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Class XI - Introducing Sociology

Class XI - Introducing Sociology

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Published by Mantra
Latest NCERT Class XI - Introducing Sociology, with all chapters combined into one document unlike the chapter wise downloading at the official NCERT website.
Latest NCERT Class XI - Introducing Sociology, with all chapters combined into one document unlike the chapter wise downloading at the official NCERT website.

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Published by: Mantra on Sep 29, 2008
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05/31/2013

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C
ONTENTS
OREWORD
ii
 A N
OTE
 
 TO
 
 THE
EACHER 
 
 AND
S
 TUDENTS
viii 
S
S
S
I
S
S
M
 
market that decides which subject choice may increase or decrease your chances in the job market. The thirdand fourth advice complicate the matter even more. It is not just our personaleffort or just the job market that makesa differenceour gender and family or social background also matter.Individual efforts matter a great deal but do not necessarily define outcomes. As we saw there are other social factorsthat play an important role in the finaloutcome. Here we have only mentionedthe ‘job market’, the ‘socioeconomic background’ and ‘gender’. Can youthink of other factors? We could wellask, “Who decides what is a ‘good job’?”Do all societies have similar notions of  what is a “good job?” Is money thecriteria? Or is it respect or socialrecognition or individual satisfactionthat decides the worth of a job? Doculture and social norms have any roleto play? The individual student must study hard to do well. But how well h/shedoes is structured by a whole set of societal factors. The job market isdefined by the needs of the economy.
C
HAPTER 
1
S
OCIOLOGY 
 
 AND
S
OCIETY 
I
I
NTRODUCTION
Let us begin with some suggestionsthat are often made to young studentslike you. One advice often made is,“Study hard and you will do well inlife.” The second advice as often madeis, “ If you do this subject or set of subjects you will have a better chanceof getting a good job in the future”. Thethird could be, “ As a boy this does not seem a correct choice of subject” or “Asa girl, do you think your choice of subjects is a practical one?” The fourth,“Your family needs you to get a job soonso why choose a profession that willtake a very long time” or “You will join your family business so why do you wish to do this subject?”Let us examine the suggestions. Do you think the first advice contradictsthe other three? For the first advicesuggests that if you work very hard, you will do very well and get a good job. The onus rests upon the individual. Thesecond advice suggests that apart from your individual effort, there is a job
 
 2INTRODUCING SOCIOLOGY 
 The needs of the economy are againdetermined by the economic andpolitical policies pursued by thegovernment. The chances of theindividual student are affected both by these broader political and economicmeasures as well as by the social background of her/his family. Thisgives us a preliminary sense of how sociology studies human society as aninterconnected whole. And how society and the individual interact with eachother. The problem of choosing subjectsin the senior secondary school is a source of personal worry for theindividual student. That this is a  broader public issue, affecting studentsas a collective entity is self evident. Oneof the tasks of sociology is to unravelthe connection between a personalproblem and a public issue. This is thefirst theme of this chapter. We have already seen that a ‘good job’ means different things to different societies. The social esteem that a particular kind of job has or does not have for an individual depends on theculture of his/her ‘relevant society’. What do we mean by ‘relevant society’?Does it mean the ‘society’ the individual belongs to? Which society does theindividual belong to? Is it theneighbourhood? Is it the community?Is it the caste or tribe? Is it theprofessional circle of the parents? Is it the nation? Second, this chapter therefore looks at how the individual inmodern times belongs to more than onesociety. And how societies are unequal. Third, this chapter introducessociology as a systematic study of society, distinct from philosophical andreligious reflections, as well as our everyday common sense observationabout society. Fourth, this distinct way of studying society can be better understood if we look back historically at the intellectual ideas and materialcontexts within which sociology was born and later grew. These ideas andmaterial developments were mainly  western but with global consequences.Fifth, we look at this global aspect andthe manner in which sociology emergedin India. It is important to remember that just as each of us have a  biography, so does a discipline.Understanding the history of a discipline helps understand thediscipline. Finally the scope of sociology and its relationship to other disciplinesis discussed.
II
 T
HE
S
OCIOLOGICAL 
I
MAGINATION
:
 THE
P
ERSONAL 
P
ROBLEM
 
 AND
 
 THE
P
UBLIC
I
SSUE
 We began with a set of suggestions thadrew our attention to how the individualand society are dialectically linked. Thisis a point that sociologists over severalgenerations have been concerned with.C. Wright Mills rests his vision of thesociological imagination precisely inthe unravelling of how the personal andpublic are related.

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