NIOS Solved Papers: Sociology (331) - Oct' 2015


1.       Which state has the highest literacy rate?           1
Ans.:- Kerala

2.       What are the followers of Zoroastrianism called in India?           1
Ans.:- Parsis.

3.       Give an example of formal mechanism of social control.                              1
Ans.:- Law is an example of formal means of social control.

4.       Mention the stages of development of human society according to Auguste Comte.     2
Ans.:- Auguste Comte who gave sociology its name, identified three stages of human society:
Theological- In the first stage, the explanations of various phenomena were given in religious terms this stage was called theological.
Mataphysical- Its successor was the stage of metaphysics, where the explanations were philosophical.
Positivism- The final stage in the evolution of human thought was of positivism, where phenomena were explained in terms of the scientific approach to the social world.

5.       Who are OBC’s?               2
Ans.:- All castes whose position in the caste system was below the upper castes but above the lower castes, have been termed, politically and Constitutionally, the Other Backward Classes.

6.       What is the central belief of Islam?        2
Ans.:- The followers of Islam believe that God has revealed His message regarding how humankind should live. Through all ages, God has sent His messaengers as the guides of human beings.

7.       List the causes of bonded labour among the tribals.       2
Ans.:- People spend good amount on performing religious rites and rituals. They even take loans at high rate of interest from the money-lenders. When loan and interest is not paid they have to mortgage or sell land, ornaments and other kind of property. Those who do not have landed property have to work as bonded labour on nominal wages.

8.       What is meant by affinal relationship? 2
Ans.:- The relationship between son-in-law and father-in-law is an example of affinal kinship. Similarly, one’s brother-in-laws and their children are also examples of affinal kins.

9.       What is meant by assimilation?                2
Ans.:- Assimilation means that a person or group has acquired the values of another group to such an extent that it losses its identity. Assimilation is a process where close contact of persons of dissimilar cultures always results in fusion of cultural traits although borrowing may not be so pronounced in one direction as in the case of the other.

10.   List the characteristics of secondary group.         4
Ans.:- Where relations are impersonal, face to face contact is not present, it is called a secondary group, e.g. a political party, caste and trade unions.
The external features/characteristics of secondary group are:
i)                    Large in size-Red cross society consists of members from all over the world
ii)                   Indirect relation-The members communicate with each other by indirect means, i.e. letter, fax and telephone, etc.
iii)                 Goal-oriented-The main function of this group is to fulfil a specific need.
iv)                 Impersonal relation- The members need not meet face to face and still perform their job.
v)                  Option of membership-The membership is not compulsory. One can become a member of Rotary club or Red Cross society.

11.   Differentiate between Sociology and Anthropology.     4
Ans.:- The distinction between sociology and social anthropology could be applied without much problem where the difference between the ‘our’ and ‘their’ societies, i.e. between ‘civilized’ and ‘primitive’ societies, was huge and perceptible. It was the case in America, Australia, New Zealand, or Africa, where the native population was totally different from its white colonizers. But this distinction between sociology and social anthropology was not found to be of much use in India, because of the continuity between different populations. In many cases, it was not possible to distinguish between tribal and non-tribal people or rural and urban populations. In such cases, the distinction between sociology and social anthropology was completely blurred.

12.   Explain briefly the primary institutions.               4
Ans.:- According to some sociologists, institutions are basic constituents of any society. They are found in all cultures and in all societies. Some of the institutions are basic to the survival of any society. Some sociologists call them primary institutions. There are six primary institutions found in all societies. They are:
1)      Economic institutions (e.g. agriculture, industry or any other occupation),
2)      Social institutions (e.g. family, marriage and kinship)
3)      Political institutions.
4)      Education or socialization.
5)      Religion, and
6)      Expressive institutions such as music, dance, fine arts and literature, etc.

13.   Distinguish between participant and non-participant observation.         4
Ans.:- Distinguish between Participant  and Non-Participant observation:-
Participant Observation:- It is one of the techniques of data collection. In small and pre-literate society, this technique can be easily used. But its use becomes quite complicated, when society is complex. It is possible to administer this technique with good results when the identity of the observer can be clocked, that he or she mixes with the inmates of the situation and look at it from inside.
Non-Participant Observation:- In non-participant observation, the observer remains detached and does not participate or intervene in the activities of those who are being observed. He merely observes their behaviour. Sometimes this places the persons being observed in an awkward position and their conduct becomes unnatural.

14.   Distinguish between ascribed status and achieved status.           4
Ans.:- Differences between ascribed and achieved status
An ascribed status is a social position that is assigned at birth and is, therefore, usually permanent. Hence, an ascribed status is one into which a person is born and in which he or she remains throughout his or her life, e.g., sex, caste, race and age.  A Brahmin, for example, enjoys the ascribed status of a Brahmin by virtue of his birth. In addition, sex, ethnic background, place of birth, and family name supply assigned statuses. Whereas An achieved status is one that is chosen or achieved, such as a married person, a parent, a friend, a doctor or an engineer. An achieved status is acquired through one’s own efforts. Society recognizes such changes in achieved status. Statuses which are not fixed by inheritance, biological characteristics, or other factors, over which the individual has no control, are known as achieved statuses.

15.   Why Kabir became an ideal for downtrodden people?  4
Ans.:-Kabir’s notion of god seems to go beyond the notion of a personal god, despite the fact that one may call him Ram or Khuda. They are just names for the all pervading reality. Kabir speaks of the satguru, a teacher who speaks from the soul. The difference among faiths is only due to difference in names, but every where people are looking for the same god. Therefore, Kabir asked, why should there be quarrels between people of different faiths. Because of his attacks on holy men, Kabir became an ideal of the downtrodden people.

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