Sociology Daily Answer Writing (01-11-2022)


  1. Discuss class, caste and gender as principles of social stratification.    20
  2. "No society can either be absolutely open or absolutely closed." Comment.   10

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Model Solutions

1. Discuss class, caste and gender as principles of social stratification. 20

Model Framework

  • Define stratification
  • Class as achievement criteria
  • Caste and gender as ascribed criteria.

Main Body:

  • Class as form of Stratification -
    • Marxian concept of Class structure
      • Definition - ownership of forces of production
      • Types of class
      • Relations between the classes
      • Class struggle in brief
    • Weberian Concept of Class structure
      • Definition - similar position in market situation
      • Types of classes
      • Relations
      • Class structure as a truncated pyramid.
  • Caste Stratification :-
    • Definition of caste - ascription based society.
    • Louis Dumont - Homo Hierarchicus
    • G S Ghurye
    • Weber's social honour
    • All the above highlights the caste based stratification with EXAMPLES.
  • Gender Stratification:
    • Definition of gender - socially constructed and mentally determined role differentiation between male and female.
    • Feminist: Sylvia Walby, Karuna Ahmed, Paul Willis


  • In present day society caste class and gender are dynamic phenomena which vary between groups and regions. The life chances of individuals are decided on the basis of these three major principal status in contemporary society.

2. "No society can either be absolutely open or absolutely closed." Comment. 10

(Thinkers on social mobility need to be quoted. For example Goldthorpe, Breen, Lipset and Bendix, Clark, Beteille.)

Model Framework:

  • Definition of closed and open society.
  • Closed society - individuals are ascribed their position in social structure on the basis of criteria like age birth and sex.
  • Open society - individuals are assigned to different positions in the social structure on the basis of their achievements.

Main Body:

  • Hindrances to Social mobility in open society -
    • Western society is considered to be an open society however the class structure does not always promote mobility.
    • Social mobility in Industrial society - Lipset and Bendix - How the elite structure limits mobility.
    • High probability of children from higher status family to get higher jobs
    • C W Mills theory of Power Elites - power is absolutely concentrated in the hands of power Elite
    • Race and ethnicity plays a major role. Blacks and Mexicans are found in large numbers in low wages works.
    • Marxist argue that the accessibility to quality education and healthcare is restricted due to affordability.
  • Avenues of social mobility in open society -
    • Eastern society is comparatively attributed as a closed society however the closeness also weakens to open to mobility.
    • Richard Breen - Role of education in shaping rates and patterns of intergenerational social mobility among men and women during the twentieth century
    • Andre Beteille - Role of Secular hierarchy i.e. Gov. job, Education, Political Party, Economic Empowerment etc in challenging the Ritual Hierarchy
    • Upward mobility of the lower caste in the caste hierarchy - Reservation, State sponsored mobility etc.
    • Sanskritization and westernization (srinivas)
    • Political mobilisation
    • Dalit Capitalism, Dalit venture funds, Market economy


  • Thus the notion of societies as absolutely close to our open societies is flawed hence we can say that some degree of mobility can always be present in any of the societies.
  • Andre Beteille - the openness and closeness is of degree and not the kind.
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