Sociology Optional Previous Years Papers – 1980

Sociology Optional Previous Years Papers – 1980


1. Distinguish between formal and informal structures of organizations and show how some of the problems of formal organizations can be better understood in forms of this distinction. Or
Define „social stratification‟ and critically examine the view that Marx has “oversimplified the structure of satisfaction by reducing it to one factor, control of the means of production”.

Section A

2. What do you mean by functionalism? Explain Merton‟s paradigm of functional analysis. Does it satisfy the requirements of a rigorous theory?

3. In what ways is organic solidarity different from mechanical solidarity? Does organic division of labour lead to greater efficiency? Illustrate your view with examples.
4. Examine Pareto‟s analysis of the circulation of elites. It is valid for the modern industrial societies?
5. Distinguish among power, prestige and authority. What are the different ways in which an authority may gain legitimacy? Why does a changing society face crises of legitimacy?

Section B

6. Bring out the relationship between technological development and changes in family and kinship. How do you account for the different types of kinship system in the U.S. and Japan which are similar with regard to technological development?
7. Define and elaborate social fact and social action as the subject matter of sociology. What are the problems which such a subject matter posses for its scientific study? Can it be studied scientifically at all?
8. Distinguish between observation and interviewing as techniques of data collection. Under what contexts may their use be recommended? Bring out their merits and demerits as regards their objectivity and validity.
9. Write short notes on any two of the following:
(a) Religion as a force both for integration and conflict within society.
(b) Dialectics of change as applied to the Indian society.
(c) Changes in the society at large and role conflict within the family.
(d) The significance of the combination of induction and deduction in scientific method.


1. What argument are adduced by some authors to assert that the caste system is peculiar only to India, and by some others to show that it is a universal phenomenon observable in other parts of the world as well? Or
Some authors maintain that the caste system contributes to solidarity and harmony in society, whereas some other think that it is an exploitative system. What are the grounds for such divergent views?

Section A

2. Analyse the interrelationships among the joint family, the caste system and the village community in the traditional Indian society and show how they were supported by the peculiar economic organization and the value system.
3. Describe the traditional modes of adaptation and mobility in tribe and caste in India and bring out the significant changes in these process since independence.
4. Traditionally, marriage in the Father-right societies in India was not merely a union between man and woman, but a permanent transfer of a woman from the family of her parents into that of her husband. What customs and practices in marriage and family can you adduce to substantiate this observation?
5. There are tendencies in some parts of the country, on the part of the native people of a region to discriminate against the immigrants. Analyse the economic, demographic and socio-cultural factors which may give rise to the politics of nativism.

Section B

6. Examine India‟s claim to be a secular state and society. Does the concept of secular state as understood in India lead to the spread of secularism in society as a scientific concept.
7. Give a brief account of the major social reform movements in the 19th and 20th century India. How and why can they be regarded fundamentally different from such movements in the past.
8. Explain why it is not urbanization alone, but urbanization combined with industrialization, which is responsible for far-reaching changes in society.
9. Write short notes on any two of the following:
(a) Varna and Jati.
(b) Growing economic disparities despite development planning.
(c) Slow progress of Scheduled caste despite Protective Discrimination.
(d) Whether the status of women in India is due to their inherent qualities or to social arrangements.

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