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BA LLB SOCIOLOGY SAMPLE QUESTION ANSWER PAPER SOCIETY:In this article you will read about society,what is society in sociology,what is society pdf,types of society,society in a sentence,meaning and characteristics of society,importance of society,three examples of society,society synonym,Describe the meaning and characteristics of society. Explain – “Society involves both likeness and difference. Write the Influence of west on Indian society.  What is the meaning of society write the difference between human society and Animal society. 

Q. 1. Describe the meaning and characteristics of society.

Ans. (Meaning of Society)

 Different sociologists have defires society dâferently. Some of the major desinitions are the following:

1. MacIver and Page. “Society is a system of usages and procedures, of authority and mutual aid, of many groupings and divisions, of controls of human behaviour and of liberties.” According to this desinition, society is a dynamic and complex system. In it are included different activities, professions, economic, political and other activities, relations with one another, rights and duties, etc., of individuals and their behaviour in the various aspects of human life. It is also inclusive of such divisions among men as groups, communities, associations and classes, etc., In this way, society, according to this definition, is a complex web of mutual relationships and interactions.

2. Giddings. “Society is the union itself, the organisation, the sum of formal relations in which associating individuals are bound together.” This definition of society places the emphasis upon its organisational aspect. Society is not merely a conglomeration or collection of scattered, individual human beings. Its members are bound to each other. Between them exist some formal relations which are based upon, and pertain to family, race, class and other institution. Society is an organised group of individuals.

3. Ginsberg. “A society is a collection of individuals united by certain relations or modes of behaviour which mark them off from others who do not enter into these relations or who differ from them in behaviour.” In this way, Ginsberg, like Giddings, has accepted society as an organised group, and has professed to a unity in the relations between its members and their modes of behaviour. It is this unity

which serves to distinguish members of society from people who do | not belong to society, since these later people do not enter into the

organisation of that society, differing as they do in their behaviour and other aspects from those in the society. Ginsbergs’ definition is the definition of a society not of the ‘society’. Difference between ‘society’ and ‘a society’

The above definition would have afforded a glimpse of the nature of society. Before starting a detailed discussion into the nature of society,  it is essential to know clearly whether our study has reference to some ., specific society or to society in general. At this stage, it is essential to know the difference between ‘society’ and ‘a society’. The difference is

1 Society is general, ‘a society’ is specific. 

 2. Society is abstract, ‘a society’ is concrete.

3. Society cannot be limited within any space or time. But a society is demarcated by geographical limits. In this way, the societies of people who live in India, Russia, China and other countries are differentialed from each other whereas the name ‘human society or merely ‘society’ would apply to all people of all countries in the world.

4. Society is not merely a collection of individual beings. A society is sometimes indicative of a group of human beings. Reuter has written, “A society, as distinct from society is any organisation by means of which people carry on a life.” Similar to this delinition by Reuter we have Ginsberg’s opinion, viz. “a society is a group of individuals related by some relations or forms of behaviour.”

5. Society consists, not of individuals, but in their mutual interactions and mutual interrelations. It is a complex structure formed by these mutual relations, it is a system, a pattern. Individuals or people do not merit the name ‘society’ but ‘association’ is sometimes used to denote people. 

Characteristics of Society

1. Society is abstract. Thus while describing the nature of society, it is necessary to keep in mind the prominent differences between society and a society’. In this way society is abstract because it is constituted of the social relations, customs and laws, besides other elements. In the words of Odum, “In another aspect society may be visualised as the behaviour of human beings and the consequent problems of relationships and adjustments that arise.” According to Reuter, “Society is an abstract term that connotes the complex of interrelations that exist between and among the members of the group.” In this way, socially exists wherever There are good or bad, proper or improper

relationships between human beings. These social relationships are not

evident, they do not have any concrete form, hence society is abstract. In this context the definition given by Maclver and Page is quite appropriate. But particular or specific society is concrete.

2. Society is not a group of people. Some sociologists have viewed society as a group of people. Hankins writes, “We may for our purpose here define society as any permanent of continuing group of men, women and children, able to carry on independently the process of racial perpetuation and maintenance on their own cultural level.” Gillin, too, has accepted society in the form of a permanent group. But it has already been mentioned while the differences between society and ‘a society’, were being considered, that a group of individuals is a ‘a society’, not society. Wright rightly writes, “Though society is a real thing, it means in essence a state or condition, a relationship, and is, therefore, necessarily an abstraction.” Lapiere and Fransworth also agree with Wright. According to them, “It is that pattern, not the people, which we term ‘society’.” In the words of Reuter, “Just as life is not a thing but a process of living, so society is not a thing but a process of associating.” Actually, groups of human beings have been adorned with such names as association or community in sociology.

3. Society is an organisation of relationships. Society is in organisation, a system or a pattern of relationships among human beings. Parsons has written, “Society may be defined as the total complex of human relationships in so far as they grow out of action in terms of means-end relationships, intrinsic or symbolic.” Cooley puts it thus, “Society is a complex of forms or processes each of which is living and growing by interaction with the others, the whole being so unified that what takes place in one part affects all the rest.”

4. Psychic element in social relationships. According to Maclver and Giddings and some other sociologists, social relationships invariably possess a psychic element, which takes the form of awareness of another’s presence, common objective, er-common interest etc. There is neither any society nor any social relationships without its realisation. Society exists only where social beings behave towards one another in a manner determined by recognition of each other. Only those relationships which are so determined are social, Social relationships differ from relation between other objects only by virtue of this psychic element. There is a kind of awareness in them. They have in them an element of emotion and feeling, urges, sympathy and sentiments. In their absence, the retations between lover and beloved, husband and wife, father and son

teacher and taught, and others, cannot even be conceived. These elements can be bad as well as good but their presence is essential. Without the psychic element a relation between two people is in no way superior to the relation between two objects. Some sociologists. among them Morris Ginsberg, have doubted and questioned the indispensability of this psychic element in social relationships. According to Ginsberg, in many social relations individuals have no knowledge whatsoever. For example, changes in the relationships existing in the market influence the lives of people but the affected persons do not evince any knowledge of them. This opinion of Ginsberg does not appear correct because whatever the change, it has some influence upon the mental condition of the people, and they do become aware of it even though they may be unable to discover its causes or gauge its exact degree. When prices of commodities sold in the market fluctuate, even a common labourer makes some inquiry and questions the seller, and even though he may be unable to trace the fluctuations in their causes he is still aware that some change is taking place.

In this way, briefly, society is an abstract organisation, patter or system. It is not a group of people but a structure of their interactions and mutual relationships. These relations have a psychic element in them. Thus, society includes all actions, relations and mutual behaviour of people. In the words of MacIver, “Society we shall use in the very widest-sense, to include every kind and degree of relationships entered into by men and other social creatures with one another .Society, when used without qualification, means the whole system of social relationships.”

Q. 2. Explain – “Society involves both likeness and difference.”

Ans. MacIver has written that society cannot exist without both likeness and difference. Likeness and difference and undoubtedly mutually contradictory but they are both essential for society which is . a dynamic and evolving or developing system. Society is a complex web of social relationships. In this web sometimes difference is more attractive than similarity since different individuals or classes are sometimes the complements of one another by virtue of these differences. Likeness in Society

Social relationships are based upon a similarity of interests, objectives, mores, needs, etc. Men do not form a society in association. with animals because their interests, mores, objectives, etc. are dişsimilar Was widely divergent. Human society can be comprised only of human

beings because they share many characteristics in common and many features of nature, interest, anatomy, mind, etc. The fundamental elements of human psychology vary within very small limits at all times and places. For example, men and women of all ages and all countries has experienced and exhibited a very natural attraction for each other, and even in the future one cannot imagine this attraction losing its intensity; the edifice of human society, the family, rests upon this mutual attraction. Human society is divided into many societies. These different societies have vast differences in interests, traditions, behaviours, so that individuals in one society look upon an individual from another as a stranger. But among the people within one society one finds strong social relations which are the result of a similarity of traditions, mores, etc. In this way actually, the foundation of human society rests upon similarity. MacIver has written correctly “In early society and among some of our primitive contemporaries, the sense of likeness is focussed on kin-memberships, i.e. real or supposed blood relationships. The conditions of special likeness have broadened out in modern societies. But the basic conception of likeness that primitive man identified with the kin remains in even so extensive a principle of union as nationality. And if the struggling principle of one world is to win out, it must necessarily rest upon the recognition of the fundamental likeness of the entire human race.”

 Difference in Society

But similarity alone is not adequate for social organisation. The economic structure of society is based upon division of labour in which the professions and economic activities of people are different or dissimilar. The social structure of humanity is based upon the family at the base of which is the mutual attraction between individuals of different sexes, viz., men and women. The culture of society prospers with the differences in thoughts, ideals, viewpoints, etc. Father-son, man-woman, husband-wife, brother-sister, ruler-ruled, in brief, in all relationships in society the rights and duties of individuals differ, and for this reason are supplementary, to, each other. Consequently, the progress of the system in society is smooth. Individuals differ from, and for this reason are supplementary to, each other. Consequently, the progress of the system in society is smooth. Individuals differ from each other in respect of their interests,-capacities, abilities, predictions, tendencies, etc. These differences do not imply mutual conflict; instead; Sy it te organisation of society is further strengthened. Try to imagine

a society in which all people are either weavers or all adults, or att old or young. Having realised the chaotic state of this society, the importance of differences in the society will be apparent. It would not be a misnomer to say tħat in the absence of differentiation, the very existence of society may be threatened or endangered. 

Likeness and difference in society

In this way, both likeness and difference are found in human society. Both these elements are essential for the existence, organisation and development of society. Despite the fact that there are different races, nations and countries in the world today there is a growing consciousness of ‘one universe’ and ‘universal government is no longer an inconceivable impossibility. But this unity of the world cannot be achieved by abolishing the differences of the various cultures. One in the many is a profound truth of universal existence. Only by establishing unity through a synthesis of differences can a prosperous would be society created. Society is a web of human relationships. In order that these relationships may be prosperous and harmonious both similarity and difference are essential. For example, the underlying cause of the intimacy between man and woman is difference but if there were no similarity or concurrence whatsoever between them, they could not jointly create a contended family. In this way both likeness and difference have their respective importance in human society.

Q. 3. Write the Influence of west on Indian society. 

Ans. Influence of West on Indian Society

Regarding the impact of west on the Indian life, Humayun Kabir has observed that the incisive intellect of the West closely examined

every belief and idea. This, one the one hand, led to change in the L beliefs regarding physical life and, on the other hand, destroyed the

very structures, beliefs and traditions. The impact of the West was felt upon caste system, education, social awakening, political awakening, joint family system, economic structure, institution of marriage, untouchability and other rituals., standard of living.

The impact of West can be studied under the following heads : 

Western lofluence upon Caste System

Industrialization. In the industrial factories members of all castes work together. They share their problems and aims. In order to work together they come close to each other. This helps to break down the distinction of high and low caste.

(b) Urbanization. As a result of industrial expansion new townships came into existence and people from the villages flocked to these townships in order to earn livelihood. In towns, members of different: castes came together and the sense of separateness could not be sustained in the new environment. Thus urbanization leads to a relaxation in the caste system.

(c) Means of Transport. Without the improvement in the means of transport the caste distinctions remained stable and fixed but with the improvement in the means of transport on account of Western influence the people came together and this lead to watering down of caste distinctions.

(d) English Education. The spread of education disseminated modern value of Equality; Fraternity and Liberty. This gave a sharp blow to the caste system. Many went to England for higher studies and they càine back fully westernized and critical of narrow and bigoted caste distinctions.

(e) Influence of Western Culture. The influence of western culture helped to relax the ties of caste system.

Q. 4. What is the meaning of society write the difference between human society and Animal society. 


Meaning of society 

In common parlance, the word ‘society usually designates the members of a particular group rather than the social relationships they have. However, in sociology, the term has a definite meaning.

Society is a concept. It can neither be seen nor touched. It refers to the mutual interactions and touched. It refers to the mutual interaction and interrelation of individuals and groups. It includes their complex relationships and structure. Interdependence of members and cooperation among them are its essential attributes.

Society is a pattern setting mechanism. One is born in a society, grows in it, and acquires a sense of belonging through it. Society enables one to reveal one’s self and seek to fulfil it. Society basically imparts social behaviour to the future generations also. 

Various Definitions

(a) Maclver and Page : “Society is a system of usages and procedures, authority and mutual aid of many grouping and division of controls of human behaviour and liberties.” 

(b) Harkins : “Any permanent or continuous group of men,

women and children, able to carry on independently, the process of racial perpetuation and maintenance on their own cultural level.***

(c)Giddings : “Society is the union itself, the organization, the sum of formal relations in which associating individuals are bound to gather.”

(d) Parsons : “Society man be defined as the total complex of human relationship insofar as they grow out of action in terms of means-end relationship, intrinsic or symbolic.”.

Cooley: “Society is a complex of forms or process, each of which is living and growing by interaction with the others, the whole being so unified that what takes place in one part affects all the rest.”

(1) Duncan Mitchell : “The term Society is one of the vaguest and most general in the sociologist’s vocabulary. It may denote anything from a primitive non-literate people to a modern industrial nation-state, or from the most general references to humankind to a relatively small organized group of people.” 

(g) Laplere : “The term society refers not to a group of people, but to the complex pattern of the norms of interaction that arises among and between them.” Difference Between Human Society and Animal Society

(a) Human society is a society of cultured and civilized beings People behave in ways determined by the laws of the land. Animal society is a society of beasts far removed from culture or civilization. 

(b) Animal society is based on instincts whereas human society is based on reasons.

(c) The degree of social awareness is very dim among animals. Division of labour among animals is not learned, rather is based upon biological specialization.

(d) The animals modes of organization are relatively rigid and fixed, whereas the human modes are flexible and adaptable.

(c) The animal never develop anything resembling a true language. As they are not capable of symbolic communication, they are incapable of transmitting their culture to the next generation.

 Elements of Society 

Likeness of Members

Likeness of members in society is the primary basis of their mutuality. As Macher states, “Comradeship, intimacy, association of

Any  kind or degree would be impossible without some understanding

of each by the other, and that understanding depends on the likeness which each apprehends in the other.”

It may be added that difference is also an essential trait in society, but it remains subordinate to that of likeness. The quote Maclver further, “Primary likeness and secondary difference create the greatest of all social institutions-the division of labour.” Reciprocal Awareness

Likeness generates reciprocity. Once individuals are aware of the mutual likeness, they are prone to discriminate against those who are not like them. The problem of likes and dislikes has been a part of social growth. All social action is based on reciprocal response. 

Interdependence of Members

This is a basic element of society. It is owing to both the likeness of members and their reciprocal response to one another. 

The Cooperation

This is essential for the common good and is the basis of all social acts and the functioning of all social institutions.

Origin of Society 

The Organic Theory

The Purusasukla human of the Rig Veda, while referring to the origin of the chatur-vama, compares the human society with the organism. The Brahman, the Kshtriya the Vaishya and the Sudra and regarded as its head, arms, trunk and feet respectively. The emphasis was on the interrelated and collective nature of society. Earlier, Plato had referred to the rulers, the warriors and the artisans and symbolizing the three attributes of human soul-wisdom, courage and desire respectively strong supporter of the organic theory in the recent past.

 The Social Contract 

There is reference in the Mahabharat to an agreement between the Devas and Manu, the legendary king, whereby the latter agreed to protect the former for one-sixth of their produce. The seventeent century social contract thinkers Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau began their analysis with the State of nature. Hobbes held that life was “Solitar poor, nasty, brutish and short.” Everyone was at war with the other However, Locke and Rousseau regarded the state of nature as bein marked by peace and goodwill. Individuals got together and made mutual agreement by which society was created. As Rousseau put

every individual gave “in common his powers and all his powers” to general will, representing the will of all.

The Theory of Divine Origin

This theory regards society to be the creation of God. Just as God created all the animate and inanimate would so he created the human society as well. The Force Theory

This theory holds that society was the result of physical force. Society originated in the subjugation of the weaker by the stronger, Thus, men were brought together and made to live in society through

physical coercion. Nietzsche and Bernhardt have been strong supporters i of this theory. The Patriarchal and Matriarchal Theories

These theories regard society as an expansion of the family. Sir Henry Maine holds the patriarchal family to the the basis of the society. He believes that society is the family writ large. This theory suggests that since polyandry was more common in primitive times than monogamy, the commanding position was attributed to the mother. McLenon. Morgan and Jenks have been advocates of this theory. The Evolutionary Theory

According to this theory, society is not a make but is growth. It is the result of gradual evolution over a period of time. Various factors like kinship. obedience and loyalty, expedient values and religion have contributed to its development. Meaning of Socialization

Human society is not an external phenomenon. It is inherent in the mind of its members. The human infant in born as a biological organism with animal needs. He or she is gradually moulded into the social ways of feeling and acting. Without this process, humans would not grow up into persons, and society and culture would cease to exist. This process of moulding is called socializaion. To quote Maclver, “Socialization is the process by which social being establish wider and profounder relationship with one another, in which they become more bound up with and more dependent on, one another in which they develop the sense of their obligation to and responsibility for others; in which they grow more perceptive of the personality of themselves and of others, and build up the complex structure of nearer and wider association.” Socialization is not a biological process, but a matter of Iearning. It is the process by which the individual learns to conform to the norms of the group.

The Process of Socialization

Socialization involves the following four factors in the process of learning

 (a) Imitation

Imitation refers to the conscious or subconscious, spontaneous or deliberate, perceptual or ideational copying by an individual of the actions of others. A child acquires language and pronunciation largely by imitation.

 (b) Suggestion

This is process of communicating information which has no logical or self-evident basis. It is devoid of rational persuasion. Propaganda and advertising are based on the fundamental psychological principles of suggestion. 

(c) Identification

Io infancy, the human child cannot discriminate between his being and the environment. Later, the objects of his attention, his toys or his mother become the objects of his identification. With age, the speed and area of his identification increase.

(d) Language 

 This is the medium of social interaction and cultural transmission. Language is important in moulding the personality of the individual from infancy onwards. 

The Development of the Self

The self refers to what a person conceives himself to be. One’s self concept is the sum total of the perceptions and attitudes of a person towards his own being. (a) Cooley’s Theory

Cooley gave the concept of the ‘looking-glass self,’ which holds that man arrives at an opinion of himself only after coming in contact with other and learning their opinions about him. It is the perception of other which given him an image of his social self.

 (b) Mead’s Theory

According to Mead, the ‘self develops out of the child’s earlcommunicative contacts with others. The child identifies with such people and learns to internalize their roles with in himself. with age the number of such ‘significant others increase for the child. The self thus, develop out of social interaction and constantly adjusts to new situations, conflicts and requirements.

(c) Freud’s Theory .. Freud, unlike Cooley and Mead, did not assume an essential harmony between the self and society. Freud explains the development of self with the help of the concepts of the ich ego and superego. the id refers to untamed passions that areʻrepressed. Ego implies acting with reason and superego denotes compliance with ideals and norms. 

Agencies of Socialization

The process of socialization operates not only in childhood, but continues throughout an individual’s life. The following are the chief agencies of socialization. 

(a) The Family

The presents or family are the first to socialize the child, The child learns speech and language, and social morality from the parents. The family continues to exercise its influence throughout the individuals life. 

(b) The School

The child’s education is crucial in the attitudes and ideas he forms, enabling him to become a good citizen later on.

 (c) The Peer Group of Friends

The playmates teach the child mutual understanding, sympathy and cooperation. They also introduce him to the informal aspects of culture, as fashion and fads.

 (d) Religious Institutions

Family religious practices help influence individual morality and the way of life of a person. 

Elements of Socialization

The three elements they play an important role in the socialization of an individual are as follows:

(a) The physical and psychological bearing of the individual.

(b) The environment in which he is born; and 

 (c) The culture in which he lives. 


Another process individualization, may also be mentioned. It makes a socialized person more independent of his group and given to a self centred life of his own.

Modernization may be said to have encouraged individualization.

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