ICSE Board Sociology Syllabus for Class 12

ICSE Board Syllabus for Class 12 Sociology

There will be two papers in the subject.
Paper I - Theory:  3 hours ……70 marks
Paper II- Practical Work ……30 marks

PAPER - I  (THEORY) – 70 Marks

Part 1 (20 marks)
will consist of  compulsory shortanswer questions testing knowledge, application andskills relating to elementary / fundamental aspects of
the entire syllabus.

Part II (50 marks)
will consist of seven questions outof which the candidate will be required to answer five
questions, each carrying 10 marks.

1.  Social Institutions

Definition of Social Institutions. Types of socialinstitutions: Kinship, Marriage, Family, Religion, Economic organizations, Law and Justices ystems.

2.  Kinship and Clan

(i) Types of kinship: consanguineous and affinal kinship. (ii) Degree of kinship, range of kinship
(iii) Kinship usages - avoidance, joking relationship, teknonymy, avunculate, amitate, couvades.(iv) Kinship terms - descriptive and classificatory. (v) Residence and descent.         
(vi) Clan: basic features, phratry, views about formation of phratry, moiety and dual organization, Morgan's claim, Tylor's analogy; clan organisation in Indian tribes.Discuss the nature of types of kinship; degree of kinship (primary, secondary, tertiary), broad range and narrow range; discuss avoidance, joking relationship, teknonymy, avunculate,amitate, couvade; Also discuss descriptive and classificatory, residence and descent.
Clan: basic features, phratry, views about formation of phratry, Morgan's claim, Tylor's analogy; clan organisation in Indian tribes.

3. Marriage and Inheritance

(i)  Definitions and functions of marriage.Discuss the nature of marriage and its functions.
(ii) History of human marriage. Ways of acquiring mates: probationary, by capture, by trial, by purchase, by service, by exchange, by mutual consent and elopement, by intrusion, by inheritance of widows.Examples of promiscuity, monogamy,polyandry and polygyny among certain tribes; views of Morgan.Discuss the various ways of acquiring mates as specified above.
(iii) Forms of marriage: exogamy, endogamy,cross cousin, levirate, sororate, polygamy, andhypergamy.Self explanatory.

4. The Family

(i)  Origin of family. 
Morgan's evolutionary scheme.(ii)  Definition and features. Definition and features by MacIver.(iii) Functions of family.Reasons for the universal existence of family:roots of family, family as an association (primary and extended family, consanguineous and conjugal family, family
of origin and procreation, polygyny,polyandry, unilateral and bilateral, lineage,sib, gotra, patripotestal, matripotestal andavuncupotestal, matrilineal and patrilineal,matrilocal, patrilocal and avunculocal).(iv) Forms of the family.  Matriarchal and patriarchal societies in India, @uclear and joint families; small family norm.(v)  Changing nature of the family. Structural changes, functional changes;Factors responsible for the changes.

5. Religion, Magic and Morality
(i)  Definition and concepts; magic, religion and science; beliefs, rituals, superstitions, taboo.A brief discussion on the above.(ii) Functions and dysfunctions of religion.A brief discussion on the above.(iii) Theories of religions: animism, animatism,manaism, bongaism, naturism, totemism,fetishism,  functional theories.A brief discussion of above concepts.(iv) World religions - Hinduism, Christianity,Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Confucianism,Jainism, Sikhism,  Zoroastrianism. A brief discussion of the basic principles of each religion.

(v) Religion, magic and science: Frazer's types of magic, differences and similarities between religion and magic, between religion and
science.Discussion on Frazer's types of magic (contagious and homeopathic); white and black magic. Differences and similarities between religion and magic, religion and science. (vi) Morality: notion of morality, relation between religion and morality.Definition of morality; moral code, religious
code; relationship between religion and morality.

6. Economic Organisation(i) Economic activity and its types: preliminary concepts, collective economy, simple
transformative economy, early industrialism,

modern industrialism.Preliminary concepts - utility, wealth,economic and free goods, capital and consumer goods, price, costs, profit. The
collecting economy.The simple transformative economies: types,examples in India, exchange of economic goods.Early Industrialism: characteristics, feudal,
guild and domestic systems. Modern industrialism: characteristics, effects.(ii) Industry and social change: impact of industry on society, class as an effect of industrialisation, the new class, industry and position of women, urbanisation and modernisation.Class as an effect of industrialization Characteristics of class: individualism, economic and professional values,rationalism, disregard for taboos and prohibitions, the new class - urbanism.The factory system. More freedom. Urbanization and Modernization - definition only.

(iii) Economic organisation in tribal India:definition and classification; nature of primitive economies; property in primitive economies.Definition of economic organization. Growth of types of economic organizations through prehistoric times. Thumwald's classification.
Classification given by Adam Smith, List,Hildebrand, Grosse, Darryl Forde, Gordon Childe, Herskovitz and Ehrenfels @ature of primitive economies: Exploitation of nature. Barter and money; The profit motive, collective endeavour, rate of innovation, regular market, manufacture of consumption goods, specialization based on age and sex, property. Property in primitive economies: conception of property; individual and collective ownership of property - multiple possessory rights; rules of inheritance.

(iv) Economies of Indian tribes: food gathering,agriculture, shifting axe cultivation,handicrafts, pastoralism, industrial labour.Economies of Indian tribes: Food gathering;agriculture; shifting axe cultivation - different names, the process, criticism of this type of
cultivation, examples of tribes having this practice; handicrafts; pastoralism; industrial labour - migration of large numbers of Santhal, Kond and Gond to tea gardens in the north east; large resources of coal, iron and steel in Bengal, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh; examples of Santhal, Ho in pick-mining, coalcutting, the mica and the iron & steel industry.Important factors responsible for changes in
tribal economy: education, religious factor,economic factor, technological inventions,standard of health, mode of production,modernculture, role of Media.

7.  Women in Society

(i) Theoretical Background - determinants of status – the gap between theory and practice.Definition of the term ‘Status’; thedeterminants of status (Malinowski and Lowie); examples of incompatibility between theoretical and actual status. (ii) Matrilineal Societies. The Khasi and the Garo(A brief reference can be made to the !airs – not for testing). Economic interpretation:hunters and gatherers, cultivators and nomads. Inheritance  (only for the purpose of
discussion and not for testing).(iii) Status of Women in Patrilineal  Societies.Residence: example of the Khasi;  Kulinism –Taboos; examples from the Ho, the Gond, the Tharu, the Khasa, the @agas and some central Indian tribes.(iv) Changing status of Women. Changing status of women in -Pre British and British India (social reforms –  abolition of Sati and child marriage, widow remarriage).Modern India: A brief discussion on legislation on Abolition of dowry, anti-rape
laws, inheritance bill (Discuss empowerment of Women to explain the legislations – not for testing).

8. Law and Justice

Nature of primitive law: origins of law, differences between primitive and modern law, intention, responsibility, evidence, punishment,
wergild.The above can be explained by using examples such as Kamar, Kharia, Rengma @aga and the Ho. (Examples are only for the purpose ofdiscussion and not for testing).Definition of law - Transformation of custom into law- origins of primitive law; nature of primitive law - difference between primitive and modern law: territory, public opinion, collective cognizance,  ethical norms intention, collective responsibility,  evidence punishment,
improvement, murder for murder, gradation of punishment, wergild. Why law is obeyed: public opinion and equation of law with ethical norms; Government - three
functions of the government; types of government in primitive society; examples from India.

9.  Social Change and Development
(i) Defining social change, globalization and development.Self explanatory.

(ii) Role of Education. Meaning and functions,role of the teacher in the educational system.Meaning and functions of education; role of teacher in the educational system.Emphasize the role of education in creating social change.
(iii) Role of Mass Media (Print, electronic, audiovisual; positive and negative aspects of mass media).Understanding each of the above forms of mass media and their role in creating social change.

(iv) Role of social movements – Narmada Bachao Andolan; Dalit Movement.A brief history of a tribal movement and its consequences – the @armada Bachao Andolan.
A brief history of a caste movement and its consequences -  the Dalit Movement.

10. Tribal India - Past, Present and Future

(i) Definition of tribe, features  and classification (geographical, linguistic, racial, cultural andeconomic).Self explanatory.

(ii) Dormitories: dormitories in India - features and activities; origin of dormitories, culture, contacts, educative function.Discuss the nature of the dormitory system and its functions in the context of tribal society.

(iii) Contact with the wider society (assimilation,and isolation,  relationship between caste and tribe, tribal transformation).Self explanatory.

(iv) Present conditions and problems. Economic, political (regionalism and separatism), social and cultural,  problems.

(v) Action by the Government.Policies of the Government of India (post independence) for upliftment of the Indian tribes.


To do justice to the basic structural principles andtheoretical orientation of the discipline, empirical and
ethnographic substantiation is essential. In keeping with the significance of doing practical work and gaining a hands-on understanding of various social
issues, candidates are expected to undertake  two studies. Topics for the studies should be chosen from within the overall syllabus as there is ample scope for
diversity Candidates will be expected to have completed  two studies from any chapter covered in Theory. Assessment for each study will be as detailed below:
The practical work will be assessed by the teacher and a Visiting Examiner appointed locally and approved by the Council.Mark allocation per study [15 marks]:
Statement of the purpose 1 mark Overall format 1 mark Hypothesis 1 mark Choice of technique 1 mark Detailed procedure 4 marks Limitation 1 mark Conclusion 2marks
Viva-voce based on the study 4 marks

List of suggested assignments:

1. Different types of kinship systems (patriarchal/matriarchal with examples as the base of discussion).
2.  A History of Marriage in society.
3.  Different marriage customs in India (comparisons can also be done).
4.  Changing nature of the Indian family.
5. Religion and Society (focus can be on the biography of a world religion).
6.  The problem of Communalism in India.
7.  Traditional economies and the barter system.
8.  Tribal Economies.
9.  Consumerism and modernization.
10.  The status of women in traditional society.
11.  The changing status of women in India.
12. Women Leaders.
13.  The role of Education in creating social change.
14.  Media and modernization.
15.  The internet as a substitute for family and school.
16. Globalization and its impact on individual and society.
17. Social Movements (focus on the biography of amovement that is based on the efforts of a caste/tribe/women/religious group / class or connect two aspects - for example, the Narmada Bachao Andolan is a tribal movement and has a woman as its leader in Medha Patkar).

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