System self-regulation | Sociology for CUET by Vikash Ranjan | Sociology Guru

System Self-Regulation

Question: A process of system self-regulation involving the maintenance by a system of a stable condition and the return to such a condition following environmental disturbance is known as

  1. Equilibrium
  2. Static
  3. Homeostasis
  4. Stabilisation

Answer: (3)

Homeostasis: The Self-Regulating Mechanism in Biological Systems


The term “homeostasis” has become a cornerstone in the understanding of how living organisms maintain stability in the face of a dynamic and ever-changing environment. This self-regulating process is fundamental to the survival and adaptability of biological systems. To delve into the intricacies of homeostasis, it is essential to explore its historical evolution, its significance in physiology, and its implications for health and disease.

Historical Evolution:

The concept of homeostasis has deep roots in the history of scientific thought. The ancient Greeks recognized the importance of balance and equilibrium in maintaining health. However, it was in the 19th and 20th centuries that the idea of a self-regulating mechanism gained prominence.

The term “homeostasis” itself was coined by the American physiologist Walter Bradford Cannon in the early 20th century. Cannon, building upon the work of Claude Bernard, introduced the concept to describe the body’s ability to maintain internal stability in the face of external changes. Homeostasis, as Cannon defined it, involves the coordinated physiological responses that keep key parameters within a narrow range, ensuring optimal conditions for cellular function.

Principles of Homeostasis:

At its core, homeostasis involves a process of system self-regulation. This mechanism allows biological systems to maintain a stable internal environment, permitting organisms to adapt to external disturbances. The key principles of homeostasis include:

  1. Maintaining Stability: Homeostasis ensures that essential physiological parameters, such as temperature, pH, and nutrient levels, remain relatively constant despite external variations. This stability is crucial for the proper functioning of cells and tissues.
  2. Dynamic Equilibrium: Homeostasis is not synonymous with a static state. Instead, it involves a dynamic equilibrium where internal conditions are continuously monitored and adjusted to counteract external changes. This dynamic nature enables organisms to respond to evolving environmental conditions.
  3. Feedback Mechanisms: Feedback loops play a central role in homeostasis. These loops involve sensors, effectors, and control centers. Sensors detect changes in internal conditions, and control centers initiate appropriate responses through effectors to restore balance.
  4. Adaptability: Homeostasis enables organisms to adapt to varying environmental stressors. The ability to adjust internal conditions allows for survival and successful reproduction in diverse ecological niches.

Physiological Significance:

Understanding homeostasis is paramount to comprehending the functioning of biological systems. It serves as the guiding principle in physiology, offering insights into the mechanisms that govern health and disease. Several physiological processes exemplify the significance of homeostasis:

  1. Temperature Regulation: The ability to maintain body temperature within a narrow range is a classic example of homeostasis. Thermoregulation involves intricate mechanisms, including sweating and shivering, to prevent extremes in body temperature.
  2. Blood Glucose Control: Homeostasis plays a crucial role in regulating blood glucose levels. Hormones such as insulin and glucagon act in concert to ensure a stable concentration of glucose, essential for cellular energy production.
  3. PH Balance: Homeostatic mechanisms regulate the pH of bodily fluids. Acid-base balance is meticulously controlled to preserve the optimal pH range for enzymatic activity and cellular function.
  4. Osmoregulation: Organisms maintain water and electrolyte balance through osmoregulation. Homeostatic processes in the kidneys adjust water reabsorption and electrolyte excretion to uphold internal stability.

Implications for Health and Disease:

The disruption of homeostasis is a key factor in the pathogenesis of various diseases. Understanding how homeostatic mechanisms operate and how they can falter provides crucial insights into therapeutic interventions. Some examples include:

  1. Endocrine Disorders: Dysregulation of hormonal systems, such as the malfunction of insulin in diabetes, illustrates the impact of disrupted homeostasis on health.
  2. Immune System Dysfunction: Autoimmune diseases often result from the immune system losing its ability to distinguish between self and non-self, disrupting the homeostatic balance.
  3. Genetic Disorders: Genetic mutations can interfere with homeostatic processes, leading to conditions like cystic fibrosis, where ion transport across cell membranes is impaired.
  4. Cancer: The uncontrolled growth of cancer cells reflects a breakdown in the homeostatic regulation of cell division and apoptosis.


In conclusion, homeostasis stands as a foundational concept in biology, representing the intricate mechanisms that maintain internal stability within living organisms. Its historical evolution, principles, and physiological significance underscore its importance in understanding the fundamentals of life. From temperature regulation to pH balance, homeostasis permeates every facet of biological function.

Moreover, appreciating the role of homeostasis in health and disease provides a framework for developing therapeutic strategies. The dynamic equilibrium, adaptability, and feedback loops inherent in homeostasis offer a blueprint for comprehending the resilience and vulnerability of living organisms in the face of environmental challenges. As science progresses, the study of homeostasis continues to unravel new complexities, reaffirming its status as a central tenet in the biological sciences.


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.

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