We have started a series of posts evaluating the detailed previous years’ WBCS Anthropology question papers. We will publish all previous years’ WBCS Anthropology optional question papers chapter by chapter.



We have assembled these chapter-by-chapter questions following the WBCS mains previous exam questions from 2001 through the most recent exam of 2021

Below is the detailed syllabus of Chapters 13 to 18 of Anthropology optional Paper-I (WBCS mains):

13. Political anthropology :

13.1 Definition and approach.
13.2 Power, authority, social control, law, social sanction, governance.
13.3 Concepts of Band, Tribe, Chiefdom, and State.
13.4 Political movement – Approaches of study, Types of socio-political movements (Revitalization,
Messianic, Social solidarity, regional and Ethnic).
13.5 Ethnicity – Definition, the concept of the ethnic boundary.


14. Anthropology of religion :

14.1 Definition of religion, functions of religion.
14.2 Approaches to the study of religion (intellectual, psychological, functional, interpretative).
14.3 Concepts: Myth, magic, witchcraft, sorcery, taboo, totem, divination, rituals, symbolism in
14.4 Religious specialists – shaman, witch-doctor, priest.

15. Social stratification :

15.1 Definition and features.
15.2 Theories/approaches.
15.3 Types – Caste and class.
15.4 Concepts: Status, role, age-set/age-grade, social mobility.

16. Ecological anthropology :

16.1 Definition, scope, and approaches/methods of ecological anthropology.
16.2 Concept of cultural ecology.

17. Emerging fields of social-cultural anthropology :

17.1 Development anthropology – Definition and scope, development, globalization.
17.2 Legal anthropology and Human Rights.
17.3 Anthropology of communication – visual anthropology, mass media, popular culture.
17.4 Anthropology of gender.


18. Basic methods of data collection and interpretation :

18.1 Qualitative and quantitative approaches, ethnography, fieldwork.
18.2 Basic methods/techniques of data collection – observation (special reference participant
observation), interview, case study, schedule, questionnaire, genealogy, PRA, and RRA.
18.3 Application of statistical principles – Descriptive statistics – central tendency (mean, median,
mode), standard deviation, standard error, Testing of hypothesis: t-test, chi-square test.

All the previous years’ questions of WBCS mains Anthropology optional Chapters 13 to 18  of Paper-I:

13. Political Anthropology 

Q1.Discuss The Political Anthropological Approach To The Study Of Political Organization In Preliterate Societies.  

Is There Any Role Of Kinship And Descent In Maintaining Political Integration?  Discuss With Suitable Illustration. [2014] 16 

Q2. Right, What You Know About Socio-Political Movements. Discuss Revitalization  Movement With Suitable Example. [2013] 16 

Q3. Define Political Organisation. 

Briefly Discuss The Traditional Political Organization Of A Tribe Known To You.  [2012] 20 

Q4. Give An Account Of The Distribution, Consumption, And Exchange In The Trobriand  Islands. [2003] 20 

Q5.Elucidate The Role Of Ethnicity In The Concept Of Nation-State. Illustrate Your Answer  With Suitable Examples. [2003] 20 

Q6. Emergence Of Ethnicity. [2003] 10 

Q7. Define Political Anthropology. 

What Do You Understand By Political Movement? 

Briefly Enumerate The Different Types Of Socio-Political Movements. 

Elaborate One Such Movement. 

Define Ethnicity. [2018] 6+6+12+6 

Q8. Ethno Medicine [2009] 10

Q9. Discuss the development of Political Anthropology with special emphasis on postmodernism and globalisation.

State the evolution of Pre-Industrial  Political Systems. 

Give a brief account of the revitalisation movement theory. [2021] 10+10+10

Q10. Ethnography. [2021] 10

14. Anthropology Of Religion  

Q1. Compare And Contrast Between Power And Authority. 

Discuss The Characteristics Of State Society. 

Give An Account Of The Post Independence Socio-Political Movements Of Tribal Population.  [2019] 8+10+12 

Q2. Define Anthropology Of Religion. [2017] What Are Basic Functions Of Religion As Relevant In Present Society?  [2020] 6+12 

Q3. Enumerate The Approaches To The Study Of Religion. [2017] 15 

Q4. Define Religion.  

What Are The Differences Between Magic And Religion?  

Write A Short Note On the Universality Of Religion. [2016] 

Q5. Discuss The Role Of Witchcraft In Primitive Society With Special Reference To The  Zande. [2005] 20 

Q6. What Is Religion? Why Are Religious Beliefs And Practices Found In All Known  Societies? Give Reasons.  

How Does Magic Differ From Religion? [2004] 20 

Q7. Explain The Importance Of Anthropology Of Religion In The Global Context.  [2003] 20 

Q8. Religion And Magic. [2011] [2019] 10 Q9. Role Of Religion In Affluent Society. [2015] 10

 Q10. Function Of Religion. [2014] 18 Q11. Witchcraft [2006, 2011] 10

Q11. Define religion and illustrate its functions.

Discuss in detail the anthropology approaches to study religion. [2021] 10+20

15. Social Stratification 

Q1. Define Jajmani System. 

Enumerate Briefly The Theory Of The Origin Of Caste System. 

State The Salient Features Of Caste System In India. [2019] 8+12+10 Q2. Give An Account Of Social Organisation Of Indian Agrarian Society. [2017] 15 

Q3. What Do You Know About Social Stratification? What Kind Of Stratification System Is the Indian Caste System? 

Discuss With Reference To Different Approaches Of Studying Caste-System Of India.  [2014] 8+24 Q4. Define Clan. 

Give An Account Of Its Functions In Tribal Society. [2009] 20 

Q5. What Is Social Stratification? 

Discuss The Different Elements Of Social Stratification. [2006] 20 Q6. Jajmani System [2003] [2005] 10 

Q7. Briefly Discuss The Concept Of Social Stratification. Do You Think That Caste Should Be  Studied As An Element Of Indian Civilization Or As An Aspect Of Social Stratification?  Explain. [2002] 20 

Q8. Social Stratification. [2011] [2009] 10

16. Ecological Anthropology 

Q1. Write A Short Note On Cultural Ecology. [2020] 12 

Q2. Define Ecological Anthropology. 

Mention The Different Approaches Of Studying Ecological Anthropology. Illustrate The Concept Of Cultural Ecology As Suggested By Julian Steward.  [2015] 30

17. Emerging fields of social-cultural anthropology :

Q1. Define Growth And Development.  

Enumerate Different Methodologies Of Growth Study And Their Merits And  Demerits. Discuss Factors Affecting Growth With Suitable Examples.  

[2019] 8+10+12=30  

Q2.(A) Define Growth.[2019]  

What Are The Differences Between Growth And Development? Write A Brief Note On Different Methods Of Growth Study.  

[2020] {2+4+9}  

Q3. Anthropology Of Gender. [2020] [2015] 10

18. Basic Methods Of Data Collection And Interpretation  

Q1. What Is Ethnography?  

Discuss Different Ways Of Data Collection With Special Reference To Participant  Observation Method-Its Merits & Demerits. [2014] 8+24 

Q2. What Is Understood By Fieldwork? 

Elucidate Different Methods And Techniques Used By The Anthropologist During Fieldwork.  [2013] 20 

Q3. Advantages And Limitations Of Questionnaire. [2011] 10 

Q4. Advantages And Limitations Of Participant Observations. [2002] [2011] 10 

Q5. Discuss The Importance Of Socio-Demographic Studies In Relation To Physical  Anthropology. 

Give A Brief Account Of The Techniques To Be Used For Collection Of Data On Socio-Demographic During A Short Period Of Fieldwork. 

 [2010] 10+10 

Q6. Write Briefly On: 

 (A) Advantages And Limitations Of Observation 

 (B) Schedule And Questionnaire 

 (C) Case Study   [2006][2007] 20 

Q7. What Are Research Methods? 

What Are The Differences Between Methods And Methodology? 

Write A Brief Note On Participant Observations. [2016] 30 

Q8. Discuss Elaborately The Merits And Limitations Of the Questionnaire Method.  [2005] 20 

Q9. What Are The Different Methods Used In Anthropology? 

 Give A Critical Appraisal Of Field Method In Anthropological Study. 

 [2001] 20 Q10. Genealogy And Pedigree. [2019] 10 

Q11. Central Tendency. [2017] 10 

Q12. Participant Observation. [2020] 10 

Q13. Importance Of Fieldwork In Anthropology. [2015] 10 Q14.Testing Of Hypothesis. [2020][2019] 10 

Q15. Case Study Method. [2010] 10 

Q16. Gaussian (Normal) Distribution. [2009] 10


That’s all questions that have been asked in these two chapters from 2001 to 2021. Keep visiting us regularly for further updates.


We have already published all the previous years’ questions in earlier chapters. You can check them using the references provided below.

Click here to view the WBCS anthropology optional Questions of Chapter 9.

Click here to view the WBCS anthropology optional Questions of Chapter 8.

Click here to view the WBCS anthropology optional Questions of Chapters 6 and 7.

Click here to view the WBCS anthropology optional Questions of Chapter 5.


Click here to view the WBCS anthropology optional Questions of Chapter 4.

Click here to view the WBCS anthropology optional Questions of Chapter 3.

Click here to view the WBCS anthropology optional Questions of Chapter 2.

Click here to view the WBCS anthropology optional Questions of Chapter 1.




You can check the detailed analysis of the syllabus of the WBCS Anthropology optional paper by clicking here.

Keep visiting us for further updates.


Thank You!

Shami Ibrahim

Shami Ibrahim is currently working in Central Bureau of Narcotics. He joined Indian Navy in Jan 2021. Medical board out due to injury in training. Cleared UPSC CDS in 2022. Loves playing chess ♟️

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Arpan Banerjee
Arpan Banerjee
1 month ago

Dada paper 2 ta erom bhabe dile khub bhalo hoi.sathe pdf form e dile boddo suvida hoi

Prantosh Biswas
Reply to  Arpan Banerjee
1 month ago

Social Icons a Print option achhe. Sekhane click kore je kono post PDF hisebe download kore nite parbe.

Paper 2 deoar chesta korchi. Ibrahim Job paoar por ektu busy achhe. Somoy pele obossoi abar lekha suru korbe.