NCERT Class 12 Sociology Chapter 3 Social Institutions Continuity and Change

NCERT Class 12 Sociology Chapter 3 Social Institutions Continuity and Change Solutions to each chapter is provided in the list so that you can easily browse through different chapters NCERT Class 12 Sociology Chapter 3 Social Institutions Continuity and Change and select need one. NCERT Class 12 Sociology Chapter 3 Social Institutions Continuity and Change Question Answers Download PDF. NCERT Sociology Class 12 Solutions.

NCERT Class 12 Sociology Chapter 3 Social Institutions Continuity and Change

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Also, you can read the NCERT book online in these sections Solutions by Expert Teachers as per Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Book guidelines. CBSE Class 12 Sociology Solutions are part of All Subject Solutions. Here we have given NCERT Class 12 Sociology Chapter 3 Social Institutions Continuity and Change Notes, NCERT Class 12 Sociology Textbook Solutions for All Chapters, You can practice these here.

Chapter: 3



1. What is the role of the ideas of separation and hierarchy in the caste system?

Ans: The hierarchical ordering of castes is based on the distinction between ‘purity’ and ‘pollution’. This is a division between something believed to be closer to the sacred (thus connoting ritual purity), and something believed to be distant from or opposed to the sacred, therefore considered ritually polluting. Castes that are considered ritually pure have high status, while those considered less pure or impure have low status. As in all societies, material power (i.e., economic or military power) is closely associated with social status, so that those in power tend to be of high status, and vice versa. Historians believe that those who were defeated in wars were often assigned low caste status. Castes are not only unequal in ritual terms. They are complementary and non competing groups. It means each caste has its own place in the system which cannot be taken by any other caste. Caste is also linked with occupation; the system functions as a social division of labour. It allows no mobility.This idea of separation and hierarchy has inculcated discrimination inequality and prejudices in Indian society.

2. What are some of the rules that the caste system imposes?

Ans: The caste system imposes many rules are including:

Birth: A child inherits their parents’ caste and cannot change it, leave it, or choose not to join it.

Marriage: Marriage is restricted to members of the same caste, and there are strict rules about it.

Food: Members of a caste have rules about food and food sharing.

Occupation: Caste is linked with occupation, and each caste has its own place in the system that no other caste can take.

3. What changes did colonialism bring about in the caste system?

Ans: Colonialism affected the caste system mainly in two different ways. Firstly, through the various judicial and administrative practices that the British introduced. Secondly, indirectly through the influence of liberal ideas on the sections of Indian society who, thereafter took up cudgels to fight for social reforms. The most important official effort to collect information on caste was through census. It began in 1860s. The 1901 census under the direction of Herbert Risley was particularly important as it sought to collect information on the social hierarchy of caste i.e. the social order of precedence in particular regions as to the position of each caste in the rank order. The counting of caste and to officially recording of caste made this institution of caste identity became more rigid in India.

4. In what sense has caste become relatively ‘invisible’ for the urban upper castes?

Ans: While some say caste is anonymous in urban India, others argue that it’s not invisible for upper castes, and that they often deny its existence. While urbanisation has loosened the hold of caste, upper castes still benefit from advantages like access to education and social capital.

Here are some ways in which this invisibility manifests:

(i) Invisibility: Some say that caste is anonymous in urban India, and upper castes often claim it’s dead or dying.

(ii) Benefits: Upper castes have historically benefited from access to education and social capital, which they continue to enjoy.

(iii) Discrimination: While urbanisation has increased diversity in the urban middle class, discrimination against lower castes still exists in urban areas.

(iv) Violence: Dalits are often attacked for their upward mobility, even if it’s perceived.

(v) Residential segregation: Dalit communities are often segregated to the margins of cities.

(vi) Access to resources: Upper caste areas often have better access to electricity, sanitation, and water than neighbouring Dalit areas.

(vii) Mobility: Caste is determined by birth and is generally considered unchangeable. 

5. How have tribes been classified in India?

Ans: In terms of positive characteristics, tribes have been classified according to their ‘permanent’ and ‘acquired’ traits. Permanent traits include region, language, physical characteristics and ecological habitat. The tribal population of India is widely dispersed, but there are also concentrations in certain regions. About 85% of the tribal population lives in ‘middle India’, a wide band stretching from Gujarat and Rajasthan in the west to West Bengal and Odisha in the east, with Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and parts of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh forming the heart of this region. 

In terms of language, tribes are categorised into four categories. Two of them, Indo-Aryan and Dravidian, are shared by the rest of the Indian population as well, and tribes account for only about 1% of the former and about 3% of the latter. The other two language groups, the Austric and Tibeto-Burman, are primarily spoken by tribals, who account for all of the first and over 80% of the second group. In physical-racial terms, tribes are classified under the Negrito, Australoid, Mongoloid, Dravidian and Aryan categories. The last two are again shared with the rest of the population of India.

6. What evidence would you offer against the view that ‘tribes are primitive communities living isolated lives untouched by civilisation’?

Ans: Tribes have not a state or political type of the typical kind. They have no composed principles on religion. They are neither Hindus nor workers. Primarily they are occupied with exercises like food gathering, fishing, chasing, horticulture and so forth.

Here are several pieces of evidence that refute this view:

(i) Historical Evidence of Interaction: The members of a caste society follow the definite occupation because functions are divided under the caste system. 

(ii) Technological Adoption: The literacy of tribes is improved, and the tribes embrace the adoption of technology, like access to Direct to Home (DTH) and mobile phones.

(iii) Language and Cultural Borrowing: Some of the tribal languages prevalent in India are Abujmaria, Garo, Aaria and Tsangla, Saurashtri etc. The members of a tribe usually worship a common ancestor. Also, ‘nature worship’ is common among them. 

(iv) Political and Economic Relations: The first view holds that there is a lack of uniformity in the relations of traditional political systems in tribal communities and areas. The economies of families are mainly agriculture and the whole family forms a single economic entity, cooperate with one another and hold property in common.

(v) Anthropological Studies: Modern anthropological research emphasises that tribal societies are dynamic and adaptable. They respond to external pressures and opportunities, modifying their social, economic, and political structures over time.

(vi) Globalisation Effects: The new Industrial policy paved the way for Tribal Land alienation.

(vii) Legal and Human Rights Recognition: In contemporary times, there is recognition of tribal rights and efforts to protect indigenous cultures and territories. This recognition underscores the fact that tribal communities are not relics of the past but active participants in modern legal and political frameworks.

(viii) Archaeological Evidence: Archaeological discoveries often reveal complex social structures, long-distance trade networks, and technological advancements within ancient tribal societies. These findings challenge the idea of tribes as primitive or isolated.

7. What are the factors behind the assertion of tribal identities today?

Ans: Tribal identities today are formed by this interactional process rather than any primordial (original, ancient) characteristics peculiar to tribes. Because the interaction with the mainstream has generally been on terms unfavourable to the tribal communities, many tribal identities today are centred on ideas of resistance and opposition to the overwhelming force of the non-tribal world.

Here are some factors that have contributed to the assertion of tribal identities today:

(i) Government schemes: The government has implemented schemes such as five-year plans, tribal sub-plans, and tribal welfare blocks.

(ii) Tribal movements: Tribal movements against eviction and extermination from forest lands in the name of development have been major factors. The Narmada Bachao Abhiyan is an example of such a movement.

(iii) Interactional processes: Tribal identities are formed through interactional processes, which are often not in favour of tribes. As a result, many tribal identities are based on ideas of resistance and opposition to the non-tribal world.

8. What are some of the different forms that the family can take?

Ans: Family structures can vary based on factors like marriage type, residence, authority, and kin composition. 

Some common family types include:

(i) Nuclear Family: A nuclear family consists of only one set of parents and their children.

(ii) Extended Family: An extended family (commonly known as the ‘joint family’) can take different forms, but has more than one couple, and often more than two generations, living together.

(iii) Patriarchal Family: Patriarchy refers to male dominance in a relationship, whereby men control and dominate the relationship.

(iv) Consanguine Family: In contrast, a “consanguineal” family consists of a parent, his or her children, and other relatives.

9. In what ways can changes in social structure lead to changes in the family structure?

Ans: Here’s how changes in social structure can reshape families:

(i) Economic Changes: The shift from agrarian to industrial societies is a classic example.  Traditionally, families in farm-based economies were extended, with multiple generations working the land together.

(ii) Cultural Shifts: Cultural change can be triggered by innovation, invention, and contact with other societies. It can also be linked to economics, religion, and other cultural and environmental factors.

(iii) Political Factors: Political factors can influence family structure in a number of ways, including the relationship between family control and firm performance, and how regime type influences it.

10. Explain the difference between matriliny and matriarchy.

Ans: Difference between Matriliny and Matriarchy:

(i) Matriliny refers to a social system where descent, inheritance, and kinship are traced through the maternal line.(i) Matriarchy refers to a social system or political system where women hold primary power, authority, and leadership roles in the societal structure. It implies a dominance of women in decision-making, governance, and familial authority.
(ii) Matriliny can also be a characteristic of matriarchal communities.(ii) Matriarchies can also be based on economic reciprocity, with gifts circulating among members of society instead of an exchange economy.
(iii) Despite matrilineal descent, power and authority within the society can still be diverse and may not necessarily favour women universally.(iii) Male roles and contributions can vary widely, but they may not necessarily hold primary authority.
(iv) Matrilineal societies are found in various parts of the world, including parts of Africa (e.g., the Minangkabau of Indonesia), India (e.g., some communities in Kerala), and indigenous cultures in North America (e.g., Hopi and Iroquois).(iv) Matriarchies have been rare and are often debated among scholars. Some theories suggest certain ancient societies in regions like ancient Egypt or prehistoric Europe may have exhibited matriarchal tendencies, but definitive evidence is lacking.

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