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Chapter Notes - Patterns of Social Inequality And Exclusion - Notes | Study Sociology Class 12 - Humanities/Arts

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  • It is inevitable and almost natural in our everyday life.
  • Patterns of unequal access to social resources are commonly called social inequality.
  • Social inequality and exclusion are social as these are -
    • Not-about individuals but groups
    • Not just economic thought a link is found between social & economic inequality is systematic & structured. .


  • It refers to ways in which individuals may become cut off from full involvement in the wider society
  • It prevents individuals or groups from participating fully in the economic, social and political life of the society in which they live.
  • It is a combined outcome of deprivation and discrimination,
  • Social exclusion is structural not accidental; i.e. it is a result of social processes and institutions rather than individual action.
  • It is involuntary - that is, exclusion is practiced regardless of the wishes of those who are excluded.
  • For example, rich people are never found sleeping on the pavements or under bridges like thousands of homeless poor people in cities and towns.

This does not mean that the rich are being ‘excluded’ from access to pavements and park benches, because they could certainly gain access if they wanted to, but they choose not to.
Chapter Notes - Patterns of Social Inequality And Exclusion - Notes | Study Sociology Class 12 - Humanities/Arts

4. Social stratifications

  • it is a system in which categories of people are ranked in a hierarchy in a Society. This is a system of structured inequalities.
  • 3 key principles of social stratification-
    • If is characteristic of society, not simply a function of individual differences.
    • It persists over generations
    • it is supported by patterns of beliefs or ideology.

5. Prejudice

  • It refers to preconceived opinions or attitudes held by members of one group towards another.
  • It is an opinion formed before considering any available evidence.
  • It is preconceived views that are often based on hearsay rather than on direct evidence.
  • Ideas that are resistant to change even in the face of new information.

6: Stereotypes

  • Prejudices are grounded in stereotypes- which are fixed and inflexible characterizations of a group of people.
  • Stereotypes are often applied to ethnic and racial groups and to women.
    •  Stereotypes fix whole groups into single, homogeneous categories;
  • they refuse to recognize the variation across individuals and across contexts or across time

7. Discrimination refers to actual practices / behaviour towards another group, disqualifying a group from opportunities open to others.

8. Caste-is a discriminatory system as -
- Birth decides an individual’s position in caste hierarchy
- social status in caste hierarchy decides the occupation for an individual

9. Strong correlation is seen between higher caste & higher economic status of people

10. Untouchability prescribes strong social sanctions against members of the castes located at the bottom of the purity - pollution scale.

11. Three dimensions of untouchably are -

  • Exclusion: Dalits experience forms of exclusion that are unique and not practiced against other groups - for instance, being prohibited from sharing drinking water sources or participating in collective religious worship,  social ceremonies and festivals.
    • Humiliation-subordination: The practice of untouchability leads to the imposition of gestures of deference as well as abuse and humiliation, (such as taking off headgear carrying footwear in the hand, standing with bowed head, not wearing clean or ‘bright’ clothes, and so on)
    • Exploitation: untouchability is most of the times associated with economic exploitation of various kinds, through the imposition of forced, unpaid labor or the confiscation of property.

12. Meaning of dalit:

  • ‘Dalit’ term literally means downtrodden and conveys the sense of an oppressed people.
  • The Dalit Panthers, a radical group that emerged in western India, used the term to assert their identity as part of their struggle for rights and dignity.

13. State and Non-State Initiatives addressing Caste & tribe discrimination. State initiatives

  • Reservation of seats in state and central legislatures.
  • Reservation of jobs in Government services.
  • Reservation of seats in educational institutions.
  • Abolition of untouchability-Article 17.
  • Caste Disabilities Removal Act. 1850.
  • Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of atrocities) Act 1989.


  • Non-State initiatives-(Movements Struggles)
    • In pre-independence time, efforts made by Jyotiba Phule, Periyar, Ambedakar and others.
    • In contemporary times efforts made by political organizations like Bahujan Samaj Party in U.P. Dalit sangharsh Samiti of Karnataka
    • Literary contributions-creating Dalit awareness especially Marathi Tamil, Kannada, Telugu & Hindi.

14. Other Backward Classes/OBCs. are described as socially & educationally backward. Largely the service and artisanal castes who occupied the lower rungs of the caste hierarchy.


  • Term Adivasi, coined in the 1930s,
  • It connotes political awareness and the assertion of rights,
  • literally meaning ‘original inhabitants’.
  • ‘Internal colonialism’ faced by tribals in the name of national development (Government monopoly over forests, mining industries, displacement from their lands, dam projects acquisition of land by the government)


  • Various Women’s issues arose in modern India as part of the nineteenth century middle class social reform movements. They were—
    • The anti-sati campaign led by Raja Rammohan Roy in Bengal who established the Brahmo Samaj in 1828, campaigned against  sati, child marriage and efforts were made for widow remarriage.
    • Ranade started the widow remarriage movement in the Bombay Presidency and also attacked the caste and gender oppression,
    • Jotiba Phule who founded the Satyashodak Samaj, was against caste and gender discrimination.
    • The social reform movement in Islam was led by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan who worked for education of girls.
    • Dayanand Saraswati of the Arya Samaj, worked for women’s education and training. in the arts of housekeeping and handicrafts and rearing of children.
    • Ishwar Ghandra Vidyasagar worked for widow remarriage and fought against child marriage
    • Main features of the Women’s Movement in India since the 1970s
    • There have been changes in organisational structure as well as ideology, There has been an increasing importance of autonomous movements and organisations not linked to any political party.
    • New issues such as violence against women, the rape of women in police custody, dowry, murders, legal changes in land rights, employment have emerged.
    • Recognition of the fact that though all women suffer in a patriarchal society, they do not all suffer in the same way or to the same extent—there are differences between middle class urban women, peasant women, Dalit women etc.
    • Recognition that both women as well as men are oppressed by gender roles a gender-just society will allow both men and  women to be free.

17. Karachi Session of the Indian National Congress.

  • In 1931, the Karachi Session of the Indian National Congress issued a declaration on the Fundamental Rights of Citizenship in India which was committed to women’s equality. The declaration reads as follows:
    • All citizens are equal before the law, irrespective of religion, caste, creed or sex.
    • No disability attaches to any citizen, by reason of his or her religion, caste, creed or sex, in regard to public employment, office of power or honour, and in the exercise of any trade or calling.
    • The franchise shall be on the basis of universal adult suffrage.
      • Woman shall have the right to vote, to represent and the right to hold public offices.
    • Special protection of women workers
    • Equal rights and duties for all in regard to public wells, schools etc.

18. Stree Purush Tulana written in 1882, by a Maharashtrian housewife, Tarabai Shinde is a protest against the double standards of a male dominated society. A young Brahmin widow had been sentenced to death by the courts for giving birth to an illegitimate child. No efforts had been made to identify or punish the man who had fathered the baby.

19. Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, written in 1905, wrote Sultana’s Dream. It is a short story and the earliest example of science fiction writing in India. In her dream, Sultana visits a magical country where the gender roles are reversed. Men are confined to the home and observe ‘purdah’ while women are busy scientists vying with each other at inventing devices that will control the clouds and regulate rain, and machines that fly or ‘air-cars’.

20. There is a close relationship between disability and poverty. Malnutrition, mothers weakened by frequent childbirth, inadequate immunisation programs, accidents in overcrowded homes, all contribute to incidences of disability among poor people that is higher than among people living in easier circumstances. Disability also creates poverty by increasing isolation and economic strain, not just for the individual but for the family.

The document Chapter Notes - Patterns of Social Inequality And Exclusion - Notes | Study Sociology Class 12 - Humanities/Arts is a part of the Humanities/Arts Course Sociology Class 12.
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