NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Sociology Chapter 4 The Market as a Social Institution

Q1. What is meant by the phrase ‘Invisible Hand’? (C.B.S.E. 2010, 2013)

Answer:- According to Adam Smith, every person looks for his own self-interest and in pursuit of this in-tum works for the self-interest of all . In this sense, there seems to be an unseen force at work that converts what is good for each individual into what is good for the society. This unseen force was called the “invisible hand’.

Q2. How does a sociological perspective on markets differ from an economic one? (C.B.S.E. 2013)
Differentiate the sociological and economic perspective of market? (C.B.S.E. 2017 (D))

Answer:- Adam Smith and other thinkers developed the ideas of modem economics. It is based on the idea that the economy can be studied as a separate part of society that operates according to its own laws, leaving out the larger social or political context in which market functions.On the other hand, sociologists have tried to develop an alternative way of studying economic institutions and processes within the larger social frameworks. In this way, ; sociologists consider markets as social institution which are made in culturally specific ways. Sociologists maintain that economies are socially ‘embedded’.

Q3. In what ways is a market – such as a weekly village market – a social institution?

Answer:- In rural and even urban India, the weekly hat is a common sight. In hilly and forested areas (where adivasis five), where people live far away from each other, communication and roads are poor and the economy is underdeveloped, the weekly market is the major institution for the exchange of goods as well as for social interaction.

Local people come to these markets to sell their forest produce or agricultural things to traders, who take them to the towns for resale and they buy essential things like salt, agricultural implements and items of consumption like bangles and jewellery. But for a number of visitors, the main reason to come to the weekly market is social i.e. to meet kins, to arrange marriages, exchange gossips etc. In this way weekly village markets are social institutions.

Q4. How do caste and kin networks contribute to the success of a business? (C.B.S.E. 2012)
Trade and commerce operated through caste and kinship networks in India. Discuss. (C.B.S.E. 2015)

Answer:- If we look at the ancient Indian society we can see that caste and kin networks contribute a lot to the success of a business. Some business and trading activities generally are carried out within caste and kinship. It is so because traders have more faith in their community members and kins instead of others.

That is why they like to do trade within their community. It led to monopoly of one particular community over some sectors of business and they earn more and more profit. In large business houses, kins of owner of company are there in Board of Directors who help him in the proper functioning of the company.

Q5. In what ways did the Indian economy change after the coming of Colonialism?
Highlight the role of Colonialism in the Indian context. Why has it been a recurrent source of tension and violence? (C.B.S.E. 2011)
How did the advent of Colonialism in India produce a major upheaval in the economy? (C.B.S.E. 2017 (D))

Answer:- Major upheaval was produced in the Indian economy with the advent of colonialism. It caused disruptions in the production, trade and agriculture. For example, demise of the handloom industry because the Indian markets were flooded with the cheap textiles from England. Yet, there was a complex monetised economy in pre¬colonial period in India but historians consider the colonial period as the turning point. Majorly two changes took place and these were:

(i) Link of the Indian economy with capitalist economy. India was fully linked to the world capitalist economy during colonial era. Before the advent of the British, India was one of the major suppliers of manufactured goods to many countries of the world market. After colonization, India became a source of raw material and agricultural products and a consumer of the British manufactured goods. Both of these processes were largely for the benefit of industrialising England.

At the same time the Europeans entered into trade and business, sometimes with the help of existing merchant communities and in some cases by forcing them out. Expansion of market economy in India provided new chances to some merchant communities to improve their position by reorienting themselves to changing economic circumstances.

(ii) Emergence of new communities. Due to colonialism, new communities were emerged to take advantage of the economic opportunities. They continued to hold economic power even after Independence. For example, Marwaris which are represented by leading industrial families like Birlas.

This community also includes small traders and shopkeepers in the bazaars of towns all over the country. During the colonial period, Marwaris became a successful business community as they took advantage of new opportunities in the colonial cities like Calcutta (now Kolkata). They settled all over the country to carry out trade and money lending. The success of Marwaris rested on their wide social network. This network created the relations of trust required to operate their trade and money lending system.

They acted as bankers and helped the commercial expansion of British in India. During late colonial period and even after Independence some of the Marwari families changed themselves into modem industrialists. Even today, they control more of Indian industry than any other community. This story of emergence of new business community during colonial period and its emergence from small migrant traders and merchant bankers and industrialists, shows the importance of social context in economic processes.

Q6. Explain the meaning of commoditisation with suitable examples. (C.B.S.E. 2013)
Explain commodification as feature of capitalism. (C.B.S.E. 2015)

Answer:- Commoditisation occurs when things that were earlier not traded in the market become commodities. For example, skills or labour, now, can be bought and sold. Karl Marx and other critics of capitalism were of the view that the process of commodification has negative impact on society. For example, there is some controversy about the sale of kidney by the poor to the rich who wants to transplant his kidney.

Some people say that human organs should not be treated as commodities. During earlier times, humans themselves were bought and sold in the form of slaves but today, it is considered as inhuman or immoral because humans cannot be treated as commodities. Today, this is a universal idea that the labour of person can be bought or skills could be provided for the sake of money. Karl Marx was of the view that this type of situation is found only in capitalist societies. .

Q7. What is a Status Symbol? (C.B.S.E. 2013)

Answer:- The goods that people buy and use ase closely related to their status in the society. This is called status symbol to describe this relationship. This term was coined by Max Weber, one of the founders of sociology. Status symbol depend on consumption pattern, lifestyle, leisure activities, dressing pattern, cultural preference and other aspects of daily life.

Q8. What are some of the processes included under the label ‘Globalisation’?

Answer:- The term ‘Globalisation’ includes many types of trends, especially the increase in international movement of commodities, money, information and people, as well as the development of technology (like telecommunications, computers and transport) and other infrastructure to allow this movement.

Q9. What is meant by ‘liberalisation’?

Answer:- The term ‘liberalisation includes a number of policies like selling (privatisation) public sector enterprises to private companies; relaxation in government regulations on capital, labour and trade; reducing tariffs and import duties, to import foreign goods more easily and allowing easier access for foreign companies so that they could set up industries in India.

Q10. In your opinion, will the long-term benefits of liberalisation exceed its costs? Give reasons for your answer.
How did liberalisation policy have an impact on the Indian markets? (C.B.S.E. 2017, (D))

Answer:- The globalisation of Indian economy started with the policy of liberalization which was started in the late 1980’s. The term liberalisation’ includes many policies like selling of P.S.U.’s (Public Sector Unit) to private companies, relaxation of the government regulations on capital, labour and trade, reducing tariffs and import duties for the easy availability of foreign goods and encouraging F.D.I. (Foreign Direct Investment) in India.

We can say all these changes as marketisation or the use of market-based processes (instead of government regulations) to solve economic, social or political problems. These include economic controls, privatisation of P.S.U.’s and removal of the government controls over prices and wages. Those who believe in marketisation are of the view that these steps will help in economic growth and prosperity because more efficiency is there in private industry as compared to government owned industry.

Many changes have been made under the programme of liberalisation and these changes have helped in economic growth. It has opened up Indian markets for foreign companies. For example, foreign goods are now easily available which were not available previously. Foreign investment has been increased and it has helped in economic growth and employment. The privatisation of public companies has increased the efficiency of companies and it has also reduced the government’s burden of running the P.S.U.’s.

However, there was a mixed impact of liberalisation. Many people are of the view that globalisation and liberalisation have a negative impact on India. It means these have more disadvantages than advantages. Some sectors like software, information technology, agriculture, etc. may have benefitted from access to a global market but many other sectors like electronics, automobiles, etc. will lose because they will not be able to compete with foreign companies.

As import of agricultural products is allowed, Indian farmers are now exposed to competition with farmers in other countries. In earlier times, Indian farmers were secured by government in the form of support prices and subsidies given to them by government. Minimum support price (MSP) ensures minimum income for farmers because government agrees to buy their produce at this price (MSP). The cost of farming was also reduced due to subsidies given to them by government (on fertilizers or diesel). Liberalization is totally against any type of government interference in the markets.

That is why subsidies and MSP’s are being withdrawn or reduced. It means that farmers with less land, have not been able to earn enough money for good living. In the same way small industrialists are also exposed to foreign manufactures which have entered the Indian market.

Privitisation of P.S.U.’s had led to loss of employment in some sectors and the growth of unorganized sector employment at the expense of the organized sector. It is not good for workers because organised sector, most of the times, gives better pay and more regular or permanent jobs.

NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Sociology: Indian Society

NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Sociology: Social Change and Development in India

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