Sociology Daily Answer Writing (25-08-2022)


  1. What are the characteristics of new social movements?    10
  2. Explain Durkheim's basic arguments on suicide. Analyse the high suicide rates of contemporary Indian society with Durkheim's theory? 20

Model Solution

1. What are the characteristics of new social movements? 10

Model Framework

  • Explain why new social movements are called new
  • French Sociologist Alain Touraine coined the term

Main Body

  • New social movement theory emerged in the 1970s to explain the proliferation of post-industrial, quality-of-life movements that are difficult to analyse using traditional social movement theories
  • Characteristics:
    • Rather than being based on the grievances of particular groups striving to influence political outcomes or redistribute material resources, new social movements (NSMs) like the peace and disarmament, environmental, and feminist movements focus on goals of autonomy, identity, self-realization, and quality-of-life issues.
    • The appeal of the new social movements also tends to cut across traditional class, party politics, and socioeconomic affiliations to politicize aspects of everyday life traditionally seen as outside politics.
    • Habermas: NSM are the new politics which are about quality of life, individual self-realisation and human rights.
    • Frank Parkin (Middle Class Radicalism): NSM are of middle class rather than of lower class
    • Members of different ideologies get together for a common cause (eg. Anti-corruption movements)
    • NSM are primarily cultural and social, secondarily political
    • Use of modern means to protest. Eg. Social media
    • Can cut across national boundary. Eg. MeToo
    • Rejection of formal bureaucratic structure
    • Informal in nature (loosely organised)
      • No central leadership
      • Eg. Maratha Agitations
    • Manifestation of participative democracy
    • They don’t seek to acquire political power
    • They have post-materialistic values


  • Robin Cohen and Shirin Rai say that NSM are means of emancipatory politics. It is not identity politics but life politics

2. Explain Durkheim's basic arguments on suicide. Analyse the high suicide rates of contemporary Indian society with Durkheim's theory? 20
(NOTE: This question needs more weightage on second part i.e. Indian society.)

Model Framework

  • Definition of Suicide as given by Durkheim-
    • All cases of death resulting directly or indirectly from a positive or negative act of the victim himself he knows will produce the result. OR
  • Suicide: A Study in Sociology is an 1897 book written by French sociologist Émile Durkheim. It was the first methodological study of SUICIDE, a social fact in the context of society.

Main Body

  • Refutation of earlier existing Psychological and Biological aspects of suicide.
    • Earlier studies - value loaded, lacks objectivity
    • Durkheim applied Comparative analysis method and dwelled on Objective analysis of the social fact - SUICIDE
  • Durkheim concluded that suicide rates are higher:
    • in men than women

    • for those who are single

    • for people without children than people with children.

    • among Protestants than Catholics and Jews.

    • among soldiers than civilians.

    • in times of peace than in times of war.

    • the higher the education level, the more likely it was that an individual would choose suicide.

  • Four types of suicide - which are based on the degrees of imbalance of two social forces: social integration and moral regulation.


  • High suicide rates as per Durkhiem's conception in contemporary Indian society (can write in COHERENCE WITH ABOVE DIAGRAM ) -
    • Egoistic suicide - UPSC students, Kota Coaching students
    • Altruistic suicide - Armed forces, Chipko Movement, Protestors
    • Anomic suicide - Farm waiver loans, Rape Victims
    • Fatalistic suicide - Constables in CRPFs, IPS officers suicide
  • What can be done to reduce suicide rates in India
    • Optimal regulation and integration
      • Student counselling, HR dept to increase integration → thus reducing suicides


  • Durkheim's theory caused revolution in the field of understanding the basic causes of Suicide in contemporary Indian society.

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