IGNOU BSOC 133 Solved Assignment 2022-23

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IGNOU BSOC 133 Solved Assignment 2022-23

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Submission Date :

  • 31st March 2033 (if enrolled in the July 2033 Session)
  • 30th Sept, 2033 (if enrolled in the January 2033 session).

Answer the following Descriptive Category Questions in about 500 words each. Each question carries 20 marks in Assignment I.

Answer the following Middle Category Questions in about 250 words each. Each question carries 10 marks in Assignment II.

Answer the following Short Category Questions in about 100 words each. Each question carries 6 marks in Assignment III.

Assignment I

1. Compare and contrast Marx’s, Durkheim’s and Weber’s viewpoints on society, class and solidarity.

Durkheim’s Theory of Social Integration and Regulation and his Study of Suicide

Earlier studies associate suicides just as ethical problems or psychological problems.

Marx’s Method is Historical Materialism or the ‘Materialist Conception of History:’

According to Marx social change is not because of the development of the ideas. It is because of the development of materials which bases on the economy and society. Marx reconstructs Hegel’s Idealist Dialectic. The Dialectical Materialism that Marx talked about; there is three Dialectic. One of them is the Unity of Opposites. Unity of Opposites Dialectic is about the contrast. If one of two does not exist, the other one does not exist too. For example, if there is no slave it means there is no master either. The other Dialectic is Thesis — Anti-Thesis — Synthesis. Every Anti-Thesis is also the beginning of a new Thesis. He also said that quantitive change leads to qualitative changes. For example, if the power of the working class increases, it can lead to revolution.

  • For Marx, the division of society into hierarchical groups is based only on social classes. For Max Weber (1864–1920), social classes are only one dimension of social stratification. They bring together individuals who experience the same economic situation, that is to say with identical chances of obtaining goods (classes of possession) and having the same economic interests (classes of production). However, unlike Marx, social classes, for Weber, do not constitute real communities. Individuals belonging to the same social class are not aware of belonging to this class. For Weber, social classes are the first dimension of social stratification. The other two dimensions are the “status group, which relates to social honor or prestige,” and the party, which refers to access to political power.

Some of Max Weber’s ideas on Social Change are below:

Max Weber remains an analyst of society at the end of the 19th century. He seeks to understand and explain the evolution of societies and the characteristics of modernity, which is defined by two major features:

  • The disenchantment of the world. Rationalization causes a weakening of moral values. The actions of individuals are no longer conducted under the impulse of passions and beliefs but under that of rationality. A new paradigm intervenes to judge reality, that of science. The gradual elimination of magic is a way of answering the questions and suffering of the world as well as a loss of meaning regarding the meaning and direction of life. The complexity of society takes away from each individual the control of his environment.
  • The second way of creating a bond between individuals, of constituting a society, is called “member”. It is characteristic of modern societies. We belong to a society in the economic sense of the term, that is to say, that contractual relationships are established between individuals. The latter is no longer called to found a group by tradition or belief, but rather because of their free will and the feeling that they have of achieving their ends by this means. Individual actions are directed by rationality in the end. The dominant social relationships are covered by mutual and voluntary commitment. Social regulation operates through the specific interests of individuals. Order is guaranteed by convention, law. It is legal rationality since it follows the law.

Weber brings three essential ideas about education:

  • Structural homology (the same character in two different species — common point) between Church and school, both located in spheres of relations based on domination. The school is a hierarchical structure that legitimizes the dominant culture.
  • The distinction between three types of education; charismatic, humanistic, and specialized which corresponds to three forms of domination (charismatic, traditional, and legal founded and legitimized by the laws).
  • The relationships between school and bureaucracy. The latter contributes to the development of special education.

3 Important Quotes from Marx, Weber, and Durkheim

Three quotes from Max Weber:

  1. In a democracy the people choose a leader in whom they trust. Then the chosen leader says, ‘Now shut up and obey me.’ People and party are then no longer free to interfere in his business.
  2. The fate of our times is characterized by rationalization and intellectualization and, above all, by the disenchantment of the world.
  1. The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.
  2. The last capitalist we hang shall be the one who sold us the rope.
  1. We do not condemn it because it is a crime, but it is a crime because we condemn it.
  2. Socialism is not a science, a sociology in miniature: it is a cry of pain.


For Weber, an individual can have a high position on one axis (being a wealthy industrialist for example) and a low on another (not having valued cultural practices). For Weber, members of a class, therefore, do not necessarily have class consciousness and are not necessarily mobilized in the struggle.

2. Discuss Marx’s perspective on division of labour.

Gary North is a member of the Economists’ National Committee on Monetary Policy and is the author of Marx’s Religion of Revolu­tion (Nutley, New Jersey: Craig Press, 1968), from which this article has been adapted.

The division of labor is a sub­ject which has fascinated social scientists for millennia. Before the advent of modern times, phi­losophers and theologians con­cerned themselves with the im­plications of the idea. Plato saw as the ultimate form of society a community in which social func­tions would be rigidly separated and maintained; society would be divided into definite functional groups: warriors, artisans, un­skilled laborers, rulers. St. Paul, in his first letter to the church at Corinth, went so far as to describe the universal Church in terms of a body: there are hands, feet, eyes, and all are under the head, Christ. Anyone who intends to deal seriously with the study of society must grapple with the question of the division of labor. Karl Marx was no exception.

Marx was more than a mere economist. He was a social scien­tist in the full meaning of the phrase. The heart of his system was based on the idea of human production. Mankind, Marx as­serted, is a totally autonomous species-being, and as such man is the sole creator of the world in which he finds himself. A man cannot be defined apart from his labor: “As individuals express their life, so they are. What they are, therefore, coincides with their production, both with what they produce and with how they produce.” The very fact that man rationally organizes production is what distinguishes him from the animal kingdom, according to Marx. The concept of production was a kind of intellectual “Archi­medean point” for Marx. Every sphere of human life must be in­terpreted in terms of this single idea: “Religion, family, state, law, science, art, etc., are only particular modes of production, and fall under its general law.” Given this total reliance on the concept of human labor, it is quite understandable why the division of labor played such an important role in the overall Marxian frame­work.

Property vs. Labor

Marx had a vision of a perfect human society. In this sense, Mar­tin Buber was absolutely correct in including a chapter on Marx in his Paths in Utopia. Marx be­lieved in the existence of a society which preceded recorded human history. In this world, men experi­enced no sense of alienation be­cause there was no alienated pro­duction. Somehow (and here Marx was never very clear) men fell into patterns of alienated produc­tion, and from this, private prop­erty arose.3 Men began to appropriate the products of other men’s labor for their own purposes. In this way, the very products of a man’s hands came to be used as a means of enslaving him to another. This theme, which Marx announced as early as 1844, is basic to all of Marx’s later eco­nomic writings.

Under this system of alienated labor, Marx argued, man’s very life forces are stolen from him. The source of man’s immediate difficulty is, in this view, the di­vision of labor. The division of labor was, for Marx, the very essence of all that is wrong with the world. It is contrary to man’s real essence. The division of labor pits man against his fellow man; it creates class differences; it destroys the unity of the human race. Marx had an almost theolog­ical concern with the unity of mankind, and his hostility to the division of labor was therefore total (even totalitarian).

Class Warfare

Marx’s analysis of the division of labor is remarkably similar to Rousseau’s. Both argued that the desire for private property led to the division of labor, and this in turn gave rise to the existence of separate social classes based on economic differences. The Marxist analysis of politics relies complete­ly upon the validity of this as­sumption. Without economic clas­ses, there would be no need for a State, since a State is, by definition, nothing more than an instrument of social control used by the members of one class to suppress the members of another.  Thus, when the proletarian revo­lution comes, the proletarian class must use the State to destroy the remnants of bourgeois capitalism and the ideology of capitalism. The opposition must be stamped out; here is the meaning of the famous “ten steps” outlined in the Communist Manifesto. Once the opposition is totally eradi­cated, there will be no more need for a State, since only one class, the proletariat, will be in exis­tence. “In place of the old bour­geois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association in which the free development of each is the condi­tion for the development of all.” 

Marx actually believed that in the communist society beyond the Revolution, the division of labor would be utterly destroyed. All specialization would disappear. This implies that for the pur­poses of economic production and rational economic planning, all men (and all geographical areas) are created equal. It is precisely this that Christians, conserva­tives, and libertarians have al­ways denied. Marx wrote in The German Ideology (1845-46):

.. in communist society, where no­body has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accom­plished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general pro­duction and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticize after dinner, just as I have a mind, with­out ever becoming hunter, fisherman, shepherd or critic.

A Utopian Ideal

A more utopian ideal cannot be encountered in serious economic literature. While some commenta­tors think that Marx later aban­doned this radical view, the evi­dence supporting such a conclu­sion is meager. Marx never ex­plicitly repudiated it (although the more outspoken Engels did, for all intents and purposes). Even if Marx had abandoned the view, the basic problems would still re­main. How could a communist so­ciety abandon the specialization of labor that has made possible the wealth of modern industrial­ized society and at the same time retain modern mass production methods? How could the commu­nist paradise keep mankind from sliding back into the primitive, highly unproductive, unskilled, low capital intensity production techniques that have kept the ma­jority of men in near starvation conditions throughout most of hu­man history?

The whole question of economic production “beyond the Revolu­tion” was a serious stumbling stone for Marx. He admitted that there would be many problems of production and especially distrib­ution during the period of the so-called “dictatorship of the pro­letariat.” This period is merely the “first phase of communist so­ciety as it is when it has just emerged after prolonged birth pangs from capitalist society.”8 Marx never expected great things from this society. However, in the “higher phase of communist society,” the rule of economic jus­tice shall become a reality: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!” This will be easy to accomplish, since the vast quantities of wealth which are waiting to be released will be freed from the fetters and restraints of capitalist productive techniques.

Assignment II

3. Discuss Émile Durkheim’s contribution to the sociology of religion.
4. What are the main characteristics of bureaucracy?
5. Explain Weber’s Theory of Social Action.

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Assignment III

6. What is mechanical solidarity?

7. List the rules of observation of social facts.

8. What do you understand by is collective conscience?

9. Explain the concept of class.

10. Outline the laws of dialectic.

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IGNOU BSOC 133 Solved Assignment 2022-23 Download Free  Before attempting the assignment, please read the following instructions carefully.

  1. Read the detailed instructions about the assignment given in the Handbook and Programme Guide.
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