Sociology Daily Answer Writing (26-08-2022)


  1. Correlate relative deprivation and reference group behaviour.   10
  2. Compare and contrast on the ideas of Class Stratification as described by Weber and Marx.             10

Model Solution

1. Correlate relative deprivation and reference group behaviour. 10

Model Structure

  • Explain briefly about Merton
    • R K Merton was a prominent American sociologist known for his path breaking theories like reference group, relative deprivation, etc. OR
    • One can also define both the concepts here

Main Body

  • Reference groups are used in order to evaluate and determine the nature of a given individual or other group’s characteristics and sociological attributes.
  • Merton: Social Theory and Social Structure (1949)
    • Explained concept of relative deprivation; CLOSELY linked with Ref Group
    • Examined the findings of the Samuel Stouffer - American Soldier - a work published in 1949
    • By choosing the Ref Group - relative deprivation of an individual differs.
    • Stouffer found: Soldiers happier than the HQ employees, which contradicts the conventional notion.
  • Frequency of interaction with one’s reference group, proximity, degree of openness or closeness of the system and rewards determine the way in which one deals with relative deprivation


  • Sociologist now argues that relative differences in economic wealth are more important than absolute deprivation, and that it is more significant in determining human quality of life (great even in defining class)

2. Compare and contrast on the ideas of Class Stratification as described by Weber and Marx.             10

Model Framework:


  • Definition of Class

Main Body:

  • Differences:

Marx ( Conflictist ) 

Weber ( Interpretivist )

Definition of Class 

Class as purely based on unequal ownership of forces of production

Definition of Class

Class as based on unequal ownership of Economic, political and social status

Number of classes - Two; Haves and Have nots

Number of classes - 4 types 

Class homogenisation will take place 

Class homogenisation not possible,

Instead decomposition will take place

Class Polarisation 

Middle class will swell due to skills and mobility

Class struggle will take place and the solution lies in Revolution thereby leading to Communism - Egalitarian structure  - Death of class

Class inequality will prevail.

Instead of revolution, structural differences can cause the peaceful coexistence in class structure.

  • Similarities (ALONG WITH EXAMPLES ):
  • Inevitable class structure in the society will be present.
  • Structural inequality will be present between the classes.


  • Despite such Differences, both the revolutionary thinkers brought to the front unequal class structure and propounded respective solutions for it based on their respective approaches.

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