Patterns Of Social Inequality And Exclusion NCERT Textbook PDF

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Patterns Of Social Inequality And Exclusion NCERT Textbook With Solutions Book PDF Free Download

Patterns Of Social Inequality And Exclusion

Chapter 5: Patterns Of Social Inequality And Exclusion

In every society, some people have a greater share of valued resources – money, property, education, health, and power – than others. These social resources can be divided into three forms of capital – economic capital in the form of material assets and income; cultural capital such as educational qualifications and status; and social capital in the form of networks of contacts and social associations (Bourdieu 1986).

Often, these three forms of capital overlap, and one can be converted into the other.

For example, a person from a well-off family (economic capital) can afford expensive higher education, and so can acquire cultural or educational capital.

Someone with influential relatives and friends (social capital) may – through access to good advice, recommendations, or information – manage to get a well-paid job.

Patterns of unequal access to social resources are commonly called social inequality. Some social inequality reflects innate differences between individuals, for example, their varying abilities and efforts.

Someone may be endowed with exceptional intelligence or talent or may have worked very hard to achieve their wealth and status.

However, by and large, social inequality is not the outcome of innate or ‘natural’ differences between people but is produced by the society in which they live.

Sociologists use the term social stratification to refer to a system by which categories of people in a society are ranked in a hierarchy.

This hierarchy then shapes people’s identity and experiences, their relations with others, as well as their access to resources and opportunities.

Prejudices refer to preconceived opinions or attitudes held by members of one group towards another. The word literally means ‘pre-judgment’, that is, an opinion formed in advance of any familiarity with the subject, before considering any available evidence.

A prejudiced person’s preconceived views are often based on hearsay rather than on direct evidence and are resistant to change even in the face of new information.

Prejudice may be either positive or negative. Although the word is generally used for negative pre-judgments, it can also apply to favorable pre-judgment.

For example, a person may be prejudiced in favor of members of his/her own caste or group and – without any evidence – believe them to be superior to members of other castes or groups.

Prejudices are often grounded in stereotypes and fixed and inflexible characterizations of a group of people.

Stereotypes are often applied to ethnic and racial groups and to women. In a country such as India, which was colonized for a long time, many of these stereotypes are partly colonial creations.

Some communities were characterized as ‘martial races’, some others as effeminate or cowardly, yet others as untrustworthy.

In both English and Indian fictional writings, we often encounter an entire group of people classified as ‘lazy’ or ‘cunning’.

It may indeed be true that some individuals are sometimes lazy or cunning, brave or cowardly. But such a general statement is true of individuals in every group.

Even for such individuals, it is not true all the time – the same individual may be both lazy and hardworking at different times.

Stereotypes fix whole groups into single, homogenous categories; they refuse to recognize
the variation across individuals and across contexts or across time.

They treat an entire community as though it were a single person with a single all-encompassing trait or characteristic.

AuthorNCERT
Language English
No. of Pages32
PDF Size1.5 MB
CategorySociology
Source/Creditsncert.nic.in

NCERT Solutions Class 12 Sociology Chapter 5: Patterns Of Social Inequality And Exclusion

1. How is social inequality different from the inequality of individuals?
Ans. Individual inequality refers to destructiveness and variations among individuals in their psychological and physical characteristics.
Social inequality refers to a social system where some people are getting the opportunity to make use of the resources and others are not. Some people are at a higher level in terms of wealth, education, health, and status while others are at the lowest level. Social inequality gets manifested in the following forms:
(i) Social stratification (ii) Prejudices
(iii) Stereotypes (iv) Discrimination

2. What are some of the features of social stratification?
Ans. The key features of social stratification are
(i) Social stratification is a characteristic of society, not simply a function of individual differences.
It is a society-wide system that unequally distributes social resources among categories of people.

For example: In the most technologically primitive societies-hunting and gathering societies, little was produced, so only rudimentary social stratification could exist.

In more technologically advanced societies, where people produce a surplus over and above their basic needs, however, social resources are unequally distributed to various social categories regardless of people’s innate individual abilities.

(ii) Social stratification persists over generations:
It is closely linked to the family and to the inheritance of social resources from one generation to the next.

A person’s social position is ascribed, i.e., a child assumes the social position of its parents.

Births dictate occupation e.g. a Dalit is likely to ‘ be confined to traditional occupation such as agricultural labors, scavenging or leather work, with little chance of being able to get high paying white-collar or professional work.

The ascribed aspect of social inequality is reinforced by the practice of endogamy,
i.e., marriage is usually restricted to members of the same caste, ruling out the potential for breaking the caste lines through intercaste marriages.

(iii) Social stratification is supported by patterns of beliefs and ideology:
No system of social stratification is likely to persist over generations unless it is widely viewed as being either fair or inevitable.

For example, Caste system is justified in terms of the opposition of purity and pollution, with Brahmans designated as the most superior and Dalits as the most inferior by virtue of their birth and occupation.

Not everyone thinks of a system of inequality as legitimate. Typically, people with the greatest social privileges express the strongest support, while those who have experienced exploitation and humiliation of being at the bottom of the hierarchy are most likely to challenge it.

3. How would you distinguish prejudice from other kinds of opinion or belief?
Ans. Prejudice refers to pre-judgment, i.e., an opinion made in advance. Prejudice refers to pre-thought opinions or attitudes held by members of one group towards another.

Prejudice may be either positive or negative. A prejudiced person’s pre-thought views r are .generally based on hearsay rather than on direct evidence. This word is generally used for negative pre-judgements.

On the other hand, an opinion is a judgment about someone or something, not necessarily based on fact and knowledge.

NCERT Class 12 Sociology Textbook Chapter 5 Patterns Of Social Inequality And Exclusion With Answer PDF Free Download

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