Preparing for the UPSC Mains examination can be an arduous task, especially when it comes to choosing the right optional subject. In recent years, sociology has emerged as a popular choice among aspirants, particularly the topic of “Stratification and Mobility.” Understanding societal hierarchies and the dynamics of social mobility is crucial in comprehending the complexities of human societies. With a focus on the UPSC Mains 2013-2023 question papers, this blog will delve into the insightful array of questions that have shaped the understanding of stratification and mobility in the context of the Indian social fabric. Analyzing these questions not only provides a comprehensive understanding of the pattern but also offers an insightful perspective on the key issues that have defined the sociological discourse in contemporary India.
Through this exploration, we aim to decipher the underlying patterns and trends in the questions asked over the years. By examining the changing focus areas and themes within the context of stratification and mobility, we seek to offer a comprehensive guide for aspirants looking to strengthen their grasp on this crucial sociological topic. This blog will not only dissect the key concepts within the topic but also provide valuable insights into the evolving nature of Indian society and its intricate social structures. By deciphering the wisdom embedded within the previous year’s questions, aspirants can effectively equip themselves to navigate the dynamic landscape of the UPSC Mains examination.
Stratification and Mobility – Previous Year Questions (UPSC CSE Mains Sociology Optional)
1. How do sociologists construct gender in their analysis on social inequality? (2022)
2. Social stratification is claimed to contribute to the maintenance of social order and stability in society. Critically assess. (2022)
3. Discuss social mobility in open and closed system. (2022)
4. Critically examine Max Weber’s theory of Social Stratification. (2021)
5. Explain the growing salience of ethnicity in the contemporary world with illustrations. (2021)
6. Explain the concept of social mobility. Describe with suitable illustrations how education and social mobility are related to each other. (2021)
7. How are Hierarchy and Exclusion the major impediments in the transformation of societies? Discuss. (2020)
8. Critically assess social mobility in closed and open systems. (2020)
9. What is affirmative action? Substantiate theoretical positions on affirmative actions with examples. (2019)
10. Davis and Moore made it clear that social stratification is a functional necessity and also an unconscious device. Discuss (2019)
11. Compare and contrast the contributions of Marx and Weber on social stratification in capitalist society. (2019)
12. Modernisation presupposes class society however, caste, ethnicity and race are still predominant. Explain. (2019)
13. Present a sociological review on the ‘new middle-class’. (2019)
14. Differentiate between ‘Life-chances ‘and’ Life-style ‘with suitable examples. (2019)
15. Why is gender a dimension of social stratification? How does gender intersect other dimensions of inequality based on caste, class, race and ethnicity? (2019)
16. What is the difference between natural and social inequality? Give examples from caste and class dimensions. (2018)
17. Evaluate if social stratification is functional for society. (2018)
18. Is social mobility possible in closed systems of stratification? Illustrate from research work. (2018)
19. Can we equate ‘poverty’ with ‘poor living’ ? Elaborate your answer. (2017)
20. What is Weberian critique of Marxist notion of social stratification ? (2017)
21. Examine gender, ethnicity and race as major dimensions of social stratification. (2017)
22. “Vertical mobility brings structural change even in a closed social system.” Comment. (2016)
23. Elucidate the basic premises of Davis’ structural-functional theory of social stratification. How far is it relevant in understanding contemporary Indian society ? (2016)
24. Discuss the relationship between poverty and social exclusion. (2016)
25. “ No society can either be absolutely open or absolutely closed.” Comment. (2015)
26. Differentiate between Marxian and Weberian theories of Social Stratification ? (2015)
27. What do you understand by gender ? How does it shape ‘male identity’ ? (2014)
28. “According to Max Weber, ‘class’ and ‘status’ are two different dimensions of power.” Discuss. (2014)
29. For Marx, class divisions are outcomes of ‘exploitation’. Discuss, (in about 150 words) (2014)
30. Critically examine the functionalist tradition in Sociology. (2013)
31. How are open and closed systems of stratification undergoing transformation in the emergence of new hierarchical social order in societies ? (2013)
32. Distinguish between people being socially excluded and people excluding themselves socially in societies. (150 words (2013)
33. Analyse the gender bias in the present society with examples. (150 words) (2013)
34. How do Karl Marx and Max Weber differ in terms of their analysis of social stratification ? (2013)
35. Write short note on the following from a sociological perspective: Stratification of class. (2012)
36. In our society Hierarchical relations are influenced by social mobility. Explain how? (2012)
37. Write short note on The problem of Gender. (2011)
38. What is Class ? Do you think that Weber’s contributions to social stratification are different from that of Marx ? (2011)
39. What do you mean by social mobility ? Discuss the major sources and causes of mobility ? (2011)
40. Write short note on Ethnicity and Development. (2010)
41. Examine how open and closed systems of stratification are undergoing transformation in the emergence of new hierarchical social order in societies. (2010)
42. Distinguish between people being socially excluded and people excluding themselves socially in societies. (2010)
43. What are the reasons for calling Kingsley Davis and Wilbert Moore’s theory of social stratification a functional theory (2009)
44. How does hierarchy get built into the systems of natural and social inequalities ? (2008)
45. Write short note : Social mobility in open and closed systems. (2008)
46. Write short note : Role-conflict and its resolution. (2007)
47. Write short note : Caste-system as a principle of social stratification. (2006)
48. Write short note : Vertical social mobility. (2006)
49. How is vertical and horizontal social mobility problematic in society ? Suggest solutions. (2005)
50. ‘Socialisation and social control are complementary to each other in maintaining social order.’ – Elucidate you answer with appropriate illustrations. (2004)
51. Write short note : Class within Caste and Caste within Class. (2004)
52. Briefly discuss the Conflict Perspective on social stratification and examine the view that social inequality in India is the function of rigid social stratification system. (2004)
53. Examine the conceptual distinction between social inequality and social Stratification. How do the nature and forms of the social stratification system determine the patterns of social mobility? (2003)
54. Explain Melvin Tlimin’s critique related to the theory of social stratification. (2002)
55. Write short note : Social Mobility and social change. (2002)
56. Write short note : Inter-generational mobility. (2000)
57. Write short note : Role conflict. (2000)
58. Discuss the nature and characteristics of social mobility. Can the nature and the rate of social mobility be treated as an index of economic development ? Comment. (1999)
59. How would you distinguish between the stratified and the unstratified social positions? What explanation would you prefer for the universal existence of the social stratification in human society ? (1999)
60. Write short note : Role conflict as a source of deviation Analyze critically the functional theory of social stratification. (1999)
61. Write short note : Caste as a class . (1998)
62. Write short note : Vertical and horizontal mobility (1998)
63. Write short note : Types of mobility. (1997)
64. Write short note : Role-Conflict and its resolution. (1996)
65. Write short note : Social class and social status. (1995)
66. Write short note : Social class and vertical mobility (1993)
67. ‘Social inequality is the device by which societies ensure that the most important positions, are filled by the most qualified persons.’ Explain this view point and state the grounds on which it is refuted. (1992)
68. Elaborate the concepts of ‘status-consistency’ and status-inconsistency. State the factors responsible for status-inconsistency’ in modem societies. (1992)
69. Write short note : Functional theory of stratification. (1991 )
70. Write short note : Intergeneration mobility. (1991)
71. Write short note : Status inconsistency. (1990)
72. Write short note : Open and Closed Models of Mobility (1989)
73. Write short note : Functional theory of stratification. (1988)
74. Write short note : Intergenerational mobility in a caste society. (1986)
75. Write short note : Social Mobility. (1985)
FAQs on Stratification and Mobility
Q. What is social stratification, and why is it essential to understand it?
Ans. Social stratification refers to the hierarchical arrangement of individuals or groups within a society based on various factors such as wealth, income, and social status. Understanding this concept is crucial as it sheds light on how societal inequalities and privileges are structured, impacting individuals’ life chances and opportunities.
Q. How does social mobility contribute to societal change and development?
Ans. Social mobility, whether intergenerational or intragenerational, plays a vital role in shaping the dynamics of a society. It enables individuals and groups to move up or down the social ladder, impacting not just their own lives but also the overall structure and functioning of the society they belong to.
Q. What are some of the key challenges related to social stratification in the context of modern society?
Ans. In contemporary times, social stratification faces challenges such as the persistence of class-based inequalities, discrimination based on race, gender, and ethnicity, and the impact of globalization on socio-economic hierarchies. Understanding these challenges is crucial in formulating strategies for creating a more equitable and just society.
Q. How does the study of stratification and mobility help in understanding real-world societal issues?
Ans. The study of stratification and mobility offers valuable insights into a range of societal issues such as poverty, educational disparities, labor market dynamics, and social exclusion. It provides a framework to analyze and address these issues by examining the underlying causes and consequences of social inequalities.
Q. What are some of the contemporary debates and discussions surrounding stratification and mobility?
Ans. Contemporary debates in this field revolve around topics such as the impact of technological advancements on employment patterns, the role of education in facilitating social mobility, and the effectiveness of policies aimed at reducing socio-economic disparities. Engaging with these debates can provide a nuanced understanding of the current socio-economic landscape and the possibilities for positive change.
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