Sociology Daily Answer Writing (28-07-2022)


Model Solutions

1. Explain Durkheim's basic arguments on suicide. Analyse the high suicide rates of contemporary Indian society with Durkheim's theory? 20 (NOTE: This question needs more weightage on second part i.e. Indian society.)

2. Ideal Types of Max Weber are mental constructs, they do not correspond to reality. 10

Model Structure 1.


● Definition of Suicide as given by Durkheim-

○ All cases of death resulting directly or indirectly from a positive or negative act of the victim himself he knows will produce the result. OR

● Suicide: A Study in Sociology is an 1897 book written by French sociologist Émile Durkheim. It was the first methodological study of SUICIDE, a social fact in the context of society.

Main Body

● Refutation of earlier existing Psychological and Biological aspects of suicide.

○ Earlier studies - value loaded, lacks objectivity

○ Durkheim applied Comparative analysis method and dwelled on Objective analysis of the social fact - SUICIDE

● Durkheim concluded that suicide rates are higher:

○ in men than women

○ for those who are single

○ for people without children than people with children.

○ among Protestants than Catholics and Jews.

○ among soldiers than civilians.

○ in times of peace than in times of war.

○ the higher the education level, the more likely it was that an individual would choose suicide.

● Four types of suicide - which are based on the degrees of imbalance of two social forces: social integration and moral regulation.

● High suicide rates as per Durkhiem's conception in contemporary Indian society (can write in COHERENCE WITH ABOVE DIAGRAM ) -

○ Egoistic suicide - Upsc students, Kota Coaching students

○ Altruistic suicide - Armed forces, Chipko Movement, Protestors

○ Anomic suicide - Farm waiver loans, Rape Victims

○ Fatalistic suicide - Constables in CRPFs, IPS officers suicide

● What can be done to reduce suicide rates in India

○ Optimal regulation and integration

  1. Student counselling, HR dept to increase integration → thus reducing suicides


● Durkheim's theory caused revolution in the field of understanding the basic causes of Suicide in contemporary Indian society.

Model Structure 2.


● Define Ideal types

○ An ideal type is formed by the one-sided accentuation of one or more points of view and by the synthesis of a great many diffuse, discrete, more or less present and occasionally absent concrete individual phenomena. (Weber)

○ Ideal type is an analytical construct with which the social scientist compares existing reality.

Main Body

● Characteristics of an Ideal type (through it, prove that Ideal type is not a reality but just a way to express reality)

○ Type of objective methodology to study social action

○ Constructed through emphasis on certain traits which are employed in order to understand complexities of the social world. Thus they are mental construct and not a complete reality → rather they are way to express the reality

○ Heuristic device

○ Constitutes various elements, abstract, but can be later recombined to understand a social reality

○ Highest level of abstraction - in the form of Ideal Type of Social action itself

○ Example - Weber ideal type for capitalism

● An ideal type is formed from characteristics and elements of the given phenomena, but it is not meant to correspond to all of the characteristics of any one particular case.

● It is not meant to refer to perfect things; these "ideal types" are idea-constructs that help put the seeming chaos of social reality in order.

● Weber tells, the Ideal type could serve as a measuring rod of reality. The object of constructing “Ideals types” is not to compare an empirical situation with the ideal type, but to compare several empirical situations with one another

● Example- If we wish to study the state of democracy in India, and then our first task will be to define the concept of democracy with the help of its essential and typical characteristics. Here we can mention some of the essential characteristics of democracy. That is the existence of multi-party system, universal Adult Franchise, formation of Govt. by people’s representatives, people’s participation in the decision making, and equality before law as well. This formulation of a pure type or an Ideal type concept of democracy will guide us and work as a tool in our analysis.

Criticism which perceive Ideal types away from reality -

● Pure subjective and lacks objectivity

● Heuristic model which is purely value loaded and depends on one sided imagination, thus neglecting the other side views.


● Ideal Types as mental constructs do not correspond to the reality but thrives to bring Sociological research near to understanding of reality.

Sociology Notes
Detailed notes for both Paper 1 and Paper 2 of Sociology Optional
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