CBSE Class 12 Sociology

Sample Question Paper
Class XII Sociology

Time: 3 Hours, MM 80

General Instructions

  • There are 25 questions in all.
  • All questions are compulsory.

1. There are two reasons why there are more females than males in most countries. However, in South Korea and India, the sex ratio has been declining. What are these two reasons? Why is the trend different for India, China and South Korea? (2)
 Nature produces more boys than girls, if despite this the sex ratio is in favour of girls then it is because the following two reasons:
a) girl babies appear to be more resistant to diseases in infancy.
b) women have tended to outlive men in most societies But, in China and India, there has been witnessed a decline in sex ratio because of the social norms that tend to value males much more than females, which leads to preference for sons.

2. State reasons for women’s reform movement being often termed as middle class reform movement. (2)
The women’s question arose in India as part of the 19th century middle class social reform movements. They were termed as middle class reform movements because many of these reformers were from the newly emerging western educated Indian middle class. They were often inspired by the democratic ideals of the modern west as well as the past democratic traditions of India.

3. “In Indian nationalism, the dominant trend was marked by an inclusive and democratic vision.” What do you understand by the words inclusive and democratic in the given statement? (2)
 In Indian nationalism, the dominant trend was marked by an inclusive and democratic vision- inclusive because it recognized diversity and plurality; democratic because it sought to do away with discrimination and exclusion and bring forth a just and equitable society.

4. Name any two distinct modes of protest that social movements have developed. (2)
 -Candle and torch light processions
-use of black cloth
-street theatres
-songs, poetry
(Any two)

5. Describe the model of the South Asian colonial City. (2)
 The South Asian colonial city had European towns that comprised of spacious bungalows, elegant apartment houses, planned streets, trees on both sides of the street, clubs for afternoon and evening get togethers. The open space was reserved for Western recreational facilities such as race and golf courses, soccer and cricket. When domestic water supply, electric connections and sewage links were available or technically possible, the European towns utilised them fully, whereas their use was restricted to the native town.

6. There were certain expectations from the nation building process that the first-generation leaders embarked upon. Name them. (2)
 –universalization of citizenship rights and the induction of cultural pluralities into the democratic process of open and competitive politics would evolve new, civic equations among ethnic communities, and between them and state.

7. “There is a vital difference between the empire building of pre-capitalist times and that of capitalist times”. Which was applicable in case of India and why? Give one reason. (2)
 Capitalist Empire Building was applicable in the case of India. British colonialism which was based on capitalism directly interfered to ensure greatest profit and benefit to British capitalism. Every policy was geared towards the strengthening and expansion of British capitalism. It changed the law of the land. It changed not just land ownership laws but decided even what crops would be grown and what ought not to be. It altered the way production and distribution of goods took place. It` meddled with the manufacturing sector. It entered forests and cleared trees and started plantations. It brought the forests acts that changed the lives of pastoralists.
(Any one reason)

8. Name the features of New Farmer’s Movements. (2)
Features of new farmer’s movements-
-movements were regionally organized
-were non-party
-involved farmers rather than peasants (farmers are said to be market-involved as both commodity producers and purchasers)
-basic ideology of the movement was strongly anti-state and anti-urban

9. Explain the meaning of De-skilled workers using an example. (2)
 Famous sociologist Harry Braverman argues that the use of machinery actually deskills workers. For example, whereas earlier architects and engineers had to be skilled draughtsmen, now the computer does a lot of the work for them.

10. Can we apply the distinction between old and new social movements in the Indian context? Substantiate your answer with reasons. (2)
. Money-lenders. The women’s movement has worked on issue India has experienced a whole array of social movements involving women, peasants, dalits, and others. We cannot apply the distinction of old and new social movements in the context of IndiaIn a social movement, questions of social inequality can occur alongside other, equally important issues. Social inequality and unequal distribution of resources continue to be important elements in these movements. Dalit labourers have acted collectively to ensure that they are not exploited by upper-caste landowners and of gender discrimination in diverse spheres like the workplace and within the family. They are not just about old issues of economic inequality, nor are they organized along class lines alone. Identity politics, cultural anxieties and aspirations are essential elements in creating social movements and occur in ways that are difficult to trace to class-based boundaries.

11. Analyze the relation between rituals and secular goals. (2)
 Secularization has usually meant a process of decline in the influence of religion. With the advent of modernization attitude have changed to religion and to the celebration of festivals. As a result of the mushrooming of urban areas and lifestyles, celebration of festivals and following rituals has become a necessary part of one’s identity. Thus, the emphasis on rituals is to attain the secular goal of asserting one’s cultural identity. Rituals also provide men and women with occasions for socializing with their peers and for showing family wealth. Thus, apart from one’s identity, the status, political and economic dimensions of rituals has become increasingly important.

12. “Constitution has the capacity to help people because it is based on basic norms of social justice.” How? Explain using an example. (2)
 Constitution has the capacity to help people because it is based on basic norms of social justice. It has the potential for the meaning of social justice to be extended. Social movements have also aided the Courts and authorities to interpret the contents of rights and principles in keeping with the contemporary understanding social justice. For instance, the Directive Principle on village panchayats was moved as an amendment in the Constituent Assembly. After forty years, it became a Constitutional imperative after 73rd Amendment in 1992.

13. How were capitalism and colonialism linked? (2)
It is an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned and organized to accumulate profits within a market system. Capitalism in the West emerged out of a complex process of
-European exploration of the rest of the world.
-Its plunder of wealth and resources.
-An unprecedented growth of science and technology.
-Harnessing of science and technology in agriculture and industries. Capitalism was marked by its dynamism, its potential to grow, expand, innovate, use technology and labour in a way best assured to ensure greatest profits. Capitalism was also marked by its global nature of being linked to western colonialism.

14. Point out one way in which caste has weakened in one sphere and remained strong in another. (2)
 Development activity of the state and growth of private industry affected caste indirectly through the speeding up of and intensification of economic change. Modern industry created various kinds of jobs for which there were no caste rules. Modern individuals attracted to the liberal ideas of individualism and meritocracy began to abandon the extreme caste practices. In the cultural and domestic sphere, caste remained strong. Endogamy remained unaffected by the modernization. Similarly, rules regarding food-sharing haven’t been relaxed totally. In the political arena, caste remains central. In elections, caste solidarities are decisive.

15. “Aggregate statistics offer a concrete and strong argument for the existence of social phenomena.” Elaborate on the meaning on aggregate statistics and explain the statement using an example. (4)
 Aggregate Statistics i.e. the numerical characteristics that refer to a large collectivity consisting of millions of people-offer a concrete and strong argument for the existence of Social phenomena. For example, even though country-level or state-level statistics of deaths per 1000 population or death rate are made up by aggregating individual deaths, the death rate itself is some social phenomena and must be explain at a social level. This is exactly what Durkheim has done in his study ‘Suicide’ by collecting data about death rates across various countries. Durkheim argued that the rates of suicide (i.e. number of suicides per 100,000 population) had to be explained by social causes even though each particular instance of suicide may have involved reasons specific to that individual or his/her circumstances.

16. “Forced incorporation of tribal communities into mainstream processes has had its impact on tribal culture and society as much as its economy.” Elaborate. (4)
 Forced incorporation of tribal communities has had a negative impact on tribal cultures and society as much as its economy.
• Tribal identities are today formed by interactional process.
• Because this interactional process has not been in favour of the tribes, many tribal identities are based on ideas of resistance and opposition to the overwhelming force of the non-tribal world.
• The positive impact of successes such statehood for Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, is marred by continuous problems. Many citizens of the north-eastern states have been living under special laws that limit their civil liberties. The vicious circle of armed rebellions provoking state repression which in turn fuels further rebellions has taken a heavy toll on the culture, economy, and society of these north-eastern states.
• Gradual emergence of an educated middle class in conjunction with the policy of reservation is creating an urbanized professional class. As tribal societies get more and more differentiated i.e. develop class and other divisions within themselves, different bases grow for assertion of tribal identity.
• These issues are categorized as- control over economic resources like land and forests; and issues relating to matters of ethnic-cultural identity.
• Due to division within the tribes, the reason for asserting tribal identity may be different for different groups of tribal.
• 2 broad issues have been most important in giving rise to tribal movements. These are issues relating to control over vital economic resources like land and especially forests, and issues relating to matters of ethnic-cultural identity.

17. State and describe the features of social stratification. (4)
 Features of social stratification are This refers 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. 3 key principles of social stratification are-
• Social stratification is a characteristic of society, not simply a function of individual difference.
• Social stratification persists over generations- A person’s social position is ascribed.
• Social stratification is supported by patterns of belief, or ideology- No system of stratification can survive unless it is widely viewed as being either fair or inevitable. Example-caste system. People with greatest social privilege express the strongest support for systems of stratification.

Q18. Describe the working and division of labour in the brickyards of South Gujarat. (4)


Do industrialization and the shift to services and knowledge-based work like IT lead to greater skills or de-skilling? Elaborate.
 The Brickyards are owned by upper castes like Parsis and Desais.
-Members of the potter caste are also acquiring brickyards as an extension of their traditional business of mud work.
-the workers are usually local or migrant Dalits. they are employed by contractors and work in gangs of nine to eleven members.
-while the men knead the mud and mould the brick, the little children carry each brick to the place where they are dried.
-a gang of women and girls then carry the bricks to the kiln where they are fired by men, and from there again to the trucks where the bricks are loaded.
-from the age of six, children are woken during the night to carry the fresh bricks made by their fathers. When they turn nine, they are promoted to carry two bricks.
-Thus, the division of labour is based on age and sex.


• There is an important debate in Sociology about whether industrialization and the shift to services and knowledge-based work like IT leads to greater skills in society or does it create for de-skilling.
• There is no comparison between the skills of a software engineer and that of a farmer. They are both skilled in their own ways.
• The issue that increasing mechanization is de-skilling people i.e. the work that could be earlier done using manual labour is being done by machines de-skilling workers in the process.
• But, for any developing nation industrialization is crucial to its growth but the questions is the price that needs to paid for this growth.

Q19. “What marked these 19th century social reform attempts were the modern context and mix of ideas.” Interpret the given statement. (4)


Marginalized caste groups may have gained some pride and self-confidence but otherwise remain excluded and discriminated. Elaborate.
 The mix of ideas –
• Ram Mohan Roy attacked the practice of sati on the basis of both appeals to humanitarian and natural rights doctrines as well as Hindu Shastra’s.
• Ranade’s writings entitled The Texts of the Hindu Law on the Lawfulness of the Remarriage of Widows and Vedic Authorities for Widow Marriage elaborated the shastric sanction for remarriage of widows.
• The content of new education was modernizing and liberal. The literary content of the courses in the humanities and social sciences was drawn from the literature of the European Renaissance, Reformation and Enlightenment. Its themes were humanistic, secular and liberal.
• Sir Sayed Ahmed Khan’s interpretation of Islam emphasized the validity of free enquiry (ijtihad) and the alleged similarities between Koranic revelations and the laws of nature discovered by modern science.
• Kandukiri Viresalingam’s The Sources of Knowledge reflected his familiarity with navya-nyaya logic. At the same time he translated Julius Huxley.


• With the growth of anti-Brahmanical movement and the development of regional self-consciousness in the 20th century there was an attempt in several Indian languages to drop Sanskrit words and phrases.
• A crucial result of the Backward Classes Movement was to emphasize the role of secular factors in the upward mobility of caste groups and individuals.
• Recent years have seen assertions of Dalits who now take pride in their identity.
• However, sometimes caste identity seems to compensate for their marginality in other domains.
• But they nonetheless are discriminated in all spheres of life in terms of occupation, marriage practices, and food-sharing and so on. These caste rules may have become flexible to some extent but have definitely not disappeared.
• Thus, the lower castes have gained some self-confidence and pride but otherwise remain excluded and discriminated.

20.Would it be appropriate to say that democratic values and institutions are purely western? Comment in the context of the values of Indian democracy. (4)
 Democratic traditions, values and institutions are not purely western. Our ancient epics, our diverse folk tales from one corner of the country to another are full of dialogues, discussions and contrasting positions. The dialogue in Mahabharata between Bhrigu and Bharadvaja relating to caste division talks about how all humans get affected by emotions of the likes of sorrow, fear, anger and still divide ourselves on the basis of caste. Thus, social change in modern India is not just about Indian or Western ideas. It is a combination as well as reinterpretation of western and Indian ideas. We have seen the use of both modern ideas of equality and traditional ideas of justice. In colonial India, the undemocratic and discriminatory administrative practice of British colonialism contrasted sharply with the vision of freedom which western theories espoused and which the western educated Indians read about. Thus, the scale of poverty and intensity of social discrimination led to deeper questioning of what is democracy.

21. “Encouraging or at least allowing cultural diversity is good policy from both the practical and the principled point of view.” Justify the statement using India’s case as a ‘state-nation’. (4)
 An alternative to the nation-state, then, is the “state nation”, where various “nations” be they ethnic, religious, linguistic or indigenous identities— can coexist peacefully and cooperatively in a single state polity.
-Case studies and analyses demonstrate that enduring democracies can be established in polities that are multicultural. Explicit efforts are required to end the cultural exclusion of diverse groups and to build multiple and complementary identities. Such responsive policies provide incentives to build a feeling of unity in diversity — a “we” feeling.
-Citizens can find the institutional and political space to identify with both their country and their other cultural identities, to build their trust in common institutions and to participate in and support democratic politics.
-All of these are key factors in consolidating and deepening democracies and building enduring “state nations”. India’s constitution incorporates this notion. Although India is culturally diverse, comparative surveys of long-standing democracies including India show that it has been very cohesive, despite its diversity.
-Also important are efforts to build the loyalties of all groups in society through identification, trust and support. National cohesion does not require the imposition of a single identity and the denunciation of diversity.
-Successful strategies to build “state-nations” can and do accommodate diversity constructively by crafting responsive policies of cultural recognition. They are effective solutions for ensuring the longer terms objectives of political stability and social harmony.

22. Do you think that with the growth of TV and internet in India, the print media has been sidelined? Give your comments. (6)


The beginning of the printing press led to the growth of the idea of a ‘Nation’ as an ‘imagined community’. Comment as suggested by Benedict Anderson.
 It is often believed that with the growth of the Television and the internet the print media would be sidelined. However, in India we have seen the circulation of newspapers grow.
New technologies have helped boot the production and circulation of newspapers. A large number of glossy magazines have also made their entry into the market. The reasons for the growth in Indian newspapers are many.
1. There is a rise in the number of literate people who are migrating to cities. The Hindi daily Hindustan in 2003 printed 64,000 copies of their Delhi’s edition, which jumped drastically in 2005, to 425,000. The reason was that of Delhi’s population of one crore and forty-seven lakh, 52% had come from the Hindi belt of the two states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Of this, 47% have come from a rural background and 60% of them are less than 40 years of age.
2. The needs of the readers in the small towns and villages are different from that of the cities and the Indian languages newspapers cater to those needs. Dominant Indian language newspapers such as Malayala Manorama and the Eenadu launched the concept of local news in a significant manner by introducing district and whenever necessary, block editions. Dina Tanti, another leading Tamil newspaper, has always used simplified and colloquial language.
3. The Indian language newspapers have adopted advanced printing technologies and also attempted supplements, pull outs, and literary and niche booklets.
4. Marketing strategies have also marked the Dainik Bhaskar group’s growth as they carry out consumer contact programmers, door-to-door surveys, and research. Thus, modern mass media has to have a formal structural organization. While English newspapers, often called National Dailies’, circulate across regions, vernacular newspapers have vastly increased their circulation in the states and the rural hinterland. In order to compete with the electronic media, newspapers, especially English language newspapers have on the one hand reduced prices and on the other hand brought out editions from multiple centres.


• The first modern mass media institution began with the development of the printing press.
• The first attempts at printing books using modern technologies began in Europe. This technique was first developed by Johann Gutenberg in 1440Initial attempts at printing were restricted to religious books.
• With the industrial revolution, the print industry also grew.
• The first products of the press were restricted to an audience of literate elites. It was only in the mid-19th century, with further development in technologies, transportation and literacy that newspapers began to reach out to a mass audience.
• People living in different corners of the country found themselves reading or hearing the same news. It has been suggested that this was in many ways responsible for people across a country to feel connected and develop a sense of belonging or ‘we feeling’. The well-known scholar Benedict Anderson has thus argued that this helped the growth of nationalism, the feeling that people who did not even know of each other’s existence feel like members of a family. It gave people who would never meet each other a sense of togetherness. Anderson thus suggested that we could think of the nation as an imagined community.
In the 19th century, social reformers debated and wrote in newspapers and journals. The growth of Indian nationalism was closely linked to its struggle against colonialism. It emerged in the wake of the institutional changes brought about by British rule in India. Anti-colonial public opinion was nurtured and channelized by the nationalist press, which was vocal in its opposition to the oppressive measures of the colonial state. This led the colonial government to clamp down on the nationalist press and impose censorship, for instance during the Ilbert Bill agitation in 1883. Association with the national movement led some of the nationalist newspapers like Kesari (Marathi), Mathrubhumi (Malayalam), Amrita Bazar Patrika (English) to suffer the displeasure of the colonial state. But that did not prevent them from advocating the nationalist cause and demand an end to colonial rule.

23. “The change in the nature of relationship between landlords and agricultural workers was described by the sociologist Jan Bremen as a shift from patronage to exploitation.” Explain the given statement in the context of Footloose Labour. (6)
 Commercialization of agriculture led to the growth of migrant agricultural labour. As traditional bonds between laborer’s or tenants and landlords broke down, and as seasonal demand for agricultural laborer increased in prosperous areas, a pattern of seasonal migration emerged with thousands of workers circulating between their houses and more prosperous areas where there is demand for labour and higher wages. Laborer’s migrate also because of increased inequalities in rural areas from mid 1990s, which have forced many households to combine multiple occupations to sustain themselves. As a livelihood strategy, men migrate out periodically and women and children are left behind in the village with their elderly grandparents. Migrant workers come mainly from drought-prone and less productive regions, and they go to work on farms in the Punjab and Haryana, or on brick kilns in U.P., or construction sites in cities such as New Delhi or Bengaluru. These migrant workers have been called ‘footloose labour’ by Jan Breman. His study shows that landless workers do not have many rights; they are not paid the minimum wages. Also, wealthy farmers prefer to employ migrant workers for harvesting and other such intensive operations, rather than local working class, because migrants are more easily exploited and can be paid lower wages. This preference has produced a peculiar pattern in some areas where local landless labourers move out of the home villages in search of work during the peak agricultural seasons, while migrant workers are brought in from other areas to work on the farms. This pattern is found especially in sugarcane growing areas. Migration and lack of job security have created a very poor working and living conditions for these workers.

24. Explain the stages of Indian economic history. (6)
 Following are the stages of Indian economic history
a) Pre-colonial phase-India’s economy was extensively monetized in the late pre- colonial period. While various kinds of non-market exchange systems such as the jajmani system did exist in many villages and regions, even during the pre-colonial period villages were incorporated into wider networks of exchange through which agricultural products and other goods circulated. There existed extensive and sophisticated trading networks. India was a major manufacturer and exporter of handloom cloth as well as the source of many other goods such as spices that were in great demand in the global market, especially in Europe. These traditional trading communities such as the Nakarattars also had their own banking and credit system called the Hundi.
b) Colonial phase- under colonialism, there began penetration of commercial money into local agrarian economies and the incorporation into wider trading networks that brought about radical social and economic changes in rural and urban areas. Land revenue was to be paid in cash; India’s handloom industry declined; India became a supplier of raw material and a market for cheap manufactured goods. New groups entered trade and business, sometimes in alliance with existing merchant communities and in some cases by forcing them out. The market expansion provided new opportunities to some merchant communities, which were able to improve their position by re-orienting themselves to changing economic circumstances. New communities emerged to take advantage of the economic opportunities provided by colonialism and continued to hold economic power after independence.
c) Post-independence phase-Marwari’s were one such community that took advantage of the opportunities and became a successful business community. They accumulated wealth and with their extensive social networks that created relations of trust, they were able to establish themselves as moneylenders and bankers.

25. Most of us make our money from thin air: we produce nothing that can be weighed, touched or easily measured. Our output is not stockpiled at harbors, stored in warehouses or shipped in railway car. Most of us earn our livings providing service, judgement, information, analysis, whether in a telephone call center, a lawyer’s office, a government department or a scientific laboratory. We are all in the thin-air business. Source: Charles Lead beater 1999 Living on Thin Air: The New Economy (London: Viking) (6)
Define Weightless Economy.
b) What in your opinion is the “thin-air business”?
Ans. a) Weightless Economy is one in which products have their base in information, as in the case with computer software, media and entertainment products and internet-based services. A knowledge economy is one in which much of the workforce is involved not in the physical production or distribution of material goods, but in their design, development, technology, marketing, sale and servicing.
b) The child can give his/her personal opinion. The key point should be that there is physical production of goods and the earning mainly comes from intangible resources such as knowledge, information, analysis and so on.