NCERT Notes for Class 12 Sociology Chapter 3 SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS CONTINUITY AND CHANGE, (Sociology) exam are Students are taught thru NCERT books in some of the state board and CBSE Schools. As the chapter involves an end, there is an exercise provided to assist students prepare for evaluation. Students need to clear up those exercises very well because the questions with inside the very last asked from those.

Sometimes, students get stuck with inside the exercises and are not able to clear up all of the questions. To assist students, solve all of the questions and maintain their studies without a doubt, we have provided step by step NCERT Notes for the students for all classes. These answers will similarly help students in scoring better marks with the assist of properly illustrated Notes as a way to similarly assist the students and answering the questions right.



Caste & Caste System

  • Caste in Past o Main Features
  • Colonialism & Caste
  • Caste in Present

Tribal Communities

  • Classification of Tribal


o Permanent Traits

o Acquired Traits

  • Tribe: The career of a concept

  • Mainstream attitude towards Tribe
  • National Development Vs. Tribal Development

Tribal Identity today

Family and Kinship

  • Forms of Family

• Three major institutions that is central to Indian society, namely Caste, Tribe and Family.


Caste in the Past

  • Caste is a unique institution found in India.
  • It is Characteristics of Hindu society.
  • But caste is spread to even non-Hindu communities.
  • The word ‘caste’ is coming from Portuguese word ‘casta‘pure breed’ (meaning)
  • Varna and Jati.
    • Varna, literally ‘colour’
    • brahmana, kshatriya, vaishyaand shudra, ‘outcastes ‘or panchamasor fifth category
    • Jatiis a generic term referring to species or kinds of anything.
    • Varna is broad classification while Jatiis a regional or local sub classification.


  • Complex system
  • It consisting hundred and even thousands of castes and sub-castes.
  • It refers to different species of inanimate objects, plants and animals and human beings.
  • In Indian languages, Jati is used to refer to castes

Ayyankali (1863 – 1914)

  • Born in Kerala,
  • leader of the lower castes and Dalits
  • Dalits got the freedom to walk on public roads
  • Dalit children were allowed to join schools.

Characteristic features of Caste

JotiraoGovindraoPhule (1827-1890)

It decided by Birth (closed).

Endosomes marriage system.

Restrictions on food sharing.

Particular position in hierarchy

Castes have sub castes and Sub-sub-castes.

Traditionally linked to occupations.

There is no opportunity to change their castes.

Upper class members enjoyed higher status. Do not have any social mobility

  • Denounced Caste System
  • Scorned purity and pollution
  • FooundedSathyaShodakSamaj -1873
  • Stood for Human rights and justice for lower castes

Caste appears to be based on two principles.

  • Difference and Separation

One caste is separated from other.

This separate caste do not stand independent of others

  • Wholism and hierarchy

Every caste occupies particular position One superior or inferior to other.

It depends on purity and pollution.

Pure castes have high status.

Castes are non-competing groups engaged in a particular profession

SavitriBaiPhule (1831-1897)

First HM of first girls school in Pune

Devoted to educating the Shudras

Night School for Shudras

Colonialism and Caste

  • Many changes occur
  • British administrators began by trying to understand the complexities of caste in an effort to learn how to govern the country efficiently.
  • Many British administrative officials were also amateur ethnologists and took great interest in pursuing such surveys and studies.
  • The British Govt. in India conducted methodological and intensive surveys on the customs and manners of different tribe and caste.
  • Herbert Risley in 1901 took up collection of information on social hierarchy on caste.
    • This helped to determine rank or position of each caste occupied.
  • Govt. officially record caste status and it gave clear cut division and rigidity to the caste system.
  • The land revenue settlements and related arrangements and laws served to give legal recognition to the customary (caste-based) rights of the upper castes.
  • Welfare of downtrodden castes.
  • Passed Govt. of India Act 1935, which recognized Schedules of caste and tribe (SC, ST) who deserved special treatment.

Periyar (E.V. RamasamiNaickar) (1879-1973)

Leader of lower castes in south India

All men are equal

Equality and liberty – birthright

Caste in the Present Independent India

  • Caste considerations played a major role.
  • Direction was taken by upper caste reformers as well as lower caste leaders.
  • Lower caste leaders:
  • Mahatma JotibaPhule and BabasahebAmbedkar in western India
  • Ayyankali, Sri Narayana Guru, Iyotheedass and Periyar (E.V. RamaswamyNaickar) in the South.
  • From 1920 onwards Gandhiji and Ambedker started organizing protest against untouchability
  • Anti-untouchabilityprogrammes became a significant part of the Congress agenda
  • Nationalist leaders was to treat caste as a social evil and as a colonial ploy to divide Indians.
  • Gandhiji worked hard for the uplift of lower castes.

After Independence:

  • New government was committed to the abolition of caste and introduced in the constitution. But it could not introduce radical reforms (economic basis for caste inequality).
  • Govt. could not effectively deal with the problem of inequalities between upper and lower castes in economic and education terms.
  • Urbanization freed people of all castes higher and lower to live and work together.
  • Educated people began to evaluate a person on his individual merits not castes.
  • Recruitment to industrial jobs continued to be on caste-based methods.
  • Particular departments in a factory had only one particular caste members.
  • Inter-caste marriage between an upper caste Hindu and lower caste member remains very rare.
  • From 1980 caste based political parties have come up.
  • Caste, community and religion are important criteria for selecting candidates in election.
  • Sociologists and social anthropologists coined many new concepts to try and understand these processes of change.

M. N Srinivas (1916-1999)

  • Indian sociologist
  • Coined ‘Sanskritisation’ and ‘Dominant Caste’.
  • Author of ‘The Remembered Village’ –Best known village study in social Anthropology.
  • Sanskitisation
    • It is a process by which the low caste takes over the beliefs, rituals, style of life and other cultural traits from those of the upper castes, especially the Brahmins.
  • Dominant Caste
    • It refers to the castes with large population who were granted land rights through land reforms after independence.
    • These land rights were taken away from the ‘absentee landlords’ because they had no part in agriculture other than claiming the ‘Pattom’.
    • The land was actually tilled and cultivated by the lower castes including the untouchables.
    • After the land reforms, the middle castes who managed the land got the land rights and soon they became economically better off.
    • Middle class were grater in number their votes brought in greater political power and dominant in society.
  • Examples of such dominant castes include:
  • Yadavs of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, the
  • Vokkaligas of Karnataka
  • Reddys and Khammas of Andhra Pradesh,
  • Marathas of Maharashtra,
  • Jats of Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh and
  • Patidars of Gujarat.
  • One of the most significant changes in the caste system in the contemporary period is that it has tended to become ‘invisible’ for the upper caste, urban middle and upper classes and ‘visible’ to lower classes.

Caste is ‘Invisible’ to Upper Clasess

  • For these groups, who have benefited the most from the developmental policies of the post-colonial era.
  • Their caste status had been ensuring that these groups had the necessary economic and educational resources to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by rapid development.

Caste is ‘Visible’ to Lower Clasess

  • They have no inherited educational and social capital, and because they must compete with an already entrenched upper caste group.
  • They cannot afford to abandon their caste identity for it is one of the few collective assets they have.
  • Moreover, they continue to suffer from discrimination of various kinds.

Sri Narayana Guru (1856-1928)

  • Preached brotherhood of all
  • Fought against caste system.
  • Social revolution
  • One caste, One religion, one god for all men.


  • ‘Tribe’ refers to communities of the oldest inhabitants of the Indian sub-continent.
  • The term was introduced in the colonial era.
  • The use of a single term for a very disparate set of communities was more a matter of administrative convenience.
    • They were not Hindus and peasants,
    • They did not practice any religion,
    • They had no political form,
    • They had no class division and
    • They had no castes

Classification of Tribal Societies

  • Permanent Traits : (region, language, Physical characters and ecological habits )
  • Acquired Traits : ( mode of earning livelihood and membership in Hindu society)

Permanent traits


  • The tribal population of India is widely dispersed, but there are also concentrations in certain regions.
  • About 85% of the tribal population lives in ‘middle India’
    • Gujarat and Rajasthan in the west to West Bengal and Orissa in the east, with Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and parts of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh
  • Over 11% is in the North Eastern states,
  • A little over 3% living in the rest of India.
  • North Eastern states have the highest Tribal concentrations
    • All states except Assam having concentrations of more than 30%,
    • Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland with more than 60% and upto 95% of tribal population.
  • In the rest of the country, less than 12% in all states except Orissa and Madhya Pradesh.


The tribe belongs to four categories on the basis of Language.

  • Indo- Arian (1%)
  • Dravidian (3%)
  • Austric
  • Tibeto- Burman

Physical-racial terms

  • Negrito
  • Australoid
  • Mongoloid
  • Dravidian
  • Aryan


  • The Andaman islanders are the smallest in number.
  • The biggest tribes are the Gonds, Bhils, Santhals, Oraons, Minas, Bodos and Mundas, all of whom are at least a million strong.
  • The total population of tribes amounts to about 8.2% of the population of India

Acquired traits

  • Classifications based on acquired traits use two main criteria :–
  • Mode of livelihood
  • Extent of incorporation into Hindu society – or a combination of the two.

On the basis of livelihood

  • Fishermen
  • food gatherers and hunters
  • shifting cultivators
  • peasants and plantation
  • industrial workers.
  • Most of the tribes are given a low status in Hindu society, just few enjoy high status.

Assimilation into Hindu society

  • Tribe’s point of view,
    • Attitude towards Hindu society is also a major criterion, with differentiation between tribes

Some tribe are Positively inclined towards Hinduism

Some tribes are resist or opposite towards Hinduism.

  • Mainstream point of view,
    • Tribes may be viewed in terms of the status accorded to them in Hindu society, ranging from the
  • High status given to some,
  • Generally low status accorded to most.

Tribe – the career of a concept

  • In the 1960- two opinion about Tribe
    • Caste based peasant society
    • Different kind of community

Caste based peasant society

  • There is no fundamental difference between Tribes and caste-peasant society.
  • Resource ownership: More community based rather than individual.

Different kind of community

  • Opponents argued that:
    • Tribes were wholly different from castes because they had no notion of purity and pollution which is central to the caste system.
  • By the 1970s all the major definitions of tribe were shown to be faulty.
  • The tribe-peasantry distinction did not hold in terms of any of the commonly advanced criteria: size, isolation, religion, and means of livelihood.

Example: Some Indian Tribes are;

  • Santhal, Gonds, and Bhils are –very large territory.
  • Munda, Hossettled agriculture
  • Birhors of BiharHunting gathering, specialized households to make baskets, press oil etc.
  • Some Cases, “castes” (or non-tribals) have turned to hunting and gathering.

Way through which tribes became part of the Hindu society.

  • Sanskritisation
  • Caste Hindus conquering the tribes and accepting them into the Shudras.
  • Acculturation – adopting the cultural traits of another group

Mainstream (Civilized society) Attitude towards Tribes

  • Colonialism had already brought Rapid changes in their world.
  • Entering of Moneylenders
  • They were also losing their land to non-tribal immigrant settlers
  • Govt. Introduced subsequent schemes for tribal development – five year plans, tribal sub-plans, tribal welfare blocks, special multipurpose area schemes.
  • But the basic issue here is that the integration of tribes has neglected their own needs or desires.
  • Integration has been on the terms of the mainstream society and for its own benefit.
  • The tribal societies have had their lands, forests taken away and their communities shattered in the name of development.

Isolationistvs integrationist debate on Tribe

  • Isolationist
    • Leader: Verrier Elwin
    • Isolate tribals from mainstream society.
    • Tribals needed protection from traders, moneylenders and Hindu and Christian missionaries.
    • Integration of Tribes and mainstream society- lead to destruction of Tribal identity.
  • Integrationist
    • Leader: G.S. Ghurye
    • Integrate tribals from mainstream society.
    • Tribals were merely backward Hindus, and their problems had to be addressed within the same framework as that of other backward classes.

National Development and Tribal Development

  • National development, particularly in the Nehruvian era, involved the building of large dams, factories and mines. It negatively affected Tribal arias.
  • This kind of development has benefited the mainstream at the expense of the tribes.
  • Exploitation of minerals
  • Loss of the forests on which most tribal communities depended
  • The coming of private property in land has also adversely affected tribals, whose community-based forms of collective ownership were placed at a disadvantage in the new system.
  • Heavy in-migration of non-tribals created big problems

Tribal Identity today

  • Tribal Identity today are formed by the interaction between mainstream society.
  • Interaction with the mainstream has generally been on terms un favourable to the tribal communities
  • Many tribal identities today – resistance and opposition to the overwhelming force of the non-tribal world.
  • Citizens of states like Manipur or Nagalanddon’t have the same rights as other citizens of India because their states have been declared as ‘disturbed areas’.
  • In Jharkhand and Chattisgarh after a long struggle – is moderated by continuing problems.
  • Gradual emergence of an educated middle class among tribal communities.
  • Policies of reservation education are creating an urbanized professional class.

Family and Kinship

  • The family is an integral part of our lives.
  • The structure of the family can be studied both as a social institution in itself and also in its relationship to other social institutions of society.
  • Forms:- Nuclear or extended, male-headed or female-headed, matrilineal or patrilineal
  • This internal structure of the family is usually related to other structures of society, namely political, economic, cultural etc.
  • Female-headed family or male-headed Family:-
    • The migration of men from the villages of the Himalayan region can lead to an unusual proportion of women-headed families in the village.
    • Or the work schedules of young parents in the software industry in India may lead to increasing number of grandparents moving in as care-givers to young grandchildren.
  • Nuclear Family
    • It consists of only one set of parents and their children.

Extended or Joint Family

  • It consist more than one couple, and often more than two generations, living together.
  • This could be a set of brothers with their individual families, or an elderly couple with their sons and grandsons and their respective families.
  • It often is seen as symptomatic of India.
  • Yet this is by no means the dominant form now or earlier.
  • It was confined to certain sections and certain regions of the community.

Diverse Forms of family


Father, Mother and Unmarried children only


Minimum three generation live together



Newly married couple stay with the bridegroom’s parents.


Newly married couple lives with the bride’s parents.



In the family men exercise authority and dominance


Women play major role in decision making



Family’s inheritance through father


Family’s inheritance through Mother



Family of Birth

Family of orientation

Family formed through marriage

Family of procreation

Leave a Comment