IAS Mains Sociology 2016 Topic-wise Important Questions

Work and Economic Life

  1. What are the distinctive features of social organisation of work in slave society? How is it different from feudal society?(200 words)

  2. What is formal organisation? ” The growth of bureaucracy has resulted in extreme concentration of power at larger levels of social organisation”. Discuss (250 words)

  3. Self Help Group(SHG) as an informal organisation of work.(200 words)

  4. Human relation school of thought by Elton Mayo as a social organisation of work process in Industry.(200 words)

  5. How do formal and informal organisation work influence labor’s mobility? Explain with examples.(200 words)

  6. There has been the substantial decline in labour class and increase in labour force in non-manual jobs with the advent of new technological revolution .Critically examine (250 words)

  7. Examine the social impact of Globalization on “Labour and Society”.(250 words)

Politics and society

  1. “Power is not a zero-sum game”. Discuss with reference to Weber’s and Parson’s views. (250 words).

  2. Write a note on” Power Elite”. (150 words).

  3. Bureaucracy in new capitalist economy. (150 words).

  4. Examine the role of “Pressure Groups” in parliamentary democracy. (200 words).

  5. What are the functions of Political Parties.(200 words)

  6. What do you understand by Nation? Is the Nation same as the State? Discuss.(250 words)

  7. Write a note on “Citizenship”.(150 words)

  8. Critically examine the role of civil society in democracy.(200 words)

  9. Write a note on protest and agitation.(200 words)

  10. Highlight prerequisites of social movement, bring out the difference between social movement and revolution.(250 words)

  11. Marx views power as to be held by a particular group(dominant class) in society at the expense of the rest of the society(subordinate class).Explain (250 words)

  12. Write a note on “Industrial Democracy”. (150 words)

  13. Are social movements always influenced by ideologies? Discuss.(250 words)

Religion and Society: Sociological Theories of Religion

  1. “According to Durkheim, the essence of religion in modern society is the same as religion in primitive society”, Comment. (250 words)

  2. “According to Weber, the religion was not just an opinion but a social reality which had clear logic of its own”, comment. (250 words)

  3. In what way do Weber’s views on Religion differ from those of Durkheim? (250 words)

  4. Define Sect, Cult and Religion.(150 words)

  5. Write a note on Animism and Monism.(200 words)

  6. Write a note on “Cultural Pluralism”. (150 words)

Perspectives on the study of Indian society

  1. Ideological perspective of G. S. Ghurye.(200 words)

  2. Write a short note on “M. N. Srinivas’s concepts, Westernization and Sanskritization”.(200 words)

  3. How has the Marxist perspective been applied to explain social background of Indian Nationalism.(250 words)

Caste System and Social Classes in India

  1. Discuss the attributes of “Caste” according to G. S. Ghurye.(250 words)

  2. “Perspectives on the study of caste by M. N. Srinivas and Andre Beteille”.write a note with sociological perspectives.(250 words)

  3. Critically examine Louis Dumont’s concepts, “Purity and Pollution”,” Homohierarchicus” & “Hierarchy” .(250 words)

  4. “Casteism is the modern edition of the caste system “.Do you agree with this statement? Discuss with arguments.(250 words)

  5. Critically assess the forms in which untouchability continues to be practiced. (200 words)

  6. Changes that the agrarian social structure in India is undergoing. Comment. (250 words)

  7. Discuss the factors which contributed to industrial modernization in India. What are the salient features of new Industrial class structure?(250 words)

  8. Write a short note with sociological perspectives view on “Emergence of middle class in India”. (250 words).

Sociological Thinker: Robert. K. Merton and G. H. Mead

  1. Robert Merton’s views on Latent and Manifest functions.(200 words)

  2. What is Merton’s view of relationship between “Social Structure” and “Deviance”? In what sense is a deviant also conformist? (250 words)

  3. How can we use “Reference Group theory” to understand fashion in Society? (150 words)

  4. How could one use Merton’s concept of “Deviance” to understand the Traffic problem in urban India? (250 words)

  5. Using Merton’s concepts of “Manifest and Latent” functions , explain the persistence of corruption in Indian Society.(200 words)

  6. Mead’s notion of “Self”.(200 words)

  7. Critically analyze the contributions of G. H. Mead to “Symbolic Interactionism”. (250 words)

Stratification and Mobility: Concepts, theories of social stratification

  1. “Natural inequality becomes the basis of providing opportunities and resources , providing privileges and discriminations that form the ground work of Social inequality”, explain this sentence from the Sociological view of Inequality.(250 words)

  2. Give the differences between absolute and relative poverty and analyse the “Vicious circle theory” of Poverty.(250 words)

  3. Distinguish between people being socially excluded and people excluding themselves socially in societies.(250 words)

  4. “Stratification is called as hierarchy of social groups, in our society hierarchical relations are influenced by social mobility”. Explain how? (250 words)

  5. What are the reasons for calling Kingsley Davis and Wilbert Moore’s theory of social stratification a functional theory ? (250 words)

  6. According to Weber, “The economic aspect is crucial in classes, honour is crucial in status groups and power is crucial in parties”. Explain this in the view of his theory on social stratification.(250 words)

Stratification and Mobility: Theories of social stratification and Dimensions

  1. How do Karl Marx and Max Weber differ in terms of their analysis of Social Stratification? (250 words)

  2. It is said that, Gender as a source of inequality is largely pronounced in almost all the societies of the world. Critically examine the statement in perspectives of sociologists.(250 words)

  3. “People plays Ethnic card through their Ethnic identity which is necessary for Ethnic politics which can take the appearance of Ethnic Stratification resulting in the emergence of Ethnic Nationalism”, comment.(250 words)

  4. It has been accepted in sociology that, Race relations situations involve a particular type of intergroup conflict and result in racially categorized groups. Examine it in the context of overseas Indians.(250 words)

  5. Write a note on Social Mobility in open and closed systems.(200 words)

  6. Explain Horizontal and Vertical Mobility.(200 words)

  7. Discuss the major sources and causes of Mobility.(200 words)

Sociology as Science

  1. Nomothetic and Ideographic methods.

  2. Comment on the reasons why Neo-idealists and Symbolic Interactionists are critical of “Positivism” in sociology.

  3. Fact Value and Objectivity.

  4. Problems of “Objectivity” in sociological research and Role of “Value” in sociology enquiry.

Research Methods and Analysis

  1. Differentiate between the Qualitative & Quantitative methods in Research. Analyse the limitations of Quantitative methods in social research.(300 words)

  2. Comparative Method.(150 words)

  3. Content Analysis.(150 words)

  4. What is Subjective method in social research? Examine Focus Group Discussion (FGD) as a technique for data collection with suitable example. (250 words).

  5. What is the importance of Sampling in sociological studies? Distinguish between simple random sampling & stratified random sampling.(300 words)

  6. Importance and source of Hypothesis in social research.(200 words)

  7. Reliability and Validity.(200 words)

Sociological Thinkers: Karl Mark and Emile Durkheim

  1. Analyse the salient features of “Historical Materialism”. (200 words)

  2. Forces of production changes in Evolutionary manner and Relations of production changes in Revolutionary manners. Explain with Karl Marx’s view and use present day examples. (300 words)

  3. Examine Karl Marx’s views on “Class-in-itself” and “Class-for-itself” with reference to proletarians. (300 words)

  4. Class struggle as conceived by Karl Marx. (200 words).

  5. Compare Karl Marx with Emile Durkheim with reference to the framework of “Division of Labour”. (250 words)

  6. Identify similarities and differences between Marx’s theory of ‘Alienation’ and Durkheim’s theory of ‘anomie’. (250 words)

  7. For Marx, Class divisions are outcomes of ‘Exploitation’. Discuss (200 words)

  8. Show how Durkheim through the study of Totemism demonstrates the reality of Religion. (250 words)

  9. According to Marx , Capitalism transforms even the personal relationships between men and women . Critically examine withillustrations from the contemporary Indian Context. (250 words)

  10. Subject matter of Sociology , according to Emile Durkheim.(250 words)

  11. Examine how Weber’s characterization of “Capitalism” is different from those of Marx.(250 words)

  12. The Role of Authority in bureaucracy. (200 words)

Sociological Thinkers: Emile Durkheim

  1. What according to Emile Durkheim is the nature of Relationship between the individual and Society? Explain this with the help of his analysis of Division of labour in society. (300 words)

  2. “Social Fact is to be treated as a thing”. Discuss.(200 words)

  3. What you mean by the concept “Suicide” as explained by Emile Durkheim? Discuss its Scope n Critique .(200 words)

  4. Elaborate Emile Durkheim’s analysis of the elementary forms of Religious life and role of Religion in society. How does he explain existence of Religion in modern industrial Societies? (300 words)

Sociology- the Discipline

  1. Sociology and Common Sense

  2. Sociology and Economics

  3. Interpretative Sociology

  4. Sociology as Science of society

  5. “Renaissance which is the mother of European modernity has a strong ideological, institutional and technological genesis and gave rise to growth of sociology.”. Elaborate. (300 words)

  6. Common sense is centrality to sociological inquiry. Is it possible to fuse common sense with rationality in sociological research? (300 words)

  7. What is the scope and subject matter of sociology (200 words)

  8. Attempt each question in 150 words each

    1. Sociology and anthropology

    2. relation between sociology and political science

    3. sociology as an interpretative Discipline

  9. “Scientific Research method is not a cooked recipe meant for instant consumption and use by researcher.” What are scientific methods or steps? Is it possible to follow these steps? (300 Words)

  10. Universalization of scientific method is absolutely an unacceptable proposition. Explain.(300 Words)

  11. Highlight the problem of Value fact and objectivity.(300 Words)

  12. Answer in 150 words each

    1. Critiques of Positivism

    2. Phenomenology

    3. Interactionism as non-positivist methodology

  13. ‘When, in such a period of society as that in which we live, we compare our intellectual acquirements, our opinions, manners and institutions, with those which prevail among rude tribes, it cannot fail to occur to us as an interesting question, by what gradual steps the transition has been made from the first simple efforts of uncultivated nature, to a state of things so wonderfully artificial and complicated.’ In the light of the above statement, establish the importance of ‘speculations based on known principles of human nature’ in studying the society.(200 Words)

  14. Sorokin’s theory of change is a limited attempt to study change but a refreshing idea indeed. Do you agree? (200 Words)

  15. Abstract philosophies of Marx are less valid in a plural society. Express your views. (200 Words)

  16. Write short note: Limitations of questionnaire as a technique of data collection.(200 Words)

  17. Utility of Reliability and Validity in Social Research. (200 Words)

  18. What is the importance of sampling in sociological studies? Distinguish between simple random sampling and stratified random sampling. (300 Words)

  19. Write short note: Importance and sources of hypotheses in social research. (200 Words)

  20. “Subjective perception of the objective reality prepares the context for the articulation of class antagonism.” Evaluate this statement with reference of Karl Marx’s contribution.(300 Words)

  21. Write short note: Mode of production. (200 Words)

  22. Write short note: Social fact. (200 Words)

  23. Write short note: Anomie. (200 Words)

  24. Critically examine the role of formal and informal structures of bureaucracy in economic and social reconstruction of the developing societies. (300 Words)

  25. Emile Durkheim had argued that the function of division of labour in society is that of the promotion of social solidarity. Elaborate the statement and analyze the distinction between two forms of solidarity discussed by him. (300 Words)

  26. Write short note: The sacred and the profane.(200 Words)

  27. “Not all facts about human behavior are necessarily social facts.” State the meaning. (200 Words)

  28. Bring out a comparative analysis of Marxian and Parsonian views of social change and examine the relevance of each view for social development in the contemporary India. (300 Words)

  29. Explain Karl Marx’s analysis of capitalistic mode of production and class-struggle. What are the intellectual reactions to his views? (300 Words)

  30. What is the focus of sociological analysis in the contributions of Emile Durkheim? Give your answer with the help of any one of his contributions.(300 Words)

  31. Explain the origin and characteristics of bureaucracy according to Max Weber. Illustrate the structural sources of dysfunctions of bureaucracy. (300 Words)

  32. How does social structure produce a strain toward anomie and deviant behaviour? Examine it with reference to Robert K. Merton’s contribution to this field of study. (300 Words)

  33. Write short note: Primary and Reference groups.(200 Words)

  34. What are the reactions of Robert Merton to the functionalism pioneered by social anthropologists? Indicate the Limitations of his idea of latent functions. (300 Words)

  35. Write short note: Talcott Parsons’ concept of social system.(200 Words)

  36. Write short note: Social system and the Pattern Variables. (200 Words)

  37. What is the focus of sociological analysis in the contributions of Emile Durkheim? Give your answer with the help of any one of his contributions. (300 Words)

  38. Critically examine Max Weber’s theory of social action and its limitations. (300 Words)

  39. Write short note : Functional problems of the social system (200 Words)

  40. Write short note: Class struggle a conceived by Karl Marx.(200 Words)

  41. “Not all facts about human behavior are necessarily social facts.” State the meaning. (300 Words)

  42. Elaborate Emile Durkheim’s analysis of the Elementary Forms of Religious Life and role of religion in society. How does the explain existence of religion in modern industrial societies? (300 Words)

  43. Write short note: Alienation. (200 Words)

  44. Write short note: Class-in-itself and class-for-itself (200 Words)

  45. Give a Critical Review of Emile Durkheim’s Theory on Religion and Society. To what extent does it explain the contemporary scenario in Asia? (300 Words)

  46. Explain Karl Marx’s ‘theory of social change’. What are the reactions of functionalists to his views? (300 Words)

  47. Write short note: Division of labour and the differentiation of social structure.(200 Words)

  48. Critically examine Weber’s theory of Protestant Ethic and Spirit of Capitalism.(300 Words)

  49. Critically analyze the concept of Anomie. Elaborate, with suitable examples, the theoretical relationship between nature of Anomie and types of Social Deviations as have been formulated by R.K. Merton. (300 Words)

  50. Write a short note on Primary and Reference Groups (200 Words)

  51. Write a short note on Utility of Reliability and Validity in Social Research (200 Words)

  52. Write a short note on caste in Muslims (200 Words)

Sociological Thinkers: Max Weber

  1. What according to Weber are the important elements and types of “Social Action” , explain. (250 words)

  2. Define “Ideal Type” and explain Weber’s concept of “Verstehen” for understanding social phenomena. (250 words)

  3. Examine the Salient features of Weberian bureaucracy.(200 words)

Sociological Thinker: Talcott Parsons

  1. Talcott Parsons idea of “Moving Equilibrium”. (200 words)

  2. Give conceptual meaning of “Social System”. What is cognitive consonance between “Pattern Variables” and “Paradigm”? (250 words).

  3. Examine the Relevance of Parsonian Social system in the present society. (250 words)

  4. Relevant of pattern variable in the society change. (250 words)