Discussion of previous year questions – 2 | UPSC Sociology

There was a telegram group last year wherein previous years questions and other sociological concepts were discussed . 4 out of 9 members made it to final list this year. Given below are snippets of the discussions.

Credits: To all the members of the group

Have the new economic policy and economic reforms led to weakening of labour class movements? Explain your views with examples.

-Economic reforms = LPG, range of policy decisions taken by Indian state to open up Indian economy to world market.
-Globalisation- contractualisation of workers for maximisation of profits, restriction on union formation
-policy has tilted in favour of employers, easy to fire employees, decline in protectionist measures
-Railway Strike 1974, frequent strikes in textile miles in pre-reform era, now decreasing in no.

Movements have not disappeared:
-Maruti strike
-Toyota workers strike
-movement by women plantation workers in Kerala
-Banking union very strong- alternate saturday work, many other demands met

-increase in local/enterprise level unions – employers discourage outside affiliation of unions
-unions have increased the range of services they offer to their members – training courses on skills, employment and health rights, legal aids etc

Changes to industrial disputes act, factory act, labour laws may further weaken the prospects of movement.


Good points.. U can add in a paragraph whether class formation itself is difficult now after 1991.. In Marxian or Webers terms.. That may lead to declining Labour class movements.. Not sure.. But worth a try..

I think sociological connect is missing..U have nicely given all relevant examples..but u li k them with what’s ur view..what u think..and how do u want things unfold in future..For eg..what’s the nature of current labour strikes..they r spontaneous..non violent..Mostly without leader..Women groups have strongly come up for eg munnar tea and Bangalore textile..both were w/o support

Sociological analysis of the rise of ISIS (200 words)

Socio economic deprivation at the root.. Like modernisation not meeting aspirations of youth.. So they are rebelling.. Religion angle fundamentalism.. Technology.. More people in virtual world with improper socialisation.. Reduced solidarity and assertion of one identity.. We could quote labeling theory of deviance.. Howard and Becker.. Like grouping the whole community as terrorists which provokes them to prove it right.. On the other hand latent function would be unity of different ideologies.. For instance USA with Iran.. Or countries coming together to fight as unites front..

An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India

– sense of relative deprivation – resulting in anomie(Merton) – internet/tv spreads cultural norms however structural means absent
leads to development of sub-culture with modified goals and means
-concept of nation tied to historical affluence of the region which is no longer there- attempts to change social structure, power structure to restore past glory
-resistance to secularisation of social institutions, power structure
-conflict between pre-capitalist mode of production and capitalist mode of production existing parallely in the region
-power elites belong to maintainance system(Apter) – status quoists – power concentrated in few hands – decentralisation minimal –
-weak civil society, democratic values, absense of strong sense of citizenship due to weak two-way communication with state
-low horizontal mobility – due to social barriers along sectarian lines
-low vertical mobility – due to inequality, poverty
-low penetration of technology and secular education prevent them from being agents of social change and modernity
-prevalence of ethnic conflicts, patriarchy driven violence against women – gives opportunity to external interference

Critically examine the concepts of nation and citizenship in the context of globalisation.

Nation-cultural-political community that is conscious of its interests, unity, culture – more imersonal, abstract, overtly political than an ethnic group
-characteristics – tradition, habits, customs, common history, language – globalisation affects all these characteristics
-some nation states have a tendency to influence course of history by imposing on it feuds and rivalries from the past – > ethnic tension – globalisation by diminishing the historical importance helps ease tension
-transnationalism – political boundedness in the form of nation, national territorial units enmeshed within globalisation -> identity formation of different groups within this particular process is therefore diverse and different even withing a nation
– however, recently due to frequent economic downturns, religious fundamentalism, terrorism etc. – back to “camp” nationalism, ethno nationalism, separatists movement – vote for separation of UK from EU

-T H Marshalls
– Parsons – growth of citizenship is a measure of modernization of society as it is based on values of universalism and achievement – globalisation plays a role in spreading these values
– Nations state – citizens(participate in governenance, two – way relationship with state) + Aliens
– Global citizenship – globalisation – technology + trade – creating transnational communities – no boxed identity of blood and soil
-pravasi bhartiya diwas
-recently – reactivated interest in homeland – reflected in contribution to swachh bharat abhiyan, namami gange by Indian diaspora


U HV missed out on gellners analysis on nation state.. Pls don’t get me wrong but u HV to work on ur sociological aspect of ur every answer.. It may be good in GS. And also it would be good if u focus on one topic at a time.. Say family for eg: and finish it..
This haphazard n eclectic pick up of questions will not help improve anything.

Eg: tk topic of globalization n work on all aspects it effects eg religion, work structure, family , ethnicity etc. Back it with specific n sound theory. U will have a very good framework to answer any kind of question from globalization point of view .

Secularism is not anti-religion. But, can we say secularisation is anti-religion?
Uniform civil code is an example of secularism or secularisation?


I think even secularisation is not anti religion..secularisation will make religion limited to personal level…

Ucc is example of Secularization

Agreed..ucc is actually not secularisation in real sense..but to some sense..What I mean is..ucc will bring certain aspects of life..out of religious interpretation..such that all members(irresp of rel) r treated at par..Ucc is about bringi g equal human rites..

UCC would result in retreat of religion from civilian aspects of social life cutting across religion. Isn’t that what secularisation means?

UCC is at a collective level.. Main imp thing to differentiate is secularisation is a highly individual phenomenon. I.e practised individually.Secularization is not anti religion.. Simply put it is the decreasing relevance of religion in life of man.

Yes.. Secularization is strictly at individual level.. Imposition difficult. Like in Russia n China.. State decided to be discourage religion but still ppl prayed n adhered to a religion.

I am not sure how apt it would be call secularisation a highly individual phenomenon. Even rituals like marriage are undergoing secularisation. Marriages increasingly have less to do with religious rituals and more with dressing, show of wealth etc. as reflected in no. of cars, expenses in a wedding[NCERT]. I gues this has more social connotation than individual. What say?

Good one… i think people are adopting more simplified practices, less time consuming, less efforts and easy to practice.. obvious cause of this is globalisation…And true, it has more social connotation or to be more specific ,it has more categories like rural vs urban. Class based ( e.g.elite wedding functions in forts in raj) and sometimes caste and religion basis is also there

Please help me evaluate how new Surrogacy laws, to ban commercial surrogacy are going to impact following, sociologically:

a) Women
b) Families


We can add one more point..
Banning foreign couples- narrow notion of nationalism.. But.. I felt the point wasn’t necessary😁😁😁 any suggestions??

This is introduced as a safeguard to protect the rights of our citizens.. yes, i think narrow nationalism will not be appropriate.

To add few things.. Surrogacy itself brings in changes on kinship.. Terms, relations.. Positive.. Is less reproductive period for women.. More time to realize their true potential.. On the other side… Ppl without children .. Family cycle disrupted.. Rituals affected etc

Write-up on limitations of ideal type, please share it if you guys have it… thanks in advance.

1. Ideal type is heuristic device ( So practicability is not always guaranteed )
2. Ideal type construction is dependent on the Value orientation of researcher ( for instance : for instance bureaucray of west may not be same if I construct it for India )
3. Ideal type is not ” Ideal ” per se . I can construct a ideal type for ” Terrorist organisation ” .
4. Post modernists would say that nothing will fit into a single framework .. so Ideal type construction is not possible.

Thanks friend…👍 on 4th point- i think one of the imp characteristics of the ideal type is partial conception. They themselves say that it is not presentation of total reality..

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