Sociology || Spring 2016 || Pokhara University

Level:  Bachelor Semester –Spring Year: 2016
Programme: BBA/BBA-BI/BBA-TT Full Marks: 100
Course: Fundamental of Sociology Pass Marks: 45
Time:  3hrs.


Candidates are required to give their answers in their own words as far as practicable.
The figures in the margin indicate full marks.


Section “A”

Very Short Answer Questions

Attempt all the questions.

1. Trace out two major research methods used in sociology as a social science.
2. What is the main assumption of post-modernism?
3. What is a sociological perspective?
4. Define social capital in a sentence. Point out its five major components.
5. To what extent cultural relativity is different than ethnocentrism?
6. What are the recent changes in the family?
7. What are the dimensions of social stratification?
8. Name four ethnic groups of hill regions in Nepal.
9. Discuss the dysfunction of religion.
10. Point out the role of media and communication in Nepalese social change in 4 points.
Section “B”

                     Descriptive Answer Questions

Attempt any six questions

11. Show your knowledge on the subject matter of sociology. In your opinion, how does sociological knowledge help in achieving the goal of the organization in the regime of modern management? Elucidate.
12. Compare and contrast the basic ideas of functionalism and conflict theories.
13. a)      ‘Socialization is the process and personality is the product’ justifies this statement.

b)      Define sexuality and explain the major sexual issues of the present era.

14. What do you mean by primary groups? Differentiate between primary and secondary groups.
15. Show your acquaintance with social stratification. Discuss the class and gender-based social strata in connecting with the Nepalese context.
16. Explain the conflict and functional approach to education in the Nepalese context.
17. Define social change. Discuss its major factors of socio-cultural change. Evaluate the change with the conflict approach.
18. Section “C”

Case Analysis

Nepal Readies First-Ever Witchcraft Act to Protect Women

Heather Greene —  June 4, 2014

Nearly daily there are news reports on abuses inflicted on people who have been accused of witchcraft. These horrifying cases occur all over the world with a concentration in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, India, and Nepal. In most of these attacks, the victims are not Witches in a western sense and are not likely practicing any form of witchcraft. The accusations are simply used as weapons against the unwanted who are more often than not women. Fortunately, with the continued growth of the international women’s movement, these acts of violence are becoming the subject of real concern and decisive action.


Today we can report that Nepal, the country with the highest concentration of attacks, has taken some concrete steps to curb and, hopefully, end, witchcraft-related violence. According to the Republica: The government is working to finalize a draft of the ´Witchcraft Act (Charge and Punishment) 2014 to take stringent action against those involved in the inhuman treatment of females accused of practicing witchcraft. The new Witchcraft Act was prepared by Nepal’s Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MoWCSW), a federal department dedicated to the legal protection of that particular segment of the population. The most recent draft of the Witchcraft Act states that the accuser can be fined up to 1,050 USD and given up to a ten-year jail sentence. According to the Republica, the act makes it clear that “torturing women through thrashing, insulting, covering them with black soot, pouring acid on them or forcibly feeding them feces, on the charge of witchcraft, will be considered a crime.” This is the first time that the Nepalese government has legislated the meaning of the term witchcraft.

As with many of the areas that suffer from witchcraft-related violence, Nepal’s problem is grounded in deeply-rooted cultural beliefs. As reported by the Witchcraft and Human Rights Information Network (WHRIN), the “belief in witchcraft” is embedded in the country’s “strong animistic and shamanic tradition.” Nepalese Shamans work with the spirit world to heal and assist the living but bokashi or “witches” are considered destructive influences who only can bring harm to society. The report also cites the problematic influence of the so-called Witch Doctor who often holds a good deal of power over a village. For the right price, these men will perform spiritual investigations to locate the source of a bewitchment. Their accusations are often guided by the whims of their clientele and not a concern for the general well-being of the population. (WHRIN 2014 Country Report: Nepal)

Currently, there are multiple organizations in Nepal fighting to protect women from the horrors of witchcraft-related abuse. One of these organizations is The Woman’s Foundation of Nepal founded in 1988 by a group of concerned female college students. While its mission is to help Nepalese women in general, the organization is an active participant in the fight against witchcraft-related violence. Its website states: Often widows in Nepal are termed “bokashi”, or witches, and are subject to extreme abuse and discrimination. Many of the victims have led very difficult lives, and once accused of being a ‘bokashi, are beaten, tortured, or forced to commit degrading acts such as eating human waste, or the meat of other humans. In cases where women are being abused for “practicing witchcraft,” WFN directly supports the victims by removing them from that dangerous situation, treating them medically if necessary, and supporting them legally to file a case against their accusers.

The Forum for Protection of People’s Rights, Nepal (PPR Nepal) is another similar organization that worked closely with WHRIN to produced the 2014 Nepal country report. PPR Nepal says, “The magnitude of gender-based violence in Nepal is extremely high. Among the various forms of violence, witchcraft-related violence, especially against unprivileged women e.g. widow, poor, helpless, is widespread in the country.”

With the new Witchcraft Act in place, the NGO advocacy groups and the Ministry will have another tool in their pocket to support their work. While the law is certainly not a solution, it does provide the legal fuel needed in their fight to protect the rights and health of the women of Nepal. Over time, this Act and others like it may lead to opportunities for inter-cultural work and inter-religious education that will grow a better global understanding of the many meanings of Witchcraft.


a)       How has the institution of witchcraft acted as a social problem in Nepal?

b)      “Witchcraft” is a deeply-rooted cultural belief in Nepal. Is the institution of witchcraft a material or a non-material culture? In your opinion, will the Government be able to eradicate the problem of witchcraft through the new act?





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