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MSO-003: Sociology of Development

MSO-003: Sociology of Development

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: MSO-003/AST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: MSO-003

Assignment Name: Sociology of Development

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Answer any five questions selecting at least two from each of the sections. Your answers should be in about 500 words each.




Q1) What is Development? Contrast the evolutionary models of development as elaborated by Marx and Parsons.

Ans) The terms development and progress are frequently used to denote positive processes that lead to the progression of singular or collective events, objects, or actions. In this, both human society and the idea of development have travelled far. For many years, progress was the standard definition of development. Later, growth, change, the spread of ideas, modernization, and other terms followed. It has only recently been recognised as including both social and human development.


Evolutionary Models of Development

Numerous academics furthered their exploration of the concepts of development and progress by stressing the differences between the old and the new. Here, the key concepts of Tonnies, Weber, Durkheim, Hobhouse, and Parsons in this part.


Tonnies (1855-1936)

According to Tonnies, in Gemeinschaft people are bound together by their innate nature through blood relationships, marriage, or a close bond between a husband and wife, a mother and child, and siblings. The three main categories of groups in the gemeinschaft that are governed by the common will are kinship, neighbourhood, and friendship.


Durkheim (1858-1917)

Durkheim too saw society as following an evolutionary pattern. When he spoke of social solidarity, he meant the moral principles that underlie social existence and serve as its common sense. Like a social evolutionist, he believed that while organic solidarity in industrial societies was derived from agreement to tolerate a range of differences and conflicts were moderated through various institutional arrangements such as courts, trade unions, and political parties, mechanical solidarity was based on agreement and identity between people. There is little to no division of labour in pre-industrial cultures; people work and consume in largely similar ways; there is also little difference in opinion and little individuality.

Max Weber (1864-1920)

Weber's research on capitalism examines the evolution of human civilization. He said that rationalising work ethics, saving, and frugal living led to the rise of capitalism as a symbol of progress. Calvinist Protestants in these countries established a lifestyle of worldly asceticism by rationalising their thinking, religious beliefs, and values to limit consumption and increase investment in industry to beautify the world as intended by god, according to Weber. According to Max Weber, ancient Hindu ideals like caste standards, Dharma, Karma, Moksha, and Sansar have hindered the development of rational capitalism in India.


L.T. Hobhouse (1864-1929)

Both Comte and Spencer had a big impact on Hobhouse. He adopted Comte's theory and argued that the evolution of the human mind was the most important aspect in social development, while Spencer saw social evolution or development as a process of increasing scale, complexity, and internal differentiation. Hobhouse emphasises that social growth is a result of mental progress, which can be characterised as progressive since it involves the advancement of moral principles toward the ideal of a rational ethic and modifies the main social institutions.


Talcott Parsons

Persons explained the evolution of human civilization in terms of its many stages using an evolutionary perspective. He developed the idea of evolutionary universals to signify that, notwithstanding historical specificities, each social system progresses along a few broad trajectories. He also placed a strong emphasis on a historical and comparative analysis of the main social system evolutionary stages around the world, from prehistoric to current industrial society.


Q2) Discuss in detail the concept of Modernization and its various perspectives with examples.

Ans) A unifying set of assumptions about the nature of industrialised civilizations and their capacity to transform a world seen as being both materially and culturally deficient were articulated by the concept of modernization. Modernization theorists specifically proposed a clear division between traditional and contemporary society. The transition from an agricultural or underdeveloped civilization with a weak state to an industrialised society with a generally efficient, active government is known as modernization, according to experts. The industrialization and urbanisation processes are all part of the modernization process. Wilbert Moore defined modernization as the complete change of a traditional or pre-modern society into the kinds of technology and accompanying social organisation that distinguish the advanced, economically affluent, and generally stable nations of the Western World.


Perspectives on Modernisation

The modernization process has produced an enormous volume of writing, at least from a sociological perspective. Regarding modernization, there is no common viewpoint.

  1. The Ideal-Typical

  2. The Diffusionist

  3. The Psychological

  4. The Marxist


The first three points of view have dominated American thought and have had tremendous support and favour everywhere, notably in the 1950s and 1960s. The fourth method has developed as a rival to the first three and provides a critique of their fundamental principles. The other four perspectives have also been disputed by the Marxist perspective.


The Ideal-Typical Perspective

  1. The Pattern Variable Perspective: This viewpoint is based on Talcott Parson's systematisation of Max Weber's theory of the ideal type. This viewpoint contends that after identifying the differences between underdevelopment and development, plans and programmes for development should be created so that developing nations might embrace underdeveloped nations' pattern variables.

  2. Historical Stage Perspective: This viewpoint describes the intermediate stages and their characteristics in addition to identifying the difference between characteristics of development and underdevelopment. This viewpoint is mostly related to Rostow and the 1960 development of his economic model. Economic historian Walt Rostow provided advice to the American government.


The Diffusionist Perspective

According to this theory, cultural aspects are diffused from developed to undeveloped nations as part of the development process. The underlying presumption is that without support from the industrialised countries, the impoverished nations cannot advance from their state of underdevelopment. Capital, technology, knowledge, skills, institutions, values, and other things diffuse. These academics see this assistance as a sacrifice made by the industrialised nations for the benefit of the poor, suffering nations.


The Psychological Perspective

This approach is mainly associated with McClelland, Kunkel, Hagen, and others. According to McClelland, a society with a high level of achievement will produce energetic entrepreneurs who, in turn, will produce more rapid economic development. This is because a high level of achievement among people makes them behave in ways which help them fulfil their entrepreneurial roles successfully.


The Marxian Perspective

This method acknowledges the core tenets of Marxist sociological and philosophical postulates. This theory contends that the global rise of the modern capitalism system is responsible for both the development and underdevelopment of some nations. Therefore, the rise of capitalism is held responsible for the causes of underdevelopment and the issues that result from it.


Q3) What is Sustainable Development? Discuss critically the future of sustainable development in the context of globalization.

Ans) Sustainable development is an organizing principle for meeting human development goals while also sustaining the ability of natural systems to provide the natural resources and ecosystem services on which the economy and society depend.


The utilisation of contemporary technology, the factory system of production, and swift industrialization and urbanisation are characteristics of the economic growth model of development. This development model was initially advocated for the less developed nations by the Western nations who adopted it. The prevailing underlying assumption was that, if the developing nations imitated the economic and social structures of the West, they would eventually catch up to the industrialised nations. Uncritically, the less developed nations followed the western model of development.


The less developed nations' embrace of the western development paradigm had unintended repercussions. Economic expansion did occur, but it was accompanied by a widening of the gap between the North and the South, as well as by the promotion of economic inequities between the rich and the impoverished parts of certain civilizations. It was realised that the idea of progress being solely based on economic growth was unsatisfactory, and that social stratification does not always advance as a result of economic growth. This realisation led to a change in how people saw development, which finally resulted in the adoption of some new development criteria, such as distributive justice or equity, and an improvement in the general standard of living for the masses.


The exploitation of natural resources and environmental deterioration have become worldwide issues as a result of the economic growth techniques used. The eventual rise of environmentalism can be attributed to the public's growing knowledge of environmental issues. It is significant to remark that the continuous discussion of development now includes an essential dimension brought forth by environmentalism. In actuality, it has led to a paradigm shift in how we view development. It has prompted the concerned thinkers to consider what is being done to the planet's ecology in the name of development. The policies, plans, and development programmes have been reviewed in light of the deteriorating environmental condition.


Globalisation and Future of Sustainable Development

The transition toward what is meant by the concept of sustainable development has been made more difficult by the effects of globalisation. According to Martin Khor, the globalisation and liberalisation processes have become so powerful that they have undermined and are continuing to weaken the aim for sustainable development. Governments in the North and those in the South now place a high importance on commerce, the perception of the need to remain competitive in a global market and pampering and satisfying the needs of corporations and the wealthy. In this wave of free market madness, the environment, the wellbeing of the poor, and international cooperation have all been displaced and sacrificed. The failure of the Johannesburg Summit is attributed in large part to the globalisation trend.




Q1) Discuss the changing perspectives on women's development.

Ans) There are a number of significant viewpoints on how women develop. The changing perspectives on women's development are as follows:


Structural Perspective

The Women in Development approach to development policies is criticised by structural perspectives on development because it begins with the fundamental premise that conflict in society leads to competition for resources and power and manifests itself in class and group struggles, giving dominance and oppression a structural foundation. Change itself in established systems is perceived as dramatic and revolutionary shifts that lead to a more equitable allocation of resources and power rather than as accommodations and adjustments. For the critical conflict perspective, Marxism serves as a crucial foundation.


Like the WID method, Marxism maintains that women in the Third World have been marginalised as a result of development as economic modernization or capitalist growth. In addition, feminists have criticised it for ignoring the fact that males, not simply the abstract idea of capital, profit from women's oppression and reducing it to the abstract idea of a certain mode of production. In this conceptualization, the individual is solely defined in relation to class interests, utterly denying their agency and consciousness as social actors. Women's resistance to male dominance and control is itself regarded as a false consciousness and the outcome of the ruling minority's divisive tactics.


Gender Relations Framework

Both of the structural arguments presented above make broad generalisations about how capitalism and its interactions with patriarchy affect women globally. A number of women who supported the gender analytical approach to development have criticised these ideas as being too rigid to be very practical. The WID's promotion of the category woman was also criticised for isolating women and men through its exclusive focus on women. This method views power as generally inherent in gender relations rather than being founded in men and denied to women in all situations. While explaining women's subordination in domestic gender relations, it goes beyond the home to examine how asymmetrical gender relations that result from the home interact, relate, and define relations in the larger economic sphere.


The framework goes on to emphasise how other social relations, such as class, race, ethnicity, and religion, mediate the definition and interpretation of gender inequality so that neither class nor sex nor any other attribute takes precedence over other as a determining principle of personal identity, social position, or power. The gender relations approach allows for a more realistic and practical attempt to change how men and women work, live, and relate by rethinking men and women without a universal structure of patriarchy. This is done by constructing gender subordination in different societies, communities, institutions, and arenas of action in a historically specific manner.


Empowering Women for Development

The issue of women's empowerment is strongly related to that of women's development. The phrase is debatable, but it's vital to remember that it doesn't necessarily mean that women should participate more in economic activities because they don't always help women's conditions and frequently make them burdened with more work. The very divisive concept of power, which is understood in many ways by different individuals, is embedded in the phrase "empowerment."


In order to give women, access to political structures, decision-making, markets, income, and more generally to a state where they can take advantage of opportunities without being constrained by their families, communities, or the state, empowerment generally refers to bringing women into the decision-making process from outside of it. In the feminist meaning, empowerment would entail realising one's power over as well as their power to oppose, negotiate, and bring about change.


Q2) Write a critique of the Marxian perspective of development.

Ans) For many authors, critical theory means different things. It is typically regarded as a critique of modernity, as well as the institutions and advancements connected to modern civilization. It may also be a criticism of certain sociological schools of thought or of social science in general. Criticizing art and culture, particularly consumer culture, advertising, the media, and other forms of popular culture, has played a significant role in critical theory. Critical theory is heavily influenced by some of the claims made in Giddens' Dilemmas of the Self, such as the evaporating self and commodified experience.


In truth, critical theory is still current and creative in the context of culture. The Frankfurt school is typically more strongly linked to critical theory than any other school of thought. A critical theory of contemporary society was typically established and developed by German Marxist theorists like Benjamin, Horkheimer, Adorno, Fromm, Marcuse, and, more recently, Habermas and Offe. Others are also regarded as critical theorists, including the Hungarian Marxist Lukacs and a few modern North Americans, most notably Calhoun and Kellner.


Historical Background

Critical theory is frequently linked to the so-called "Frankfurt School" when it is discussed in relation to social theory. The Institute was a part of Frankfurt University in Germany and had been founded in 1923 with financial support from a wealthy German grain dealer. As a result of the political unrest that followed World War I, new ideas that had been relatively unpopular in German colleges began to gain traction. Many Marxists once believed that Germany would adopt socialism after the Russian revolution.


When it became clear that this was not going to happen, several of the intellectuals who were drawn to Marxism believed that Marxist-focused research was required to re-evaluate Marxist theory in light of the changes that had taken place in Europe. Some of these Marxists believed, in particular, that while the objective prerequisites for socialism existed, the workers' subjective awareness did not support the destruction of capitalism and the establishment of socialism. In particular, "a clear notion of socialism seemed to be lacking," along with "revolutionary awareness, culture, and organisation."


Materialism and Idealism

Thus, critical theory is largely a social theory from Europe. It draws from the German tradition of Marx and Weber, the experience of fascism, as well as the evolving features of contemporary capitalism. Early critical theory was materialist and committed to socialism since it placed Marxian political economy at the centre of analysis. One of the main aspects of this viewpoint was the idea that all aspects of social life were reflections of the economic system, and that social theory's job was to look into how this affected and altered individuals.



Marxism is criticised by critical theorists when it is overly deterministic or mechanically materialist. They were particularly critical of several schools of philosophy, particularly positivism and the accompanying scientific paradigms. They also criticise sociology and other social sciences for having just incomplete insights and a lack of critical thinking. As a result, they established exceedingly high criteria for social science standards that they eventually failed to satisfy.


Commodity Exchange

They asserted that the fundamental aspect of a capitalist society is the creation of commodities, and that market interactions and values are permeating more and more facets of daily life. In a capitalist market society, exchange was increasingly the main method that people related to and interacted with one another. Reification the conversion of people, culture, nature, and everything else into commodities with an exchange value as their core component thus came to rule interactions and activity in the capitalist society.

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