- Examine law and constitution as instruments of social change. 20
- “Social conflict is both a cause and a consequence of social change.” Explain. 20
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Q1. Examine law and constitution as instruments of social change. 20
- Define social change
- Law and social change:
- Law and especially legislation, is a vehicle through which a programmed social evolution can be brought about.
- In general, a highly urbanized and industrialized society like the US law does play a large part in social change, and vice versa, at least much more than is the case in traditional societies or in traditional sociological thinking.
- In a broad theoretical framework, social change has been slow enough to make custom the principal source of law.
- Law could respond to social change over decades or even centuries.
- The conversion of Rome from republic to empire could not have been accomplished except by means of explicit legal decree buttressed by the doctrine of imperial sovereignty.
- The Soviet Union succeeded in making enormous changes in society by the use of law.
- In Spain law was used to reform agrarian labor and employment relations.
- China also managed to moderate through law its population growth and as a result devote more of its resources to economic development and modernization.
- As an instrument of social change, law entails two interrelated processes: the institutionalization and the internalization of patterns of behavior.
- Institutionalization of a pattern of behavior refers to the establishment of a norm with provisions for its enforcement (such as desegregation of public schools).
- Internalization of a pattern of behavior means the incorporation of the value or values implicit in a law (e.g. Integrated public schools are good‘).
- Social change causing legal change:
- The emergence of new risks to the individual as a result of the decrease of the various family functions, including the protective function, has led to the creation of legal innovations to protect the individuals in modern society. E.g. provisions of workers compensation, unemployment insurance, old-age pensions
- Constitution and social change:
- Preamble- Resolve to create a society based on modern democratic values
- Equality, fraternity and liberty
- Change in Indian polity from colony of Britain to Independent, sovereign, democratic polity
- In the west blacks and women got citizenship later- In India provided simultaneously (along with universal adult franchise)
- Abolished practices such as untouchability (Art. 17)
- DPSP and FR-basic direction in which a state should go
- Basic emphasis is on Education, nutrition and health.
- Preamble- Resolve to create a society based on modern democratic values
- Critical perspective
- Andre Beteille - people are more driven by Manu smriti than constitution.
- Bonded labour and child labour- banned- in reality practiced.
- Vijayalakshmi - tells about how bonded labour is still prevalent even in Metros like Delhi where housemaids coming Bihar-lack protection.
- Upendra Bakshi and Ramachandra Guha - Liberty and freedom-fairy tale for the tribals-displacements-forest laws-mining etc.
- Ramachandra Guha - On Narmada Bachao Andolan-how the poor tribal people were waiting for 4 weeks to meet the head of the govt.
- Constitutional provisions of freedom are based on class identity, ethnic identity and economic status.
- Amartya Sen - Poverty makes an individual speechless, marginalized and therefore freedom as a constitutional provision is not being really enjoyed or exercised by a large majority of Indian people.
Q2. “Social conflict is both a cause and a consequence of social change.” Explain. 20
- Social conflict theory is a macro-oriented paradigm in sociology that views society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and social change. To a social conflict theorist, it is all about dominant group versus minority group relations.
- Karl Marx is considered the ‘father’ of social conflict theory. .
Conflict and Social Change
- Marx stated that “social change is not a smooth, orderly progression which gradually unfolds in harmonious evolution. Instead, it proceeds from contradictions built into society which are a source of tension and ultimately the source of open conflict and radical change.”
- In years past after Nigerians independence, there have been a series of changes occurring resulting from conflict from one military regime to another as well as one political group to the other. Same is the context in Naxalite Movements in India.
- According to Coser, no group can be entirely harmonious, for then it would lack process and structure. Group formation is a result of both association and dissociation, so that both conflict and cooperation serve a social function.
- Dewey cited in Coser said “Conflict is the gadfly of thought. It stirs us with observation and memory. It instigates invention. It shocks us out of sheep-like passivity, and sets us at noting and contriving. Conflict is a sine qua non of reflection and ingenuity. This largely reveals how conflict ushers in change both in ideas and structures.
- According to Marx, each social system contains elements of strain and of potential conflict; also that this conflict leads not only to ever changing relations within the existing social structure but the total social system undergoes transformation through conflict.
- For instance, the Niger Delta region has witnessed and experienced social changes recently both in infrastructure and social structures. This change was only through conflict that had hitherto existed within that region.
- Also to point was political crises in Kwando Local Government Area of Benue State in 2003 where through conflict; there was a change in the political governance of the area through conflict with the use of guns, a change that was possible only through innocent bloodshed and loss of properties.
- A. R. Desai - Social background for Indian Nationalism - It also highlights the need for social conflict in the British era which led to the Indian freedom movement.
Conflict as a consequence of social change:
- Due to social change, various changes take place in societal structure and framework. New classes come into existence and new class relations develop. Such new forces tend to challenge old order which provides space for conflict in society - Dialectical Relations between the older and newer forces causes conflicts.
- For example- Industrialisation and subsequent rise of capitalism and imperialism had resulted in competition for colonial possessions. Such a scenario had resulted into conflicts among colonial powers which ultimately culminated into.
- Dysfunctions of Green Revolution causing Agrarian class conflict.
- The phenomenon of social conflict is closely interlinked with the phenomenon of social change, social order and social control. Social conflict is both a cause as well as a consequence of social change.
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