Tuesday, 30 December 2014


Features of Indian Rural Society

The village social life has its own peculiar characteristics. The village social life norms strengthen the authoritarian and hierarchical norms in administration. 
The village social life, which is based on the hierarchical exchange relations greatly influence the behavior of civil servants in public organizations.
Usually, a village has less than five thousand individuals.
It is rightly said ‘India is a country of villages’. Agriculture is the main occupation of the Indians and majority of people in India live in the villages.
 Our villages help in strengthening our social bonds and bringing stability to our society in many ways.
 Our villages also help our society in preserving our culture.
The Indian rural society has undergone considerable change particularly since the Independence as a result of a series of the land reform legislations that have accelerated the pace of this change.
These rural societies have their own structure. The structure formed out of the following units:- 1) Family 2) Caste System 3) Internal Organisation 4) Religion 5) Economic System.

Major Features of Rural Society

According to A.W. Green, “A rural community is a cluster of people living within a narrow territorial radius who share a common way of life”.
The major features of rural society are given below:
1.     Small size of village community, 2.     Intimate relations,3.     Isolation, 4.     Social homogeneity,5.     Informal Social Control, 6.     Dominance of Joint Family, 7.     Status of Rural Women,8.     Occupation,9.     Role of neighborhood,10.                        Faith in religion,
11.                        Self Sufficiency,12.                        Widespread caste system,13.                        Simplicity, Conservatism,14.                        Observance of moral norms,15.                        Poverty,
16.                        Illiteracy,17.                        Legal Self Government
In our social set-up an Indian village plays not only a prominent but also a predominant role because about 87% of our total population resides in villages. 

Meaning of Urban Society

An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human feature in comparison to area surrounding it. Urban areas are created and further developed by the process of urbanization.
Urban areas are places which satisfied the following criteria:
1. A minimum population of 5,000.
2. At least 75% of the male main working population engaged in non agricultural pursuits
3. A density of population of a least 400 persons per sq.km.
The growth of large cities that contain the bulk of a society’s population is very recent
development. Urbanization is a part of development process.
Major Features of Urban Society:
The major features of urban society are given below:
1. Social Heterogeneity, 2. Secondary Relations, 3. Anonymity, 4. Secondary Control, 5. Largescale Division of Labour and Specialization, 6. Large-scale social mobility, 7. Individuation, 8.Voluntary Association, 9. Social Reference, 10. Unstable Family, 11. Special Segregation, 12.Lack of community feeling, 13. Lack of unity in family, 14. Moral Laxity, 15. Unbalanced personality, 16. High incidence of crime, 17. Social disorganization, 18. Peculiarities of marital life, 19. Dynamic life, 20. Voluntary associations are formed quickly, 21. Artificial life.

Urban contrasts with the rural. It refers to a process which envisages land settlement,

agglomeration of diversities, complete transformation of economy from agricultural to industrial, commercial sectors and a wider politico-civic life dependent on institutions of modern living. The urban society is heterogeneous. It is known for its diversity and complexity. It is dominated by secondary relations. Urban society is far away from the nature and natural environment. Mass education is widespread in city. It is a “Complex Multi-Group Society”.

The high degree of large diversity found in India is due to the existence of diverse population groups. The greatest variety in languages can be found in the one of the biggest democracies in the world. Most of these languages are distinct and have their own distinct form of writing and speech.Languages are defined as a system of arbitrary vocal symbols used for human communication.

In India, the tribal communities are smallest in geographical spread and in population
strength. They cover only 8.8% (1991census) of the Indian population.

India still faces the problems due to the diversity in languages. One of the foremost
problems is the lack of a unified language system. Though a national language was chosen among the 114 officially recognized languages and 216 (Census of 1991) mother tongues in India, only 28% of the populations speak this language. People in India have a sense of belonging to a particular language speaking community rather that the nation as a whole.

Religion is a major concern of man. Religion is universal, permanent, pervasive and
perennial interests of man. The institution of religion is universal. It is found in all the societies,past and present. Religious beliefs and practices are, however, far from being uniform. Religious dogmas have influenced and conditioned economic endeavors, political movements, properly dealings, and educational tasks. The major religions in India are following: Hinduism, Buddhism,Sikhism, Jainism, Christianity, Islam, Parsi, The basic ideas and faith of the each religion differs.But they co existently stood in Indian society.

Though religion is a universal phenomenon it is understood differently by different people. The preamble of the Constitution of India proclaims India to be a secular republic where citizens may freely worship and propagate any religion of their choice. The right to freedom of religion is also declared as a fundamental right by the Constitution of India. Indian religions have exerted significant influence all over the world.

The major Negative impact of religions is follows:
1) Groupism—religion divides people such divisions may came in the way of development of the country
2) Frequent conflicts—people belonging to different religions feel that their religion is superior. They even try to impose their religious practices on others which would be lead to conflict situations. In India communal conflict has become a common feature.
3) Dogmatism—every religion has a set of beliefs which may be superstitious quite often .such ideas block the development of society and the progress of individuals.e.g in some communities there is no improvement of status of women on account of religious attitude.
4) Block social change—it is highly challenging to transform the attitude
Unity and diversity of India is unique. It presents endless varieties of physical, social and cultural patterns .it is probably in India that one can find confessing all the major religions of the world.These are strong unifying which bind the nation as homogeneous socio cultural entity.

Race is a concept. The term race is used in various senses, even by human biologists, not to speak of politicians, historians and other who have little interest in biological races. The racial classifications are made on the basis of certain genetic traits. Such types of traits used in classification of races are referred to as racial criteria. The racial criteria should fulfill certain requirements. Body suggested a few conditions which should be satisfied by criteria chosen for racial classification.

Most contemporary anthropologists classify Indians as belonging to one of
four major ethno-racial groups, which often overlap with each other because of a continuous process of racial admixture: Caucasoid, Mongoloids and Negritos. Mongoloids are largely confined to the Northeastern region of the country and for the most part, speak Tibeto-Burman languages; and Negritos are found on the Andaman Islands located on the southeastern side of the country. Horton has defined race as a “great division of mankind, the members of which, through individually varying are characterized as a group by certain combinations of morphological andmetrical features, principally, non-adaptive, which have been derived from their common descent.”
Racial Diversity in India
As per the 1901 census the following eight different ethnic groups are found
1. Pre-Dravidian 2. Dravidian 3. Indo-Aryan 4. Turko-lranian 5. Scytho-Dravidian 6. Arya-Dravidian 7. Mongoloid 8. Mongoloid-Dravidian. India has been described as an ethnological museaum. Race formation is a dynamic process and environmental stimuli have caused many changes in the ethic types. There is a wide variety of differences in physical features, complexion and even in language. Often linguistic terms like Aryan and Dravidian have been applied to ethnic units.

 According to some scholars, the Indian race had been classified in seven different categories in earlier age among which the Turko-Iranian, Indo-Aryan,
Scytho-Dravidian type, Aryo-Dravidian type, Mongolo-Dravidian type, Mongoloid type and Dravidian type were in the list.

Ethnic group is a social category of people who shared common culture, common language or dialect, a common religion, a common norm, practices, customs and history. Ethnic group have a consciousness of their own culture bound. India is an ethnological museum. The waves of immigration have drawn the ancestors of the majority of present population into India from the
surrounding territories across the Himalayas. 1. The Negrito, 2. Proto – Austroloid, 3. Mongoloids,4. Mediterranean or Dravidian, 5. Western Brachycephals, 6. Nordic Aryans. 

 Family in Indian Society.

The Family
The word ‘family’ is derived from Latin Word “Famulus” which means a servant. Thus originally, family consisted of a man and woman with a child or children and servants.

While defining the term family some social scientists have seen the family as a universal institution. Functionalist perspective defined family in terms of activity and their effect on society. Marxist perspective explains the family as the basic unit of oppression and to envisage its eventual abolition.

The family is the basic unit of society. It is the first and the most immediate social environment to which a child is exposed. It is in the family a child learns language, the behavioral Patterns and social norms in his childhood. In some way or the other the family is a universal group.
In tribal societies people of several generations live together. These societies have large and ‘joint families’. In the industrial society the family is
limited to husband, wife and their children. Sociologist calls it a ‘nuclear family’. The family is formed with number of members. These members live together. They have a home. They have definite purposes in living together. In this sense the family in a group. There is certain rules and procedures at the roots of the family. In this sense the family in an institution.

Characteristics of the Family
Living together of man and women, reproducing and brining up children alone does not form family. Marriage plays an important role in changing the man - women relationship in to the permanent relationship of husband and wife. Along with sexual relationship and procreation Psychological attachment is also necessary. No other organization of society can be companied with the family where sociological understanding is concerned.
1. Universality
2. Social environment which Influence the Individual’s early life.
3. Affective basis, emotionality
4. Limited size
5. Central position in social structure
6. Sense of responsibility among the members.
7. Social regulation of behavior
8. Permanent or temporary in nature
The definitions and Characteristics of family shows that on one hand it has a biological aspect in which man and women became husband and wife by certain institutional modes. Sexual and affective relationship exists between them. They procreate and bring up children. On the other hand, it has a social aspect in which the family members have responsibilties towards each other. In a social-cultural sphere the family influences its members by the process of socialization. It also regulates the behavior of its members Elements of Family

Elements of Family
The above given definitions reveal certain elements of family which are as follows:
1) The family is a basic, definite and enduring group.
2) Family is formed by the relatively durable companionship of husband, wife.
3) Family procreates and bringing up children.
4) The Family can also be large in size in which persons belonging to several generations may live together.
5) The family may be limited to husband, wife or only the father and his children or only
the mother and her children.

Characteristics of the Family
Living together of man and women, reproducing and brining up children alone does not
form family. Marriage plays an important role in changing the man - women relationship in to the permanent relationship of husband and wife. Along with sexual relationship and procreation
Psychological attachment is also necessary. No other organization of society can be companied with the family where sociological understanding is concerned.
According to Mack Iver and Page
the Family has the following features:
1. Universality
2. Social environment which Influence the Individual’s early life.
3. Affective basis, emotionality
4. Limited size
5. Central position in social structure
6. Sense of responsibility among the members.
7. Social regulation of behavior
8. Permanent or temporary in nature

The family is generally smaller in size companied to other social groups, organizations and associations. Hence it must be remembered that the size of the family is agrarian and tribal communities sometimes can be large. The nature of the family is universal because it exists in all societies. As an institution the family’s existence is enduring. The nature of a particular family may be permanent or temporary.
The family has passed through many stages to reach its modern form. The family,
marriage, economic system and succession are inter related. The structure behavioural patterns and functions of the family have been changing with the changes is socio economic order.

Structure of the Family
The structure of the family can be understood on the basis of these characteristics. The
structure of the family is mainly based on the husband-wife relationship. Another basis of the familial structure is procreation. The third basis of this structure is common residence. The structure of the Family is also related to economic system. The present urban industrial system and the occupations have encouraged the structure of nuclear and individualistic family.
 In the tribal, agrarian and rural system of economy where family is still a unit of
production, we generally find large and joint families, apart from husband, wife and their
procreations. These families generally include father, mother, brothers, their wives, unmarried sisters and others. The Indian joint family is the best example of this type.
The family cannot be understood through clusters of members such as husband, wife, their children and relatives. These members develop affective relationship and perform their roles through social values, customs and traditions.

Functions of the family
The family as a social institution performs several functions. Different thinkers of the
world expressed different opinion regarding the functions of the family.
Kingsley Davis speaks of four main functions of the family:
(i) Reproduction (ii) Maintenance, (iii) Placement, and (iv) Socialization


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