Get summary, textual answers, solutions, notes, extras, PDF to NBSE Class 12 (Arts) Sociology Chapter/unit 3 Institutional Structure. However, the educational materials should only be used for reference and students are encouraged to make necessary changes.
Marriage, family, and kinship are interconnected yet separate concepts. Marriage is the societal mechanism that formally recognizes the bond between a man and a woman as husband and wife. It typically serves as the foundation for the establishment of a family. Kinship, on the other hand, represents the social connections formed on the basis of familial ties. Each of these three elements is present across all societies. While their fundamental essence is universally recognized, the importance ascribed to them and the specific norms surrounding them differ among societies and communities.
Textual questions and answers
Very short answer questions
1. What is marriage?
Answer: Marriage is a social institution that sanctions the relationship of a man and woman as husband and wife.
2. What is levirate?
Answer: Levirate is the form of marriage in which a woman marries the younger brother of her dead husband.
3. What is sororate?
Answer: Sororate is the form of marriage in which a man, after his wife’s death, marries his wife’s sister.
4. How is marriage understood among the Hindus?
Answer: Marriage is considered a permanent bond in traditional Hindu belief. It is believed to join two individuals for life in order to pursue the basic aims in life called purusharthas, which are dharma (duty), artha (possessions), kama (physical desires), and moksha (ultimate spiritual release).
5. What is endogamy?
Answer: Endogamy is a rule of mate selection in Hinduism that prescribes that a Hindu must marry within his or her own caste. It is a form of marriage that involves marrying someone within one’s own caste.
6. What is exogamy?
Answer: Exogamy is a rule of marriage that prescribes whom a Hindu cannot marry. It prohibits marriage with a person of the same gotra or pinda.
7. What is inter-caste marriage?
Answer: Inter-caste marriage is the practice of Hindus marrying outside their caste.
8. What is hypergamy or anulom?
Answer: Hypergamy or Anulom is that form of marriage in which the ritual status of a man is higher than that of his prospective wife.
9. What is hypogamy or pratilom?
Answer: Hypogamy or Pratilom is a form of marriage in which the ritual status of a woman is higher than that of her prospective husband.
10. What is nikah?
Answer: Nikah is a social and civil contract among Muslims in India, usually performed with religious rituals. It is a marriage ceremony that involves the groom, the bride, the Kazi, and witnesses (two male or four female witnesses).
11. What is nikahnama?
Answer: Nikahnama is the marriage contract in Muslim marriages in India. It is a social and civil contract that is sanctioned when the bride and groom voluntarily agree to the marriage in the presence of a Kazi and witnesses.
12. What is mehr?
Answer: Mehr is the bride-wealth which the groom gives to the bride at the time of the marriage or later on in Muslim marriages.
13. What are the two types of Muslim marriage?
Answer: The two types of Muslim marriage are regular (Sahi) and irregular (Fasid). Irregular marriages occur in cases such as absence of witnesses, differences in religion, marrying a woman undergoing Iddad, and marrying during pilgrimage. Irregular marriages can be made regular.
14. Define joint family.
Answer: A joint family is a group of people who generally live under one roof, eat food cooked at one hearth, hold property in common, participate in common family worship and are related to each other as some kind of kindred.
15. Define kinship.
Answer: Kinship is a social relationship based on family relatedness, which can be through blood, marriage, or adoption.
16. What is consanguinity?
Answer: Consanguinity is a relationship based on common blood.
17. What is affinity?
Answer: Affinity is the relationship based on marriage.
18. What is a lineage?
Answer: A lineage is a group whose members trace common descent from an ancestor through known links.
19. What is a clan?
Answer: A clan is a group of people who claim descent from a common ancestor but cannot trace the links. It is usually composed of several lineages.
20. What is descent?
Answer: Descent refers to the tracing of relationships through succeeding generations.
21. What is unilineal descent?
Answer: Unilineal descent is a system of tracing descent through only one line, either the male or female line.
22. What is double or duo lineal or bilineal descent?
Answer: Double or duo lineal or bilineal descent is a system of tracing descent through both the male and female lines. In this system, descent can be traced through the male line for some purposes and through the female line for other purposes.
23. How is marriage understood among the tribal communities?
Answer: Marriage among tribal communities is understood as a social contract for sexual pleasure, production of children, and mutual cooperation. Divorce is permitted if these aims are not fulfilled.
Short answer questions
1. Differentiate between hypergamy and hypogamy.
Answer: Hypergamy is a form of marriage in which the ritual status of a man is higher than that of his prospective wife. On the other hand, hypogamy is a form of marriage in which the ritual status of a woman is higher than that of her prospective husband.
2. Name the defining features of nikah (Muslim marriage).
Answer: The defining features of nikah (Muslim marriage) are:
- The groom
- The bride
- The Kazi
- Witnesses (two male or four female witnesses)
The bride and groom are asked by the Kazi in the presence of the witnesses about their voluntary consent to the marriage. When they agree voluntarily, the marriage contract is sanctioned. This is called Nikahnama. A part of the contract is the agreement about Mehr or bride-wealth which the groom gives to the bride at the time of the marriage or later on.
3. Explain briefly the role of kinship.
Answer: Kinship serves two important and related purposes:
Kinship provides a way for transmitting status and property from one generation to the next. This is the area of descent which traces relationships through succeeding generations.
Kinship regulates social behaviour: It establishes and maintains effective social groups for cooperation and social behaviour. It regulates social behaviour relating to birth, marriage and death. It indicates the expectations, rights and duties that kinsmen have for one another.
4. Distinguish between consanguineous and affinal kinship.
Answer: Consanguineous kinship refers to the relationship based on common blood, such as between siblings or parents and children. Affinal kinship, on the other hand, refers to the relationship based on marriage, such as between spouses or in-laws. In other words, consanguineous kinship is based on biological ties, while affinal kinship is based on social ties.
Essay type questions
1. Explain the different ways of acquiring mates among the tribal communities.
Answer: There are various ways of acquiring mates found in different tribal societies. One common form is marriage by negotiation, which involves a long procedure and the involvement of parents and elders of both the boy and girl. Another type is marriage by probation, where a man is allowed to live with the woman at her parents’ house for a specific period of time. If they can adjust to each other during this period, they marry, but if not, they separate and the man has to pay compensation to the woman’s parents. Marriage by capture is another type, where a man marries a woman forcibly, either through physical capture or ceremonial capture. Marriage by trial requires a man to show his prowess and courage by braving obstacles thrown in his way. Marriage by purchase takes place when the parents of the bridegroom pay something in cash or kind to the parents of the bride. Marriage by service takes place when the bridegroom lives in the house of the bride before marriage and renders service or works for the family of the bride. Marriage by exchange takes place when two families exchange their son and daughter. Marriage by elopement takes place when a man and woman love each other, but parents do not easily approve of their marriage, so they elope or run away from the village. Finally, marriage by intrusion takes place when a man and woman have an intimate relationship, but the man refuses to marry the woman, so the woman takes the initiative and goes to live in the man’s house.
2. Briefly discuss marriage among the Hindus.
Answer: Marriage among the Hindus is considered a sacrament or religious bond. It is believed to be a permanent bond and a religious duty. The aims of Hindu marriage are to pursue the basic aims in life called purusharthas, which are dharma (duty), artha (possessions), kama (physical desires), and moksha (ultimate spiritual release). Marriage is necessary for fulfilling various religious obligations, such as entering the stage of grihastha or householder, fulfilling religious obligations of dharma, praja, and rati, and purifying the body. There are detailed rules and regulations regarding the choice of marriage partners, including the rules of endogamy and exogamy. The first four forms of marriage are “approved” and the other four are “not approved”. The ceremony of ‘kanyadana’ (gift of the girl by her father) makes the first four forms approved and acceptable in society.
3. Muslim marriage is a contract. Explain this statement.
Answer: Muslim marriage is considered a social and civil contract. The groom, bride, Kazi, and witnesses are the defining features of the contract. The bride and groom must give their voluntary consent to the marriage in the presence of the witnesses and Kazi. The marriage contract, known as Nikahnama, is sanctioned when the bride and groom agree voluntarily. The agreement about Mehr or bride-wealth, which the groom gives to the bride at the time of the marriage or later on, is also a part of the contract. As a contract, marriage can be dissolved through a prescribed procedure, making divorce possible. Therefore, Muslim marriage is considered a contract.
4. Write an essay on Muslim marriage.
Answer: Muslim marriage, also known as Nikah, is a social and civil contract among Muslims in India. It is usually performed with religious rituals, but it can be dissolved through a prescribed procedure, making divorce possible. The defining features of Nikah are the groom, the bride, the Kazi, and witnesses (two male or four female witnesses).
The bride and the groom are asked by the Kazi in the presence of the witnesses about their voluntary consent to the marriage. When they agree voluntarily, the marriage contract is sanctioned, and this is called Nikahnama. A part of the contract is the agreement about Mehr or bride-wealth which the groom gives to the bride at the time of the marriage or later on.
There are many social customs observed at the time of marriage, and Muslims share such customs with the Hindus in a particular region. A Muslim man can marry up to four wives, but such polygyny is rare because the man is required to treat all his wives equally. Hence, in practice, most Muslim marriages are monogamous.
There are two types of marriages: regular (Sahi) and irregular (Fasid). Irregular marriages occur in such cases as the absence of witnesses, like the fifth marriage of a man, differences in religion, marrying a woman undergoing Iddad, and marrying during pilgrimage. Irregular marriages can be made regular.
5. Write an essay on Christian marriage in India.
Answer: Christianity considers marriage as not only a social contract but also a sacrament. Marriage is considered sacred among all Christians, but some Christian denominations permit divorce. Monogamy is the general norm among all Christians, and widow remarriage is permitted.
For a valid Christian marriage, certain conditions must be fulfilled. Marriage partners must be adults and capable of contracting marriage. The choice of partners may be done by the parents or elders, but the consent of the boy and the girl is essential. The following procedure is usually followed:
- Production of a character certificate followed by the engagement when the boy and the girl declare their intention to marry.
- Submitting an application to the church pastor or priest three weeks before the date of marriage.
- The priest or pastor makes an announcement about the proposed marriage and invites objections. This is known as reading of the banns. If there are no objections, the date of marriage is fixed.
- At the time fixed for the marriage, the actual ceremony takes place in the church in the presence of the people and two witnesses. The priest or pastor asks the bridegroom and the bride to declare their consent and to exchange their marriage vows to be faithful to each other. Usually, wedding rings, symbol of the married status are exchanged after this.
The priest or the pastor acts as the Registrar of Marriage according to the provisions of Indian Christian Marriage Act of 1872. He also records the marriage in the Register of Marriages maintained in the church.
After the marriage ritual in the church, there are celebrations of different types. In such celebrations, Christians follow many local social practices found among their Hindu neighbors.
6. Name any two structural features of a joint family. What are the factors that are now leading to the break up of the joint family system?
Answer: Two structural features of a joint family are common residence and kitchen, and large size due to the depth of generations. Factors leading to the break up of the joint family system include differential earnings of brothers generating tensions in the household, disinclination of sons and their wives to share responsibilities, growth of individualism, and the development of the secondary and tertiary sectors in the Indian economy. Additionally, there have been functional changes in the joint family, such as changes in wife-husband relations and parent-children relationships, which have contributed to the break up of the joint family system.
7. What is a joint family? Explain any three functional elements of a joint family system in India.
Answer: A joint family is a group of people who generally live under one roof, eat food cooked at one hearth, hold property in common, participate in common family worship and are related to each other as some kind of kindred. The three functional elements of the joint family system in India are:
- Common rituals and ceremonies, in accordance with caste norms and religious obligations.
- Role of Karta, who is usually the eldest male and exercises authority.
- Mutual obligations among the members which bind them with reciprocal relationships.
The joint family has been the cultural norm and ideal pattern of family life in Indian society. It has been one of the pillars of Indian society along with the caste system and the village community. However, there have been changes in the joint family due to factors such as differential earnings of brothers, disinclination of the sons and their wives to share responsibilities, growth of individualism, and the development of the secondary and the tertiary sectors in the Indian economy. These changes have led to the breakup of the joint family into smaller nuclear households.
8. Write a short note on changes in the joint family.
Answer: The joint family system in India has undergone significant changes in modern times. Some of the structural changes include the break-up of joint families into smaller nuclear households due to differential earnings of brothers, disinclination of sons and their wives to share responsibilities, growth of individualism, and the development of the secondary and tertiary sectors in the Indian economy.
Functional changes in the joint family are observed in the areas of wife-husband relations, parent-children relationships, and relationships between daughter-in-law and parents-in-law due to the changing role and status of women.
At present, the joint family as a cultural norm and ideal is generally accepted, but the nuclear family is becoming popular among some classes, particularly the urban middle and professional classes. These classes have accepted the small family norm, and their families are small in size and economically stable because often both parents are employed.
9. Explain four factors leading to the disintegration of the joint family in India.
Answer: Four factors leading to the disintegration of the joint family in India are:
- Differential earnings of brothers generating tensions in the household
- Disinclination of the sons and their wives to share responsibilities
- Growth of individualism
- Development of the secondary and tertiary sectors in the Indian economy
These factors have led to structural changes in the joint family, such as its break up into smaller nuclear households, and functional changes, such as changes in wife-husband and parent-children relationships. While the joint family is still generally accepted as a cultural norm and ideal, the nuclear family is becoming more popular among urban middle and professional classes.
10. What is kinship? Discuss the functions of Kinship in Indian society.
Answer: Kinship refers to social relationships based on blood, marriage, or adoption. In Indian society, kinship plays an important role in shaping social relationships beyond the family. The functions of kinship in Indian society include:
- Transmission of status and property: Kinship provides a way for transmitting status and property from one generation to the next. This is the area of descent which traces relationships through succeeding generations.
- Economic support: Kinship provides economic support to its members. In joint families, members pool their resources and work together to support each other.
- Socialization: Kinship plays an important role in socializing children. Children learn about their roles and responsibilities within the family and society through kinship relationships.
- Emotional support: Kinship provides emotional support to its members. Family members provide each other with love, care, and emotional support during times of need.
- Identity formation: Kinship helps in the formation of individual and group identities. People identify themselves and others based on their kinship relationships.
11. Define joint family. Explain the structural and functional changes of a joint family.
Answer: A joint family is a group of people who generally live under one roof, eat food cooked at one hearth, hold property in common, participate in common family worship and are related to each other as some kind of kindred. The joint family has been the cultural norm and ideal pattern of family life in Indian society.
Structural changes in the joint family are seen in its break up into smaller nuclear households. This is due to various factors such as differential earnings of brothers generating tensions in the household, disinclination of the sons and their wives to share responsibilities, growth of individualism, and the development of the secondary and the tertiary sectors in the Indian economy.
Functional changes in the joint family are observed in the following areas:
- Wife-husband relations, with the wife playing a more active role, often at par with the husband.
- Parent-children relationships that give importance to children.
- Relationships between daughter-in-law and parents-in-law because of the changing role and status of women.
12. Discuss the North Indian and South Indian kinship system in India.
Answer: The North Indian and South Indian kinship systems in India have significant differences in marriage rules, succession, and inheritance. In North India, the basic kinship group consists of Kula, Gotra, and Jati. Kula and Gotra are exogamous units, while Jati is endogamous. There is also village exogamy, resulting in a significant distance between the bride and the groom. On the other hand, in South India, there are both patrilineal and matrilineal communities, and marriage alliances are within a known circle. There are also preferred marriages like cross-cousin marriages and uncle-niece marriages. The bride is familiar with the family into which she is married, and thus, a marriage alliance strengthens existing kinship bonds.
Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) and Problem Solving Assessment (PSA)
1. In the Naga society marriage is increasingly becoming expensive and time consuming. Suggest measures to perform holy matrimonial without involving worldly materials and time wastage.
Answer: Marriage is indeed a significant event in any culture, including the Naga society. It is a time of joy and celebration but can often become complex and expensive due to various cultural practices and societal expectations. If the focus is to make it less materialistic and time-consuming, here are a few suggestions:
Simplify the ceremony: A simple ceremony with just close family and friends can be just as meaningful, if not more so, than a large and lavish event. In fact, a smaller event may allow for more personal and heartfelt moments.
Redefine gift giving: Instead of expensive gifts or a dowry, encourage guests to contribute in other ways. This could be their time, skills, or even their presence. For example, a friend who’s good at photography could offer to take wedding pictures, or a family member who’s a good cook could help with the wedding meal.
Promote community involvement: Involve the community in the planning and execution of the wedding. This not only reduces costs but also strengthens communal bonds. For instance, community members could contribute by decorating the venue, preparing food, or providing music.
Shift focus to the marriage, not the wedding: Emphasize the importance of the marriage itself—the lifelong commitment between two individuals—rather than the wedding. This can help shift the focus away from material aspects and towards the spiritual and emotional components.
Educate the community: Changing long-standing cultural practices and expectations can be challenging. Therefore, it is essential to educate the community about the reasons for these changes and their potential benefits. Workshops, seminars, and discussions can be organized to promote this understanding.
Spiritual Emphasis: Refocus the event on spiritual aspects, prayers, and blessings, rather than material consumption. This emphasis can provide a profound and personal aspect to the ceremony that is more in line with the idea of a ‘holy matrimonial’.
2. Criminals often go scot free in Nagaland due to kin interferences against existing formal laws. How should the society act in the Naga context? Why.
Answer: Kin interference in the justice system is a serious problem in Nagaland. It can lead to criminals going unpunished, which can create a sense of impunity and undermine the rule of law. There are a number of reasons why kin interference occurs in Nagaland. One reason is that Naga society is traditionally based on clan and village ties. These ties can be very strong, and they can lead people to feel a sense of obligation to protect their kin, even if they have committed crimes. Another reason for kin interference is that Nagas have a strong cultural belief in forgiveness. This belief can make it difficult for people to believe that criminals should be punished, even if they have committed serious crimes.
There are a number of things that can be done to address the problem of kin interference in the justice system in Nagaland. One important step is to educate people about the importance of the rule of law. People need to understand that the law applies to everyone, regardless of their family ties. Another important step is to strengthen the justice system. This can be done by providing more resources to the police and the courts, and by ensuring that the justice system is fair and impartial. Finally, it is important to work to change the cultural attitudes that contribute to kin interference. This can be done through education and awareness-raising campaigns.
Extra/additional questions and answers
1. Define marriage, family, and kinship and explain how they are interrelated.
Answer: Marriage, family, and kinship are all interrelated social constructs that are universally recognized. Marriage is the social institution that sanctions the relationship of a man and a woman as husband and wife. It is generally the foundation on which the family is built. Family, in this context, refers to the group of individuals linked by the bonds of marriage. Kinship, on the other hand, is the social relationship based on family relatedness. The interrelation lies in the way these three institutions work together to form social bonds and establish societal norms. Marriage leads to the creation of families, and families share kinship ties based on their shared ancestry or marriage.
2. How is the institution of marriage perceived in tribal societies?
Answer: In tribal societies, marriage is seen as a social contract for sexual pleasure, the production of children, and mutual cooperation. The institution of marriage is prevalent in all tribal societies, with well-defined rules and procedures concerning different aspects of marriage. However, the practices and norms related to marriage may vary greatly among different tribes due to the diversity in tribal communities.
3. What are some general features of marriage in tribal societies?
Answer: There are several characteristic features of marriage in tribal societies. Primarily, it is viewed as a social contract aimed at sexual pleasure, production of children, and mutual cooperation. If these aims are not met, divorce is typically allowed. Most tribes enforce marital fidelity, but some permit pre-marital and extra-marital relations on festive occasions. In terms of marriage forms, most tribes follow monogamy, though some accept polygyny and others accept polyandry. Preferential marriages, such as cross-cousin marriages, are also observed in certain tribes like the Khasis and Gonds. Levirate and sororate marriages are also practiced in some tribes.
4. Discuss the differences in marriage norms and procedures among various tribes in India and provide examples.
Answer: There are well-defined rules and procedures about different aspects of marriage in tribal societies, but these rules differ between tribes due to the large number of tribes found in India. These variations are based on principles and norms followed by the tribes concerned. For instance:
- In terms of marriage types, most tribes follow monogamy, while some tribes like Nagas, Baigas, and Gonds accept polygyny. Some tribes like Todas and certain tribes in Arunachal Pradesh practice polyandry, both fraternal and non-fraternal.
- In the case of preferential marriages, among the Khasis and Gonds, there is a preference for cross cousin marriages or marriages between the children of a brother and a sister.
- Levirate and sororate are also examples of variations in marriage practices. In levirate, a woman marries the younger brother of her dead husband, whereas, in sororate, a man marries his wife’s sister after his wife’s death.
These differences highlight the cultural diversity and variations in the institution of marriage among tribal societies in India.
5. What are some types of preferential marriages observed in tribal societies? Give examples.
Answer: Preferential marriages, or preferences in mate selection, vary across tribal societies. A common form of preferential marriage is cross cousin marriage, observed among tribes like the Khasis and Gonds. This is a marriage between the children of a brother and a sister. Other forms of preferential marriages include levirate and sororate. In levirate marriage, a woman marries the younger brother of her deceased husband. In sororate marriage, a man marries his deceased wife’s sister. These practices ensure the continuity of social and familial bonds even in the event of a spouse’s death.
66. Can you explain the distinction between exogamous and endogamous kinship units, providing examples from North India?
Answer: Exogamous kinship units are those in which marriages occur outside the group. In North India, Kula and Gotra are exogamous units, meaning individuals are expected to marry outside their own Kula or Gotra. On the other hand, endogamous units are those in which marriages occur within the group. In the same region, Jati is an endogamous unit, where individuals are usually expected to marry within their own Jati. These rules of exogamy and endogamy play a significant role in structuring society and maintaining social order.
1. Which social institution sanctions the relationship of a man and woman as husband and wife?
A. Kinship B. Family C. Marriage D. Friendship
Answer: C. Marriage
2. What is the primary basis for founding a family in most societies?
A. Kinship B. Friendship C. Marriage D. Communal living
Answer: C. Marriage
3. What is the general understanding of marriage in tribal communities?
A. A religious ceremony B. A legal contract C. A social contract D. An economic agreement
Answer: C. A social contract
4. Which tribes in India practice polygyny?
A. Todas B. Khasis C. Nagas D. Santhals
Answer: C. Nagas
5. Which form of marriage involves a woman marrying the younger brother of her dead husband?
A. Polygyny B. Polyandry C. Sororate D. Levirate
Answer: D. Levirate
6. Among which tribes is there a preference for cross cousin marriages?
A. Nagas B. Baigas C. Khasis D. Todas
Answer: C. Khasis
80. What is the primary role of kinship in contemporary India?
A. Transmission of property B. Regulation of social behaviour C. Both A and B D. None of the above
Answer: C. Both A and B
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