The study of sociology has become an indispensable component for aspirants preparing for the highly esteemed Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examinations. Offering a comprehensive understanding of societal dynamics, the subject unveils the intellectual legacy of influential sociologists, including the seminal contributions of Emile Durkheim. Spanning the years from 2013 to 2023, the UPSC Mains has exhibited a renewed focus on Durkheimian thought, underscoring the enduring relevance of his theories in contemporary sociological discourse. Delving into the previous year’s questions pertaining to Emile Durkheim provides an enriching opportunity for candidates to unravel the intricacies of Durkheim’s pioneering work on topics such as social solidarity, division of labor, and the role of institutions in maintaining societal cohesion. By engaging with this repository of questions, students can cultivate a profound understanding of Durkheim’s theoretical frameworks and their implications for contemporary social challenges, thereby enhancing their preparation for the complexities of the UPSC examinations.
Exploring the profound insights embedded within the UPSC Mains’ previous year’s questions on Emile Durkheim not only facilitates an in-depth comprehension of sociological principles but also underscores the enduring significance of Durkheim’s contributions to the study of social integration and collective consciousness. From dissecting Durkheim’s perspectives on the mechanisms of social order to examining the role of religion and morality in fostering societal cohesion, these questions shed light on the timeless relevance of Durkheimian thought in deciphering the complexities of modern societal structures. By embracing the intellectual legacy encapsulated within these questions, sociology enthusiasts can embark on a transformative journey of intellectual exploration, enriching their understanding of the intricate interplay between social norms, institutions, and the preservation of societal harmony.
Emile Durkheim – Previous Year Questions (UPSC CSE Mains Sociology Optional)
1. Durkheim argued that society is more than the sum of individual acts. Discuss (2022)
2. Critically examine how Durkheim and Merton explicate Anomie. (2022)
3. Critically examine the relevance of Durkheim’s views on religion in contemporary society. (2022)
4. Explain whether Durkheim’s theory of Division of Labour is relevant in the presentday context. (2021)
5. Critically analyse Durkheim’s views on elementary forms of religious life and role of religion. Also discuss the consequences of religious revivalism in contemporary society. (2020)
6. What are the problems in observing social facts in Durkheim’s views? (2020)
7. How well do you think Tonnis, Durkheim, Weber and Max predicted the character of modern society? Critique. (2019)
8. Explain Durkheim’s basic arguments on suicide. Can you analyse high suicide rates of contemporary Indian society with Durkheim’s theory? (2018)
9. In what way did Durkheim perceive religion as functional to society? (2018)
10. Discuss distinct sociological method adopted by Emile Durkheim in his study of ‘suicide’ (2017)
11. Elaborate the views of Durkheim on “The Elementary Forms of Religious Life” (2015)
12. “According to Durkheim, the essence of religion in modern society is the same as religion in primitive society.” (2014)
13. Compare Karl Marx with Emile Durkheim with reference to the framework of ‘division of labour’. (2013)
14. Write short note on the following, keeping sociological perspective in view : Sacred and Profane. (2012)
15. Show how Durkheim through the study of totemism demonstrates the reality of religion. (2012)
16. ‘Social fact is to be treated as a thing.’ Discuss. (2012)
17. Compare Karl Marx with Emile Durkheim with reference to the framework of ‘division of labour’. (2010)
18. Write short note on Subject-matter of Sociology, according to Emile Durkheim. (2009)
19. Elaborate Emile Durkheim’s analysis of the Elementary Forms of Religious Life and role of religion in society. How does the explain existence of religion in modern industrial societies ? (2007)
20. Write short note : Social facts. (2007)
21. What according to Emile Durkheim is the nature of relationship between the individual and society ? Explain this with the help of his analysis of division of labour in society. (2006)
22. Give a Critical Review of Emile Durkheim’s Theory on Religion and Society. To what extent does it explain the contemporary scenario in Asia ? (2004)
23. Write short note : The sacred and the profane. (2002)
24. Examine the nature of social facts as understood by Durkheim. (2001)
25. What is the focus of sociological analysis in the contributions of Emile Durkheim ? Give your answer with the help of any one of his contributions. (2001)
26. Emile Durkheim had argued that the function of division of labour in society is that of the promotion of social solidarity. Elaborate the statement and analyze the distinction between two forms of solidarity discussed by him. (2000)
27. Write short note : Gemeinschaft and Gesselschaft types of communities. (1999)
28. “Not all facts about human behavior are necessarily social facts.” State the meanings ‘social facts’ and the methods of studying them with reference to this statement. (1999)
29. Write short note : Division of labour and the differentiation of social structure. (1999)
30. Write short note: Anomie. (1997)
31. Write short note : Social fact. (1995)
32. Write short note : Organic analogy. (1994)
33. Write short note : Pathological form of division of labour. (1994)
34. Describe the functional analysis of religion given by Durkheim. Is this analysis applicable to the modern industrialized societies (1993)
35. What are the basic questions which inspired Durkheim to study the division of labour in society? Critically comment on his conclusions. (1992)
36. Write short note : Concept of social structure (1992)
37. ‘Why does the individual, while becoming more autonomous, depend more upon society’? (Durkheim). How has the author tried to answer this question? (1991)
38. Write short note : The sacred and the profane (1991)
39. Is the Durkheimian concept of religion entirely different from that of his predecessors ? Why and how ? (1989)
40. In what respects do you think Weber’s conception of sociology differs from that of Durkheim? Which one of the two is more satisfactory? Substantiate your answer. (1988)
41. Write short note : Collective Representations. (1987)
42. Discuss Durkheim’s concept of Division of Labour. In what way does it differ from that of classical and neoclassical economists? (1986)
43. Discuss the contributions of Durkheim to sociology. How far did his methodology influence sociological traditions? (1985)
FAQs on the Emile Durkheim
Q. What were the key ideas and concepts introduced by Emile Durkheim in sociology?
Ans. Emile Durkheim introduced several key concepts that significantly influenced the field of sociology, including the concepts of social solidarity, collective consciousness, and the division of labor. His work emphasized the importance of social integration and the role of institutions in maintaining social cohesion, providing valuable insights into the dynamics of modern societies.
Q. How does Durkheim’s concept of ‘anomie’ remain relevant in contemporary sociological discourse?
Ans. Durkheim’s concept of ‘anomie’ refers to the breakdown of social norms and the resulting sense of normlessness or alienation within a society. This concept continues to be relevant in contemporary sociological discourse, offering insights into the consequences of rapid social change, globalization, and the erosion of traditional social structures on individual well-being and societal stability.
Q. What is the significance of Durkheim’s study of suicide in the field of sociology?
Ans. Durkheim’s groundbreaking study on suicide demonstrated the correlation between societal factors and individual behavior, highlighting the social causes and implications of suicide. By analyzing the influence of social integration and regulation on suicide rates, Durkheim provided a foundation for understanding the relationship between social forces and individual actions within a society.
Q. How does Durkheim’s work contribute to the understanding of the role of religion in society?
Ans. Durkheim’s exploration of the role of religion in society emphasized its function in fostering social cohesion and collective beliefs. His analysis of the integrative role of religious institutions and rituals provided insights into the ways in which religious practices contribute to the maintenance of societal norms, values, and collective identity.
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