NIOS Sociology 331 Solved Paper’ April 2021, NIOS Senior Secondary Solved Papers

NIOS Sociology 331 Solved Paper’ April 2021

NIOS Senior Secondary Solved Papers

1. What are folkways?                                   1

Ans. Folkways:- Folkways are norms to which individuals conform. It is customary to do so. Conformity to folkways is not enforced by law or any other agency of the society. Folkways are manifested in matters of dress, food habits, observance of rituals, forms of worship and method of greeting etc.

2. Name the founder of Buddhism.                                      1

Ans. Gautama Buddha, was the founder of Buddhism.

3. Name the saint of the fifteenth century.                          1

Ans. Vincent Ferrer.

4. From where was the term ‘sociology’ derived?                2

Ans. The world ‘sociology’ was derived from the Latin word socius (association), and the Greed word ‘logus’ (theory) debited the theory or science of human association society.

5. What is positivism?                            2

Ans. Positivism is the traditional method of sociology, which is generally associated with Auguste Comte. Comte’s emphasis on reporting of social facts is like what we find in natural sciences where accuracy and objectivity in understanding and analysis are core characteristics.

6. Name different types of surveys.                        2

Ans. Classification of surveys:

a) Descriptive.

b) Explanatory.

c) Predictive.

d) Evaluative.

7. What is levirate?                              2

Ans. Levirate: Levirate is the custom in which a widow marries her husband’s brother. Generally, husband’s younger brother marries the widow. This practice is prevalent among the Toda of Nilgiri Hills.

8. Name the four Vedas.                     2

Ans. Four Vedas are Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda

9. Describe ‘plural society’.                 2

Ans. A plural society is defined by Fredrik Barth as a society combining ethic contrasts: the economic interdependence of those groups, and their ecological specialization (i.e. use of different environmental resources by each ethnic group). The ecological interdependence or the lack of completion, between ethnic groups may be based on the different activities in the same region or on long-term occupation of different regions is Defined by J S Furnivall as a medley of peoples- European, Chinese, Indian and native, who do mix but do not combine. Each group holds by its own religion, its own culture and language, its own ideas and ways.

10. Explain ‘social structure.’                      4

Ans. Social structure refers to the way the units of a group or a society relate to one another. According to some sociologists, social structure is the term applied to the particular arrangement of the inter-related institutions, agencies and social patterns as well as the statuses and roles which each person assumes in the groups. It may be said that social structure refers to the overall composition of a society. Its units are groups, institutions, associations and organizations. As we know all men and women relate themselves to each other and they establish a structural form, it may be a group, an association or an organization. Social structure is made up of these structural forms through which society functions. Actually, this structure is there before we come into the world.

11. Explain ‘ascribed’ and ‘achieved’ status.                         4

Ans. There are two different kinds of status that people occupy, ascribed status and achieved status.

(a) 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. Such statuses are said to be ascribed.

(b) 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.

12. Differentiate between ‘Sociology’ and ‘Economics’.                 4

Ans. There are some aspects in which these two subjects differ. Economists collect their data from government publications, census reports, proceedings of the banking institutions, economic survey reports and balance sheets, etc. These data pertain to macro-level situations. It is from a study of these institutions that economists attempt to make generalizations. Rarely do they study the society at a micro-level, for instance at the level of a village or urban neighbourhood? Sociologists, by comparison, carry out their studies at the micro-level using the methodology of intensive fieldwork. The economist’s approach is deductive, i.e., he arrives at general propositions from which specific statements can be made. The sociological approach is inductive. From particular studies, one tries to generalize about the whole, and these propositions are subjected to further testing. Finally, sociology is not as quantitative as is economics.

13. Explain ‘power’ and ‘authority’.                        4

Ans. Power is different form authority. What distinguishes these two is legitimacy, i.e. whether the exercise of power is legitimate or warranted under the existing and acceptable set of rules in society or not. The meaning of legitimacy is ‘rightfulness’, whether the individual has been given the right to exercise power. Force is exercised by both-the robber and the policeman-but the force that the latter exercise is legitimate, and not the one which the former exercises. The state has been defined as an institution that has the power to exercise ‘legitimate violence’ over a territory. When the exercise of power is legitimate, it is termed authority. The concept of power itself does not tell us whether it is legitimate or not, because here, the emphasis is on the exercise of force and its compliance. In the concept of authority, the emphasis is on legitimacy. So, legitimate power may be defined as authority.

14. What are the environmental hazards for human health?                    4

Ans. Environmental hazards for human health are as follows:

(1) Air pollution causes respiratory diseases.

(2) Water pollution causes enteric diseases.

(3) Solid waste pollution causes vector-borne diseases.

(4) Toxic waste causes cancer and neurological disorders.

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15. Describe the political factors of social change.                            4

Ans. Political Factors of Social Change:-  State is the most powerful organisation which regulates the social relationships. It has the power to legislate new laws, repeal old ones to bring social change in the society. Laws regarding child marriage, widow remarriage, divorce, inheritance and succession, untouchability are some of the examples which have brought many changes in the social structure of Indian society.

The type of political leadership and individuals in power also influences the rate and direction of social change. In many societies the political leadership controls the economy also. Scientific technological and non-technological change is also dependent on political development which indirectly affects social change.

There is a direct relationship between the type of political organisation and social change.

16. Describe the elements of socialization.                    4

Ans. Communication is one of the basic elements of socialization. It is through the communication skills that a child learns to communicate his feelings and emotions to others. It is through the process of communication that learning occurs.

Role identification and role performance are the other elements of socialization. Socialization enables the child to perform certain social roles effectively. Thus, it influences the social behaviour of the child to perform his role in consonance with the approved social norms and values laid down by the society.

Culture is an element of socialization, which is passed on from one generation to the next. An organised society is built up by means of social organisation and is transmitted from one generation to another by the process of learning. The values of a society and the ways of doing and thinking that are considered right and proper are learnt by the young child. Socialization constitutes these learning processes.

17. Explain ‘Sanskritization.’                    4

Ans. Sanskritization:- It is a process by which any low caste could adapt to the behaviour pattern, style of life, and culture of high caste and claim membership in that high caste. But they have to leave their unclean occupation and other impure habits like meat eating and taking liquor, etc. The untouchables were not allowed to sanskritize their status. Thus only middle castes could sanskritize themselves. For Sanskritization, a caste must have three conditions:

(a) it should have a touchable status,

(b) it should have better economic condition,

(c) it should make a claim to membership into a high caste, by propagating some story or myth.

18. What are the problems of girl children? Describe.                      4

Ans. Girl Children:- A girl child has to suffer discriminatory behaviour in our society. Being girl, she is deprived of educational opportunities. The girls may not be enrolled in school. Rather, they are engaged and trained in household works, especially in rural areas. They do not go to school and compromise with their fate as an assistant to mother in the house of father. After marriage, they perform their duty as housewife in the house of husband.

According to a belief prevalent in some sectors, based on myth of our society, the marriage of a daughter must be held before puberty. This belief encouraged child marriage. Child marriage also deprived girls of their educational rights. Child marriage resulted into motherhood at an early age. It created several health problems including early motherhood and maternal mortality.

19. What is the ‘push factor’ in migration?                             4

Ans. Push factors are those that force the individual to move voluntarily, and in many cases, they are forced because the individual risk something if they stay. Push factors may include conflict, drought, famine, or extreme religious activity. Poor economic activity and lack of job opportunities are strong push factors for migration. Push factor means that lack of employment in the villages pushes the villagers to the towns in search of jobs. Pull factor means the relatives in the town invite their close people and try to give them jobs. Besides, the entertainment aspect of urban life attracts or pulls the people to the towns.

20. Describe the characteristics of role.                                 6

Ans. Characteristics of role:

a) Role is a dynamic aspect of the status.

b) Role exists in status. Role cannot be isolated from status.

c) Role is not found in vacuum. It has a strong cultural aspect.

d) The normative aspect of role is culture.

e) Role is relative.

f) There are no roles without statuses or statuses without roles. Just as in the case of status, the term role is also used with a double significance. Every individual has a series of roles deriving from the various patterns in which he participates and at the same time a role in general, which represents the sum total of these roles and determines what he does for his society and what he can expect from it..

21. Differentiate between ‘Group’ and ‘Society.’                     6

Ans. The following are the difference between ‘Group’ and ‘Society’



A collection of human beings

A system of social relationship

An artificial creation

A spontaneous and natural growth

Group is organized

Society is loose collection of groups

Group may be temporary

Society is permanent

Group is a concrete aggregation

Society is an abstract concept of people

Group is marked by ‘we feeling’

A sense of belongingness

 22. Discuss the salient characteristics of caste.                          6

Ans. Some of the salient characteristics of caste are:-

1) Caste system is based on the ideas of purity and pollution.

2) Besides occupation, each caste has its own style of living.

3) In a village, a person’s caste may be identified by looking at his dress and jewellery, house types, food habits, and the manner of speaking.

4) It has been found that each caste has its own dialect, which may be distinguished from the others.

5) Each caste follows the rules of endogamy, that is, its members marry within their own caste, but they marry outside their village. Village exogamy, i.e. marrying out accompanies caste endogamy.

6) Each caste has its own council, locally called caste Panchayat, which takes up disputes and other matters pertaining to the caste.

7) Each caste has its own complex of Gods and Goddesses, ritual-complex, and folklore.

23. Explain, in detail, the various tribal problems.                       6

Ans. The various tribal problems are:-

(a) Land Alienation caused due to the introduction of monetary economy. For every consumption need, the tribals needed money, but did not have any source of earning. They mortgaged land or sold it off land.

(b) Indebtedness cropped in due to lack of adequate sources of income. Private money lenders (like Mahajan or Sahukars) are readily available in tribal areas. They provided personal loan on heavy rate if interest. The consumption patterns of the tribals include regular consumption of liquor, bride price during marriage and fine for any deviant behaviour. All these require money. Hence they go to the money lender. In this manner they are heavily in debt.

(c)  Bonded labour is a serious problem, which came in due to rampant poverty and lack of stable income. In fact, land alienation, indebtedness, bonded labour and poverty are inter-related problems. Lack of money leads to taking loan from money lender by mortgaging land,. The tribal community is unable to repay, hence serves as a bonded labourer.

(d) Illiteracy among tribals is a major hindrance towards their development. on account of inaccessible habitat among tribals, education has not spread fast among them. The school timings usually clash with the timings of economic and agricultural operations. However, several programmes have been launched to provide educational access by establishing a primary school within a radius of one kilometre.

(e) Shifting cultivation is a serious problem, which came in due to rampant poverty and lack of stable income. Shifting cultivation involves clearing of a plot, usually in hilly or terrace area, i.e. cutting plants & shrubs and then broadcasting (sprinkling) seeds usually of arhar, maize, bajra and barbate (beans). It does not involve plough cultivation. The area is cultivated for one or two years and then is left hallow for five to seven years to allow the vegetation to grow densely and to repeat the cycle.

(f) Problem of health and nutrition among the tribals has been found mainly due to lack of proper medical and sanitary facilities and poverty. Their practice of indigenous medicine and magical practices for treatments have been very good in the past. But today things have changed considerably. Disease range between diarrhea, jaundice, small pox, malaria, filarial to AIDS, heart ailments and hypertension etc.

24. Explain the main causes of poverty.                           6

Ans. Main causes of Poverty are as follows:

(1) Social causes:- In society, scheduled castes occupied lowest position. They did not posses any property. So, they remained poor for centuries, generation after generation. Heavy expenditure on performance of social customs, tradition, rituals also make many person poor.

(2) Economic causes:– Unequal distribution of land, unemployment, low wages, and indebtedness are responsible for poverty. In our society, a number of families are landless or near landless. They are dependent on others for work and wages.

(3) Political causes:– Improper policies in the past are also responsible for poverty in our country. We have now opened our market for foreign countries. The production system in our country has now to match its production with them. Heavy industries have adverse influence on rural and cottage industries. Lack of proper marketing system for agricultural produce and forest produce has also very few even for educated youths.

(4) Religious causes:– Religious beliefs and practices also adds to poverty in our country. 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.

(5) Natural causes:– Natural calamities like flood, cyclone, drought, earthquake, and epidemic, etc, cause poverty in our country. Each year some parts of our country have to face the situation of flood, or drought or cyclone. As a result of such natural causes, income of the people of the area is reduced to such an extent that they become unable to feed and clothe themselves.

(6) Physical causes:– Physical causes like disease, illness, physically handicapped, accident, suicide, death of earning member, mental illness, alcoholism and drug abduction cause poverty in our society. These are personal causes of poverty but they ultimately affect family and society form the view point of poverty.




25. When did the Britishers come to India?                           1

Ans. The British came to India in 1600 A.D.

26. Name any two authoritative law codes in the Age of Dharmashastras.                         2

Ans.:- The two most important authoritative law codes of this period were Manu Smriti and Yagnavalkya Smriti.

27. Define gender.                          2

Ans. Gender refers to the socially constructed characteristics of women and men- such as norms, roles and relationships of and between groups of women and men.

28. What is domestic violence? Describe.                            4

Ans. The term ‘domestic violence’ refers to destructive acts which cause physical injury or harm to a women in her household. The term domestic violence is generally used to refer to physical abuse, but it should also include deprivations, which members of a family may experience, through not necessarily physical abuse. Look at this example, A daughter who is not sent to school and forcibly confined to domestic work or denied nutritious food, while sons receive the best of food, best of education and all other facilities for development. in the above instance, there may be no physical abuse involved, but the fact that a girl child is prevented from enjoying the rights conferred on her is also a form of violence. 

29. Explain ‘women’s empowerment’ through action.                      6

Ans. The autonomous women’s groups believe in fighting oppression, injustice and discrimination against women in all social institutions. The groups do not compromise their principles for any political, social or economic policies or programmes, which bring indignity to women. They are fully aware of the fact that empowerment cannot be achieved until basic gender inequalities in family, economy, education and political institution are removed. The autonomous women’s groups have two strategies for women’s empowerment – awareness and action. Autonomous women’s groups have taken up issues such as dowry, rape, family violence, alcoholism, sexual harassment at work place and many others. These groups are very active in their areas of location and work, and are being approached by women in need of support and help. They interact with the police, government representatives, employers or politicians to seek justice for women and uphold their self-respect.



30. In which place is the Gol Gumbad situated?                            1

Ans. Bijapur.

31. Define culture.                    2

Ans. “Culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, beliefs, arts, morals, laws, customs and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society”.

32. Name any two great scientific works of Aryabhatta.                     2

Ans. His works include the Aryabhatiya (which mentions that in 3600 kaliyuga, 499 CE, he was 23 years old) and Arya-Siddhanta.

33. Explain ‘enculturation.                         4

Ans. Enculturation refers to learning of cultural patterns form one generation to the next. All the while, new patterns are continuously added. Thus, enculturation ensures the processes of cultural continuity along with change in the society. Enculturation could take place either consciously or unconsciously or both ways. In this situation, the older generation invites or induces and compels the members of succeeding generations to adopt their ways of thinking and behaving. Thus, enculturation is based on the authority of the older generations to ensure that the younger generations do not adopt the cultural practices of other groups. In this way, the elders take full care that the existing values are imbibed by the new comers so that these values are further strengthened and continued.

34. What are the important agencies of communication which are adjuncts of the mass media?     6

Ans. There are important agencies of communication, which are adjuncts o the mass media. These are:

a) The press associations collect and distribute news to the newspapers, television channels radio stations and news magazines.

b) The syndicates offer background news and pictures, commentary and entertainment features to newspapers, television and radio and magazines.

c) The advertising agencies, serve their business clients on the one hand and the mass media on the other.

d) The advertising departments of companies and institutions play merchandising roles and public relations departments, serve in disseminating image-building information.

e) The public relations counselling firms and publicity organisations offer information on behalf of their clients and,

f) Research individuals and groups help gauge the impact of the message and guide mass media for more effective paths.


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