Social Structure Stratification - Solutions

 CBSE Class 11 Sociology

NCERT Solutions
Chapter 6
Social Structure, Stratification and Social Processes in Society

1. Discuss the different tasks that demand cooperation with reference to agricultural or industrial operations.

Ans. Cooperation is an associative social process. It involves individuals or groups working together to achieve their individual or collective goals. Cooperation is universal and continuous process. It involves sympathy, empathy and capacity to unite people. It fulfills member's physical and psycho social needs.

In simple societies where no surplus was produced, there was cooperation between individuals and groups, although in the capitalistic societies cooperation do exist but many a time it is enforced. e.g. the factory workers do cooperate in their everyday work but a certain conflict of interests would define their relationship.

The idea of cooperation rests on certain assumptions about human's behaviours. According to Durkheim, the role of division of labour-which implies cooperation-is precisely to fulfil certain needs of society.

In agricultural societies people are dependent on each other. The members work together to achieve shared goals. In villages a group of people i.e. ironsmith provides tools, equipment of agriculture. Another groups may be working as shopkeeper and provides seeds, fertilisers and pesticides. A group of people work in the field to sow seeds, at harvesting time cut the crops and do other activities. The farmer alone can't attain the goals.

Similarly in the field of industrial operations, there is specialisations. The workers as well as management may be enforced among each other to attain the shared goals.

2. Is cooperation always voluntary or is it enforced? If enforced, is it sanctions or is the strength of norms that ensure cooperation? Discuss with examples.
According to Karl Marx, humans adjust and accommodate to cooperate but in the process alter society. Humans in cooperating thus do not passively adjust and accommodate but also change the natural or social world to which they adjust.

In order to understand the difference between' enforced' and 'voluntary cooperation' we can take example of women's rights properly. Daughters, knowing their rights on the property mostly would not claim full or any share of natal property, because they were afraid this would sour relations with their brothers. So this cooperation of daughters with the natal family members is not voluntary, it is basically enforced. Daughters have no option, if they want to maintain harmonious relationship with natal family members.

Basically voluntary or enforced cooperation depend on the circumstances. To attain the shared goals e.g. prosperity of family, all the members work and earn money or in villages all the members work in the field voluntarily to bring prosperity to the family. Cooperation can be seen as universal feature of all societies, explained as inevitable interaction among humans living in a society and pursuing their ends.

3. Can you find illustrative examples of conflict drawn from Indian society? Discuss the causes that led to conflict in each instance.

Ans. Conflict includes all those processes in which individual acts against the wishes of others to achieve his purpose. It is a conscious process to attain one's gains.

Conflict is a dissociative social process in which either an individual or a group perceives that others have opposing interests and both try to contract each other. Conflicts between groups give impetus to a series of social and cognitive processes. These processes harden the stand of each side leading to in-group polarisation. This may result in coalition formation of like minded parties thereby increasing the apprehensions of both parties. These are related to caste, class, religion, region, language just to name a few of them.

Explanation of such conflicts can be at the structural, group and individual levels.
In Indian society, structural conditions include high rates of poverty, economic and social stratification, inequality, limited political and social opportunities etc.
At the individual level, beliefs, biased attitudes and personality are important determinants.
In India in recent days conflicts on land issue, identity issues, communal issues, class issues and language issues are becoming very common.

4. Write an essay based on examples to show how conflicts get resolved.

Ans. Conflicts are inevitable in any society. It is a dissociative social process. Since the focus is on system sustenances, competition and conflict is looked at with the understanding that in most cases they tend to get resolved without too much distress.

Conflicts can be resolved if we know about their causes. A number of social processes operate to resolve conflicts like accommodation, assimilation and enforced cooperation. The conflicts can be resolved through certain strategies also. Few of them are as follows:

  • Negotiations: Conflicts can be resolved through negotiations and third party interventions.
  • Warring groups can resolve conflicts by trying to fluid mutually acceptable solutions. This requires understanding and trust.
  • Negotiation refers to reciprocal communications so as to reach to an agreement in situations in which there is a conflict.
  • Sometimes it is difficult to dissipate conflict through negotiations; at that time mediation and arbitration by a third party is needed.
  • Mediators help both parties to focus their discussions on the relevant issues and reach a voluntary agreement.
  • In arbitration, the third party has the authority to give a decision after hearing both the parties.

5. Imagine a society where there is no competition. Is it possible? If not, why not?

Ans. No, we cannot imagine a society where there is no competition. People interact among themselves in different contexts. Behaviours in most social situations are characterised by either cooperation or competition. When groups work together to achieve the shared goals, we refer to it as cooperation. When members try to maximise their own benefits and work for the realisation of self interest, competition is likely to result. But all social interactions include cooperation and competition.

Competitive goals are set in such a way that each individual can get his/her goal only if others do not attain their goals. Many a time the groups and individuals are placed differently and unequally within the system of production relations.

But we must remember that competitions which is a dissociative social process is integral part of the social structure. Therefore we cannot imagine a society without competition. It is integral and inevitable part of any society in the world. There may be less competitive society or highly competitive society but a society without competition can't exist.