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BSOC-105: Political Sociology

BSOC-105: Political Sociology

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: BSOC-105/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BSOC-105

Assignment Name: Political Sociology

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Assignment – I


Answer the following in about 500 words each.


1. Describe the scope of political sociology.

Ans) It is widely known that political sociology aims to analyze the relationship between social and political structures. The discipline entails the concept of the political system and its analysis and also stresses the study of the sectors of government such as legislature courts. It also stresses the analysis of social structures that affect political aspects such as parties or interest groups and caste alliances. A majority of scholars have immensely discussed the scope of political sociology from various perspectives. Greer and Orleans believe that the discipline is concerned with the structure of the state, legitimacy, the flow and use of monopoly, and the overall structure of the institutions and their relationship to the state.


Laswell stated that politics affect all aspects of society, no matter what their class is. Andreu Effrat opined that the discipline analyzes the causes, effects, and results of the influence of the political system over the social systems. While the main focus is on the building of nation-states, contemporary political sociology has divided itself into four main areas of research and these are The formation of social-political affairs in modern states, Social structure class, race, ethnicity, gender, etc and inequalities in relation to politics, Revolutions, movements, and personalities out of institutions affect politics, Power relations between social groups such as families, media groups, workplaces, and so on.


One of the main aspects of contemporary political sociology is the study of political culture in the current society and how that affects politics. This has been prominent as it helps us understand the propensities that affect political performance and results. Participation in politics and its mobilization is also entailed in the scope of sociology. Furthermore, the study of social stratification is considered one of the main sectors of the discipline. The study of various social strata such as gender, race, class, ethnicity, and caste and how their interactions affect politics determines how the system functions. Its study can also be used to understand inequalities and analyze the difference between the classes such as middle class vs elite class and how their lifestyles and decisions affect political affairs.


The discipline has a significant amount of prominence within the academic field as it highlights the underlying tendencies in societies that determine and lead the political system and its affairs. Over the decades, political sociology’s focus on the state and how society has a direct effect on its affairs has helped us to improve the state and vice versa. Contemporary political sociology has also made major contributions to comparative politics and public administration.


A major aspect of contemporary political sociology is its focus on development, and it is widely used for third world development approaches. The state’s policies and their approaches regarding the economic, social, and cultural globalization of developing countries are something that has helped us understand world politics overall. Furthermore, the recognition of socio-political affairs on the development of nations and how political affairs should be altered to make sure that developmental approaches can be implemented is also a major focus in the current times.


2. Analyse totalitarian as a form of government.

Ans) In a totalitarian system of governance, every facet of public and private life is completely under the authority of the state from a single location. Democratic regimes, in contrast, are under the people's power. It aims to obliterate the distinction between society and government. All citizens are expected to support its philosophy and set of beliefs. It is frequently led by one political party and a charismatic leader.


A totalitarian regime uses mass communication technologies to communicate its objectives and promote its policies. Many people's activities are monitored via surveillance equipment. Finally, violence deters people who disagree with governmental objectives, such as police fear. The highest principles cherished by Western democracies, including reason, freedom, human dignity, and the value of the individual, are undercut by totalitarianism. Totalitarian leaders develop strategies of control and persuasion in order to rule the entire country. Terrorism, indoctrination, propaganda, censorship, and religious or ethnic influence are some of these strategies.


First totalitarian state was established by Mussolini. A one-party dictatorship tries to control every area of its citizens' life under this kind of governance. Other autocrats followed Mussolini's example, most notably Stalin and Hitler. Hitler's and Mussolini's authority were both fascist in essence, but totalitarian regimes can also emerge from other ideologies, such as communism in Stalin's Soviet Union. According to Michael Halberstam, there are two quite distinct ways of thinking about totalitarianism:


Totalitarianism is seen as the antithesis of liberalism in this viewpoint. This kind of viewpoint is taken into account in Carl Friedrich's concept of totalitarianism in Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy. In line with this method.


Rule by coercion rather than by consent is totalitarianism. By establishing the ruler's and the party's declarations as an almighty force with unconstrained authority to exercise control over the institutions of the state as well as all other social institutions, it eradicates political freedom, the democratic process, and legality as such.


Conscience freedom is violated by totalitarianism. It spreads an entire worldview that asserts authority over all aspect of an individual's consciousness.


Totalitarianism transgresses the lines separating the public and private domains by politicking every aspect of social life.


Totalitarian government is both excessively rational and irrational. It is irrational in the sense that it appeals to quasi-religious sentiment to mobilise widespread support for policies that go against the interests of the community as a whole and the interests of the people who make up the community. Rational in the sense of both the logicalness and internal coherence of its ideologies and the scientific propaganda and population control methods it employs in its efforts to preserve power.


The second theoretical perspective sees fascism as the result and pinnacle of a modernity problem. The best illustration of this position is Hannah Arendt. The critical projects of liberation, contemporary rationalisation, secularisation of existence, and democratic massification of society all contributed to a "loss of world" that led to totalitarianism.


The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt examines the historical factors that contributed to the development of totalitarianism in the 20th century. Totalitarianism, Imperialism, and Antisemitism are its three divisions. Arendt looks at how and why Jews were a key component of Nazi and totalitarian propaganda. Moreover, how, in the late 19th century, the collapse of nation-states and imperialism were related. Arendt contends that racism and bureaucracy came to dominate contemporary society as a result of the new political construction of the bourgeois class, which was marked by constant mobility and accumulation. These were the forerunners of the 20th-century totalitarian movements.


Assignment – II


Answer the following in about 250 words each.


3. What are the forces which pose a challenge to nation building efforts? Discuss.

Ans) The development of a nation state and efforts to advance equality and social justice have both been hampered by a number of connected concerns.


Constituent Diversity: India has a diverse population. It consists of a variety of different groups. This plurality represents the first possible danger to the Indian nation state. Religion, caste, language, and ethnic origin are divisions that have existed and still exist in Indian society. By setting one faction against the other, the British were able to moderately control the various tribes. However, the polarising tendencies were clearly visible even during the nationalist struggle, when many parties appeared to come together to end British rule in India.


Regional and cultural identities: Regionalism has posed a danger to the process of nation-building. We discover that the growth of regional nationalities continues to be significant in our nation's national politics. This is quite clear in the language basis for state development. It is also visible in the demands made for a distinct Jharkhand state before November 2000 by several regional identities, such as the Gorkha for Gorkhaland. However, there have been cases where the Indian government gave in to calls for a separate state. The Jharkhand Area Autonomous Council was founded in 1995 as a result of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha's state-separation agitation, and in November, a full-fledged state was established.


Casteism: The subject of casteism in national politics has been brought up repeatedly by a variety of persons, including public figures, academics, and laypeople. One of the more distinctive institutions in Indian society is caste. It very recently began playing a role in politics. Caste has increasingly been used as the foundation for political articulation, as is well noticed. This is primarily because caste offers the structures that unite individuals. This is also necessary for a democratic state to succeed. The political process in India has taken on a distinctive character as a result of the politicisation of the caste system. Caste alliances are the basis for the formation of political parties in India, and caste identity can be used to explain voter behaviour.


4. Outline the major functions of a political system.

Ans) A political system typically carries out a few clear-cut tasks. The input functions and the output functions are the two basic categories under which the major political system functions may be grouped.


Input functions:

  1. Political Socialisation and recruitment

  2. Interest articulation

  3. Interest aggregation

  4. Political communication


Output functions:

  1. Rule making

  2. Rule application

  3. Rule adjudication


The non-governmental subsystems reflect the first set of input functions, and the government subsystems reflect the second set of output functions.


Political Socialization and Recruitment

The process of integrating someone into the political culture is known as political socialisation. Although it has a different focus and goal, it is nonetheless a component of general socialisation. Political socialisation begins later in childhood than general socialisation does.


Interest Articulation

Interest articulation is the act of expressing interest in a political system in order to get the government's attention. Under the end, the state should be responsible for addressing the wants and issues of the populace in all political systems. They can be categorised into institutional interest groups, associational interest groups, non-associational interest groups, and economic groupings depending on how they are articulated.


Interest Aggregation

The categorization and blending of the demands put forth by the various interest groups is known as aggregation. Aggregation can be accomplished by creating broad policies that combine, accommodate, or otherwise take into account interests. Political parties, the ruling class, or even the government itself could engage in this.


Political Communication

Any social system depends on communication to function. Interpersonal and elite mass relationships are preserved through communication. This is equally vital in a political system because it is the foundation for all political functions, including socialisation, recruitment, articulation, aggregation, and the entire rulemaking, enforcement, and adjudication process.


Government Functions

Three topics under this heading address every function of contemporary governments. They are establishing rules, implementing rules, and adjudicating rules. Modern political regimes have a propensity to specialise government functions more and more.


5. What do you mean by stateless society? Discuss.

Ans) Stateless societies lacked a centralised power structure, an administrative structure, and a judicial system. They lacked any type of pyramidal power structure. There were no chiefs or councils with the power to make decisions that would be followed by everyone. They were said to be living in a state of "organised anarchy."


These civilizations retain their ideas of territorial rights by social control, social punishments, and age-related ideas. Here, power and authority are dispersed across many social groupings.

The feud dominates much of a stateless society's political and social life. The conflict was a great force for union as well as a factor for divide. Feuds were typically resolved over time. Sometimes a smaller conflict needed to be resolved before the competitors could come together for a bigger one. This is referred to as "the peace in the feud."


In the modern idea, a state is a physical region with an elected political authority in charge of managing the day-to-day operations of the society, along with numerous other people like bureaucrats and executive officers. In a society without states, there are no clearly established state borders and no elected political authorities. The hereditary ruler, who serves as the political head in this instance, is the chief emblem. Religious leaders also lead portions of the state. In such a society, the ideas of set ideology and bureaucracy are utterly eliminated.


Modern society is defined as humans coexisting in the present and is regarded to exist when a civilization has industrialised. The lines of sovereignty are clearly defined, and they are upheld in law and spirit. State borders are self-considered in a society without states and can be expanded or contracted depending on the acquisition of one group by another in terms of conflict and conflict resolution. Although states still play a significant role in helping people feel like they belong and are recognised.

Villages and a cluster of villages serve as a demarcation between social lineages, preventing conflict between them.


Assignment – III


Write a note on the following in about 100 words each.


6. State

Ans) A state is a centralized political organization that imposes and enforces rules over a population within a territory. There is no undisputed definition of a state. One widely used definition comes from the German sociologist Max Weber: a "state" is a polity that maintains a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence, although other definitions are not uncommon. A state does not preclude the existence of a society, such as stateless societies like the Haudenosaunee Confederacy that "do not have either purely or even primarily political institutions or roles".


The level of governance of a state, government being considered to form the fundamental apparatus of contemporary states, is used to determine whether it has failed. In a federal union, the term "state" is sometimes used to refer to the federated polities that make up the federation.

Most of the human population has existed within a state system for millennia; however, for most of prehistory people lived in stateless societies. The earliest forms of states arose about 5,500 years ago as governments gained state capacity in conjunction with rapid growth of cities, invention of writing and codification of new forms of religion.


7. Cultural Capital

Ans) Cultural capital is the accumulation of knowledge, behaviors, and skills that a person can tap into to demonstrate one's cultural competence and social status. French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu coined the term in his 1973 paper the "Cultural Reproduction and Social Reproduction," coauthored by Jean-Claude Passeron. Bourdieu later developed that work into a theoretical concept and analytic tool in his 1979 book "Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste."


In their early writing on the topic, Bourdieu and Passeron asserted that the accumulation of knowledge is used to reinforce class differences. That's because variables such as race, gender, nationality, and religion often determine who has access to different forms of knowledge. Social status also frames some forms of knowledge as more valuable than others.


8. Traditional action

Ans) In Max Weber’s sociology, four main forms of social action are differentiated or distinguished. Men can involve in goal-oriented or purposeful rational action; their rational action can be value-oriented; they can act from affective or emotional motivations, or eventually, they can involve in traditional action.


Traditional action takes place when the means and ends of action are fixed by tradition and custom. For instance, many so-called primitive communities or societies have very firm rites or traditions of succession for community or group leaders. The crucial thing about this action is that the action’s ends are taken for granted and considered to be natural to the related actors because they cannot comprehend the alternative ends’ possibility.


These actions are guided by long-standing beliefs and customs which become second habit or nature. In traditional Muslim Society, saying ‘salam’ to elders is almost like second nature requiring no prompting.


9. Neoliberalism

Ans) "Neo-liberalism" is a set of economic policies that have become widespread during the last 25 years or so. Although the word is rarely heard in the United States, you can clearly see the effects of neo-liberalism here as the rich grow richer and the poor grow poorer.


"Liberalism" can refer to political, economic, or even religious ideas. In the U.S. political liberalism has been a strategy to prevent social conflict. It is presented to poor and working people as progressive compared to conservative or Rightwing. Economic liberalism is different. Conservative politicians who say they hate "liberals" meaning the political type have no real problem with economic liberalism, including neoliberalism.


"Neo" means we are talking about a new kind of liberalism. So, what was the old kind? The liberal school of economics became famous in Europe when Adam Smith, a Scottish economist, published a book in 1776 called The Wealth Of Nations. He and others advocated the abolition of government intervention in economic matters. No restrictions on manufacturing, no barriers to commerce, no tariffs, he said; free trade was the best way for a nation's economy to develop. Such ideas were "liberal" in the sense of no controls. This application of individualism encouraged "free" enterprise," "free" competition -- which came to mean, free for the capitalists to make huge profits as they wished.


10. Anomic Interest group

Ans) Anomy being understood a condition of lawlessness in which participants have no clear ideological rationale for the violation cf particular law. Thus, an anomic group consists of persons whose demands are not properly defined or articulated and arise as and when there is no organization for the defined or articulated and arise as and when there is no organization for the expression of their demands. Usually, such groups came forward when the government in responsive to the demands and groups feel that none is voicing their demands in the elected bodies and that they have no other alternative but to adopt such techniques as those of street demonstrations e.g.


In India those who were against the use of Hindi in offices in Tamil Nadu, black painted all signboards etc. or at New Delhi several demonstrations are organized around Parliament House, when Parliament session is going on to voice their demands. Many demonstrators presented petitions and charter of demands to the speaker of the Lok Sabha and the chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

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