Indian Sociologists: NBSE Class 12 (Arts) Sociology answers

Indian Sociologists
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Get summary, textual answers, solutions, notes, extras, PDF to NBSE Class 12 (Arts) Sociology Chapter/unit 10 Indian Sociologists. However, the educational materials should only be used for reference and students are encouraged to make necessary changes.

Introduction

The chapter provides a comprehensive analysis of the sociological perspectives of R.K. Mukherjee and Yogendra Singh, focusing on their views on values, tradition, modernity, and the caste system.

R.K. Mukherjee’s sociology of values is of considerable significance. He believes that the personality of an individual is influenced not only by biological and psychological needs but also by societal pressures. Values, according to Mukherjee, are socially approved desires or goals, internalised through conditioning and socialisation. They are at the core of all social interactions, group behaviour, and institutions. Mukherjee also presents a gradation of values at different levels of social integration, from spontaneous expressions in a crowd to values of equity and justice in society.

Yogendra Singh, on the other hand, views tradition and modernity as two aspects of the same reality. He argues that every society has its unique way of modernization, grounded in its specific cultural-structural history. Singh distinguishes between cultural structure and social structure to analyse the modernization of Indian society. He discusses the changes in the long tradition of Indian society and culture from ancient times, identifying the changes brought about by Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, and Western civilization. Singh concludes that Indian modernity is unique and that Indian tradition is undergoing modernization.

It also discusses Ghurye’s structural features of the caste system, highlighting the hierarchy, principles of purity and pollution, civil and religious disabilities and privileges, lack of choice of occupation, and endogamy.

Textual questions and answers

Very short answer questions

1. In which book did Ghurye deals with caste?

Answer: Caste and Race in India.

2. Which is the most important feature of caste according to Ghurye?

Answer: According to Ghurye, the most important feature of caste is the “principles of purity and pollution”.

3. Give Ghurye’s concept of purity and pollution in the context of caste system.

Answer: Ghurye’s concept of purity and pollution in the context of the caste system is that the arrangement of castes in a hierarchy and their separation from one another is based on these principles. These principles find their expression in the rules about accepting food from other castes and in contact with members of other castes. Usually, lower castes accept food from higher castes, but higher castes do not accept food from the lower castes. Physical contact with the lower castes generally leads to ritual pollution. The lowest castes are untouchable because of the pollution they cause.

4. What is endogamy?

Answer: Endogamy is a system that restricts the choice of marriage partners to one’s own caste. Inter-marriage between the castes is prohibited. In fact, castes are divided and sub-divided into numerous smaller units, each of which is endogamous.

5. Who founded the Indian Sociological Society and when?

Answer: The Indian Sociological Society was founded by Prof. G.S. Ghurye in 1951.

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9. What is meant by disvalues?

Answer: Disvalues arise because of individual and social shortcomings. They are expressed in the form of individual deviance as also institutional deviance. Such disvalues must be dealt with and deviant individuals must be integrated by working on the total situation.

10. What is Yongedra Singh’s approach to the study of Indian society?

Answer: Yogendra Singh’s approach to the study of Indian society involves distinguishing between cultural structure and social structure. Cultural structure consists of both the Little Traditions and the Great Tradition. It is at the level of the Great Tradition that cultural modernization can be seen. Social structure consists of micro-structures and the macro-structure. It is at the level of the macro-structure that there has been the emergence of new political institutions, bureaucracy and industry. Singh maintains that the process of modernization is grounded in the specific cultural-structural history of a society. In this sense, Indian modernity is not a replica of Western modernity because of its unique adaptive features.

11. According to Yogendra Singh, what are the features of the concept of modernization?

Answer: According to Yogendra Singh, the features of the concept of modernization involve changes in both the cultural structure and the social structure.

Short answer questions

1. What is the meaning of personality, society and values according to R.K. Mukherjee?

Answer: The personality of an individual is the sum total of the individual’s characteristic mode of adjustment at different dimensions. These dimensions are biological, social and ideal or cosmic or transcendent. In making these adjustments, an individual seeks the basic requirements of sustenance, status and value fulfillment.

It can be inferred that society is seen as a collective that exerts pressure on the individual, influencing their personality and the values they adopt.

Values are socially approved desires or goals. They are internalised through the process of conditioning and socialisation. They generate subjective preferences, standards and aspirations. Thus, values are at the core of all social interactions, group behaviour and institutions.

2. What is the importance of values?

Answer: According to R.K. Mukherjee, the basic problem for modern societies is to create and nurture suitable values. Such values have two aspects. On the one hand, they should lead to the full development and expression of the individual. On the other hand, they must lead to social harmony, order and solidarity.

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4. According to Yogendra Singh, why is the concept of modernization ideological?

Answer: According to Singh, the concept of modernization is composite and also ideological. This is because the concept of modernization is closely related to the concepts of ‘development’, ‘growth’, ‘evolution’ and ‘progress’. Hence the basic problem of modernization in India is ideological.

Essay type questions

1. Explain the structural features of caste given by Ghurye.

Answer: Ghurye outlined several structural features of the caste system:

  • Caste has a center or regulatory mechanism regarding rules, standards of morality and justice.
  • Castes are arranged in a hierarchy or order or ranking in terms of superior and inferior positions. Such a hierarchy varies from region to region. But at the all India level, Brahmin castes are placed in the highest rank, and the untouchable castes are at the bottom of the hierarchy.
  • The arrangement of castes in a hierarchy and their separation from one another is based on the principles of ritual purity and pollution. These principles find their expression in the rules about accepting food from other castes and in contact with members of other castes. Usually, lower castes accept food from higher castes, but higher castes do not accept food from the lower castes. Physical contact with the lower castes generally leads to ritual pollution. The lowest castes are untouchable because of the pollution they cause.
  • The higher castes, particularly the Brahmin castes, enjoy civil and religious privileges. On the other hand, lower castes suffer from disabilities. For example, lower castes cannot move about freely, cannot use Vedic rituals, and the lowest castes cannot enter temples.
  • Every caste is associated with a hereditary occupation. Individuals cannot change their caste related occupation. Some occupations are considered clean, others are deemed impure. There is an association with the clean and impure occupation and the position of the caste in the hierarchy. The profession of priesthood and literary activities are the preserve of the Brahmin castes. Non-Brahmin castes are engaged in other occupations and the lowest castes perform the most unclean jobs.
  • Endogamy restricts the choice of marriage partners to one’s own caste. Inter-marriage between the castes is prohibited. In fact, castes are divided and sub-divided, and each division has its own rules and regulations.

2. Discuss R.K. Mukerjee’s views about Indian society and values?

Answer: According to R.K. Mukherjee, the personality of an individual is influenced not only by the biological and psychological needs and drives but also by the pressures of the society or collectivity. The personality of an individual is the sum total of the individual’s characteristic mode of adjustment at different dimensions. These dimensions are biological, social and ideal or cosmic or transcendent. In making these adjustments, an individual seeks the basic requirements of sustenance, status and value fulfillment.

Values are socially approved desires or goals. They are internalised through the process of conditioning and socialisation. They generate subjective preferences, standards and aspirations. Thus, values are at the core of all social interactions, group behaviour and institutions.

According to R.K. Mukherjee, the basic problem for modern societies is to create and nurture suitable values. Such values have two aspects. On the one hand, they should lead to the full development and expression of the individual. On the other hand, they must lead to social harmony, order and solidarity.

There is a gradation of values at different levels of social integration:

  • In a crowd there is a spontaneous expression of values like moral indignation.
  • In an interest group there are elemental values like reciprocity, integrity and fairness.
  • In society or community values of equity and justice find expression.
  • In general there are values like spontaneous love, social responsibility and solidarity.

Values are always accompanied by disvalues. They arise because of individual and social shortcomings. They are expressedin the form of individual deviance as also institutional deviance. Such disvalues must be dealt with and deviant individuals must be integrated by working on the total situation.

R. K. Mukherjee’s sociology of values is of considerable significance for two reasons. In the first place, he points out how different values operate in different societies. This is important to note in the case of Indian society which cannot be fully understood in terms of Western values. Secondly, he points out how values are basic to human social behaviour. R. K. Mukherjee’s sociology of values points out how sociology must be concerned with actual problems. He also assigns to sociology the task of promoting values that will lead to individual fulfillment and social harmony.

3. Discuss R.K. Mukherjee’s gradation of values.

Answer: According to R.K. Mukherjee, there is a gradation of values at different levels of social integration:

  • In a crowd, there is a spontaneous expression of values like moral indignation. This refers to the immediate and emotional response of a group of people to a perceived injustice or wrongdoing.
  • In an interest group, there are elemental values like reciprocity, integrity, and fairness. These values guide the interactions and transactions within a group that shares common interests or goals.
  • In society or community, values of equity and justice find expression. These values reflect the broader societal norms and expectations regarding fairness and justice.
  • In general, there are values like spontaneous love, social responsibility, and solidarity. These values represent the highest ideals of human interaction and social cohesion.

Mukherjee also notes that values are always accompanied by disvalues, which arise because of individual and social shortcomings. They are expressed in the form of individual deviance as also institutional deviance. Such disvalues must be dealt with and deviant individuals must be integrated by working on the total situation.

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6. How does Yogendra Singh analyse the modernization of Indian tradition? What is his general conclusion about modernization in India?

Answer: Yogendra Singh analyses the modernization of Indian tradition by distinguishing between cultural structure and social structure. Cultural structure consists of both the Little Traditions and the Great Tradition. It is at the level of the Great Tradition that cultural modernization can be seen. Social structure consists of micro-structures and the macro-structure. It is at the level of the macro-structure that there has been the emergence of new political institutions, bureaucracy, and industry.

Singh discusses the changes in the long tradition of Indian society and culture from the ancient times. He identifies the changes brought about by Buddhism and Jainism in the Indian tradition. He then looks at the impact of Islam and Western civilization on Indian society and the changes that have taken place in Indian culture. While considering these historical developments, Singh shows how changes have taken place in both the cultural structure and the social structure. Such changes were possible because of the adaptive and adjustive mechanisms found in Indian tradition.

Singh maintains that the process of modernization is grounded in the specific cultural-structural history of a society. In this sense, Indian modernity is not a replica of Western modernity because of its unique adaptive features.

His final conclusion is that Indian modernity is unique and that Indian tradition is undergoing modernization.

Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) and Problem Solving Assessment (PSA)

1. How can casteism be eradicated in India? Discuss.

Answer: Casteism, a deeply rooted social issue in India, can be eradicated through a multi-pronged approach.

a. Education: Education is the primary tool for eradicating casteism. It promotes rational thinking and helps eliminate age-old superstitions and stereotypes. Additionally, an inclusive and diverse education system can help children from different backgrounds understand and respect each other better.

b. Legislation: Although the Constitution of India prohibits caste-based discrimination, implementing and enforcing these laws is essential. Stricter penalties for caste-based discrimination and violence could deter such behavior.

c. Economic Empowerment: Caste-based discrimination often goes hand in hand with economic disparity. By empowering the disadvantaged classes through employment opportunities, skill development programs, and financial inclusion, the caste divide can be reduced.

d. Awareness Campaigns: Awareness campaigns about the negative impacts of casteism and the importance of social equality can help change attitudes and behaviors.

e. Social Reform: Social reform movements that advocate for equality and reject caste-based discrimination are crucial. Encouraging inter-caste marriages and social interactions can also gradually erode the rigid caste boundaries.

2. Traditional and modern ideas often clashes. How? Why?

Answer: Traditional and modern ideas often clash due to the differences in values, perspectives, and lifestyles they represent.

a. Tradition typically values continuity, respect for authority, and practices rooted in the past, often based on cultural, religious, or societal norms that have been followed for generations. Modern ideas, on the other hand, tend to value progress, innovation, individuality, and rationality, often questioning and challenging established norms and conventions.

b. The clash between traditional and modern ideas can be seen in many areas, such as social roles, technological use, lifestyle choices, and belief systems. For instance, the traditional concept of gender roles might clash with modern views on gender equality. Similarly, the reliance on technology in modern life can conflict with traditional lifestyles that favor human interaction and manual work.

c. These clashes often occur because change is usually met with resistance. It’s not easy to let go of traditions that have been part of one’s identity and culture. Also, modern ideas can sometimes seem intimidating or impersonal, leading to apprehension. Yet, these tensions can lead to societal evolution, as the synthesis of traditional and modern ideas can lead to new ways of thinking and living.

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