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BSOG-176: Economy and Society

BSOG-176: Economy and Society

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: BSOG-176/ASST/TMA/July 2022-23

Course Code: BSOG-176

Assignment Name: Economy and Society

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


Q1) Discuss the contributions of Simmel and Veblen on economic sociology.

Ans) The contributions of Simmel on economic sociology is as follows:


Simmel argues that capitalism is an economic system that assumes private capital accumulation. The number of people who participated in the money economy grew as a result of the need for money to be used as a medium of exchange more frequently. However, one fundamental non-economic requirement had to be met in order for money to operate as a catalyst for economic activity: a growing confidence in the ability of money to be transformed into tangible products at any time. Thus, the accumulation of capital implied the build-up of trust, which was in turn backed by institutional considerations such as the legal system's guarantees and the legitimacy and effectiveness of political authority. In this way, the institution of money was made public.


Simmel further stressed that the destruction of the natural economy based on production for one's own consumption was largely due to the money economy. As a result, it encouraged the creation of a centralised government that would manage money as its primary job. Thus, the development of taxation, which enabled the maintenance of the military and bureaucracy under the control of a centralised authority, contributed to the expansion of the modern state as well. The old feudal order would be undermined and the money economy would be strengthened as a result of these instruments, ensuring the growth of exchanges. Simmel's main focus was on the effects of the money economy on social interactions and lifestyles. He discussed both the advantages and disadvantages of these effects, emphasising their duality. Due to the interchangeability of social interactions in the areas of exchange and production, money thus favoured the expansion of individual liberty.


There was so more freedom with regard to objects as well. A clear and explicit labour contract replaced the serf's and apprentice's in a mediaeval guild's reliance on their masters, and this transition was also felt in the area of production.


The contributions of Veblen on economic sociology is as follows:


Following are the three areas where Veblen concentrated his critique's key points:

  1. First, there was the theory of economic action's individualistic view of human nature.

  2. The static aspect of conventional economic analysis, or its emphasis on equilibrium rather than change, came in second.

  3. The connection between the pursuit of personal interests and a community's well-being was revealed last. People were governed by the standards and values that their society instilled in them.


Since individual preferences, the state of knowledge, and the state of technology were taken as givens in traditional economic theory, it was unable to adequately explain this variety in action. Veblen emphasised the neoclassical economics' rigid and ahistorical characteristics. According to him, the old method was based on an idea of equilibrium and a look for economic stabilising processes that drew inspiration from the physical sciences, particularly mechanics. The possibility of coexisting societies with varied relationships between technology and institutions was one effect of Veblen's theory of change. Veblen rejected the idea that institutions would inevitably converge as a result of technology, creating a singular institutional model that would be better able to deal with the challenges of adaptation given by the economic and social environment.


Q2) Discuss the sociological concept of rationality and economic behaviour.

Ans) A famous idea in economics at one point was the economic man, a hypothetical creation of a completely rational human. Here, the idea of reason is taken into account in terms of financial gain.


With regard to social action, Weber has identified four different types of rationality: the first is rational action in connection to a purpose; the second is rational action in reference to a value; the third is action motivated by emotion; and the fourth is rational action in relation to tradition.

  1. The first of them is what most people think of as economic action, which is action that is focused on achieving a specific objective, such as preparing a field for a crop or travelling to a market to sell it. In this case, Weber does not account for a goal that is not achieved, such as when someone makes an effort but is unsuccessful. It is a sensible activity as long as the person is carrying out what she believes to be right.

  2. The second is value-oriented, such as utilising the money to heal a sick mother at home or donating it to charity rather than keeping it for oneself. In this situation, being reasonable means upholding one's ideas or core beliefs. It is a matter of perspective, yet it is sensible in its own context to favour generosity over self-indulgence.

  3. The third is affective behaviour that is motivated by an unexpected emotion or impulse, such as hugging a friend one hasn't seen in a while; this behaviour’s logic can be attributed to the emotion as well as the relationship's history, the current situation, and other factors; the fourth is behaviour that complies with directives. This is the vast array of daily activities that fall under the category of doxa and are taken for granted in everyday life, such as saying hello to neighbours, bowing to a deity, making tea, halting at a red light, and so on.


One refers to those facets of social interactions and organisations that have to do with ensuring one's material needs in the study of economics. the important actions taken to provide society's basic demands for material goods. Economic relations and activities cannot be isolated from social relations and activities when we examine the relationships between the two at all levels, and the economy is but one facet of society. When it came to having well-organized production, exchange, and consumption norms, rules, and personnel, anthropologists quickly discovered that the pre-monetary cultures did indeed have economies. The economy was integrated into other social related structures including kinship, family, and the holy, which was the only distinction.


Therefore, the distinction between the four types of reason that Weber identified is purely conceptual. They may coexist at the level of practise and frequently do. Even though goal-oriented people can be impulsive and passionate, our goals are frequently decided by and impacted by our values and actions. Both safe investors and speculators can justify their conduct with their different rationalities. As a result, our social relationships, cultures, beliefs, and conventions cast a shadow over the idea of economic man as a whole.

Assignment Two


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


Q3) Distinguish between development from the top and development from the bottom.

Ans) The differences between development from the top and development from the bottom are as follows:


Development from the top: The "development from the top" strategy calls for the central or "apex" administrative organisations to design and carry out development initiatives. In other words, the central organisations create initiatives, establish their type and direction, and then force them on the populace. For instance, when seated in the capital, ministers and high officials create plans for rural residents' development without completely understanding their issues.


This method operates under the implicit premise that those in need of development are unable to comprehend their requirements, come up with development plans, and carry those plans out on their own. As a result, outside agencies and specialists are required. In actuality, this presumption is unfounded. The elite at the top have a personal stake in holding such beliefs. Their main objective is to maintain control over resources and use them for their own gain. Because they lack adequate resources of their own and any ability to manage the resources of the community, the people accept the growth plans. As a result, the majority of top-down directives fail to provide the expected outcomes.

Development from bottom: On the other hand, proponents of the second method to development from the bottom hold the goals and capacities of those in need of development in high regard. They are given the chance to describe their issues and potential solutions. They receive training, are empowered, and are equipped to assist themselves. The decision to use resources for development initiatives is made by the parties involved, either directly or through local representatives. As a result, plans are more decentralised and people participate more. While planners acknowledge the value of growth from the bottom up and assert that they use this strategy, in reality they frequently do the opposite. The outcome is that the development is ineffectual.


Q4) Differentiate between traditional and advanced horticulture.

Ans) The differences between traditional and advanced horticulture are as follows:


Traditional Simple horticulture: Traditional simple horticulturists depended on a variety of pre-modern technology advancements that can be divided into mechanical, biological, chemical, and managerial categories. Mechanical is one of these that is quite important in conventional horticultural techniques. Horticulturists employed a plough to cultivate their lands at the same time as they tamed animals.


Due to its low cost, this allowed for the spread of agriculture, and it also helped to foster relationships between the workers and landlords. The plough brought about the most significant improvements on the socioeconomic front of all the mechanical methods of gardening. This advancement in mechanical tools clarifies the horticulture technology that was previously available. The way horticulturists used tools changed over time, and these innovations carried over from one generation to the next, improving horticultural technology and giving rise to advanced horticulture.


Advanced horticulture: Utilizing sophisticated crop production techniques is a part of advanced horticultural methods. Increased seed production, insect management, the use of high-quality fertilisers, the use of contemporary tilling methods like tractors, and other factors all contribute to the complexity of crop production. These contemporary technical advancements preserve the essential elements of horticulture methods while also resulting in cost, time, and energy savings.


Crop cultivation is made possible and definitely rapid and simple by the use of mechanical energy. Because of the high demand for horticultural products on the market, horticulture as an industry has experienced constant growth. This has inspired tool designers to create new, user-friendly tools that are portable. Examples of such technological advancements include lawn mowing, cutting of maize, wheat, paddy, and sugarcane, as well as other applications in agriculture. Other equipment that are primarily utilised in decorative gardening can be powered or used manually.


Q5) Examine the dimensions of capitalism.

Ans) The dimensions of capitalism are as follows:


Private Property Ownership: While not unique to capitalism, the concept of private property is crucial to its efficient operation. Private property ownership raises industrial societies even higher, insures reciprocity, and promotes honesty and trust. The possessions that people own are worth more to them. The best interests of the private owners as well as the greater society to which they belong are served by these products.


Self-interest: Humans have a natural tendency toward self-interest, and they cannot survive without it. Although self-interest was tamed by capitalism, people nevertheless pursue benefits for their families and other people they care about in addition to their own interests. In addition to this, people collaborate with one another and have common interests.


Competition: The proponents of capitalism are largely ignorant of how competition operates. Many people regard the ability to continuously develop, adapt, and innovate as the competition's biggest advantages. For the build-up of capital, competition is crucial. The fundamental goal of competition is to encourage manufacturers to enhance their production standards by ensuring the quality of necessities while lowering the cost of items.


Price Mechanism: It relies on both the person buying the items and the one selling them. In a free market, the quality and quantity of output are shaped by the fluctuating prices. However, there are occasions when the government regulates the market instead of the buyers and sellers of goods to provide necessities to the underprivileged at fair pricing. The shifting pricing send conflicting messages to both the manufacturers of the commodities and the buyers of those goods. When prices rise, it advises consumers to reduce their desires and leave the market. Additionally, it advises producers to enter a market where there is rivalry between different producers.


Assignment Three


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


Q6) What is formalism in economic sociology?

Ans) While substantivism is descriptive and grounded on experience, formalism is founded on a deductive and logical way of thinking. In contrast to substantivists, such as Karl Polanyi, who contend that economy is rooted in social-cultural circumstances, formalist orientation is founded on the idea of economic rationality of individuals maximising their own interests. Formalism is linked to the fundamentals of the capitalism system, which are vastly different from those of the pre-capitalist systems.


Additionally, it implies that the tenets of a capitalist economy are viewed as universal, putting non-industrial economies under the tenets of a market economy. Formalists contend that non-capitalist economies can be understood by applying the formal principles of neoclassical economic theory, which were primarily derived from the study of capitalist market cultures.


Q7) What is Olericulture?

Ans) Olericulture is the branch of horticulture that deals with the cultivation of vegetables and other food crops. It is a line of work that entails growing vegetables like corn, beans, and tomatoes for market. In essence, olericulture involves two kinds of produce, both of which fall under the herbaceous classification; the distinction between the two, however, is in how they are used by people. The first group of crops contains those that must be prepared before consumption, whereas the other group does not require cooking (for example salad). Olericulture is not just the old-fashioned way of growing things in little gardens. It is currently being grown over a very large area of land and is utilised for business.


Q8) What is feudal mode of production?

Ans) A feudal mode of production is one in which the ruling class appropriates the products of labour and is primarily concerned with the "existence" of labour. Similar to capitalism, this mode of production involves landlords, or feudalists, exploiting tenants. Tenants had no property rights in this manner of production. They could not produce the necessary quantity of goods for their livelihood because they were compelled to sell both their labour and the products of their labour. Additionally, they were compelled to provide the feudal landlord with labour or money in order to satisfy their demands. They additionally had to pay taxes on the possessions of their family. An essential component of the feudal system of production is rent payment. The feudal system of production introduced the trading of agricultural goods and other goods in markets.


Q9) What is the medium of exchange in agricultural societies?

Ans) Produce from the fields served as commodity money in agricultural communities. In addition to other grown goods for daily use, the produce from the fields comprised vegetables, fruits, maize, rice, wheat, and so forth. In agricultural communities, specific animal foods, like eggs, were also employed as a type of commodity money at the same time. But this does not imply that money did not exist at this time. However, there has been a change in the sort of money being used for trading, even though this form of commodity money still exists in rural India. Paper money also emerged in the form of bank notes and checks as the nature of commodity money changed from everyday objects of use to valuable metallic commodities like gold.


Q10) Describe the demerits of globalization

Ans) The demerits of globalisation are as follows:

  1. Due to the loss of jobs caused by the outsourcing of jobs to be developing nations, many nations are now adopting protectionism measures, such as the USA's restrictions on BPO.

  2. The threat of communicable diseases spreading is greater.

  3. There is an undercurrent threat of powerful multinational businesses taking control of the world. It might inadvertently result in a covert type of colonialism for smaller developing countries on the receiving end.

  4. Exploitation of labour through the payment of low wages.

  5. A rise in terrorism worldwide.

  6. Environmental issues including the rise in pollution globally.

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