaning systems, values, and underlying beliefs that serve as a basis for behaviour. The two branches, albeit connected, place differing emphasis on and approach their subject matter in different ways. For instance, if one is researching political institutions from a social standpoint, they will research the institutional framework of the political system, such as the Panchayat's personnel organisation, rights and responsibilities, hierarchy, and rules and interactional principles, etc.


When examining politics from a cultural perspective, one will not be as concerned with the structural elements as they will be with power negotiations, manipulation schemes, and tactics. From a cultural standpoint, it is possible to pay more attention to the methods by which positions are acquired than the positions themselves. The focus of cultural anthropologists would be on the symbols used to express and preserve authority as well as the subtle utilisation of meaning. Following the French School of Mauss, Hubert, and Durkheim historically led to the development of the social anthropological approach in Britain and the European continent. Researchers from the British school like A.R. Radcliffe-Brown, E.E. Evans-Pritchard, Bronislaw Malinowski, Raymond Firth, and others were the pinnacles of the social anthropological approach, and they had an influence on anthropologists from India like M.N. Srinivas and others.


The focus of social anthropological analysis is on hierarchical structures, cooperative and associational behaviours, formal standards of conduct, and interactional norms. Due to historical factors, cultural anthropology emerged in the United States. Franz Boas was the pioneer of cultural anthropology in the United States. Alfred Kroeber, Margaret Mead, Ruth Benedict, Ruth Bunzel, as well as other eminent academics like Darryl Forde, Melville Herskovits, Ralph Linton, and others who were his students, followed him.


Given that the majority of the native Americans were dispersed or exterminated during the colonisation process, it is more concerned with the super-organic (cultural) components than with actual social interactions that exist today. As culture is presumed to be historically derived and environmentally contextualised by definition, culture also looks at the historical and environmental facets. Thus, from a cultural perspective, we will look at how cultural features emerge, spread, and adapt to their environment, as well as how they fit into a larger system of meanings.


Although they are also explored in a social relational approach, cultural elements like meanings and values are overshadowed by the emphasis on structures. Similar to this, in a cultural approach, the structures serve as little more than a backdrop for the contextualization of meanings and symbols. For historical reasons, cultural anthropology emerged in the United States. Franz Boas was the American cultural anthropologist field's father. His pupils, including Alfred Kroeber, Margaret Mead, Ruth Benedict, and Ruth Bunzel, as well as other eminent academics like Darryl Forde, Melville Herskovits, Ralph Linton, and others, followed him.


As the majority of the indigenous people of America were dispersed or eliminated during the colonisation process, it deals more with the super-organic (cultural) components than with actual extant social interactions. As culture is believed to be historically generated and contextualised within the environment, it also looks at historical and environmental factors. Therefore, from a cultural perspective, we'll look at how cultural features emerge, spread, and adapt to their environment, as well as how they fit into a broader system of meanings.


b. Describe fieldwork tradition in anthropology.

Ans) In light of this, fieldwork has emerged as the most effective method forgetting to know people and their world, and it has taken centre stage in social anthropological research. In addition, the methodology of fieldwork is one of the primary contributions of social anthropology to the other domains of knowledge, including the natural and biological sciences as well as social sciences. The other academic fields now provide fieldwork courses as part of their curricula, and anthropologists are teaching them the science, art, and folklore of fieldwork.


Henri Bergson once remarked, "There are two methods of knowing a phenomenon, one by walking around it, and the other by entering inside it." In this context, we may use his words. The fieldwork methodology supports the idea that I prefer taking an "insider's view," or looking at a phenomenon from within, to gain a deeper knowledge of it. Fieldwork is a way of gathering data in which the researcher spends time with the subjects in their natural environment and gains first-hand knowledge by assimilating into the community.


Up until now, we've talked about the history of fieldwork in anthropological research as well as its relevance and significance. Let's check to verify if our fieldwork practises still adhere to the established norms. Fieldwork in anthropological studies has changed significantly over time as a result of social and political shifts.


Today, the term "field" no longer connotes embarking on an adventure to a remote location or residing among the locals. The field itself is evolving quickly. Rarely would we encounter a society in its ideal state or existing in complete isolation in this age of globalisation. Despite focusing mostly on less well-known societies, anthropologists also take into account developed and developing nations. Because anthropologists are now writing about their personal experiences, anthropological fieldwork nowadays considers not only the "others" but also the "self." In the current example, the field may be an institution or organisation where anthropologists concentrate on the organisational culture and behavioural patterns. The field may be located in an urban or rural area.


When conducting fieldwork in anthropology, the researcher must occasionally deal with sensitive material or information while interacting with people. Thus, ethical concerns are a top priority when conducting anthropological research. The issue could arise from the topic choice all the way down to the data presentation in a written report or dissertation. Today, for instance, taking a picture can also raise the ethical question of whether the subject's agreement was obtained or not.


Cultural anthropologists research symbols and meaning systems, as well as values and beliefs and the guiding tenets of behaviour. The two branches, albeit connected, place differing emphasis on and approach their subject matter in different ways. For instance, if one is researching political institutions from a social standpoint, they will research the institutional framework of the political system, such as the Panchayat's personnel organisation, rights and responsibilities, hierarchy, and rules and interactional principles, etc.


Assignment – II


Answer the following in about 250 words each. (Write Short Notes) 10X2=20


a. Discuss the Symbolic and Interpretive approach.

Ans) The symbolic approach views culture as a system of symbols and activity patterns that are formed symbolically. Everything has a meaning in culture. Because the process of symbolic behaviour is also a public and shared one, we have culturally prescribed dress norms, culturally understood action scripts, and we are able to grasp signals, gestures, words, and actions. In other words, persons who are part of the same community of shared meaning can communicate with each other effortlessly, whereas others who are not part of that community become illiterate and oblivious to what is going on.


It was discovered that various facets of culture communicate meanings that can only be comprehended when placed into a more comprehensive system of meaning. Additionally, there are two levels of meaning: the level of the actors and a higher level where their actions are related to society as a whole. Only deductive reasoning can be used to evaluate higher level meanings. On the occasion of Independence Day, let's unfurl the national flag. It represents the nation's freedom on the level of the participants. However, it is one approach to give symbolic significance to an amorphous entity that requires ongoing reinforcement to exist, as opposed to the theoretical notion of the nation as a construct with no real form or life. In other words, if people were not frequently reminded that the nation exists, and that too in a theatrical fashion, they would.


Structuralism, an interpretive method in anthropology, lost favour. Nevertheless, it was successful in breaking through in literature and art history, particularly in the fields of aesthetics and cultural studies. Although several British anthropologists were first fascinated by structuralism, some expressed scepticism about its "cosmic ambitions." They believed that a more regional focus on a smaller area would be the best way to apply structural thinking. This was a more modest strategy, which is referred to as "neo-structuralism."


b. Write a note on kinship, family, and marriage.



Let's use a wedding as an illustration to grasp the fundamental ideas of marriage, family, and kinship. Here, using a bride and groom as an example, we'd first try to pinpoint the kin groups and relationships that people are born into and create through marriage. Understanding kin groups is crucial since kinship is the fundamental factor determining who a person is allowed to marry and who is not. Kinship also defines a family's pattern of respectable age, inheritance, power, and authority. Here, we'll also talk about some of the fundamental terms and ideas related to kinship. In this section, the genealogical technique that aids in creating the family tree will be explained.



The definition of a family and the various types of families that can be found in various societies are covered in this section. We'll also talk about how to define the terms "family" and "home" in this debate. Variations in family kinds according to residence would also be included in this article. We immediately think of our own family when we hear the word "family." To better grasp what a family is, let's begin this part by naming the individuals who make up our own family. You can design your family tree using the genealogy technique that was discussed in subsection 6.1 on kinship. Now, if we were to look at the family tree, we would essentially find that each of us has listed our living parents and siblings. If our maternal or paternal grandparents are still living with us, some of us may have added them as well. In essence, we classify everyone residing in the same home as family. The number of people who make up a family will vary depending on the civilization.



Nearly all human communities practise marriage, however the pattern, ceremonies, and customs may differ. The question of when marriage first appeared and when it was accepted as a norm in society is still up for debate. Early social theorists conjectured that in the beginning of human existence, people lived in a state of promiscuity in which marriage to a particular person did not exist. There were no restrictions or guidelines. Since all men had access to all women, society as a whole was responsible for the children that were born. This gradually gave place to unions between couples before becoming solemnised unions. So, in this section, we'll first attempt to define marriage before understanding the various kinds of unions that are common in various countries. Next, discuss the standards and guidelines that must be followed when seeking for a spouse.


Answer the following questions in about 75 words each. 2X5=10


a. religious institutions

Ans) Religion, like kinship, is a fundamental component of human society and is rooted in the unique features of the human brain as well as Homo sapiens' capacity for abstract thought and imagination. Religion has been studied as a social institution and performs important roles in the humanities. Early incinerations, like those that occurred in Chi China, were rationales, and either the individual or the king was revered as divine. As a result, while secular authority was given to the king and was in his hands, heavenly power was in the hands of the Brahmin in ancient India. Beliefs and behaviours are the two facets of religion.


b. Evolutionism

Ans) The term "evolutionism" is used to refer negatively to the theory of evolution. With the advancement of the study of evolution, its precise definition has evolved over time. It was a term used in the 19th century to refer to the idea that organisms consciously developed themselves through gradual hereditary modification (orthogenesis). The teleological viewpoint later expanded to incorporate social and cultural evolution. The concept that "human beings aspired to preserve a familiar way of life until change was imposed on them by causes that were beyond their control" was referred to as "Neo-Evolutionism" in the 1970s.

c. Structural- functionalism

Ans) The term "functionalism" refers to a methodology for studying a society. It accepts the viewpoint that a society is a whole (or a system) of interrelated pieces, where each element helps to keep the total in good working order. The investigator's task is to ascertain how each component of society contributes to the whole and how society functions as an ordered system of interconnected elements. Each of the jobs, groups, institutions, associations, and organisations that make up society performs a certain set of tasks that have been delegated to it.


d. Rapport Building

Ans) Building relationships are one of the key fieldwork processes that enables anthropologists to reach a community or universe and collect knowledge and data. The goal of rapport is to establish a peaceful and cordial relationship with others. Building a rapport between two or more people promotes mutual trust, belief, and confidence and makes it easier for information to flow both ways. So, how can you establish rapport in this situation? Let’s take an example, say you are walking in a street and a person comes up and suddenly starts questioning you, what is your name? age? etc., or says “Give me your hand.


e. Tribes and Bands

Ans) There are tribes everywhere in the world. They are referred to by various names around the world, including aborigines, Indians, minorities, indigenous people, and ethnic groups. In India, the terms "tribe" and "scheduled tribe" are frequently used interchangeably. According to the draught of the National Tribal Policy, there are around 700 Scheduled Tribes—communities that have been identified for the advantages of reservations and other developmental measures.


Assignment – III


a. Select either Slums in India or Ethnography of a Village as a topic. Write the steps for preparing a synopsis emphasizing on the significance of your study, unit of study, methods, tools, and techniques. 20

Ans) A protocol or a summary of a research project is a document submitted to a body or an institution in order to receive funding from agencies like the ICMR, DST, NACO, DGHS, and MHRD. The summary of your intended project is what you submit to the appropriate authorities for approval. It provides the reviewers with a comprehensive perspective of your research for speedy analysis.


So, a procedure or summary is a crucial component of a thesis or research endeavour. The preparation of a thesis for a postgraduate degree is now required by many universities as part of the postgraduate curriculum. All individuals involved in medical research must have a solid understanding of the writing style of a protocol or summary.


The phrase "protocol" (from the Greek protocoling, which means "first page") literally refers to a structured technique for conducting a scientific inquiry. A synopsis is a condensed summary of anything (Greek: sun-together, opsis-seeing). Both phrases are frequently used as synonyms, but the term "synopsis" is more prevalent.


The construction of a synopsis should make it simple for the reviewer to grasp the study endeavour at a glance. It should be succinct but clear. A synopsis can be organised in the way that follows:

  1. Title

  2. Statement of the problem and hypothesis

  3. Aims and objectives

  4. Review of literature

  5. Research methodology

  6. References

  7. Official requirements


Title Sensationalizing the title of the study project is best avoided; it should be succinct but instructive. It shouldn't be too long or too short. There should be no mention of the institution's name, or the number of cases being studied. It is possible to include the research hypothesis.




"Ectopic pregnancy study" For registration at the university, this title was picked. It is too little of a title. It is the least instructive because neither the issue nor the theory is stated. "Study of ectopic pregnancy in relation to morbidity, mortality, and intervention in a referral hospital" might be a more pertinent heading.


In the care of infected venous stasis ulcer and other poorly healing wounds, a novel sustained release matrix based on biodegradable poly (ester amides) and impregnated with bacteriophages and an antibiotic shows promise. The title is unwieldy and lengthy. It paints a perplexing picture of the research dilemma. Avoid using titles that are too long. By utilising the label "novel," some sensationalization is also present. "Response of venous stasis ulcers and other poorly healing wounds to a biodegradable matrix loaded with bacteriophages and an antibiotic" might be a more pertinent title. While stating the issue, more information regarding the new approach can be offered.


Aspiration with a fine needle is used to diagnose papulonodular skin lesions. This title is appropriate, insightful, and accurate. It accurately describes the premise. Problem or hypothesis statement It is important to use exact language when describing the issue under study. The researcher's ability to design a research proposal is aided by understanding the problem. Additionally, it enables the person to develop the theory. The issue being investigated ought to be current. It must be briefly discussed how useful it is on a local or a national level. The problem's current state and the reason for the study's undertaking must be discussed.


A hypothesis is described as a speculative forecast or an attempt to explain the connection between two or more variables. The investigator's expertise, creativity, and experience should be reflected in the hypothesis rather than being a random guess. Understanding the issue, reading up on it in the literature, and taking other aspects into account will help you build a hypothesis. In roughly 200 words, a researcher can present the problem and the hypothesis, covering all the previously mentioned features.


b. Write a short essay in 500 words on your experience of spending time with your family during the lockdown owing to the pandemic COVID 19. 5

Ans) The current study employs a qualitative methodology to comprehend how COVID-19 has affected family life. Between April 8 and April 28, 2020, when Indians were first encountering social distance/isolation measures, Indian parents of children ages 0 to 18 were sought out via social media. Participants were invited to respond to an open-ended question regarding how COVID-19 has affected their family as part of a larger survey.


A total of 2,130 parents participated, representing a variety of familial contexts. To identify recurring themes in the meaning of the texts, inductive template thematic analysis was utilised. Six themes, including "Boredom, Depression, and Suicide: A Spectrum of Emotion," were developed from the data. "Families are lacking the things that keep them healthy," "Changing family relationships: The push pull of intimacy," "The unimaginable responsibilities of parenthood," "The unequal load of COVID-19," and "Holding on to positivism" are some of the statements made in the articles. Overall, the results showed a variety of reactions.


Many families reported mental health issues and damaged family relationships, and messages of loss and difficulty predominated. However, not all families saw negative effects from the constraints; other families reported good benefits and significance, including chances to improve relationships, discover new interests, and cultivate virtues like appreciation, thankfulness, and tolerance.


The World Health Organization emphasised the harm the lockdown did to people's mental health, particularly children. The current study looked into the influences of parents on their children's ability to control their emotions during the COVID-19 lockdown. The relationship between parents' psychological distress and both children's emotional regulation and children's lability/negativity was investigated using a path model within the Social Cognitive Theory framework. This model included parenting self-efficacy and parental regulatory emotional self-efficacy as mediators. An online survey that measured the psychological distress, emotional regulation self-efficacy, and parenting self-efficacy of 277 parents of kids aged 6 to 13 was conducted.


c. Correct the reference style and arrange them alphabetically. 5


  1. John Beattie, H.M. (2006). Explanation and Understanding in Social Anthropology in Theory, edited by Todd Sanders and Henrietta Moore. pages 148-159; org p. 45–57 in British Journal of Sociology, 10(1) (1959).

  2. Bialik, Kristen (2017). 50 years after Loving v. Virginia, important statistics on race and marriage accessed on August 9, 2017, at 11 a.m. marriage- 50 years after "loving v. Virginia."

  3. Erika Bourguignon (1979). Cultural Variations and Human Nature: An Introduction to Psychological Anthropology. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York.

  4. James Clifford and George E. Marcus. (eds) (1990). The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography in Writing Culture Oxford University Press, Delhi.

  5. E.E. Evans-Pritchard (1940). a Nuer. The Clarendon Press, Oxford.

  6. Meyer, Fortes (1969). Family ties and social hierarchy. Aldine Publishers, Chicago

  7. Marvin Harris (1985). Good to Eat: Cultural and Gastronomic Puzzles. Waveland Press, Illinois

  8. David Kaplan Likewise Robert A. Manners. (1972). Theory of culture. Waveland Press, Illinois

  9. I.M. Lewis (1976). The Relevance of Social Anthropology: A Perspective on Social Anthropology. Penguin Books, Harmondsworth.

  10. Henrietta Moore and Todd Sanders (editors) (2006). Theory of Anthropology: Problems with Epistemology Blackwell Publishing, USA

  11. the Felix Padel (2011). (First published: 1995 by Oxford University Press). A Tribal Landscape Invaded: Sacrificing People. Black swan of the Orient, New Delhi.

  12. Radcliffe-Brown, A .R. (1952). Structure and Function in Primitive Society. New York: The Free Press.

  13. Schwartz, Theodor, Geoffrey M. White and Catherine Lutz (eds). (1992). New Directions in Psychological Anthropology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  14. Stocking, G. (1974). The Shaping of American Anthropology, 1883-1911: A Franz Boas Reader. New York: Basic Books.


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