Sociology Daily Answer Writing (21-12-2022)


  1. Critically examine the role of civil society in democracy.     20
  2. Is Religion antithetical to Science? Comment.       10

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Model Solutions

Q1. Critically examine the role of civil society in democracy. 20

Model Framework

  • Civil societies are a combination of social groups such as NGOs , labor organisations and other institutions that propagate the interests of the community members.
  • They act as a link between citizens, government and businesses.

Main Body

  • Mertonian perspective on FUNCTIONS of Civil Society: (Give examples for each function)
    • Civil societies have been active in India in attracting the attention of govt and businesses towards developmental needs of regions, section of people.
    • It has at the same time mobilized resources to oppose any developmental activities that potentially hurt the public interests - AGIL PARSON.
    • Numerous instances in the contemporary time are present like opposition to the POSCO and Vedanta in Odisha, movement against narmada projects.
    • Not just economic development but civil societies have been active in the political and social development as well as was seen during the Lokpal and Anti Corruption movement etc - CONFORMITY TO DEMOCRATIC NORMS - MERTON.
    • Question the non-addressed issues
    • It tends to limit the state power.
    • Civil society is an attempt to mobilize people to solve their problems.
    • Civil society also helps in resolving inter group differences and nurture an attitude of tolerance.
    • It is a conclusive platform for recruiting and training leaders to participate in civil society.
    • Various policies of the state can be implemented effectively by civil society.
    • Civil society can suggest policy inputs because they understand people’s attitudes for felt need.
    • Civil society can check electoral malpractices.
    • Civil society can ensure effectiveness and inclusiveness of state and state legitimacy can be enhanced through education, public awareness and transparency in government working.
    • In the context of globalization, global civil society is indispensable
    • Wherever civil society is not successful, then that indicates failure of democracy (Manual Castells)
  • Criticism (Dysfunctions) -
  • Marxian analysis of civil society works for capitalists.
  • Gramsci analysis of civil society
  • Marx sees civil society as an extension of Bourgeoisie, but Gramsci considers civil society as a terrain where the state, people and the market interact and where people wage war against the hegemony of market and state
  • Deviant subculture - MERTON - Funding of NGOs- many receiving foreign funds. It is alleged that such foreign funds may be blackmoney.
  • Dysfunctional Role - Excessive protests without considering the other side of the picture hampers national interests. Example- Posco and vedanta protests in Odissa, Kundankulam protests
  • Problem of AGIL - PARSONS- NGOs tend to mis-inform people with regard to consequences of projects leading to protests and oppositions.
  • Class struggle - promote class inequality - anonymous empires - MARXIST
  • Activities of certain civil societies may threaten democracy, E.g. Al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba which exists outside the state and hinders democracy.
  • Civil society may encroach upon the state as to generate consciousness against the state, E.g. Kashmiri civil society


  • Civil society can rightly act as facilitator, enabler and constructive challenger to the government and businesses for the larger good of nation and its citizens

Q2. Is Religion antithetical to Science? Comment. 10

Model Structure:

  • Definition of Religion and Society

Main Body

  • First show how they are not compatible to each other by mentioning the point of Differences - Along with thinkers -
    • Durkhiem's study of Religion - Application of Scientificism to Religion negates the preconceived notions.
    • Weber's theory - Rationality vs religion debate
Figure: Extract from Nitin Sangwan's Essential Sociology book

Then mention point of Compatibility :

  • Malinowski's theory of necessity of Religion when Scientific Rationality overrides human consciousness - Religion as an agent to reduce Alienation.


  • Religion and Science behave like two wheels of a cart. Human society can progress by the compatible relationship between spiritualism and materialism.

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