Social distance scale as a technique for measuring attitudes was developed by? | Sociology for CUET by Vikash Ranjan | Sociology Guru

Social distance scale

Question: Social distance scale as a technique for measuring attitudes was developed by?

  1. L. Thurstone 
  2. L. Guttman
  3. A.L. Lundberg
  4. E. Bgardus

Answer: (4)

The Social Distance Scale, developed by Emory Bogardus, is an innovative method for gauging the degree of acceptance or rejection that individuals express towards others who are outside of their social circles, particularly those of different racial, ethnic, or social groups. This scale was a pioneering tool in the field of sociology, particularly in the study of attitudes towards diverse groups and the dynamics of intergroup relations.

Background on Emory Bogardus and the Social Distance Scale:

Emory Bogardus was a prominent figure in early American sociology who recognized the need for a more systematic way to measure the subtle and often unconscious attitudes that individuals hold towards those who are different from them. The concept of ‘social distance’ was his way of quantifying the extent to which people felt comfortable or uncomfortable with the idea of engaging in various degrees of closeness with members of other groups.

Developed in the early 20th century, during a time when the United States was experiencing significant immigration and demographic changes, Bogardus’s Social Distance Scale emerged as a method to empirically study sentiments that were often discussed anecdotally or observed qualitatively. It sought to provide a more objective means of understanding the social dynamics at play in an increasingly diverse society.

The Structure of the Social Distance Scale:

The Social Distance Scale created by Bogardus consists of a series of statements that respondents are asked to agree or disagree with. These statements describe potential interactions with members of a particular group, ranging from close personal relationships to those that are more distant or impersonal. The scale measures social distance by asking individuals to indicate the closest level of contact they would willingly maintain with members of each group.

For example, a statement on the lower end of the scale might ask whether the respondent would be willing to marry a person from the group in question, indicating a very low level of social distance. A statement in the middle of the scale might ask if the respondent would be willing to work in the same place, while one on the higher end of the scale might simply ask if the respondent would allow individuals from the group to visit their country.

Application and Impact of the Scale:

The Social Distance Scale was widely used in research to understand prejudice, discrimination, and the social integration of different groups within the United States and beyond. By applying the scale at different points in time, Bogardus and other sociologists could track changes in social attitudes over the years. The scale revealed declines in social distance, indicating a trend towards greater acceptance and reduced prejudice over time, although this trend was neither uniform nor linear.The scale has also been adapted for use in various cultural and national contexts, as well as applied to different kinds of groups, such as those defined by religion, occupation, or lifestyle, not just ethnicity or race.

Criticisms and Contemporary Relevance:

While innovative, the Bogardus Social Distance Scale has not been without its critics. Some have pointed out that it assumes a unidimensional perspective of social distance, whereas actual social attitudes can be multidimensional and complex. Others have noted that self-reported attitudes may not always accurately reflect behaviors in real-life interactions.

Despite these criticisms, the Social Distance Scale remains a significant early tool in sociological research, one that paved the way for numerous other methods and scales designed to measure attitudes and prejudices. Its development marked a critical point in the quantification of social attitudes and has contributed greatly to our understanding of social dynamics.In contemporary research, while more nuanced and multidimensional tools have been developed, the principles underlying the Bogardus Social Distance Scale continue to inform the study of social attitudes. It laid the groundwork for the complex investigations into social relationships that characterize modern sociology and has helped shape policies and programs aimed at reducing discrimination and promoting diversity and inclusion.

In sum, Emory Bogardus’s creation of the Social Distance Scale was a seminal moment in social science research, providing an empirical method to assess and understand the social attitudes and prejudices that play a crucial role in shaping interpersonal and intergroup dynamics. Its legacy endures in the ways researchers think about and measure social distance and its implications for society at large.

Take a Quick Sociology Quiz to measure your Performance


Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Question: Define the term “ethnic movement” and provide an example from India.

Answer: An ethnic movement refers to a collective effort by a group sharing common cultural, linguistic, or religious traits, seeking to assert their identity and rights; an example from India is the Khalistan Movement in Punjab.

2. Question: Identify the main objectives behind the Gorkhaland ethnic movement.

Answer: The Gorkhaland ethnic movement primarily seeks to establish a separate state for India’s Nepali-speaking population in the Darjeeling region, advocating for linguistic and cultural recognition and political autonomy.

3. Question: What was the Operation Blue Star, and which ethnic movement was it related to?
Answer: Operation Blue Star was a military action in 1984, aiming to remove Sikh militants hiding in the Golden Temple in Amritsar; it is related to the Khalistan movement, which sought a separate Sikh country.

4. Question: Mention a critical factor that triggered the emergence of ethnic movements in India, as discussed by Dipankar Gupta.
Answer: Dipankar Gupta emphasized that ethnicity is fundamentally a political process, wherein caste and religion, the key components of identity formation, are politicized by leaders for vested interests.

5. Question: What were the primary reasons for the Assam Ethnicity conflicts involving Bodo tribals and Bengali Muslim settlers?
Answer: The Assam Ethnicity conflicts primarily stemmed from issues related to immigration, land rights, and resource allocation, leading to clashes, riots, and evolving relationships among indigenous communities to address challenges.

6. Question: Briefly describe the role of the Dravidian Movement in terms of caste and societal structure.
Answer: The Dravidian Movement, led notably by E.V. Ramasamy, aimed to establish an egalitarian society, focusing on anti-Brahmanism and advocating for equal rights for backward castes, while also introducing reforms like self-respect marriages.

7. Question: Name the prominent ethnic movements in North-East India and specify one common objective.
Answer: Prominent ethnic movements in North-East India include the Nagas’ and Mizos’ struggles; a common objective was to gain autonomy and recognition for their distinct tribal identities and cultural uniqueness.

8. Question: What is the key argument of Gail Omveldt regarding traditional Indian society and multiculturalism?
Answer: Gail Omveldt opposed romanticizing traditional Indian society, arguing that hierarchy has always dominated it and dismissing the notion that multiculturalism is an intrinsic feature of Indian society as a myth.

9. Question: Briefly explain the social hierarchy factor as a contributing element to ethnic movements as suggested by Olzak.
Answer: Olzak suggests that the construction of hierarchies among ethnic communities, which often leads to the suppression of one group by another, is a key factor that can instigate social and ethnic movements.

10. Question: Identify one consequence of the unequal economic development factor within the context of ethnic movements in India.
Answer: One consequence of unequal economic development is the marginalization and underdevelopment of certain groups, leading to feelings of alienation and sometimes initiating ethnic movements as these groups strive for equality and recognition.

To master these intricacies and fare well in the Sociology Syllabus, aspiring sociologists might benefit from guidance by the Best Sociology Teacher and participation in the Best Sociology Coaching. These avenues provide comprehensive assistance, ensuring a solid understanding of sociology’s diverse methodologies and techniques.


Why Vikash Ranjan’s Classes for Sociology?


Proper guidance and assistance are required to learn the skill of interlinking current happenings with the conventional topics. VIKASH RANJAN SIR at SOCIOLOGY GURU guides students according to the Recent Trends, making him the Best Sociology Teacher for Sociology.

At Sociology Guru, the Best Sociology Coaching platform, we not only provide the best study material and applied classes for Sociology but also conduct regular assignments and class tests to assess candidates’ writing skills and understanding of the subject.

Choose The Best Sociology Teacher for your Preparation?


To master these intricacies and fare well in the Sociology Syllabus, aspiring sociologists might benefit from guidance by the Best Sociology Teacher and participation in the Best Sociology Coaching. These avenues provide comprehensive assistance, ensuring a solid understanding of sociology’s diverse methodologies and techniques. Sociology, Social theory, Best Sociology Teacher, Best Sociology Coaching, Sociology Syllabus.

Best Sociology Teacher, Sociology Syllabus, Sociology, Sociology Coaching, Best Sociology Coaching, Best Sociology Teacher, Sociology Course, Sociology Teacher, Sociology Foundation, Sociology Foundation Course, Sociology CUET, Sociology for IAS, Sociology for UPSC, Sociology for BPSC, Sociology for UGC NET, Sociology for JPSC,

Follow us :




KEYWORD: -Social Distance Scale, Social Distance Scale, Social Distance Scale, Social Distance Scale, Social Distance Scale, Social Distance Scale, Social Distance Scale, MA CUET SOCIOLOGY


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top