Sociology Daily Answer Writing (02-01-2023)


  1. Are lineage and descent inter-related?       10
  2. Write a note on the changing roles of middle-class women in India.    10

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Model Solutions

Q1. Are lineage and descent inter-related? 10

Model structure:

  • Define lineage and descent

Main Body:

  • Descent is the relationship between an individual and their ancestors through blood (consanguinity), marriage (affinity), or adoption.
  • That is, descent is a way of tracing one‘s ancestors
  • Lineage is group of people who share a common descent
  • Descent and lineage are inter-related in that, when the ancestors are known it is called lineage and when the ancestors are unknown, it is called as clan
  • Types of descent:
    • Ambilineal Descent: Tracing an individual‘s descent either through the father or mother as chosen by the individual.
    • Bilateral Descent: Tracing an individual‘s descent simultaneously through the father‘s and mother‘s line, where all ancestors by blood (consanguinity) are considered related.
    • Bilineal Descent: Tracing an individual‘s descent through the father‘s male line and the mother‘s female line.
    • Unilineal Descent: Tracing an individual‘s descent either through the father (patrilineal) or mother (matrilineal), but never both.
      • Matrilineal Descent: Tracing descent through the mother‘s side of the family
      • Patrilineal Descent: Tracing descent through the father‘s side of the family.
  • Importance of tracing one’s lineage:
    • Property rights
    • For religious purposes. Eg. rituals like


  • Tracing one‘s lineage has come under the influence of modernity. There are DNA testing companies who can trace a person‘s lineage and ethnicity. This shows the relevance of concepts of lineage and descent.

Q2. Write a note on the changing roles of middle-class women in India. 10

Model Structure

  • Indian society being patriarchal in nature has considered men and women as unequals.

Main Body

  • The changing role of middle class women in Indian society could be understood with respect to following timeline:
  • Colonial period
    • In the 19th century, many social reformers came forward and initiated socio-religious reforms movements. Steps were taken to improve the condition of women.
  • Freedom struggle
    • Newly educated middle class women actively took part in the freedom struggle. The All India Women’s Conference was also formed.
      • Eg. Aruna Asaf Ali
  • After independence
    • Various laws were formulated by the government. Women were given inheritance rights. Various govt schemes were launched with a welfare approach. It was assumed that women are getting benefited equally as that of men.
    • However, the publication of the ‘Towards equality’ report cleared this misconception. It highlighted the level of inequality faced by women. This provided the scope for the rise of feminist movement in India.
    • Middle class women came forward and raised several issues. These women participated in anti-dowry movement, anti-rape movement, anti-arrack movement etc. Due to the impact of such movements, various legislations have been framed.
    • Also, in this period women started to participate in economic activities.
  • Post 1991 reforms
    • In contemporary times, women are also getting professional education.They are employed in various sectors and are competing with men. They are now becoming financially independent.
    • There is emphasis on women empowerment. Women are now active on social media platforms and are vocal about their due rights.
    • However, in spite of such changes, these women have not been able to shun away their traditional roles.
    • Even if a woman is working outside, she is expected to do the household chores and look after children as well. Now there is a dual burden on these middle class women.
    • At the workplace also, there is a glass ceiling beyond which a woman can’t rise. A woman is still not free to spend money according to her choice.


  • Thus, there are changes in the roles of middle class women but such changes tend to adapt themselves to the patriarchal setup of Indian society.

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