IGNOU MSO 001 Important Questions With Answers English Medium

IGNOU MSO 001 Important Questions With Answers English Medium

MSO 001 Sociological Theories and Concepts is a course offered by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) that introduces students to the fundamental concepts and theories of sociology.

IGNOU MSO 001 Important Questions With Answers English Medium

Course Structure:

  • Approaching Sociological Theory: This block introduces students to the nature and scope of sociological theory, as well as the different theoretical perspectives that have been developed within sociology.
  • Social Structure as a Sociological Concept: This block examines the concept of social structure and explores the different ways in which sociologists have analyzed social structures such as class, gender, race, and ethnicity.
  • Understanding Power: This block explores the concept of power and its relationship to social structures and social change.
  • Theory of Capitalism: This block examines the different theoretical perspectives on capitalism, including classical Marxism, neo-Marxism, and Weberian theory.
  • State and Society: This block explores the relationship between the state and society, and examines the different theoretical perspectives on this relationship.
  • The Contemporary Issues of Ethnicity and Identity: This block examines the contemporary issues of ethnicity and identity, and explores the different theoretical perspectives on these issues.
  • Theories of Social Satisfaction: This block examines the different theoretical perspectives on social satisfaction, and explores the factors that contribute to social satisfaction.
  • Issues of Modernity: This block examines the issues of modernity, and explores the different theoretical perspectives on these issues.

Q.1 Critically discuss the relevance of functionalismin understanding society.

Functionalism, as a sociological perspective, has played a significant role in shaping our understanding of society. Developed in the early 20th century by theorists such as Emile Durkheim, Herbert Spencer, and Talcott Parsons, functionalism posits that society is a complex system composed of interrelated parts, each contributing to the overall stability and functioning of the whole. 

IGNOU MSO 001 Important Questions With Answers English Medium-While functionalism has been influential in providing a framework for analyzing social structures and institutions, its relevance is not without criticism.

One of the key strengths of functionalism lies in its emphasis on the interconnectedness and interdependence of social institutions. By viewing society as a system with various parts working together, functionalism highlights the importance of each component in maintaining social order and equilibrium. Durkheim, for example, argued that social institutions like education, religion, and family serve essential functions in preserving social cohesion and preventing anomie, a state of normlessness. This perspective has proven valuable in understanding the functions of different elements within society and how they contribute to the overall stability of the social system.

Moreover, functionalism provides a macro-level analysis of society, focusing on the broader structures and institutions that shape social life. This holistic approach allows for a comprehensive understanding of how different parts of society are interconnected and contribute to the maintenance of social order. 

Talcott Parsons, a prominent functionalist, extended this perspective by introducing the concept of the social system, emphasizing the importance of social integration and equilibrium. This macro-level focus has proven useful in examining large-scale social phenomena, such as social institutions, organizations, and cultural norms.

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IGNOU MSO 001 Important Questions With Answers English Medium-However, functionalism has faced criticism for its tendency to overlook social conflict and inequality. Critics argue that functionalism tends to emphasize the stability and harmony of society while neglecting the disparities and tensions that exist within it. 

The perspective's focus on the functions of institutions may lead to an idealized view of social order, ignoring the ways in which power dynamics and social inequalities contribute to social change. Critics, such as conflict theorists, contend that functionalism does not adequately address issues of class, race, and gender, limiting its applicability in explaining the complexities of modern societies.

Furthermore, functionalism has been accused of being overly conservative and resistant to change. The perspective's emphasis on social equilibrium may hinder its ability to account for social transformations and challenges to the status quo. 

As functionalism tends to view social change as a disruptive force that threatens the stability of the system, it may struggle to explain the dynamic nature of societies undergoing rapid transformations. This limitation is particularly evident in contemporary societies, where globalization, technological advancements, and cultural shifts challenge traditional social structures and norms.

IGNOU MSO 001 Important Questions With Answers English Medium-Another criticism of functionalism is its deterministic view of social roles and norms. The perspective often assumes that social institutions and roles are necessary for the proper functioning of society, overlooking the potential for alternative structures and arrangements. This deterministic approach can be seen as overly rigid and may hinder the exploration of innovative and progressive social arrangements that could better address the diverse needs and values of a society.

Q.2 Who holds power on local communities ? Discuss with reference to insights in Miller and Dahl.

Q.3 Explain the notion of Charismatic authority. What did Weber mean by ‘routinization of charisma’ ?

Q.4 “Social structure is a model.” Discuss with reference to the perspectives of Levi Strauss and Edmund Leach.

Q.5 Compare the perspectives of Mills and Reisman on power in America.

Q.6 Critically discuss Marx’s perspective on class.

Q.7 What do you understand by meritocracy ? Is meritocracy dysfunctional in society ? Critically discuss.

Q.8 Explain the major tenets of post-modernism with reference to the writings of Jameson.

Q.9 What do you understand by citizenship ? Explain it from multicultural perspective.

Q.10 Discuss the sociological perspective on the understanding of identity.

Q.11 What are the similarities and differences between structural functionalism and neo-functionalism ?

Q.12 Explain the concept of legitimacy. According to Weber what are the basis of legitimacy ?

Q.13 What did Berger and Luckmann mean by 'Social Construction of reality' ?

Q.14 Alienation is a process of dehumanization of labour'. Discuss.

Q.15 Do you think power is knowledge ? Discuss.


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