Sociology Daily Answer Writing (08-09-2022)

Free answer writing initiative for Sociology optional in UPSC mains


  1. People exclude themselves or are sometimes excluded by society. Examine. (10)
  2. Outline the basic characteristics of weberian ‘Bureaucracy’. (20)

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Model Solutions

Q. People exclude themselves or are sometimes excluded by society. Examine. (10)

Model Structure

  • Social exclusion refers to ways in which individuals may become cut off from full involvement in the wider society. It can be based on various factors such as class, caste, poverty, race, etc.

Main Body

  • David Byrne puts exclusion in subject object perspective as exclusion is something that is done by some people to other people. Here it may be contended that a person may be subject as well as object. One may be excluded or exclude themselves.
    People excluded by the society
  • Marxist believe that class differentiation leads to social exclusion. And, alienation may be the reason for an individual to exclude themselves from the society.
  • Bina Das argues that patriarchy is the main factor that leads women into social exclusion. More often women who fail to adhere to social norms of the society exclude themselves from the society.
  • In the Indian context, Srinivas argues that the caste system is one of the main reasons for social exclusion. And untouchability is the worst form of them all.
  • Ghettos - people of particular social status or caste or religion are forced to live together in a particular region.
    People excluding themselves
  • Deviant behaviour is more of a reason for people to exclude themselves. As they do not feel competent with societal norms.
  • Not just alienation or deviance but people with affluent social status often exclude themselves from the society through gated communities.
  • People with addictions like drug abuse, alcoholism and criminals are excluded by society and they even exclude themselves.
  • Gated communities - where people of high class exclude themselves by creating communities among themselves.


  • Conclude on the lines of the language of the answer.

Q. Outline the basic characteristics of weberian ‘Bureaucracy’. (20 Marks)

Model Structure

  • Bureaucracy is defined as “an organisation with formal procedures and standards; typically having a clear division of labour, explicit rules, and a hierarchy of authority.”

Main Body

  • It has a system of rules that are enforced by an organisation (Written rules and regulations)
  • It can be used to control and regulate the behaviour of people in organisations
  • Also, Bureaucracy is often associated with red-tape, which refers to excessive bureaucracy or complicated administrative procedures that inhibit quick decisions and action
    Weber framed an ideal type of bureaucracy, and highlighted certain characteristics of bureaucracy:
  • Authority Hierarchy
    • Weber argued that bureaucratic organisation has two fundamental components:
      • Commanding structures, and
      • Positional roles or functions in an organisation
    • These two components form what’s called an Authority Hierarchy.
    • It provides formalised rules for who gets an authority to command whom within an organisation. This creates power dynamics with those at higher levels giving commands to those who lie below in the hierarchy within formalised channels.
  • Formal Rules and Regulations
    • These are the guidelines that dictate how things should be done in an ideal bureaucracy. They provide a clear definition of what an organisation needs to function properly.
  • Division of Labour
    • Max Weber argued that a well-functioning bureaucracy, which is designed keeping the division of labour in mind, will be more efficient and productive than one without it.
    • Without division of labour productivity is difficult and it also decreases efficiency. With specialisation, quality improves and costs decrease as only those qualified perform the tasks.
  • Impersonality
    • Bureaucracy should be autonomous, impersonal, and impartial to achieve the goals of a bureaucracy. According to Weber, the relationship between employees must be professional. The impersonal bureaucratic atmosphere is structured to foster decision-making solely on evidence and critical thought.
  • Career Orientation
    • Career Orientation in bureaucracy is that every employee has a unique set of skills. It’s the employer’s responsibility to match their employees with the jobs that best suit them. Employees should be given career paths where they can grow into different roles over time, while still getting opportunities to try new things.
  • Formal Selection Process
    • Interpersonal relations play no role in the selection process and it is highly dependent on the skill set of the person.


  • Critics of the bureaucracy contend that it ignores the creativity and innovation needed for success in these times. But, even after the criticism Weber’s theory is relevant to a great amount, even today.

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