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BSOC-101: Introduction to Sociology I

BSOC-101: Introduction to Sociology I

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: BSOC-101/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BSOC-101

Assignment Name: Introduction to Sociology

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


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

Assignment A


Answer the following Descriptive Category questions in about 500 words each. Each question carries 20 marks. 2 x20=40


1. Does sociology has relationship with history? Discuss.

Ans) History and sociology are tied to one another. By looking at the historical context of current events, sociology studies society. In such an approach, the past and present are brought closer. Sociologists frequently use historical examples to illustrate how society has changed over time, developed, and taken on different forms. In a similar vein, history needs social factors to explain the past. The lines separating the two fields become muddled and convoluted, necessitating a framework to explain the intricate webs of social reality. Many academics view this blending of the two fields' boundaries as a chance for fruitful research projects. In his 1967 book "What is History," E. H. Carr made the case that the more sociological history and historical sociology become, the better for both. Keep the border between them open to two-way travel. Many sociologists have supported the idea of cross-fertilization between the two fields in order to advance interdisciplinary research and knowledge creation.


Real social change is happening. It must take place. History reveals a more accurate or mirror image of an analysis of it in terms of place and time. In fact, history is often cited as serving as a constant reminder that change is irregular and unpredictable even when it is permanent. Thus, history offers a backdrop and frame of reference for thoroughly examining and analysing change. Thus, in order to capture the whole scope of reality, sociology and history depend on one another. To comprehend historical occurrences, movements, and social organisations, sociology depends on history. It goes without saying that sociology is likewise interested in the analysis of social historical developments. Through historical analysis and interpretation, sociologists study ancient or old customs, culture, the development of civilisations, communities, and organisations. John Seely famously observed that sociology without history has no roots and history without sociology has no fruits. To grasp any social issue fully and thoroughly, both the past and the present are equally crucial.


Sociology as a field of study may be useful in providing a specific mindset for studying history and its remarkable advances. For instance, the sociological imagination tool can assist one in seeing beyond the broad facts, seeing beyond the obvious, and critically analysing many elements of any historical phenomenon. According to C. Wright Mills, who introduced the notion of social imagination in 1959, one aspect of using social imagination is to view the world in terms of biography and history. According to his theories, the sociology field of personal biographies links social and historical context with individual lives. Such connections that are covertly present in the embryo of historical phenomena need to be investigated. The three facets of the human world that Mills focused on were structure, biography, and history.


At the point where the three dimensions of the human world indicated above converge, he established his patterns of analysis. In order to construct and shape the social world as a systemic reality, he focuses on social structure. He also made a connection between how certain social relationship patterns impact human behaviour. History, in his view of things, contributed to the idea that social structures' shapes and formations are always particular to a given time and place and alter from period to period because they are dynamic in nature. Last but not least, biography connects all of this social structure and change to personal experiences, highlighting how different facets of social life are shaped and reshaped by larger social and historical processes.


2. Explain the AGIL model of Talcott Parsons.

Ans) Parsons' functionalism is well known in terms of the "functional imperatives," which are the prerequisites for a system's continued existence. It originated from Parsons' collaborative work with Robert F. Bales in trials on leadership in small groups and is also known as the "AGIL model" or the "four-function paradigm."


All "action systems"—society included—face four main "problems": adaptation (or, as Parsons later dubbed it, latent pattern maintenance-tension management, or simply latency [L]), goal attainment [G], integration [I]], and pattern maintenance. Parsons visualises society as a huge square that is divided into four equally sized sections. The basic tenet is that these four tasks are essential for all systems to carry out in order to exist. These four "functional imperatives" have the following meanings:


The issue of gathering enough resources from the society's external environment and distributing them evenly throughout the system is referred to as adaptation. Each civilization requires specific institutions to carry out the exterior function of environment adaption. The means, the instrumental elements, are provided through adaptation to accomplish objectives. The function of adaptation in the whole system of action is carried out by biological organisms. This role is carried out by economic institutions in the framework of society.


Goal Attainment: This function deals with the system's need to mobilise its resources in order to achieve the goals and set priority among them. It coordinates the actors' actions and mobilises their motivations. In the general system of action, individuality executes these duties, but in the case of society, the political institution is given this responsibility because the use of power in implementation and decision-making is crucial. Goal achievement is focused on outcomes, or the consummatory elements. It is an external function, like adaptation, because goals are defined in relation to the external environment.


Integration: The "heart" of the four-function paradigm is said to be TT. In order for the system to be an "ongoing entity," relationships between different actors must be coordinated, adjusted, and regulated. According to the general theory of action, this role is carried out by the social system, although in society, courts and legal institutions are in charge of it. The internal workings of the system and goals are what integration is concerned with.


Latency: This function deals with the system's concerns with knowledge and information provision. According to the general theory of action, culture—the storehouse of knowledge and information—performs this task. Because culture lacks energy, it does not act. It lurks, giving actors—who are bursting with energy—the knowledge and information they need to take action. Latent culture is defined as existing "behind" people's activities. Integration addresses two issues: first, it encourages actors to fulfil their functions inside the system and uphold the value patterns; and second, it offers tools for resolving internal conflicts between various sections and players. Every civilization struggles with maintaining its value system and making sure that it is transferred and ingrained. Family, religion, education, and education are the institutions that perform this duty. Since latency is a component of the system, it provides a means to a goal.


Assignment B


Answer the following Middle Category questions in about 250 words each. Each question carries 10 marks. 3 X 10 = 30


3. Examine mass media as an agent of socialization.

Ans) The term "mass media" refers to a variety of communication tools, such as radio, television, newspapers, magazines, media portals, and websites. According to Prot et al., children nowadays have access to a wide range of new learning possibilities, expanding the variety of experiences they can have. As a result, socialisation is no longer primarily or indirectly reliant on the influences of family, peers, or other similar entities. Frnes further argues that the media gives our present social realities and myths a visual as well as a narrative form, and in this regard, contemporary social media serve as an example of how the medium influences the message. He uses Facebook's architecture as an illustration, saying that it "encourages multiple presentations of taste, identity, and popularity assessment, influencing both the form and substance of the communication."


When compared to other forms of communication, television has evolved over time into the most powerful influencer, particularly for young people. There are many different types of television programmes accessible, including serials, movies, cartoons, news, music, fashion, cooking, history, and geography that appeal to viewers of various ages. But Protect et al. stress that exposure to violent media is a causal risk factor for aggression. Children's television programmes, particularly cartoons, can feature extreme amounts of violence. Even though they may show little reaction to such violent depictions, youngsters may have nightmares, feelings of unease, and/or anxiety. In addition, some types of music, movies, or even violent video games may have these characteristics. Prot et al., for instance, testified that while racing video games like Need for Speed, Burnout, and Road Rash can be fun for gamers, they can also lead to rash or violent driving. However, they also contend that engaging in nonviolent video games with prosocial protagonists, like Super Mario Sunshine, can result in a sizable drop in harmful behaviour and an increase in helpful behaviour. As a result, through shaping our perception of the world, the media plays a crucial part in the socialisation process.


4. What do you understand by social control? Explain.

Ans) As the name suggests, social control's goal is to exert effective control over individuals. Conformity is defined as confirming or acting in accordance with societal norms. In truth, in a contemporary complex society, social order can be achieved by requiring adherence to a set of predetermined group standards. Society preserves its continuity by upholding its members' unity and stability. As a result, social control techniques are not only adopted instinctively but also become a larger part of society and are passed down from one generation to the next. And this is how a social structure endures. It limits the potential for disorder and confusion to affect how society functions. Social order therefore requires social control as a fundamental element.


The term "Social Control" was first used by American sociologist E.A. Ross in his well-known book "Social Control," which was released in 1901. Social control, according to him, is a "series of mechanisms through which society forces its members to conform to the recognised standards of behaviour." Social control, according to others like Ogburn and Nimkoff, is "the patterns of pressure which society employs to maintain order and established laws." The aforementioned definitions make it quite evident that society has an impact on how people behave. The influence may be used to compel someone to do something through compulsion, public opinion, religion, morality, or ideology.


These influences operate on a range of scales. It might be a dominant group's power over subordinate groups or individuals, or it might be its influence over all members of society. Some group members use their moral authority over others to exercise and shape their behaviour. Society's influence over an individual or community can also lead to kindness and a caring attitude. As a result of indoctrination into society's moral code, some individuals take care of others. As a result, social control is at the core of all social behaviour and has played a crucial role in societies throughout history.


5. Discuss the socio-cultural factors of social change.

Ans) The most significant causative factors underlying social change have been socio-cultural factors. The most significant agent of societal change is people. Humans are primarily responsible for modifying society because they are the ones who created it. Different human activities, such as creation, diffusion, social movements, and so forth, have contributed to social change. The ideals and attitudes of a society's citizens toward innovation also influence change. While some people are more traditional and resistant to change, others are more receptive to change. However, most individuals see change as inevitable and normal.


Societies that are situated in geographic regions with high levels of intercultural interaction have historically been centres of change. In contrast, isolated areas tend to be hubs of stability, conservatism, and change resistance. The most primitive tribes have been located in the most remote communities, according to ethnographic research. Inventions and discoveries have made significant contributions to the process of social transformation.


After the development of contemporary technological knowledge, this truth is being realised in modern times to a greater extent. One of the key factors contributing to social change has been identified as diffusion, the process by which cultures are disseminated from one group to another. Through interaction, diffusion occurs both inside and between communities. This is why, in an isolated setting, it becomes challenging to penetrate the diffusion process. Jazz, which was created by black musicians in New Orleans, diffused to other social groups before subsequently spreading to other societies and all over the world.


Undoubtedly, one of the key drivers of social change is social mobility. Social movements can be categorised into two categories: first, those organised to establish new social forms, which are typically radical and liberal in nature; and second, those concerned with preserving or reviving more established social forms, which are typically conservative or reactionary. However, in each of these situations, social change will be greatly influenced by the movements' level of success and the societal effects they may have.


Assignment C


Answer the following Short Category questions in about 100 words each. Each question carries 6 marks. 5 X 6 = 30


6. What is gemeinschaft?

Ans) Gemeinschaft, which is commonly translated as "community," describes people who are connected by shared values, frequently because they live in the same area and hold similar ideas. Family ties are the purest kind of gemeinschaft, however religious institutions are another well-known illustration of this kind of connection. Members of such groups, which are based on shared relationships and sentiments of togetherness, work to keep the group alive as their major objective. These organisations are characterised by a modest degree of specialisation and labour division, close-knit social networks, and generally straightforward social structures.


Gesellschaft, which is commonly translated as "society," describes organisations where membership is primarily motivated by self-interest. A good illustration of an association where people get together to coordinate their activities in order to maximise their own self-interest is a modern business. Professional jobs' specialty holds them together, and maintaining structures frequently requires formal authority. These organisations are characterised by highly calculated labour divisions, impersonal secondary relationships, and robust social institutions. These groups are maintained by the individual objectives and goals of their members.


7. What is ethnocentrism?

Ans) William Graham Sumner first used the term "ethnocentrism" to describe the idea that one's culture is always superior to other civilizations. According to Sumner, "ethnocentrism is the technical name of this worldview in which one's own group is the centre of all that exists, and all others are measured and assessed in relation to it." He continues by saying that it causes people to exaggerate everything about their folkways that makes them unique. This sentiment serves as the basis for comparing different cultures to one's own. South Indians believe their culture to be superior to that of North Indians. Similar to this, many still believe that Africa is a continent of darkness and is solely home to primitive tribal people. Ethnocentrism fosters a sense of superiority because it causes us to label other civilizations as "wrong" rather than just "different" or "the other." Ethnocentrism can occasionally result in xenophobia, or a fear of foreigners.


8. Differentiate between acculturation and assimilation.

Ans) Although both  acculturation and assimilation are the terms used to describe the dynamics of culture and both are sometimes confused to be the same process due to a few similarities. However, both differ in certain respect as stated below:

  1. “The distinction is based on the difference between culture and society and, accordingly, acculturation refers mainly to the newcomers’ adoption of the culture of the host society. Assimilation, on the other hand, refers to the newcomers’ move out of formal and informal ethnic associations and other social institutions into the nonethnic equivalents accessible to them in that same host society”.

  2. “Acculturation definitely is a bidirectional process, that is, it is a two-way, reciprocal relationship”. On the other hand, “assimilation implies an essentially unilateral approximation of one culture in the direction of the other”.

  3. Acceptance from the outgroup is not a requirement of acculturation while in assimilation it is necessary to be accepted by the out-group.

  4. Unlike acculturation, assimilation requires a positive orientation toward the out-group. Further- more, it requires identification with the out-group

  5. Assimilation is dependent on acculturation. Assimilation cannot take place without acculturation being in place. But acculturation is independent of assimilation.


9. What is master status?

Ans) Every culture has one rank that tends to dominate the others or is given more weight by society as a whole. The master status is referred to as this. In highly stratified civilizations, for example, gender, race, and caste frequently take on master statuses. Conflict sociologists frequently discuss the assigned statuses of gender and race since they contend that they frequently influence a person's life opportunities, such as their money, occupation, education, and social networks. Similar to physical or mental impairment, society's everyday treatment of the disabled might be dictated by these conditions. Disability can become a master status, as seen in Box 1.


10. What is social institution?

Ans) Both in everyday speech and in philosophical literature, the phrase "social institution" is not entirely obvious. The phrase is used considerably more consistently in modern sociology, though. Modern sociologists typically use the phrase to refer to complex self-replicating social structures including governments, the family, human languages, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and legal systems. As Jonathan Turner put it, "a complex of positions, roles, norms and values lodged in particular types of social structures and organising relatively stable patterns of human activity with respect to fundamental problems in producing life-sustaining resources, in reproducing individuals, and in sustaining viable societal structures within a given environment" is a typical definition. "Institutions by definition are the more permanent characteristics of social life," Anthony Giddens asserts once more. He continues by listing institutional orders, discourse patterns, political, economic, and legal institutions.

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