BA Sociology 1st Semester Notes PDF

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BA 1st Semester Introduction to Sociology PDF Free Download


BA Sociology 1st Semester Notes PDF

Sociology is a science based on the study of humans and their culture. It is a combination of the organized study of the growth, architecture, relationships and attitudes of systematic groups of human beings. Sociology paves the way for scientists, social thinkers and activists in understanding society. It also helps them in improving the quality of life of the people living in the society. The basic principles of sociology are as follows:

• The behaviour of individuals in social groups is different than that when they are independent.

 • Individuals who are part of a social group follow the rules of that social group.

 • These rules are created and implemented socially.

 • Some people have more authority in the creation of rules than others.

• Those who follow the rules are awarded and those who break them are penalized.

• The rules of social groups have a scientific base. In a society, culture is responsible for giving an identity to the individual. Culture is imbibed in an individual at the time of his birth and persists till his death.

This book—Introduction of Sociology—focuses on the scope, nature and definitions of sociology and society, the behaviour of individuals in societies, the effects of culture on the human personality, characteristics, and types and functions of culture. It also analyses the relationship between social interaction and socialization.

It familiarizes the reader with the basic concepts in sociology, such as customs, competition and conflict, social institutions, roles, social control, formal and informal agencies of social control, polity and religion, and social conflict and social change. This book is written in a self-instructional format and is divided into seven units.

Each unit begins with an Introduction to the topic followed by an outline of the Unit Objectives. The content is then presented in a simple and easy-to-understand manner and is interspersed with Check Your Progress Questions to test the reader’s understanding of the topic.

A list of Questions and Exercisesis also provided at the end of each unit and includes short-answer as well as long-answer questions. The Summary and Key Terms sections are useful tools for students and are meant for effective recapitulation of the text.


Sociology is one of the first social sciences to be acknowledged. The word ‘sociology’ owes its origin to the Latin word socius (companion) and the Greek word logy (study of). Sociology incorporates the study of social phenomena, social life, groups, institutions, associations and societies.

It focuses on society from a scientific point of view. Sociology has a vast scope. It ranges from Individual to grouped social systems.

The principles of sociology explain the behaviour of human beings and their existence with respect to their mutual interaction. In fact, sociology has always studied societies, both taken separately and together, as ‘human societies’. The balance between the two aspects may vary, but in the end, the study of one absolutely requires the study of the other.

Neither of them makes sense independently. For instance, considering India as a society, one can think of it in terms of cities, factories, schools, farms or prisons. One can also think of it in terms of politics, media or divinity. It is simple to connect all these factors.

They can also be visualized as confined within the boundaries of Indian states and referred to under the general heading of Indian society. In this unit, you will get acquainted with the nature and scope of sociology


Sociology is a relatively new academic discipline among the social sciences, which include economics, political science, anthropology, history and psychology. The ideas behind it, however, have a long history and can trace their origins to a mixture of common human knowledge and philosophy.

Sociology emerged as a scientific discipline in the early 19th century, as a fundamentally new type of society based on new principles of social organization and new ideas of enlightenment.

This led to a change in the mindset of people. Sociologists hoped not only to understand what held social groups together but also to develop an antidote to social breakdown.

In terms of science, sociology pertains to social groups, their hierarchies or forms of organization. It combines functions which are inclined to maintain or modify these forms of organization and their inter-group network. Sociology is concerned with interaction itself.

A social group is a system of social interaction. Sociology is interested in social relationships, not because they are economic, political, religious, legal or educational, but because they are social at the same time. Further, in sociology, we do not study everything that happens in society or under social conditions, but we study culture, social relationships, their specific forms, varieties and patterns.

We study the combination of relations, how they build up smaller or greater systems, and how they respond to changes and changing demands or needs.

French philosopher and sociologist Auguste Comte invented the term ‘sociology’ in the year 1838. Comte attempted to combine all the faculties of mankind, including history, psychology and economics.

His own pattern of sociology was typical of the 19th century; he put across the theory that every man had experienced the same distinct historical stages and that the success of this progress was the solution to every social ill. Sociology would lead social sciences in the future.

Comte defined sociology as the science of social phenomena, subject to natural invariable laws, the discovery of which is the object of investigation.

He advocated for sociology to be used as a positive method in natural sciences. He further believed that social evolution went hand in hand with progress, in accordance with the law of three stages.

These three stages are the theological-military, the metaphysical-legalistic and the positive-industrial laws. According to Comte’s hierarchy of sciences, sociology occupies the summit.

This is because it is considered to be the most complex of sciences, as it deals with humanity. The systematic study of society gained prominence due to the upheavals caused by the French and industrial revolutions.

The intellectual community of that time attempted to analyse and establish reasons for these rapid changes. So the study of sociology emerged as a distinct discipline dealing with social order and change. Although all social sciences study different aspects of social life, the approach of sociology is distinct.

It is a more detailed picture explaining why things are the way they are. Sociology has also been labelled as a ‘debunking science’ because a sociologist is interested in looking beyond the commonly accepted meaning of social phenomenon and understands reality as a social construction; that is, how reality gets established in the way we understand it.

American sociologist Peter Berger argued that ‘sociology is a distinctive way of thinking, a particular awareness of the nature of social life, an unwillingness to accept the superficial and the apparently obvious’. French sociologist Emile Durkheim was a pioneer in demonstrating scientific methodology in sociology.

In his most acclaimed work, Rules of Sociological Method (1897), he emphasized the methodology that he described in his study, Suicide (1897).

The discipline of sociology appeared in many universities in the 1890s. Urbanization and industrialization were posing several social issues and the sociologists of those times were trying hard to find a scientific solution.

However, they did not succeed. It was their strong belief that sociology was the key to the scientific growth of the society.

Later, sociology emerged as a branch of scientific knowledge with theories resulting from scientific inferences, rather than mere guesswork or comments that were based on impressions

Language English
No. of Pages758
PDF Size56.8 MB

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