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BSW-122: Society, Social Institutions and Social Problems

BSW-122: Society, Social Institutions and Social Problems

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2021-22

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Assignment Code: BSW-122/2021-22

Course Code: BSW-122

Assignment Name: Society, Social Institutions and Social Problems

Year: 2021-2022

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


(i) Answer any five of the following questions in about 300 words each.

(ii) All questions carry equal marks.

Q1. Define primary and secondary groups with examples. Discuss their characteristics. 20

Ans) Primary Groups

Primary groups are ones in which members have regular face-to-face interactions, as well as intimate, personal, and non-formal relationships.


  1. Primary groups are small: The size of the group is significant since it is difficult for members to build close relationships with everyone in larger groups.

  2. Members of the primary group have similar objectives: A major group's members can have a variety of features.

  3. The primary group provides its members with a comprehensive experience: The term "whole experience" refers to how the members are affected in a variety of ways. Individuals are considered as whole individuals.

  4. Relationship is seen as a goal in and of itself by the primary group: Members of the primary group regard the relationship as a goal in and of itself. To put it another way, the relationship is valued for what it is, rather than any specific benefit that members may receive as a result of their participation.

  5. Primary groupings have a lengthy lifespan: Peer groups and families exist for as long as the members of the group live. If any of the group's members dies or leaves, the group will come to an end.

  6. Primary socialisation agencies such as the family and peer group play an essential part in determining an individual's personality. Both are key organisations that give members with services, emotional support, and education.

  7. Primary groups sometimes compete for individual loyalty: primary organisations desire high levels of commitment from its members and may argue for distinct values in some situations. In this case, the individual may be torn between which group value to embrace.

Secondary Groups

Primary groups are usually smaller than secondary groupings. Members of secondary groups interact in a formal, impersonal, and need-based manner.


  1. Secondary groups are made up of a big number of people: Secondary groups are made up of a large number of people who have similar interests. A small joint family may have fewer secondary groupings than a large joint family.

  2. Secondary groupings have their own set of interests: While core groups value relationships as a goal in and of itself, secondary groups value relationships as a means to attain other goals. Members are aware of the situation, and as a result, their emotional participation is lower than in secondary groups.

  3. The secondary group has certain goals: The goal of joining a secondary group is to achieve some goals that the members consider vital. In the vast majority of cases, the goals are unattainable by a single person.

  4. Secondary group members have a formal relationship with one another since they have particular goals in mind. They do not need to know each other well.

  5. Secondary groups play an essential role in advancing members' interests: In democratic societies like ours, individuals must be mobilised around shared interests.

Q3. Define social change. Explain various factors of social change. 20

Ans) A big number of people are participating in activities that are different from those that they or their direct progenitors participated in previously. The reason for this is that the elements that generate social change are not always consistent. As a result of demographic changes, scientific and technological advancements, new ideologies, and social ideals emerge, and as a result, social structure, social system, and social institutions evolve.

Various factors of social change are as follows:

Physical Environment and Social Change

The most essential factor that determines social life is the physical environment. The physical environment undergoes both slow and rapid changes. Storms, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, fire, seasonal fluctuations, and other natural disasters shape societal life. The abundance of flora and animals leads to the formation of a social order based on it. Civilizational growth is both aided and hindered by the physical environment. Due to the harsh environmental conditions, social life will be limited at the poles and in the deserts. Human society's structure, growth, and change are determined by the forces caused by the physical environment.

Demographic Factors of Social Change

The study of human population is known as demography. The word 'Demos' comes from the Greek language and signifies "people." Fertility, mortality, migration, shifting age structures, sex ratios, age at marriage, marriage patterns, child bearing age, life expectancy, contraception use, and levels and types of sickness are all demographic elements that cause social change. With the urge to reform social and political structures, these variables have a far-reaching impact on society.

The changing age structure in all cultures as a result of increased longevity and better health measures will have its own consequences. In the past, the majority of the population was made up of young people, with only a few elderly people. An increase in the number of elderly people will necessitate the expansion of social and economic support systems. New societal issues are emerging as a result of deteriorating health, loneliness, isolation, and marginalisation of the elderly. In a nutshell, we may argue that demographic factors operationalize all aspects of social life, and that changes in them will result in social change.

Technological Factors of Social Change

Technological advancements have transformed the world into a global village, resulting in significant social shifts. Technological advancements have an impact on industry, agriculture, transportation, communication, energy sources, food processing, housing, and the physical environment. Almost every technology advance resulted in changes in social behaviour, interaction patterns, and social life.

Q4. What are the forms and means of social control? 20

Ans) The forms and means of social control are as follows:

Forms of Social Control

Conscious and Unconscious Control:

Human beings' conscious behaviour refers to purposeful and planned behaviours and activities, such as when a subordinate employee does not sit in his employer's chair and remains aware and attentive while speaking with his boss.

Direct and Indirect Control:

Direct social control occurs when very close individuals, such as parents, friends, instructors, neighbours, and others, exert control over human behaviour. The influence exerted by the social and physical surroundings, as well as other groups and institutions, is referred to as indirect social control. The influence of direct social control is greater and lasts longer, whereas the impact of indirect social control is weaker and lasts less.

Positive and Negative Social Control:

Positive social control can be achieved by promising rewards that range from concrete material benefits to social acceptance. Individuals' absorption of social norms, value, and role expectations during the socialisation process is a more fundamental form of positive social control. Individuals who believe in societal standards are more likely to follow them. Negative social control is effective because people know that if they are found, they will be severely punished. Negative social control includes punishment, ridicule, criticism, excommunication, incarceration, fines, and the death penalty.

Organised, Unorganised and Automatic Social Control:

Educational institutions, families, the state, and others exercise organised, unorganised, and automatic social control. Through rites and rituals, customs and traditions, folkways and mores, and other forms of unorganised social control, people's personalities are influenced.

Autocratic and Democratic Social Control:

Authorities frequently misuse material and human resources to fulfil their own vested interests, and they are not afraid to commit atrocities. Military-run states led by authoritarian rulers are living examples of autocratic social control, in which people's wishes are suppressed.

Formal and Informal Social Control:

Formal social control is sanctioned by the government, which uses its authority to regulate human behaviour. It establishes written and well-defined norms and regulations, a formal system of punishment for those who do not comply, and laws, police, jails, and judicial institutions for trial and punishment. Society exercises informal social control impacted by belief, customs, traditions, criticism, public opinion, religion, and so on.

Means of Social Control


Society-approved beliefs play a significant role in the regulation of human behaviour. People value the concept that they should follow social rules because those who do so are praised and rewarded, while those who do not are punished.

Social Suggestions:

Society governs its members' behaviour by making a variety of suggestions. For example, society publicises great leaders' good deeds and encourages its followers to emulate them.

Social Ideals:

Human behaviour is governed by social ideals. Great leaders' life stories and the routes they blazed become ideal for us. In fact, a country like India, which is home to people of various religions and languages, has evolved and adopted the concept of 'union in diversity' as an ideal.

Religiously Sanctioned Sanskars:

Our lives in Indian society, particularly Hindu society, are a series of sanskars. The defined rules and regulations are known as Sanskars. From the womb to the tomb, we must pass through countless sanskars. Sanskars incentivize people to carry out a task in a specific fashion that is acceptable to the relevant society.


Art links to people's sentiments, and it preserves societal control by providing those feelings a direction. People are powerfully motivated by art to engage in socially desirable behaviours and avoid those that are not.


Leaders are a powerful social control tool. They assist in a variety of ways because they have the ability to mould groups of people according to their desires and wishes based on their experiences, understanding, behaviour, intelligence, and hard work. For their followers, leaders become role models.

Ridicule and Humour:

Since the dawn of civilization, humour and ridicule have played an important role in preserving social control. Human behaviour is influenced both indirectly and collectively by humour and ridicule.


Fashion is an expression of human beings' internal and exterior desires at a given point in time. Fashion offers residents of a country a sense of self-identity.


Ahimsa (nonviolence) is an attitude of not harming anyone, whether via words or deeds, even if the person bothers you or is your enemy. This has a bad connotation. Ahimsa is a Sanskrit word that symbolises unconditional love, kindness, charity, self-sacrifice, and simplicity.


Language provides a vehicle for people's feelings and gives them meaning. Human beings have progressed on the path of progress due of language. Human behaviour is monitored by language.

Q5. Describe the concept of plurality of culture. 20

Ans) People of various religions, castes, creeds, races, and, most importantly, diverse ways of life, with their own cultures and ethnic identities, can be found in any country. A country like this is culturally diverse. Cultural pluralism is a pattern or system in which individuals of various faiths, religions, castes, and creeds can work and live together while proudly preserving their own faith and identity and sharing a shared bond of being, whether by birth or choice. Plural culture refers to the peaceful coexistence of multiple subcultures within a single community. The validity of numerous sub-cultures is accepted in such a pluralistic culture.

People from various subcultures have diverse ways of life, live differently, and think differently based on the cultural patterns they have embraced. As a result of cultural pluralism, the concept of cultural diversity emerges. Cultural distinctions distinguish one group of people from another with the same culture. Language, history or heritage, religion, style of dress or decoration can all be used to define a group. Plural group cultural features are socially inherited (socially transmitted) from one generation to the next rather than learned in a single generation.

Plural groups exhibiting one culture may be tiny or huge in size structurally, but they all exhibit a sense of unity among themselves. In most cases, membership in such numerous groups is closed, i.e., it can only be acquired by birth, and only its members have access to its resources. However, all of the groups live on equal footing, and none is deemed to be morally superior. Furthermore, no group has the authority to force someone to follow or accept its way of life.

Each group in a multiple subculture has a shared perspective and duty that is different and distinct from the wants and intents of other groups. Members of each group share common views, rights, and responsibilities, and they work hard to sustain and integrate the group.

India's rural and urban areas are home to a diverse range of cultures. It is populated by tribal, rural, and urban people. In terms of language, religion, caste, race, food, attire, and manner of life, it depicts a diverse culture and people. Our country is known for its variety while being together. This diversity is also found in metropolitan settings; however it is not as well defined, demarcated, or visible as it is in tribal and rural communities. Subcultures abound in urban settings, and they are diverse.

Q7. Highlight the functions and purposes of marriage. 20

Ans) The functions and purposes of marriage are as follows:

Marriage for Union and Procreation

What exactly is the point of marriage? Marriage is not required if the goal is just to reproduce. Of all, one of the most significant goals of marriage is to create a family. Marriage is a physical, psychological, and spiritual vehicle for the communication of love and self-commitment.

Marriage for the Purpose of Sex

The natural conclusion of a sexual connection is the birth of a child. As a result, one of the primary goals of marriage is to have children. The union itself, the husband and wife's mutual love, pleasure, and happiness, is an equally vital goal. As a result, marriage promotes reciprocal affection and attachment. It permits the proper expression of sexual pleasure.

Marriage for Companionship and Friendship

Intimacy in living with and making a commitment to another human being is the most fundamental requirement of a human being. What is the definition of friendship? "Friendship means having a privileged place in someone else's life and giving them a privileged position in our own," Jennet Kid says. It's about sharing ourselves with the people we care about."

Friendship is the foundation of marriage, and it lasts long after the physical desire has passed. It lasts long after the children have grown up and moved out. It only gets worse over time. This is what camaraderie or friendship entails. It enriches man and woman by enhancing their capacity for love and sacrifice and increasing their unselfishness. As a result, marriage is love, sex, and family, but it is ultimately and fundamentally companionship or friendship.

Marriage for Socialization

Marriage is a vehicle for a person's socialisation and development to come to fruition. It offers a plethora of opportunities to promote safety, cooperation, and love. Another goal of marriage is to form a family that provides a natural setting in which a person can discover himself or herself and reach out to others with a dedication and service attitude. It provides a solid foundation for society and a secure environment for children to grow up in.

Marriage for Matured Relationship

Another goal of marriage is to help people grow up by establishing relationships. Marriage also serves the aim of raising and educating children. The bond between a parent and a child is a close one.

Some Practical Purposes or Utilitarian Aspects of Marriage

  1. It provides security to ladies who are pregnant for long periods of time.

  2. It gives the kids a sense of security.

  3. It ensures a healthy life, which contributes to society's stability.

  4. Through partnerships, it improves society's cohesion.

  5. It makes blood ties easier to understand.

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