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

Cultural Diffusion

Culture and Society Defined
Culture is the set of beliefs, ideas, norms of activities, art, and knowledge, which are collectively shared and practiced by a group of people who live in a geographical area, at a particular time.

Owing to varied factors, when a culture spreads and overlaps with other cultures, we then term it as the process of diffusion. 

Cultural diffusion is the intermingling of one or more cultures. It is the outcome of the spread of literacy and education, inter-country trade relations, technological development, and religious interventions. it can be sought in several realms, like social, political, religious, intellectual, technological, and economical realms.

The world is a global village, more so because of the political and trade relations that exist across nations, despite the geographical hindrances. The formation of treaties like SAARC, EU, NAFTA, etc.,  The urge to be well educated has prompted many young minds to change places and travel far and wide. This has contributed significantly to cultural diffusion. Technology is the swiftest catalyst of cultural diffusion. No boundaries exist in the sharing of technological wonders.

Defining Cultural Diffusion
Cultural diffusion is a long process, 
There are three different forms of cultural diffusion.

Direct diffusion is when two cultures are very close to each other, resulting in intermarriage, trade, and even warfare. An example of direct diffusion is between the United States and Canada, where the people living on the border of these two countries engage in hockey, which started in Canada, and baseball, which is big in American culture. Direct diffusion was very common in ancient times, when small groups, or bands, of humans lived in adjoining settlements.

Indirect diffusion: Traits of one culture are incorporated into others through external factors like education, mass media, and social forms of communication. Indirect diffusion happens when traits are passed from one culture through a middleman to another culture, without the first and final cultures ever being in direct contact. Indirect diffusion is very common in today's world, because of the mass media and the invention of the Internet.happens when traits are passed from one culture through a middleman to another culture, without the first and final cultures ever being in direct contact.  Indirect diffusion is very
common in today's world, because of the mass media and the invention of the Internet.

The four main elements in the diffusion of new ideas are: (1) innovation, (2) communication channels, (3) time, and (4) the social system.

Forced diffusion occurs when one culture subjugates  another culture and forces its own customs on the conquered people. An example would be the conquistadors that took over the indigenous population and made them practice Christianity.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Meaning of Culture & it Characteristics,

Culture is  the traditions and customs of the  members of the society because of  which are common  and are passed down from generation to generation through the process of socialisation.  the specific behaviour pattern of human beings in their social relations is called culture. Cultural ideas emerge from shared social life. The culture includes The customs, traditions, attitudes, values, norms, ideas and symbols govern human behaviour pattern..

Meaning of Culture:

Culture is identified with aesthetics or the fine arts such as dance, music or drama. This is also different from the technical meaning of the word culture.
Culture is used in a special sense in anthropology and sociology. It refers to the sum of human beings’ life ways, their behaviour, beliefs, feelings, thought; it connotes everything that is acquired by them as social beings.
Culture has been defined in number of ways.  One of the most comprehensive definitions of the term culture was provided by the British anthropologist Edward Tylor. He defined culture as ” that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society”.

Some of the other important definitions of culture are as follows. “Culture is the expression of our nature in our modes of living and our thinking. Intercourse in our literature, in religion, in recreation and enjoyment, says Maclver.
According to E.A. Hoebel,“Culture is the sum total of integrated learned behaviour patterns which are characteristics of the members of a society and which are therefore not the result of biological inheritance.”
According to H.T. Mazumadar,
“culture is the sum total of human achievements, material as well as non-material, capable of transmission, sociologically, i.e., by tradition and communication, vertically as well as horizontally”.
We may define culture as the sum-total of human achievements or the total heritage of man which can be transmitted to men by communication and tradition. 
Culture therefore, is moral, intellectual and spiritual discipline for advancement, in accordance with the norms and values based on accumulated heritage. 
Culture is a collective heritage learned by individuals and passed from one generation to another. 

Characteristics of Culture:

From various definition, we can deduce the following characteristics:

1. Learned Behaviour:

Not all behaviour is learned, but most of it is learned; combing one’s hair, standing in line, telling jokes, criticising the Politicians and going to the movie, all constitute behaviours which had to be learned.
Some behaviour is obvious. People can be seen going to football games, eating with forks, or driving automobiles. Such behaviour is called “overt” behaviour. Other behaviour is less visible. Such activities as planning tomorrow’s work (or) feeling hatred for an enemy, are behaviours too. This sort of behaviour, which is not openly visible to other people, is called Covert behaviour. Both may be, of course, learned.

2. Culture is Abstract:

Culture exists in the minds or habits of the members of society. We cannot see culture as such we can only see human behaviour. This behaviour occurs in regular, patterned fashion and it is called culture.

3. Culture is a Pattern of Learned Behaviour:

The definition of culture indicated that the learned behaviour of people is patterned. Each person’s behaviour often depends upon some particular behaviour of someone else. As a general rule, behaviours are somewhat integrated or organized with related behaviours of other persons.

4. Culture is the Products of Behaviour:

Culture learnings are the products of behaviour. Human behaviour is the result of behaviour. The experience of other people are impressed on one as he grows up, and also many of his traits and abilities have grown out of his own past behaviours.

5. Culture is shared by the Members of Society:

The patterns of learned behaviour and the results of behaviour are possessed not by one or a few person, but usually by a large proportion. Thus, many millions of persons share such behaviour patterns  the use of automobiles, or the English language.Persons may share some part of a culture unequally. Sometimes the people share different aspects of culture. 

6. Culture is Super-organic:

Culture is sometimes called super organic. It implies that “culture” is somehow superior to “nature”. 
7. Culture is Pervasive:
Culture is pervasive it touches every aspect of life. The pervasiveness of culture is manifest in two ways. First, culture provides an unquestioned context within which individual action and response take place. Not only emotional action but relational actions are governed by cultural norms. Second, culture pervades social activities and institutions.

8. Culture is a human Product:

Culture is a creation of society in interaction and depends for its existence upon the continuance of society. Culture does not ‘do’ anything on its own. It does not cause the individual to act in a particular way, nor does it ‘make’ the normal individual into a maladjusted one. Culture, in short, is a human product; it is not independently endowed with life.

9. Culture is transmitted among members of Society:

The cultural ways are learned by persons from persons. Many of them are “handed down” by one’s elders, by parents, teachers, and others [of a somewhat older generation]. 
For example, the styles of dress, political views, and the use of recent labour saving devices. One does not acquire a behaviour pattern spontaneously. 

14. Culture is Variable:

Culture varies from society to society, group to group. Hence, we say culture of India or England. Further culture varies from group to group within the same society. There are subcultures within a culture. Cluster of patterns which are both related to general culture of the society and yet distinguishable from it are called subcultures.

15. Language is the Chief Vehicle of Culture:

Man who possesses language which transmits to him what was learned in the past and enables him to transmit the accumulated wisdom to the next generation. Although culture is transmitted in a variety of ways, language is one of the most important vehicles for perpetuating cultural patterns.To conclude culture is everything which is socially learned and shared by the members of a society. It is culture that, in the wide focus of the world, distinguishes individual from individual, group from group and society.

Sunday, 28 December 2014



  • Culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving.
  • Culture is the systems of knowledge shared by a relatively large group of people.
  • Culture is communication, communication is culture.
  • Culture in its broadest sense is cultivated behavior; that is the totality of a person's learned, accumulated experience which is socially transmitted, or more briefly, behavior through social learning.
  • A culture is a way of life of a group of people--the behaviors, beliefs, values, and symbols that they accept, generally without thinking about them, and that are passed along by communication and imitation from one generation to the next.
  • Culture is symbolic communication. Some of its symbols include a group's skills, knowledge, attitudes, values, and motives. The meanings of the symbols are learned and deliberately perpetuated in a society through its institutions.
  • Culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of and for behavior acquired and transmitted by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievement of human groups, including their embodiments in artifacts; the essential core of culture consists of traditional ideas and especially their attached values; culture systems may, on the one hand, be considered as products of action, on the other hand, as conditioning influences upon further action.
  • Culture is the sum of total of the learned behavior of a group of people that are generally considered to be the tradition of that people and are transmitted from generation to generation.
  • Culture is a collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another.

Cultural differences manifest themselves in different ways and differing levels of depth. Symbols represent the most superficial and values the deepest manifestations of culture, with heroes and rituals in between.

  • Symbols are words, gestures, pictures, or objects that carry a particular meaning which is only recognized by those who share a particular culture. New symbols easily develop, old ones disappear. Symbols from one particular group are regularly copied by others. This is why symbols represent the outermost layer of a culture.
  • Heroes are persons, past or present, real or fictitious, who possess characteristics that are highly prized in a culture. They also serve as models for behavior.
  • Rituals are collective activities, sometimes superfluous in reaching desired objectives, but are considered as socially essential. They are therefore carried out most of the times for their own sake (ways of greetings, paying respect to others, religious and social ceremonies, etc.).
  • The core of a culture is formed by values. They are broad tendencies for preferences of certain state of affairs to others (good-evil, right-wrong, natural-unnatural). Many values remain unconscious to those who hold them. Therefore they often cannot be discussed, nor they can be directly observed by others. Values can only be inferred from the way people act under different circumstances.
  • Symbols, heroes, and rituals are the tangible or visual aspects of the practices of a culture. The true cultural meaning of the practices is intangible; this is revealed only when the practices are interpreted by the insiders.

People even within the same culture carry several layers of mental programming within themselves. Different layers of culture exist at the following levels:
  • The national level: Associated with the nation as a whole.
  • The regional level: Associated with ethnic, linguistic, or religious differences that exist within a nation.
  • The gender level: Associated with gender differences (female vs. male)
  • The generation level: Associated with the differences between grandparents and parents, parents and children.
  • The social class level: Associated with educational opportunities and differences in occupation.
  • The corporate level: Associated with the particular culture of an organization. Applicable to those who are employed.