Sociology Daily Answer Writing (29-11-2022)


  1. Who are middle classes? Analyse the structure, growth and consequences of middle classes in India.           20
  2. Differentiate between family and household.       10

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Model Solutions

1. Who are middle classes? Analyse the structure, growth and consequences of middle classes in India. 20

Model Structure

  • Middle Class - structurally between upper and lower class

Main Body
Structure of Middle Class

  • Goldthorpe in his book “Affluent Worker” introduces the concept of middle class. He says that middle class are a group who are expanding their class position in a capitalist economy
  • A composite intermediary class consists of a wide range of occupational interests though diverse by occupation.
  • For example, Lester & Warner say that there is a proliferation of middle class viz –
    • Upper middle class

    • Middle middle class

    • Lower middle class


  • In India, those who are in 10% income tax slab can be categorized as lower middle class and those who are at 20% tax slab can be categorized as upper middle class
  • Indian middle class first came to be identified during the national movement
  • In India - projected to be 47.5 crore by 2030 (Rapid growth Market survey by E&Y)


  • Social impact
    • Giddens - ambitious and looking out for social mobility
    • Yogendra Singh - Rise of middle class as testimony to breakdown of caste and coming up of class in its place.
    • In Andre Beteille - Essay on Middle class - features
      • Aspects like importance to education, articulation of collective interest etc.
      • NOT Homogenous class
      • Instrumental for social continuity and social change
    • Dual closure in terms of identity (Frank Parkin)
    • Cultural entrepreneurs (Sanjay Joshi)
    • Book - Great Indian Middle Class: Pavan Verma
      • Key to rising consumerism and embourgeoisement
    • Superficial emancipation -
      • Raises gender inequality - Education - to act as better wives and mom
      • While forming friendship etc. - using particularistic norms
    • Middle class embourgeoisement is slowly leading to conspicuous consumption
      • E.g., Wide spread use of Amazon Prime in India
    • According to the 2011 Census, 54% of the population belong to the middle class. Hence, voting pattern will depend on policies catering to middle class

2. Differentiate between family and household. 10

Model structure:

  • Define family and household

Main Body:

  • Family is studied by sociologists to understand the primary social institution in India and how this institution is largely interlinked with the culture of Hinduism, agrarian economy, village community and caste system.
  • Family is a socially recognized group (usually joined by blood, marriage, cohabitation, or adoption) that forms an emotional connection and serves as an economic unit of society.
  • A household is where one individual or a group of people live together at one address and share living space. Individuals that live together when sharing university accommodation would be considered a household rather than a family unit.
  • A.M. Shah considers that the joint family may be changing but family jointness is becoming more significant for the life of modern man in Indian society.
  • Most family studies in India wishfully ignored the significance of household dimensions of family.
  • Iravati Karve emphasizes joint family as a residential unit where people are holding property in common.
  • But A.M. Shah considers that this perception of joint family does not make a distinction between household and joint family in many situations. People may hold a joint household but necessarily not constitute a joint family. Therefore, instead of joint family one should look into,
    • People living in joint families who despite having economic and political independence, still practice and prefer jointness regularly.
    • People may be sharing a joint household but fighting with each other over the question of ancestral property and over the question of power, where jointness and emotional integration is missing out.
    • People sharing a joint household may not be agnatically related to each other, however they share strong emotional ties. Therefore, this cannot be considered as a joint family rather it is simple a joint household where emotional ties among members are strong
  • Marxists scholars like I.P. Desai considers that nuclear families are mushrooming both in rural as well as urban India indicating shift of India from feudalism to capitalism.
  • A.M. Shah considers that the kinship organization of the nuclear family is greatly variable that one cannot call it either as a product of modernity or capitalism. Nuclear household existing in the form of -
    • Two married siblings staying together after the death of their parents.
    • Widow mother or widower father living with unmarried children.
    • A brother living with a sister who has left in -laws' space due to some compulsion.
    • Other nuclear households where both husband and wife are staying with or without children are driven by different reasons.
  • Therefore, A.M. Shah considers that family should be studied from the perspective of a household. Hence, in India joint households, nuclear households are present that may or may not translate into family in many situations.


  • Household dimension to family offers a new direction to sociological research redefining our earlier perception of family as a property holding body and a political institution where emotional ties among people are strong.

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