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BSOC-131: Introduction to Sociology

BSOC-131: Introduction to Sociology

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2023-24

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Assignment Code: BSOC-131Asst /TMA /2023-24

Course Code: BSOC- 131

Assignment Name: Introduction to Sociology

Year: 2023-24

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Assignment One

Answer the following Descriptive Category questions in about 500 words each.

Q1) Discuss the factors for the emergence of sociology.

Ans) Various 19th- and early-20th-century factors shaped sociology as a discipline. They created a new intellectual landscape that encouraged scholars to study society and human behaviour more scientifically.

Industrial Revolution:

Industrialization began in the late 18th century, transforming society and economy. The transition from rural to industrial cultures led scholars to study how urbanisation, technology, and new work changed social structures and connections.

Urbanization and Social Change:

Industrialization accelerated urbanisation, growing cities. Poverty, inequality, and social disorder emerged from urban urbanisation. Sociologists studied urban life's effects on people and communities.

Political Revolutions:

The French and American Revolutions in the late 18th century ushered in ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity. Sociologists were inspired to study the effects of political changes on society, governance, and the quest for social justice.

Enlightenment Ideas:

Enlightenment thinkers like Auguste Comte, often regarded as the father of sociology, emphasized reason, observation, and the scientific method. Comte proposed that the study of society could be as systematic as the natural sciences, laying the foundation for sociology as a scientific discipline.

Scientific Methodology:

The rise of empiricism and the scientific method in the 19th century encouraged scholars to apply systematic observation and analysis to the study of society. This departure from speculative and philosophical approaches marked a shift toward a more rigorous and empirical examination of social phenomena.

Social Philosophers and Thinkers:

The works of social philosophers such as Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber significantly influenced the development of sociology. Marx focused on class struggles, Durkheim on social solidarity and institutions, and Weber on the rationalization of society. These thinkers laid the theoretical groundwork for sociological inquiries.

Challenges to Traditional Authority:

The erosion of traditional authority structures, including feudalism and absolute monarchies, prompted questions about the nature of authority, power, and social order. Sociologists sought to understand how societal structures and norms were changing in the face of political and economic transformations.

Colonialism and Global Exploration:

The age of colonialism and global exploration exposed scholars to diverse cultures and societies. Comparative studies and the exploration of cultural variations became central to sociological inquiry, contributing to a more nuanced understanding of human societies.

Social Problems and Inequalities:

The 19th century witnessed an intensification of social issues such as poverty, inequality, and labour exploitation. Sociologists engaged in the study of these social problems, aiming to identify root causes and propose solutions, thus contributing to social reform movements.

Education and Institutionalization:

The establishment of academic institutions, particularly universities, played a crucial role in institutionalizing sociology. The discipline gained recognition as scholars began formalizing sociological courses and establishing dedicated departments.

Communication and Print Culture:

The spread of print culture and the development of communication technologies facilitated the dissemination of sociological ideas. Journals, books, and newspapers became platforms for sociologists to share their research, fostering a sense of community within the discipline.

Social Activism and Reform Movements:

Sociologists were often engaged in social activism and reform movements. Their research and insights contributed to the understanding of societal injustices and inequalities, influencing policies and social change efforts.

Q2) Discuss the approaches to the understanding of social change.

Ans) Social change refers to the alteration or transformation of social structures, institutions, and patterns over time. Scholars have developed various approaches to understand the complexities and dynamics of social change.

Evolutionary Approach:

Social change is gradual and progressive, according to Herbert Spencer and Auguste Comte's evolutionary viewpoint. It posits that technical advances, cultural progress, and social difference propel society from simpler to more complex.

Cyclical Approach:

Based on historical and cultural trends, the cyclical perspective holds that societies flourish, decay, and rejuvenate. Oswald Spengler and Arnold Toynbee believe historical patterns reoccur owing to social, cultural, or economic causes.

Conflict Theory:

Conflict theory, based on Karl Marx, holds that class battles drive societal development. Marx believed that revolutions in production and class relations challenged power systems and created new social hierarchies.

Functionalist Approach:

Functionalist theorists, including Emile Durkheim, view social change as a natural and necessary process that helps societies adapt to new conditions. They emphasize the role of social institutions in maintaining stability and argue that changes serve to restore equilibrium and fulfil societal functions.

Modernization Theory:

The mid-20th century modernization thesis holds that societies move from traditional to contemporary in stages. It links social development to industrialization, urbanisation, and technical advancement, assuming modern societies share traits and experiences.

Dependency Theory:

In contrast to modernization theory, dependency theorists argue that global inequalities and patterns of social change are shaped by the dependency of less developed countries on more developed ones. Economic, political, and cultural dependencies are seen as inhibiting genuine progress and perpetuating social disparities.

World-Systems Theory:

World-systems theory, founded by Immanuel Wallerstein, views the world as a system with core, semi-periphery, and peripheral states based on dependency theory. The interactions between these zones affect global economic and political structures, causing social transformation.


Talcott Parsons and other structural-functionalists emphasise the role of social structures and institutions in social order. This view holds that social change occurs when systems no longer function, resulting in adjustments or new institutions.

Symbolic Interactionism:

George Herbert Mead and other symbolic interactionists study micro-level meanings and interactions that shape society. They believe human perceptions, interactions, and interpretations can affect society throughout time.

Innovation and Diffusion:

This approach emphasizes the role of innovation and the diffusion of new ideas, practices, and technologies as drivers of social change. Everett Rogers' diffusion of innovations theory explores how innovations spread through societies, influencing cultural norms and behaviours.

Environmental Determinism:

Environmental determinism suggests that changes in the natural environment shape and influence social structures and behaviours. This approach explores how environmental factors, such as climate or geography, impact societal development and adaptation.

Postmodern Approach:

Postmodernists emphasise modern cultures' fragmentation, diversity, and fluidity to question old ways. They believe social development involves many narratives and reject large theories in favour of local, contextual, and subjective experiences.

Feminist Perspectives:

Feminist theories focus on gender as a key factor in understanding social change. They examine how patriarchal structures influence and are influenced by societal transformations, seeking to address issues of gender inequality and social justice.

Assignment Two

Answer the following Middle Category questions in about 250 words each.

Q3) Explain political sociology as a sub-field of sociology.

Ans) Political sociology studies how social structures, institutions, and dynamics affect political processes and outcomes. It examines power, authority, governance, political behaviour, and political institutions' effects on society.

Power and Authority: Political sociology examines power distribution, acquisition, and use. It examines authority, legitimacy, and how individuals and groups impact politics.

Political Institutions: Governments, legislatures, and bureaucracy are studied in the subfield. The institutions' effects on social connections and structures are examined.

Political Culture and Ideology: Political sociology investigates the beliefs, values, and ideologies that underpin political systems. It explores how these cultural elements influence political participation, attitudes, and the formation of political identities.

Political Behaviour: Political sociology examines voting patterns, social movements, political parties, and media influence on public opinion. Social variables affect individual and collective political activities.

Globalization and Political Economy: Political sociology considers the impact of globalization on political structures and economies. It examines the role of international institutions, transnational corporations, and global economic systems in shaping political landscapes.

Social Movements: The sub-field studies social movements like civil rights, feminist, and environmental movements. It studies how these movements challenge power systems and reshape society.

Political Change and Revolution: Political sociology studies political change, stability, and revolution. It studies how socioeconomic forces affect political change and revolutions or regime shifts.

Inequality and Political Participation: The subfield studies socioeconomic inequality and political involvement. It examines how class, racism, and gender affect political resources and engagement.

State and Civil Society Relations: Political sociology studies state-civil society relations. It examines how social groupings and organisations challenge policies and influence politics.

Q4) Explain the different kinds of organisation.

Ans) Organizations are structured to efficiently achieve goals. Different sorts of organisations serve different goals.

For-Profit Organizations:

Designed to profit owners and shareholders. Examples are companies, partnerships, and single proprietorships.

Nonprofit Organizations:

Serve social, cultural, or environmental causes over profit. They may be charities, NGOs, or community groups.

Government Organizations:

Run by governments to provide services, enforce laws, and manage affairs. Municipalities, departments, and agencies are examples.

International Organizations:

Address global concerns internationally. Examples are the UN, World Bank, and IMF (IMF).

Educational Organizations:

Educational and training institutions. Examples: schools, colleges, universities.

Healthcare Organizations:

Provide medical care. These include hospitals, clinics, and pharmaceutical corporations.

Religious Organizations:

Religious or spiritual reasons. Including churches, mosques, temples, and religious charity.

Cultural Organizations:

Foster cultural activities and heritage. Art galleries, museums, and cultural centres are examples.

Social Service Organizations:

Help vulnerable groups and address societal challenges. Shelters, social welfare, and therapy are examples.

Professional Associations:

Associations that bring together professionals to share knowledge, set standards, and promote mutual interests.

Trade Unions:

Help workers negotiate better salaries, benefits, and working conditions with employers.


Member-owned and operated, sharing resources, risks, and benefits. Consumer and agricultural cooperatives are examples.

Multinational Corporations (MNCs):

Be global and operate internationally. Their business includes manufacturing, sales, and services.


New companies with novel products or concepts. Startups often operate in fast-changing industries.

Virtual Organizations:

Mostly online, with remote collaboration. Online communities, virtual teams, and e-commerce are examples.

Hybrid Organizations:

Combine elements of different organizational types. For example, a social enterprise may blend for-profit and nonprofit aspects to achieve both financial and social goals.

Q5) Examine the sociological concepts and methods used in social psychology.

Ans) Social psychology studies how social interactions, group dynamics, and culture affect behaviour and cognition.

Social Construction of Reality:

Social psychology uses sociological concepts to study how people create meanings, norms, and common understandings. Social variables shape reality perceptions.

Social Identity Theory:

Based on sociology, this theory examines how people form social groupings, altering perceptions, attitudes, and behaviour. It studies how social categorization affects identity and intergroup relations.

Social Influence:

Conformity, obedience, and compliance are key sociological terms for understanding how others influence people. Social psychology examines how social pressure affects behaviour and decision-making.


Sociology is concerned with how people internalise social norms, beliefs, and expectations. Social psychology studies how socialisation affects behaviour.

Social Cognition:

Social psychology uses sociological views to study how people perceive, interpret, and retain social information.

Group Dynamics:

Understanding group behaviour needs sociological concepts of formation, cohesion, and conflict. Social psychology studies how group dynamics affect cooperation, competition, and decision-making.

Symbolic Interactionism:

This sociological perspective stresses how symbols, language, and communication shape social interactions. Social psychology studies how symbolic interaction affects relationships and meaning.

Social Norms and Deviance:

Social psychology examines how social norms affect behaviour. It analyses social norms, deviant conduct, and social effects.

Social Exchange Theory:

Sociological methodologies inform social psychology's quantitative and qualitative research methods. Social phenomena are studied via experiments, surveys, field observations, and in-depth interviews.

Research Methods:

Sociological methodologies inform social psychology's quantitative and qualitative research methods. Social phenomena are studied via experiments, surveys, field observations, and in-depth interviews.

Social Networks:

Understanding the patterns of social connections and relationships, social psychology examines how social networks influence attitudes, behaviours, and well-being.

Assignment Three

Answer the following Short Category questions in about 100 words each.

Q6) What is social institution?

Ans) The behaviour of individuals inside a society is governed by a social institution, which is a system that is both structured and long-lasting and consists of established norms, roles, and laws. Institutions like these offer a structure that can be utilised to organise and meet key social functions and requirements. Family, education, government, the economy, religion, and healthcare are some examples of such areas. Individuals' behaviours, the upkeep of social order, and the transmission of cultural values from one generation to the next are all significantly influenced by the contributions of social institutions. In the process of organising and regulating many parts of social life, they make a contribution to the stability and functioning of societies.

Q7) Differentiate between multiple roles and role set.

Ans)The difference between multiple roles and roles set:

Q8) What are culture trait and culture complex?

Ans) Culture Trait:

A culture trait is a specific characteristic, behaviour, belief, or custom shared within a particular culture. These traits are the building blocks of a culture and can include elements such as language, clothing styles, rituals, and food preferences. Culture traits are the observable and often tangible manifestations of a culture's values and norms.

Culture Complex:

A culture complex is a combination of related culture traits that are characteristic of a particular group. It involves a cluster of interrelated cultural elements that often coexist and reinforce each other. For example, a traditional wedding ceremony may be a culture complex comprising various traits such as rituals, attire, and customary practices.

Q9) What is status?

Ans) A person's status is the social position that is acknowledged within a community. Status is typically defined by a set of expectations, rights, and duties that are associated with that position. The stature, prestige, and function that an individual holds in relation to other people are all determined by it. One can either ascribe status, which is a form of involuntary assignment based on variables such as age or gender, or earn status, which is acquired by personal accomplishments. It is a key idea in sociology, and it also plays a role in the formation of social hierarchies, roles, and interactions. Statuses can be unique or part of a larger role set, and they have the ability to influence an individual's identity as well as how they are regarded and treated within a social environment.

Q10) Differentiate between political sociology and sociology of politics.

Ans)The difference between political sociology and sociology of politics

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