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BSOC-131: Introduction to Sociology

BSOC-131: Introduction to Sociology

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: BSOC-131/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BSOC-131

Assignment Name: Introduction to Sociology

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Assignment One


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


1. What are the elements of culture? Discuss.

Ans) Language: The most significant component of culture is language. The language used to communicate with others on a daily basis reflects the character of a society. Language is a feature that sets humans apart from other species. Given that it is filled with significance, it plays a crucial role in passing down cultural traditions from one generation to the next. The Sapir-Whorf


According to the hypothesis, language is not something that is "given," but rather something that is culturally determined. For instance, there are 3,000 phrases for camels in the Arab world, where camels are an important source of income. Similar to this, we don't use any adjectives to describe veggies like bitter gourd, drumstick, etc. in Indian terms. However, the English terminology describe how these vegetables taste or look. Culture and language are entangled.


Belief: According to Abraham, a belief is a claim or notion about reality that individuals accept as true. For instance, a large portion of the population in India believes in God, and many happy occasions like marriage are planned around lucky dates. When the bride's and the groom's horoscopes coincide, marriages are even set. Thoughts can change throughout time since they are not fixed. Even if we may adhere to a particular belief, exposure to other cultures may cause us to reconsider it. Moving to cities may cause people to lose some of their superstitious beliefs. However, there are many other times when our attachment to something is so deep that we may be unable to let it go.


Norms: Norms are the established laws of a society that direct how its citizens behave. According to Sutherland, social norms are rules of conduct that members of a group develop and uphold. They set the tone for society's members' behaviour or serve as a model for proper conduct. A norm, according to Haralambos and Heald, is a prescriptive action guide that outlines acceptable and proper behaviour in particular circumstances.


Every civilization, for instance, has standards dictating clothing choices. We often dress a certain way for specific events. When we visit a party, a funeral, a workplace, or even a hospital, we dress differently. Norms, however, differ from society to civilization. For instance, wearing a particular outfit is acceptable in a tribal society but is not in other societies.


Values: In contrast to norms, which prescribe specific action, values are the overall rules of behaviour in society. Values, in Abraham's view, are social consensuses regarding what aspects of society are acceptable and undesirable. They are broad guidelines that categorise things as excellent or evil, ugly or lovely. The way people behave in society reflects their values and shows how they are oriented toward achieving the fundamental aims of society. For instance, honouring elders and paying attention when the national anthem plays are values of Indian society. Different value systems exist in various civilizations. The American and Indian value systems are distinct from one another.


Sanctions: Sanctions are punishments and rewards for a person's social behaviour. Both good and negative sanctions are possible. Positive sanctions, such as prizes, praise, etc., are required for conformity to a norm. On the other side, breaking a rule results in penalties like fines, jail, etc. According to Schaefer and Lamm, a culture's rules and punishments reflect its beliefs and top priorities. The most important principles will be harshly sanctioned, while the less important issues will only receive moderate fines.


2. Explain the concept of role with suitable examples.

Ans) Consider how we begin each day by acting out various roles related to our various statuses. There are roles connected to each status, just as there are several statuses. For instance, a woman can assume the position of friend, sister, student, private tutor, and so forth. Roles are "socially determined expectations that a person in a certain status observes," according to Giddens and Sutton. For instance, we anticipate the traffic police to control traffic and facilitate vehicle flow when there is congestion. In a similar vein, diners anticipate that the waitress will bring the menu, take their orders, and deliver the food.


Roles support the preservation of some semblance of social predictability and order. Roles, according to Turner, are "clusters of behaviour and attitudes," and they aid in the organisation of social behaviour on both an individual and a group level. Roles are a "cluster of rights and obligations" according to Banton's concept, and what is one person's obligation is their partner's right. Therefore, a waitress in a restaurant has a duty to serve and a customer's right to receive service. As a result, according to Banton, "the idea of role gives one of the accessible ways for investigating elements of cooperation."


Newcomb made a distinction between what people actually do and what is expected of them. The expected behaviour is the one that a person is supposed to exhibit in accordance with the position and role that have been allocated to them. The individual's real behaviour could differ from what is anticipated.

Banton stated that actual behaviour can be tied to and further clarified this distinction.

  1. Role cognitions: a person's personal perceptions of what is suitable.

  2. Expectations: to what others anticipate he will do.

  3. To social expectations of what he ought to do.


Take the position of a chef, for instance. In a hotel, Neeraj holds the position of head chef. He must supervise and coordinate with the cooks who must prepare the dishes in his capacity as a chef. Aside from this, other general demands on him include upholding order and hygienic standards in the kitchen's normal working environment.


Children start learning about roles at a young age when they start witnessing how individuals in their environment interact with them and with one another. Children actually frequently enjoy role-playing games in which they assume the roles of a mother, father, or teacher. People often look up to role models in their lives whose particular behaviour patterns they adopt for themselves. A family member, neighbour, teacher, or even a stranger we've seen on social media who is not linked to us can serve as a role model.


In our daily lives, we effortlessly transition from one character to another while simultaneously playing multiple parts. It is different from how one acts as a friend to act as a daughter. In a similar way, social contexts determine the roles we play. When we work in a formal environment, we behave differently than when we are at home. As a result, we frequently divide up our duties and lifestyles. Therefore, a criminal defence attorney acts differently at home than she does in court. To assert that everyone complies with the standards set by society, however, would be untrue. In their daily lives, people also frequently discuss and redefine the roles they perform.


Assignment Two


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


3. Discuss Weber’s view on organization.

Ans) Max Weber's writings serve as a foundation for Etzioni's classification and description of organisation. In the larger context of his detailed theorization on the nature of power in society, Weber's bureaucracy model is revealed. He emphasised that if organisations in industrial society were run in a "bureaucratic" way, they might achieve the highest level of efficiency. According to Weber, bureaucratic administration was "better than any other type in accuracy, stability, strictness of its discipline, and reliability.


As a result, it enables exceptionally high levels of results calculability and is formally applicable to all types of administrative duties. The way Weber conceptualises bureaucratic administration encompasses all significant, large-scale organisations seen in contemporary industrial society, including businesses, philanthropic organisations, religious institutions, and even political parties.


According to Weber, the most effective approach to organise human resources to achieve desired goals is through bureaucratic administration. Weber does not see the inherent dangers of excessive control or inefficiency in bureaucracy. He puts up a number of principles that bureaucratic administrations uphold and which make them the most effective type of governance. These are a group of officials who are arranged according to a formal declaration of their authority and influence; The offices are all organised in a hierarchy, with the authority dependent on office, with each subsequent level embracing all those under it; because the regulations say that they are within the authority of the office giving them, commands are issued in that capacity and obeyed; a detailed set of guidelines and processes that potentially provide for every conceivable scenario; With a "bureau" for the secure storage of all written records and files, all information is compulsorily recorded and written down; a technique of appointment under contract that considers technical requirements for office. In terms of employment/contract, a separate line is drawn between personal and business/official issues.


4. Discuss the perspectives on social institutions.

Ans) Sociologists have explored social institutions in a variety of methods. While some view social institutions as essential components that must operate properly for society as a whole to function, others may view social institutions as maintaining a status quo that, in ideal circumstances, produces conflict. We examine a few of these viewpoints below. These viewpoints all emphasise a different feature of social institutions that could help us understand them better.


Functionalist Perspective

The functionalist viewpoint emphasises the function and contribution that institutions make to the greater community. The functionalist viewpoint sees institutions as a component of society as a whole. An institution's worth is only appreciated in terms of the contribution it makes to the societal well-being as a whole. According to the functionalist perspective, social institutions can meet societal demands in five different ways. Institutions serve a society's functional needs by replacing the individuals that die as a result of old age, illness, war, or migration.


Conflict Perspective

The conflict perspective concurs with the functionalist approach in that it acknowledges that institutions serve to meet a society's most fundamental requirements. The conflict perspective, on the other hand, contends that institutions serve to create hierarchies and maintain disparities. For instance, conflict perspective has highlighted how a significant institution like education has functioned to favour the dominant factions in a society. The maintenance of privilege is a goal of institutions, according to the conflict perspective.


Interactionist Perspective

Unlike the first two, the interactionist perspective is focused on the microcosmic analysis of how institutions function in actual interactions. It aims to identify trends in how institutions influence interactions and routine behaviour. According to the interactionist perspective, institutions shape our everyday interactions and behaviours. The jobs and statuses that are assigned to us, as well as the groups we are placed in inside the institutions that we work in, influence our daily interactions and behaviours.


5. Describe the premises of functionalism.

b) In the sense that the name "functionalist" has come to be used for the methodology promoted by the British social anthropologists A.R. Radcliffe- Brown and Bronislaw Malinowski, Durkheim is not a functionalist. Although he defines the idea of social function, Durkheim does not use the term "functionalism." In Durkheim's writings, the synchronic and diachronic perspectives coexist admirably. For instance, in his well-known study of religion, he starts by considering Australian Totemism as the most basic form of religious life, but he is more interested in the function of totemism and how studying it can help us comprehend the role of religion in complex societies than he is in its origin. Later scholars were greatly influenced by this concentration on the study of synchronous civilizations.


The emergence of functionalism and the demise of evolutionary theory occurred around the start of the twentieth century. Adam Kuper believes that 1922 was the "year of wonder" for functionalism because two monographs that supported the functional approach were released in that year. There are noticeable disagreements among various functionalists; in fact, some of them, like Radcliffe-Brown and Malinowski, are archenemies. Despite their differences, it appears that all functionalists agree with the following five statements:

  1. Similar to the solar system or an organic system, society is a system.

  2. The components that make up society as a system are linked, dependent, and interwoven.

  3. Each component serves a certain purpose, contributes to the total civilization, and interacts with other components to function.

  4. Since all the pieces are interconnected, changing one portion affects the operation of other parts or causes changes in other sections.

  5. The term "whole" refers to a society or culture as a whole that is more than the sum of its parts. It cannot be broken down into parts, and no part can adequately express the whole. A civilization has its own sense of self, or what Durkheim called a "collective consciousness."

Assignment Three


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


6. What is informal social control?

Ans) Based on the methods used to execute social control, there are two main categories of social control. Both formal and informal forms of control exist.


Informal Control

Unwritten laws and rules, which are characterised by unofficial agents such folkways, customs, rituals, rumours, and public opinion, are the principal sources of informal control. Over time, informal methods of social control develop on their own and become an essential and accepted aspect of existence. With time and practise, they solidify.


Informal controls are more influential than even official restrictions, despite the fact that there is now no particular punishment for violators. They work better in basic or rural societies where people are more focused on tradition and the group is more closely bonded. Additionally, they work better in main groups like families where communication is stronger on a personal level. Internalized values or feelings of honour, shame, and contempt are two methods of informal control.


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 primary and secondary groups.

Ans) The main difference between the Primary group and the Secondary group is that the Primary group is a small social group initiated by the families. In Contrast, a Secondary group is a large social group that engages in social activities. The Primary group had categorized as the relationship development group in the social group. The secondary group aims are to reach their goals. The Primary group is one of the social groups formed by the family members. A primary group is a small group where family members engage and share personal issues. The Primary group had categorized as a small group that develops relationships.


Relationships between close people and friends may also form the Primary groups. The primary group plays a vital role in a child’s life that progress the communication between people and, the child comes to know the social awareness. A Secondary group is one of the social groups formed by the people. People with the same activity and same goals shape the secondary groups. A secondary group is a large group that helps an individual to reach their goals.  The people in the Secondary group share their achievements and activities and do not engage in their relationships.


9. Differentiate between multiple roles and role set.

Ans) Multiple roles are one which a single person will play different roles and at the same time, role set is defined as the role that has to be played by a person which includes a collection of sub roles.


Role set includes the collection of rules that frames a major role. The best example of a role set is student, and he was supposed to play the role of a student which includes his behaviour, his ability to establish effective communication with others, and so on. Multiple roles on other hand is defined as the ability of a person to play different roles like a musician, student, teacher, and so on.


10. What is cultural diffusion?

Ans) Diffusion, also known as cultural diffusion, is a social process through which elements of culture spread from one society or social group to another, which means it is, in essence, a process of social change. It is also the process through which innovations are introduced into an organization or social group, sometimes called the diffusion of innovations. Things that are spread through diffusion include ideas, values, concepts, knowledge, practices, behaviours, materials, and symbols.


Sociologists and anthropologists believe that cultural diffusion is the primary way through which modern societies developed the cultures that they have today. Further, they note that the process of diffusion is distinct from having elements of a foreign culture forced into a society, as was done through colonization.

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