Sociology – Daily Answer Writing Challenge Day – 1

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QUESTIONS: 19/10/2013 (Paper-I)

  1. “Sociology without History is rootless and History without Sociology is fruitless.” Elaborate. (300 Words/2010)
  2. “There has been a substantial decline in labour class and increase in labour force in non- manual jobs with the advent of new technological revolution.” Critically examine. (300 Words/2010)


  • Santosh

    Thank you for putting Sociology questions.

  • please provide information on second question.

  • Ajit

    History has a long intellectual past but sociology is a young discipline . From positivist point of view, History is conjectural whereas sociology is empirical so must be separated. This arguments was rejected by Marx who made an attempt to study history from evolutionary perspective. Man makes history .Therefore man carries capability to transform the discourses of history in search of equality and collective consciousness which is subject matter of sociology. Marxian theory is talking about
    class relationships(conflict/formations) and social change bringing sociology and history closer to each other. Linkage between history and sociology is further glorified by verstechan hermeneutical (understanding through observation) approach used by Dilthey and taken further by Max Weber. Dilthey considers that behind every
    Visible fact, there is present invisible reality that need to be explained through interpretation .Following this tradition, Weber collects historical data on different religions to understand why capitalism develops in one society not in others. Therefore, Weber goes in favour of multiple methodologies rejecting positivism and becoming closer to history. Bernard Cohn in his book “Historians among the anthropologists ” indicated that sociologist and anthropologist can be his own historians exploring the truth unexplored so far. However he can not always do it because of the shortage of time and hence history offers the source material ,grounded on which sociological understanding of social structure develops. Therefore sociology without history is absolutely rootless. Ram Chandra Guha uses post modern and environmental sociology to explain the colonial and post colonial history of India. Utsa Patnaik on book “Republics of Hunger and other essays” uses Marxist approach to explain agrarian history of India .Uma Chakravarti unmasked mystique of caste system in traditional India from feministic perspective.
    So ,It can be rightly concluded that History is growing rich by borrowing theories from sociology(bore fruits from Sociology) and Sociology borrowed its origin and growth from History(so root in History) .

    • Swati

      good attempt @ajit

  • Ajit

    Please provide feedback

  • Nice answer ajit…

    • Ajit

      Thanks Rukhsanak!

  • SAI

    Sociology and Modern Historiography had their origin in 19th century,even share a common parents – philosophy of history.( Modern historiography is different from earlier narratives and chronicles)they latter established the conception of historical periods and thus bequeathed to historiography,theoretical ideas and concerns which were entirely absent from the work of earlier narrative historians and bequeathed to modern sociology the notion of historical types of society and thus enabled the socialist to build the classification of societies.
    Secondly,subject matter of history and sociology overlap to a considerable extent.Historian frequently provides the material which sociologist fact,historical sociology depends upon the data which only a historian can supple.
    thirdly, even in comparative method often requires historical data.
    The dependence between two subject is two fold rather than one fold.sociological research also provides information that historian needs specially social historians. The best example to support above mentioned two point are Durkheim study of suicide and Max Weber study on “Protestant ethics and the spirit of Capitalism”.
    In fact,the subject matter of social history overlap a very great extent with sociology in general and historical sociology in a particular.there is evidences to a cooperation and trespassing of into each other territory,by social historian and sociologist.
    Thus from above all mentioned point we can say that sociology without history is rootless.
    Now question comes, how history without is sociology is fruitless?
    Historical account for for most of phenomenon are quite general in nature.they are primarily concerned with the the past and essentially tries to account for change over time while sociologist look for recruitment patterns and to build for generalizations.For ex:- in 19th and 20th century the historical account for industrial revolution was quite general in nature and has served as data for sociological research..Here data and information collected by historian was fully utilized to carry out study related to industrial revolution and its impact on society like social change,social stratification ,change in family form etc.Through these study, data and information collected by historian were used for better understanding of social structure as well betterment of society in large.

    • SAI

      So, it can conclude that Sociology is getting enriched from data and information from history and also has originated from ‘ Philosophy of History’,hence can be sociology is rootless without history.
      historical account for phenomenon are used both for carry forward research most inductively and arrive at some generalization,which is helping in better understanding of social reality and social life and hence used for betterment of society ,hence it can be said that history without sociology id fruitless.

  • siddharth

    hi . can anyone please tell me what all books should i refer for studying sociology as my optional subject . i am a fresher and i dont have any information apart from the syllabus prescribed by upsc … kindly assist will be of great help . regards .

  • Society has undergone change in the past passing through various stages. Sociology in order to study this change in society, looks into the past to find patterns of social interaction in this course of transformation.

    The relationship between the two stems from the fact that both are social disciplines and concerned with the events and society of the past, though sociology study past to find roots of the present and future. Sociology looks into past to exemplify the patterns and social interactions that they exhibit. To understand and interpret the distinctive character of world today, we need to compare present with the past. The present cannot be analysed without comparing with the past. History provides records and data of various events to sociologists. Thus, sociological analysis is based on historical data.

    History is mainly concerned with the past. It is a chronological explanation of the past events of human society.
    It is a systematic record of the story of mankind. This social science studies the past, social, economic and political aspects, it is in this context that sociology shares a symbiotic relationship with this discipline as sociological explanations provides the background and social descriptions of historical settings. The analysis of History would be meaningless without the appreciation of its sociological significance. History becomes meaningful in the social context.

    History deals with the past events as long as they are correlated in time, while sociologists studies them from the viewpoint of social relationships involved. The two fields may overlap in one area but diverge in another, but is it important that both draw information from one other, so that the meaning, root and purpose of both science are not lost.