Social Movements - Test Papers

 CBSE Class-12 Sociology Test Paper-01

Part-2 (Ch-08 Social movements)

General Instruction: 

  • Question 1-5 carries two marks each.
  • Question 6-8 carries four marks each.
  • Question 9-10 carries six marks each.

  1. Define ‘social movements’.
  2. What was the focus of social protest during India’s nationalist struggle?
  3. Distinguish between social change and social movement.
  4. Explain the theory of relative deprivation.
  5. Does social conflict automatically leads to collective action?
  6. Describe the features of a social movement.
  7. What are the various ways in which people act in social movements?
  8. Write a note on the new farmer’s movement.
  9. Analyse the importance of studying social movements in sociology.
  10. What are the different kinds of social movements?

CBSE Class-12 Sociology Test Paper-01
Part-2 (Ch-08 Social movements)

  1. A social movement requires sustained collective action over time. Such action is often directed against the state and takes the form of demanding changes in state policy or practice. Spontaneous, disorganised protest cannot be called a social movement either.
  2. The fusion of foreign power and capital was the focus of social protest during India’s nationalist struggle. Mahatma Gandhi wore khadi, hand-spun, hand-woven cloth, to support Indian cotton-growers, spinners and weavers whose livelihoods had been destroyed by the government policy of favouring mill-made cloth.
  3. Social change is a continuous and ongoing process. The broad historical processes of social change are the sum total of countless individual and collective actions gathered across time and space.
    Social movements on the other hand are directed towards some specific goals. It involves long and continuous social effort and action by people. Sanskritisation and westernisation can be viewed as social change and the 19th century social reformers’ efforts to change society can be seen as social movements.
  4. According to the theory of relative deprivation, social conflict arises when a social group feels that it is worse off than others around it. Such conflict is likely to result in successful collective protest. This theory emphasises the role of psychological factors such as resentment and rage in inciting social movements.
  5. Social conflict does not automatically lead to collective action. For such action to take place, a group must consciously think or identify themselves as oppressed beings. There has to be an organisation, leadership, and a clear ideology.
  6. Social movements often arise with the aim of bringing about changes on a public issue, such as ensuring the right of the tribal population to use the forests or the right of displaced people to settlement and compensation. A social movement is characterised by the following features:
    1. Sustained collective action: A social movement requires sustained collective action over time. Such action is often directed against the state and takes the form of demanding changes in state policy or practice. Spontaneous, disorganised protest cannot be called a social movement either.
    2. Some degree of organisation: Collective action must be marked by some degree of organisation. This organisation may include a leadership and a structure that defines how members relate to each other, make decisions and carry them out.
    3. Shared objectives and ideologies: Those participating in a social movement also have shared objectives and ideologies. A social movement has a general orientation or way of approaching to bring about (or to prevent) change.
      The above defining features of a social movement are not constant. They may change over the course of a social movement’s life.
  7. While protest is the most visible form of collective action, a social movement also acts in other, equally important, ways. Social movement activists hold meetings to mobilise people around the issues that concern them. Such activities help shared understanding, and also prepare for a feeling of agreement or consensus about how to pursue the collective agenda. Social movements also chart out campaigns that include lobbying with the government, media and other important makers of public opinion.
    Social movements also develop distinct modes of protest. This could be candle and torch light processions, use of black cloth, street theatres, songs, poetry. For example, Gandhi adopted novel ways such as ahimsa, satyagraha and his use of the charkha in the freedom movement.
    Other innovative modes of protest used were such as picketing and the defying of the colonial ban on producing salt.
  8. The ‘new farmer’s movements began in the 1970s in Punjab and Tamil Nadu.
    These movements were regionally organised, were non-party, and involved farmers rather than peasants. (Farmers are said to be market-involved as both commodity producers and purchasers).
    The basic ideology of the new farmer’s movement was strongly anti-state and anti-urban. The focus of demand was ‘price and related issues’ (for example price procurement, remunerative prices, prices for agricultural inputs, taxation, and non-repayment of loans).
    Novel methods of agitation were used such as blocking of roads and railways, refusing politicians and bureaucrats entry to villages, and so on.
    It has been argued that the farmers’ movements have broadened their agenda and ideology and include environment and women’s issues.
    Therefore, they can be seen as a part of the worldwide ‘new social movements’.
  9. From the very beginning, the discipline of sociology has been interested in social movements. The French Revolution was the violent culmination of several movements aimed at overthrowing the monarchy and establishing ‘liberty, equality and fraternity’.
    In Britain, the industrial revolution was marked by great social upheaval. Poor labourers and artisans who had left the countryside to find work in the cities protested against the inhuman living conditions into which they were forced.
    Food riots in England were often suppressed by the government. These protests were perceived by elites as a major threat to the established order of society. Their anxiety about maintaining social order was reflected in the work of sociologist Emile Durkheim. Durkheim’s writings about the division of labour in society, forms of religious life, and even suicide, mirrored his concern about how social structures enable social integration. Social movements were seen as forces that led to disorder.
    On the other hand, scholars influenced by the ideas of Karl Marx offered a different view of violent collective action. Historians like E. P. Thompson showed that the ‘crowd’ and the ‘mob’ were not made up of anarchic hooligans out to destroy society. Instead, they too had a ‘moral economy’.
    In other words, they have their own shared understanding of right and wrong that informed their actions. Their research showed that poor people in urban areas had good reasons for protesting. They often resorted to public protest because they had no other way of expressing their anger and resentment against deprivation.
  10. There are different kinds of social movements. They can be classified as:
    1. Redemptive social movement - A redemptive social movement aims to bring about a change in the personal consciousness and actions of its individual members. For instance, people in the Ezhava community in Kerala were led by Narayana Guru to change their social practices.
    2. Reformist social movements - Reformist social movements strive to change the existing social and political arrangements through gradual, incremental steps. The 1960s movement for the reorganisation of Indian states on the basis of language and the recent Right to Information campaign are examples of reformist movements.
    3. Revolutionary social movements - Revolutionary social movements attempt to radically transform social relations, often by capturing state power. The Bolshevik revolution in Russia that deposed the Tsar to create a communist state and the Naxalite movement in India that seeks to remove oppressive landlords and state officials can be described as revolutionary movements.