Please refer to Social Structure Stratification and Social Processes in Society Class 11 Sociology notes and questions with solutions below. These revision notes and important examination questions have been prepared based on the latest Sociology books for Class 11. You can go through the questions and solutions below which will help you to get better marks in your examinations.
Class 11 Sociology Social Structure Stratification and Social Processes in Society Notes and Questions
I. Social Structure
The term social structure shows that society is structured (organized/ arranged) in particular ways. Social structure refers regularities or patterns in the behavior and relationships of the people in society. The repetition of human actions and relationships over time and space leads to the formation of social structure. Thus the social structure is reproduced. People cooperate at various levels in their everyday lives towards this reproduction. Competition and conflict are decisive in the reproduction of social structure.
II. Social stratification
Social stratification refers to the existence of structured inequalities between groups in society. Some form of social stratification exists in all societies. Modern societies are marked by wide differences in wealth and power. The most evident forms of stratification in modern societies are class divisions, others like race and caste, region and community, tribe and gender also continue to matter as bases of social stratification. Social stratification is a part of social structure. It is characterised by inequality. Members belong to the higher social group will have superior position. This structure tends to continue across generations. There are three basic forms of advantage which privileged groups may enjoy:
1. Life Chances:
Material advantages which improve the quality of life. These include economic advantages of wealth and income and benefits such as health, job security and recreation.
2. Social Status:
The privileged groups have high prestige or position in the eyes of other members of the society.
3. Political Influence:
The privileged groups have the ability to dominate others and influence decision-making.
❖ The opportunities and resources available to individuals and groups to engage in competition, cooperation or conflict are shaped by social structure and social stratification.
❖ At the same time, humans do act to modify the structure and system of stratification.
III. Social Processes
Cooperation is a basic social process. Without cooperation human beings and society cannot survive. It is a joint activity in pursuit of common goals. Without human cooperation it would be difficult for human life to survive.
Emile Durkheim and Social Solidarity
Solidarity, the moral force of society. It is basis for our understanding of cooperation. It is also basis for the functioning of society. The division of labour is an important feature of cooperation. The division of labour fulfills certain needs of society. Durkheim divided solidarity into two: mechanical and organic solidarity. Mechanical solidarity was a characteristic feature of pre-industrial. Organic solidarity was a feature of complex industrial societies
Karl Marx and Cooperation
Karl Marx believed that consciousness distinguished men from animals. By producing means of subsistence man produced their material life. Humans adjusted and accommodated to cooperate and in that process they also altered the society. For Marx cooperation is not voluntary in a society where class exists. Cooperation involuntarily emerges from an external force. It is caused by the division of labour. The workers the loss their control over the concrete content of labour, and over the products of their labour. Marx called this situation as alienation.
❖ Amartya Sen pointed out that the cooperation existing in families is enforced cooperation.
The concept of competition is universal and natural. In the contemporary period competition is a predominant idea. Emile Durkheim and Karl Marx have noted the growth of individualism and competition in modern societies. Both individualism and competition are related to modern capitalist society.
Capitalism stresses is on greater efficiency and greater profit. The important assumptions of capitalism:
1. Expansion of trade
2. Division of labour
4. Rising productivity
Competition is a dominant ideology in capitalism. Competition provides energy to all these processes. Competition ensures that the market operates in an efficient manner. Competition is based on the ideology that individual compete on an equal basis. But since individuals are not equally placed in society, people would not get equal chance in the competition.
The term conflict means clash of interests. Conflict theorists believe that scarcity of resources in society produces conflict. The reasons for conflict could be class or caste, tribe or gender, ethnicity or religious community. Conflicts have existed in all societies. Its nature and form undergo changes at different stages of social development. Social changes also create conflict. Conflict appears as a discord or open clash only when it is openly expressed. For example, the existence of a peasant movement is an overt expression of a deep rooted conflict over land resources.
❖ Cooperation, competition and conflict are different; they often co-exist, overlap and sometimes exist in a concealed fashion.