Sociology, as an optional subject for the esteemed Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examinations, offers a deep dive into the intellectual legacies of influential sociological thinkers, providing invaluable insights into the evolution of societal ideologies and structures. With a particular focus on the profound contributions of Karl Marx, the years spanning 2013 to 2023 have witnessed a resurgence of interest in Marxian thought within the realm of the UPSC Mains. Analyzing the previous year’s questions pertaining to Sociological Thinker: Karl Marx provides an enriching opportunity for aspirants to grasp the nuanced nuances of Marxian philosophy and its enduring relevance in contemporary social discourse. By engaging with this reservoir of questions, students can develop a comprehensive understanding of Marx’s theoretical frameworks, dialectical materialism, and his seminal contributions to the understanding of class struggle and societal evolution, thus enhancing their preparation for the intricacies of the UPSC examinations.
Delving into the intricate web of Karl Marx’s sociological thought within the purview of the UPSC Mains not only fosters a deeper appreciation for the complexities of societal structures but also underscores the enduring significance of Marx’s critical insights into capitalism, alienation, and social change. From dissecting Marx’s perspectives on the dynamics of social class to exploring the implications of his theories on power structures and economic systems, the previous year’s questions illuminate the timeless relevance of Marxian thought in understanding the nuances of contemporary social, economic, and political paradigms. Embracing the intellectual legacy encapsulated in these questions, sociology enthusiasts can embark on a transformative journey of intellectual exploration, enriching their understanding of the interplay between societal structures, power dynamics, and the relentless pursuit of social justice.
Sociological Thinker: Karl Marx – Previous Year Questions (UPSC CSE Mains Sociology Optional)
1. Critically examine the dialectics involved in each mode of production as propounded by Karl Marx. (2021)
2. Critically assess the Marxian Theory of ‘Alienation’. (2020)
3. What is the Marxist concept of ‘Fetishism of Commodities? (2019)
4. According to Marx, how are human beings alienated from their human potential and what does he suggest to change this (2018)
5. Analyse Marxian conception of historical materialism as a critique of Hegelian dialectics. (2017)
6. Evaluate Marx’s ideas on mode of production. (2016)
7. Identify the similarities and differences between Marx’s theory of ‘alienation’ and Durkheim’s theory of ‘anomie. (2014)
8. According to Marx, capitalism transforms even the personal relationships between men and women. Critically examine with illustrations from the contemporary Indian context. (2014)
9. Analyse the salient features of historical materialism. (2013)
10. Sometimes workers do not feel attachment for their work. Marx formed a theory for this situation, discuss that theory. (2012)
11. In Marxian classification of Society, feudal and slave societies are very important. How are they different from each other? (2012)
12. Examine Karl Marx’s views on ‘class – in itself’ and ‘class – for – itself’ with reference to proletarians. (2010)
13. Comment on the responses of the functionalist school to Karl Marx’s views on social change. (2009)
14. Explain Karl Marx’s analysis of capitalistic mode of production and classstruggle. What are the intellectual reactions to his views? (2007)
15. Explain Karl Marx’s ‘theory of social change’. What are the reactions of functionalists to his views? (2006)
16. Write short note: Class struggle a conceived by Karl Marx. (2005)
17. Analyse socio-cultural consequences of corruption and suggest remedial measures for curbing it. (2004)
18. Write short note: Class – in – itself and class – for – itself. (2003)
19. Explain Karl Marx’s conception of classantagonism. How have the functionalists reacted to his views? (2001)
20. Write short note: Alienation. (2000)
21. “It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but on the contrary it is their social being that determines their consciousness.” Examine Karl Marx’s notion of mode of production in the light of this statement. (1998)
22. Explain the concept of social change. Critically examine the contribution of Karl Marx’s theory of social change. (1997)
23. Write short note : Mode of production. (1996)
24. “Subjective perception of the objective reality prepares the context for the articulation of class antagonism.” Evaluate this statement with reference of Karl Marx’s contribution. (1995)
25. Critically examine Karl Marx’s theory of alienation. (1994)
26. Explain Karl Marx’s theory of social stratification. On what grounds functionalists refute it ? (1993)
27. Critically bring out the differences in the approaches of Karl Marx and Max Weber to the study of class structure in industrial capitalist society. (1992)
28. ‘The history of the hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggle.’ Critically comment on this Marxian thesis (1991)
29. How does Marx’s treatment of alienation differ from that of other sociologists ? (1990)
30. Write short note: Alienation. (1989)
31. Attempt a comparative analysis of the Weberian and Marxian theories of social change. Which do you think is more relevant to the Indian society at present ? Give reasons for your answer. (1988)
32. Do you accept that Marxism offers a prefabricated theory of social change ? Discuss critically. (1987)
33. Write short note : Alienation. (1987)
34. Write short note : Historical materialism. (1986)
35. How is Marxism relevant to developing nations? Will it be able to establish classless societies? (1985)
36. Write short note : Alienation in developing societies. (1984)
37. Discuss Marx’s concept of class. Is class struggle inevitable for the elimination of inequalities and exploitation in the third world societies? (1984)
38. Write short note : Alienation in modem society. (1981)
39. Analyse Marxian theory of social change. Is it useful to comprehend the changes in the developing societies? (1982)
FAQs on Sociological Thinker: Karl Marx
Q. What were the key contributions of Karl Marx to the field of sociology?
Ans. Karl Marx made significant contributions to sociology through his critical analysis of capitalism, class struggle, and the dynamics of power in society. His concept of historical materialism and the theory of alienation remain central to understanding the complexities of social structures, economic systems, and the evolution of societal ideologies.
Q. How does Karl Marx’s theory of class struggle remain relevant today?
Ans. Karl Marx’s theory of class struggle continues to be relevant in contemporary sociological discourse, providing insights into the dynamics of social inequality and the struggles faced by marginalized groups within society. By highlighting the conflicts arising from the unequal distribution of resources and power, Marx’s theory encourages a critical examination of modern socioeconomic structures and their implications for societal well-being.
Q. What is the significance of Marx’s concept of alienation in sociological analysis?
Ans. Marx’s concept of alienation elucidates the estrangement of individuals from their own labor and the products of their labor within a capitalist system. This concept remains crucial in sociological analysis as it sheds light on the dehumanizing effects of certain work environments and the broader implications for the individual’s sense of self and social connectedness.
Q. How does Karl Marx’s work continue to influence contemporary sociological thought?
Ans. Karl Marx’s work continues to influence contemporary sociological thought by inspiring critical analyses of power dynamics, economic systems, and societal structures. His emphasis on the relationship between the economy and social institutions encourages sociologists to examine the impact of capitalism and globalization on various aspects of society, including labor, social stratification, and the distribution of resources.
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