Odisha State Board CHSE Odisha Class 12 Sociology Solutions Unit 2 Indian Social Structure Long Answer Questions Part-1.
CHSE Odisha 12th Class Sociology Unit 2 Indian Social Structure Long Answer Questions Part-1
Long Questions With Answers
What are the factors responsible for the different changes in the village community?
Change is universal.
Every society and culture no matter how traditional and conservative is constantly undergoing changes and transformations are part of over lives Indian village community is not an exception to this. The village community is less dynamic than the undergoing change, no doubt but this does mean that the cultivators have absolutely no mobility. The village communities to are changeable even though the rate of change within them is very slow.
The characteristics of village community which have been eliminated above can be found to exist in those villages which have remained unaffected by the influence of the town. Otherwise, these elements are vanishing from the village community. Some important aspects of the village community in which changes are taking place are discussed below.
Change in caste system :
Changes in the elements of caste have brought changes in the different aspects of the village community. They are the following.
Caste is no more closed in today’s society. During British rule, the caste in the village community has lost its eight. The linkage between caste and occupation is no longer because the people are adopting new vocations in large numbers. This has happened because traditional occupations are unable to provide jobs to all its members in the context of the technological advances in agriculture. So many Brahmins and Kshatriyas have started farming.
The members of the untouchable castes have become agriculture labourers so in these days members of different. Caste, high and low, taking to factory work and other manual jobs. Regarding the status of an individual now it is determined no through his birth in a family but by his personality, financial conditions and activities as well. The Caste Panchayats have lost their power.
It has completely died away although some castes have formed their organisation for the protection of their interests. Although the caste system appears to be growing weak on the one hand. It seems to go in strength upon the other casteism is increasing due to political and other interests. Government as well as non-government authorities think it desirable to employ only the members of their own caste in elections who would try to gain advantages for their own caste.
The institution of marriage in the village community has completely changed. Marriage is no more endogamous Marriage is now contracted between members of neighbouring villages and groups. Marriage which was treated as a religious sacrament now it is found that a sacred base of marriage is gradually det deteriorating. Because the customs of marriage are undergoing changes. The area of selection of mates is increasing. Although the parents decide on the marriage.
It is considered quite proper to take the consent of the boy and girl. In today’s society, there is heavy demand for dowry which is increasing day by day among Hindus. So is that of Mehar in Muslims. Apart from it, the education and qualities of girls are still an important factors in marriage. The growth of divorce is very high in the village community. There is also a decline of child marriage and acceptance of widow remarriage in modem village communities.
The joint family which was previously treated as the unit of the village community has been replaced by the nuclear family. So the size of the family is being smaller and smaller and there is the growth of individualization, and materialisation showing the sign of disintegration. The role of elders in family decision-making has been weakened. Each and every member wants to become stronger by which the family ties are discarded.
The enlightenment of women has made them conscious of their position in the family. Their lives are no more confined to the four walls of the house and they have taken many activities inside the family, which is sometimes responsible for the breakdown of the family in the village community.
The jamjar system in the traditional village community was closely connected with the caste system. Due to changes in different aspects of caste the growth of the Jajmani system has been affected. As a result of different efforts made by the government, the lower castes have now gained a certain degree of self-respect and their Jajmani relations with other castes are in the progress of being broken.
The occupations are no longer based on caste and the caste panchayats have lost their power which leads to the elimination of the Jajmani system. The circulation of money in place of services in the village has a degenerating effect on the Jajmani system.
Food and Dress:
Many changes have been noticed in the mode of living of the village community, particularly in the dress and food habits, many changes have been taken place. There is a quick change in the dress of the village. They use modem-fascinated dresses by imitating the urban civilisation. It has given emphasis to the will-made cloth which has replaced the handspun cloth.
They have a liking towards western dresses. The village women are now consuming more clothes of artificial silk, artificial jewellery and cheap cosmetics. So there is an unexpected change not in food habits but in dresses also.
A great change has been noticed in the village communities. In traditional society, the family was treated as main centre of recreation. But today the young men of the village have developed a liking for cinema, newspapers, clubs, hotels, and parks. So the means of recreation are gradually getting into life patterns of village communities. The organized facilities like radio, television, and video have attracted the villagers in the village community on the place of old music sing theatre and drama.
There are rapid changes in the economic life of the village community. The development of industries, factories, factories and mills are the main cause of change in the economic condition of villagers. The use of modem machinery in agriculture has increased the agricultural products Establishment of a cooperative society and facilities of loans to them have brought changes and have brought changes and have improved the condition of financial capital.
The standard of living is rising creating a demand for new things. There is a quick change in the food, dress and housing etc. The education of young -men are preferring to towns in search of jobs instead of agriculture. The cottage industries have been encouraged by government aid.
Political change has deeply influenced the village communities in today’s society. The political consciousness of the people has increased because of the introduction of panchayats in the village communities. The knowledge of politics has emerged among the villages due to the availability of newspapers along with radio and television.
So the number of participants of the people with politics is increasing. The village community has been divided into many groups on the basis of political parties as a result of which individualism and community feelings have increased along with cooperation. So modem Indian village communities are not free from politics.
The modem age is the age of science and technology. Due to the development of science and technology, changes in health in the village communities are easily visible. There is progress of sanitation and an increase in the number of doctors in the village community. The number of PHCs and dispensaries have been increased.
The health condition of women including children is improving by the proper arrangement made by the Government. Control of Government over Malaria, T.B. Small Pox has been successful. But the excessive use of tea, opium and tobacco etc. has undermined the health of the villages.
A great difference is evident in the social control of the traditional villages and modem villages. The village community have much control over its members. But this has decreased to a great extent The means of control like customs traditions, folkways and modes have become weak due to the spread of education and the decrease in superstition. The primary groups like family neighbourhoods have lost their hold over their members.
The control is now in fact normal and is exercised through most police and law. anti-social activities like crime juvenile delinquency, prostitution and suicide have become common. From the above discussion, it is clear that the village community is not free from changes. It is also not correct to say that it is static. It is changing and it will keep on changing in future. So the change in the village community is quite inevitable and easily justified.
Discuss the important classification of the village community.
With differential climatic and historical conditions different types of village communities have emerged in different periods of human history. They are different from each other in their social systems, folk- culture, traditions etc. For example, a wide variance is marked between a Saxon village the German murk Russian mi Indian Gram, a Village of feudal Europe, a U.S.A. village western – Eur or village etc. Different social thinkers and sociologists have classified village communities into different types on the basis of several factors. The major types may be discussed as follows.
On the basis of Residence:
On the basis of residence, H. J. Peake has classified village communities into three types such as:
The people of this type of village live for months or for a season in a particular locality and arrange their food from wild fruits animal meats etc. When the food supply at a place exhausts they shift to another place where they can find an adequate amount of food.
In semi-permanent agricultural villages, people reside for a few years at a particular place and migrate to another place due to the exhaustion of the productivity of the land. The duration of residence is larger in comparison to the migratory type of villages. In this type of village, people keep domestic animals like cows and goats but do not cultivate the land for agriculture.
They generally bum down the small trees and bushes etc and sow seed over the earth which gives them some coups after rainfall. And when people find that, the land is not yielding the required amount of food grains, they leave the place for another new settlement.
Permanent Agricultural villages:
In such a type of village, people live permanently for generations. They develop their farm practices village organisation and social relations within their own village as well as with their neighbouring villages. Usually, they do not change their place of living and place of cultivation. In such types of villages, permanent households are created the number of households may vary from a little number to hundreds or thousands.
On the basis of settlements:
On the basis of settlement, the citizen classified the village community into two heads such as nucleated and Dispersed villages.
In the nucleated villages, the residents dwell in one cluster and it has a dense population. The different families live in physical proximity to each other and land a common life. Their forms are spread around the village dwelling. Their farmland may be scattered in many plots or may be consolidated in blocks.
In this type of village, families are scattered over a relatively large piece of land. The villagers live separately in their respective farms which is away from one another. Since their homes are dispersed they have a lesser degree of contact with each other. Their social life assumes a different form. However, some sort of relationship binds all the families together. Generally, they participate in common festivals and observe common functions.
On the basis of organisation:
On this basis villages may be classified as follows:
In this type of village, the land is owned individually and people pull their resources together for common cultivation and farming. Generally, cooperative villages in India and Saxon villages in Germany fall in this group.
Semi-collective villages :
In such villages, the land belongs to the collective body. All means of production and resources are owned collectively. The people work together for the production of food grains and other essential goods. For consumption they get their monthly or annual dues fixed according to the income of the village. The income of the villager is not associated with the hours of labour but in by him. The families receive their quota according to the numerical strength of the family.
In this type, villages live in a communal settlement where all property is collectively owned and all the arrangements are done on a collective basis. Members of the village only render their labour to the common pool and get all the necessities of life like food, clothing, housing education etc. There is a common dining hall, common store and communal kindergarten in the village. The old and disabled persons are also maintained from the common fund. As a whole such type of village gives full security for the whole life of a person, his children and dependents.
On the basis of land ownership:
On this basis, villages may be classified into two categories such as:
In such villages, the land is owned by individuals, families or a few families known as landlords. The landlords possess the rights over the land but give the land to the tenants. The landlords also impose rent on the land which tenants usually pay. The landlords give a certain percentage or rent to the Government and keep a good percentage for themselves. Such types of villages existed in India before the abolition of intermediaries in agricultural sectors.
In rotary villages, farmers are the owners of the land and they cultivation it. They directly pay the rent to the Government without any intermediary. Such villages are known as ryotwari villages where land is owned by ryot or cultivators.
Discuss the main characteristics of the urban community.
A close examination of dominant features of urban life shows that there are significantly different between those who live in cities and those in rural areas. Urbanism as way of life, following is characterised by an extensive conflict of norms and values by rapid social change by increased social differentiation, greater social mobility, by a higher level of education and income.
By emphasis on material possessions and individualism. Urban values discussed by birth and other sociologists on western countries are not yet completely pre-dominant in India. In can be said that they are beginning to take root in Indian cities. Thus in the Indian context, the following description may not be wholly relevant.
Formal and impersonal Human relationship:
The large size and heterogeneous composition of urban areas prevent intimacy and purpose, for example, buyers and sellers in a store, and doctors and patients in a clinic. They are not usually concerned with all aspects of a person’s life. Apart from their family members and friends, urban people do not normally interact with others. This feature among the urban dwellers results in formal, impersonal superficial and secondary contacts.
In urban communities, external appearances and material possessions are of primary importance. Urban dwellers have often known for their status symbols such as the number of their financial assets or salaries the costliness of their homes and its furnishing T. V. or Video etc.
Urban dwellers give primary emphasis on their own interests and personal happiness. Urbanities do not show any concern for others and they do not think about the interests of others.
One of the distinctive features of urban life is greater mobility. People move again and again from one job to other from one locality to other. Residential mobility tends to weaken ties to the local community.
Formal Social Control:
Social control in Urban communities is more formal. Control in the urban community depends to large extent on large – scale super-local institutions. Responsibility for controlling behaviours in cities is largely shifting to police the court and other agencies of government to enforce the norms.
Norms and Social Role Conflict:
The diversity of social life is the most important characteristic or urbanism. It springs from the size, density and heterogeneity of the extreme specialisation of various occupations and the class structure existing in the larger communities the latter factors in farms generally result in divergent group norms and values and complicating social rules.
In urban communities, the ends sought by different groups are so differentiated and divergent that individuals often do not know in many areas of life exactly what are the norms are standards of behaviour and suitable social roles. The clash of norms and social rules creates a situation where no single standard is wide to be upheld and where deviation from it is not penalised.
With the impersonal nature of urban relationships, urban orientations tend to be utilitarian. That is people then enter into relationships after calculating potential gains from these associations. Here relationships are generally of the contractual kind where profit and loss are carefully evaluated. Once the contract is over the relationship between the people tends to end. Of course, there exists a wide range of variety in an individual relationship and all relationship is pointed out.
Heterogeneity of physical such as racial, social and cultural elements in urban life results in routine exposure to divergent styles and values. People become accustomed to seeing others very differently from themselves. As a result, they become more tolerant to differences. This rational and tolerant attitude produces a secular orientation in life. It is assumed that secular as opposed to religious orientation have been associated with urban social structure.
The decline in the functions of family:
Many of the educational recreational and other functions, performed within a rural joint family context are taken over by the institutions such as schools, clubs and other voluntary organisations in the urban social context, In urban society, there is generally a clear demarcation between the home and place of work which is not always found in rural society. Because of greater geographical mobility, regular contact between kins is often difficult if not impossible on these families.
Rapid social and cultural change:
Rapid social and cultural change also characterises urban life. Urban life itself also tends to facilitate changes in norms and ideologies as well as systems of behaviour which may greatly change the social structure and relations of the people to one another. The above description of the characteristics of the urban way of life should, however, be regarded as an ideal type. Cities vary in the extent or the degree to which they are characterised by urban qualities.
Discuss the important characteristics of the village community.
The village community has certain basic and specific characteristics. This nature of the village community can be properly understood by an analysis of its characteristics. The important characteristics are as follows:
Agriculture as the dominant mode of occupation:
Agriculture is the main occupation in the village community. It is not only a mode of production, but also away of life. The entire village life is influenced by it. Smith remarks that “agriculture and the collective enterprise are the bases of rural economy. The ‘Farmer’and the ‘Countryman’ are almost synonymous terms”.
Maclver also proclaims that “the predominant occupation of agriculture has other attributes which impress themselves on the mentality of the countrymen and are reflected in his social life. He is not like urban wage earner, an employee working under immediate supergvision of a task specially assigned to him.
Whether he is tenant or free holder even where he is a serf his time and season, his vaiying tasks,his alteration of work and rest are set for him not by the community of a master by the exigencies of nature,” Thus, agriculture is the predominant mode of occupation of villagers which influence the entire gamut of relationship in rural setting.
The small size of the viallage community:
Village communities are comparatively small in size. Due to it a sense of belongingness and primary group relationship develop among the villagers. Smaller the group the more intimate it is. Thus, in village community a deep, intense and enduring type of relationship is found among the people. A deeper sincerity in affairs of fellow beings, intensity of community sentiment, we feeling, role feeling, feeling or dependence, are all due to the small size of village community.
The dominant role of family and neighbourhood:
Family occupies a very dominant position in village community. It acts as the main agent of social- control. It also determines the various activities of the people like marriage, religious performances, political affiliations etc. Such dominant position of the family also provides impetus for masked stability of village community. About the role of family Maclver says, “In rural life where the family is relatively dominant and self contained a group responsibility prevails.
The status of an individual is likely to be the status of the family. Property is likely to be thought of as family possession. Family opinion develops about most matters of interests of interest and is apt to permeate all its members. Neighbourhood plays a very important role in village community. It is constituted of almost identical cluster of huts and houses.
Neighbours are intimately connected with each other. They assist each other during the time of difficulties. Their topic of gossip is common. Everybody is under constant guidance of the whole neighbourhood. This reciprocal relationship in community marked ever one to act according to the prevailing ways.
Homogeneity of life:
The village community has comparatively a greater homogeneity. It means that people are more or less like in a village community and have relatively similar way of life. It is mainly due to the agriculture as predominant mode of occupation. Other occupations also exist in rural communities. But they are in a small scale and more or less linked with the agriculture. Thus, the predominance of single occupation and the common ways of living in a particular area for generations together makes the village life relatively homogeneous.
Simplicity and frugality of living:
Simplicity and frugality of living is another important characteristic of village life. Most of the individual farmers possess small size of the cultivable land. The agricultural production is limited due to many natural as well as man made factors. By didn’t of his hard labour and sweat, the farmer gets the substantial amount of crops by which he maintains his family.
The ill practices like theft, robbery, misconduct etc. are not significantly visible in villages. The villagers lead an idealistic life in accordance with the traditions of family and caste. Generally, they, do not make false pretentions’and boasting. Their life is plain and open. They are not so much mad after the material possessions and are satisfied with their hand. All these make them relatively simple, sober and soft.
Faith in God and religion:
Most of the village people are illiterate and ignorant. So they have strong belief on God and religion. They are nearer to nature. Nature causes heavy loss and devastation for the rural people.Thus, villagers develop a kind of fear for the natural forces and start worship in them with a view to escape for their wrath. Such nearness to nature also determines the attitude of farmers towards land, animals, wealth, natural calamities etc. Thus, religion becomes part and parcel of rural, social life.
Group feeling and natural co- operation:
In village life group feeling or feeling of occupies a important place. Villagers are ready to sacrifice their own interests or even life for the sake of village. They led a life based on co- operation and mutual understanding. Agriculture, the main occupation of the villagers is a sort of cooperative enterprise.
It needs a lot of man power, necessitating the people to co- operate with each other. Therefore, co- operation is a natural necessity of the village community. This co- operation is based on love, affection, goodwill and fellow feeling. Due to these things the social relationship in a village community, becomes genuine, sacred and permanent.
Common ideology and culture:
In village community people have common ideology, due to their compact living in a definite locality for years together over generations, a common ideology or belief naturally emerges out of their association and interaction. Generally in village, people have common views on politics, religion, customs etc. Thus, the people of a village cultivate some common cultural traits, behavioural patterns and follow common customs and traditions.
Lack of specialisation:
In village community there is no or little specialisation. Even in occupational activities, although different sectors of population are supposed to practice different types of occupations, there is no such specialisation in modem sense of the term. For example, agricultural occupation is a common occupation in rural community. Person belonging to different castes are engaged in agriculture. Due to lack of specialisation there is less innovation and discovery. People are governed by traditional norms and heritage.
Low density of population:
Comparatively, the concentration of population at a particular space is very low in a rural area. In urban centres a large number of people concentrate within a specified territory which leeds to high density of population. But in rural areas people are scattered over a large stretch of land living near to their agricultural fields. Again, due to heavy migration of people to urban areas, the number of village community decreases resulting in low density of population.
Hard-working and painstaking :
Village people are very hard- working and painstaking. Their life is governed by nature. Neither they feel suffocated in summer, nor chilled in winter, nor afraid of the lighting and thunders of rain. Hard conditions of life and the hardship of agricultural activities make them more pain staking from the very childhood.
Poverty and illiteracy:
Poverty and illiteracy are the constant friends of village life. Owing to pressure on lands it is fragmented in to small holdings which results in poor productivity. Besides there are also a number of landless labourers in village community. The agriculture is often affected by natural calamities. Villagers do not have other sources of income.
The ever increasing poverty, deprives them even from elementary education what to speak of highly expensive, technical, specialised education. Those minority who can afford for such are led by blind belief and religious dogmas which kills their initiative for higher education.
Caste System :
Caste system is another unique characteristic feature of village community. The whole village community is divided in to many groups on the basis of caste system. All the important aspects of social life are governed by the caste norms. Social life is governed by the caste norms. Social intercourse, ritual performance occupation- everything is decided by Caste Panchayats.
Less intensity of mobility and change:
Mobility of population in village community is less intensive. Because people generally follow the same occupation. The change of occupation or change of caste is not permissible. One’s status and position is permanently fixed on the basis of birth in a particular caste and family. The speed of social change in village community is very slow due to the rigidity of customs, traditions and value system.
Therefore, the village community is comparatively less dynamic. Smith has remarked that “Urban community may be said to resemble “swiftly moving river, where water chums about incrssantly, rural community is a quiet pond with small waves created by cool breeze. “Zimmerman, comments “rural community is similar to calm water in apail and the urban community, to boiling water in a kettle.”
Local Self- Government:
In early, days, village was a independent, self- sufficient and autonomous organisation. The villagers tried to manage their own affairs by themselves through the traditional institutions like Caste Panchayat or Village Panchayat. Village as a “Little Republic” have every thing for its member. Now- a – days a number of steps are being taken by this Govememnt to reorganise these “republics”, which had lost their vitality during British rule. These local self- governing bodies run the day- to- day life of village community through informal methods and thereby preserves its socio- economic identity.
Rigidity of social control :
In village community, the primary institutions play a very significant role in exercising social control. Such primary institutions are family, Caste- Council, neighbourhood, religious opinion etc. These institutions regulate the behaviour of individuals through informal means. Due to the rigidity of value system, customs, traditions etc. the observance of the information rules becomes obligatory etc. the observance of the information rules becomes obligatory for members. There is little chance of deviation from it. and such’deviation is severely criticised and published by the people in most informal manner.
The age- old tradition is peculiar characteristic of village community, Village community is custom bound and tradition- ridden. The minds of villagers are so much pre- occupied with traditional beliefs and faith that the diffusion of new ideas and beliefs take place very slowly.
Describe the various types of village communities.
With different climates and historical conditions, different types of village communities have emerged in different periods of human history. They differ from even others in their social system folk- cultures, traditions etc. For example, a wide variance is marked between a Saxon village, the German Mark, a Russian city- Indian Gram, the village of Feudal Europe, a U.S.A. village, a Western Europe village etc. Different social factors. The major types may be discussed as follows
On the basis of Residence :
On the basis of residence, H.T. Peake has classified village communities into three types such as:
The people of this of villages live for months or for a season in a particular locality, arranging their foods from natural resources in the form of wild hunts, animal meals etc. When the food supply at a place exhausts, they shift to another place where they can find an adequate amount of food.
In semi-permanent agricultural villages, people reside for a few years at a particular place and migrate to another place due to die exhaustion of the productivity of the land. The duration of residence is more as compared to the migratory type of village. In this type of village, people keep domestic animals like cows and goat but do not cultivate the land for agriculture.
They generally bum down the small trees and bushes etc. and sow seed over the earth which gives them some crops after rainfall. And when the people find that the land is not yielding the required amount of food grains, they leave the place for another new settlement.
Permanent agricultural village:
In such type of village, people have lived permanently for generations. They develop their farm practices, village organisations and social relations within their own village as well as their neighbouring villages. Usually, they do not change their place of living and place of cultivation. In such types of villages, permanent households are created. The number of households may vary from any little number of hundreds or thousands.
On the basis of settlement:
On the basis of settlement, we have classified village communities into two heads as Nucleated and Dispersed villages or scattered villages.
In the nucleated village, the residents dwell in one cluster and it has a dense population. The different families are in physical proximity to each other and lead a common life. Their forms are spread around the village dwelling. Their farmland may be scattered in many plots or may be scattered in many plots or may be consolidated in a block.
In this type of village, families are scattered over a relatively large piece of land. The villagers live separately in their respective farms which is away from one another. Since they are dispersed they have a lesser degree of contact with each other. Their social life assumes a different form. However, some sort of relationship binds all the families together. Generally, they participate in common festivals and observe common functions.
On the basis of organisation:
On this basis villages may be classified as follows:
In this type of village, the land is owned individually and people pull their resources together for common cultivation and farming. Generally, co-operative houses are organised to supply them with their necessary commodities. The Mosawdion type of village of Israel, Co- an operative village in India and a Saxon village in Germany fall into this group.
In such villages, the land belongs to the collective body. All means of production and resources are owned collectively. The people work together for the production of food grains and other essential goods. In respect of the consumption side, they get their monthly or annual duties fixed according to the income of the village. The income of villagers is not associated with the number of hours worked by a member of a particular family. The families receive their quota according to the numerical strength of the family.
In this type of village, villagers live in a communal settlement where all property is collectively owned and all the arrangements are done on a collective basis. Members of the village only render their labour to the common pool and get all the necessities of life like food, clothing, housing, education etc.
There is a common dining hall, common store and communal kindergarten in the village. The old and disabled persons are also maintained from the common fund. As a whole such type of village gives faith secretly for the whole life of a person, his children and dependents.
On the basis of Land Ownership:
On this basis, villages may be classified into two categories such as:
Landlord villages :
In such villages, the land is owned by individual families or a few families known as landlords. The landlords possess, all powers over the land but give the land to the tenants. The landlords also impose rent on the land which tenants usually pay. The (landlords) give a certain percentage for themselves. Such types of villages existed in India before the abolition of intermediaries in the agricultural sector.
In Ryotwari villages farmers are the owners of the land and they cultivate they directly pay the rent to the government without any intermediary.
Bring out the distinction between rural and urban communities.
The rural and urban communities differ from each other on the basis of social, economic, religious and cultural standpoints. The sociologists like E.S. Bogardus, K. Davids, E.A. Ross, P. A. Sorokin and so on the point out the following distinction between rural communities and urban communities.
The difference in size:
The size of village community is small.Its scope is very narrow and limited because it is constituted by a small number of people.Due to the small size, the people of village can identify each other and create personal relations among them. But the size of urban community is large. Its scope is very wide and vast because it includes a large number of people of different religions. As a result the people can not identify each other personally.
The difference in Environment:
The environment of die rural community is pure, peaceful and natural than that of the urban community. The villages carry on agricultural works being constantly is struggle with sun, rain and winter. The environment becomes pure and healthy by cultivation instead of being polluted.But the environment of urban community is polluted and artificial. The city is the centre of factories and motor vehicle. The movement of vehicles, smoke and poisonous gas from the factories and the water of the drains make the environment polluted.
The difference in occupation:
Agriculture is the main occupation of the village community.lt is the life and soul of Villagers. Most of the people in the village depend directly on agriculture to earn their livelihood. Though a few landless people depend to cottage industries, yet agriculture is the main occupation from the economic stand point. But the only dwellers generally do not depend on agriculture, trade and commerce and job in government and private sectors is their main occupation. They earn their livelihood by depending directly on some non-agricultural occupation.
The difference in family system:
The family life of the village community is very simple and peaceful. Joint family system is mostly seen in villages. Most of the people in village live together in one house and take part in sorrow and joys of each other. Joint family is the main basis of rural unity. But on the other hand, the family of urban community is indisciplined, hard, rigid. The families or urban areas are nuclear type.
The difference in marriage:
The rural and urban communities differ from each other on the basis of marriage systemin village community marriage is performed according to the approval and consent of two families. Marriage outside the caste, is strictly prohibited in village. The son or the daughter has no right in the selection of mates. The marriage which is fixed by the parents and relatives is unanimously accepted. From this stand point, love marriage in urban community is performed according to the will and choice of two persons. The role of son and daughter is more important than the parents in the selection of mates.
The difference in caste system:
In village community, caste system is very hard and rigid. The villagers are distinguished from each other on the basis of caste. They deeply believe in caste system and create many restrictions in food, drink and social intercourse. The higher caste people village enjoy all kinds of social, economic, religious and cultural privileges and the lower caste people suffer from all kinds of disabilities. But on the other hand, caste system has no importance in urban community.The city dwellers do not believe incaste system. They uproot all restrictions of caste system.
The difference in Religion:
The village community is deeply influenced by religion. The villagers are more religious-minded. They worship many Gods and Goddesses. Different rituals and worships are the fundamental principles of rural life. The villagers fear honour and believe God. But the urban community is not much more influenced by religion. The city dwellers have less religious belief. They consider religion as a symbol of superstition. From this stand pointmany anti-social works happens in urban communities.
The difference in cultural life:
The cultural life of both rural and urban communities are different from each other. The rural culture is more static than that of the urban culture. The belief, art, law,customs and traditions of the rural people are rigid. The cultural life of the villagers is motivated on the basis of the caste system. The caste feeling controls and guides the day- to day life of the people. But the culture of the urban community is simple, flexible and changing. It is always based on the secular principles.
The difference in social relationship:
Village community is mostly characterised by primary relationship. There is a strong we feeling among the people. The villagers help each other and share the joys and sorrows. Their relationships is fundamental to the case. Tins relationship is direct, intimate, face- to- face, informal and stable. But, on the other side, the urban community is mostly characterised by secondary relationship. The city dwellers rarely know each other. The relationship among the people in an urban community is indirect impersonal, formal and short.
Define caste and discuss its various characteristics.
What is caste? Point out its distinctive features.
Examine the structural and functional features of caste in India.
Stratification is a general feature of every society. An “unstratified society with a real equality of its members is a myth, which has never been realized in the history of mankind. Indian society presents a unique system of stratification based on birth, which is not found elsewhere in the world. This form, with other forms of social stratification, is the caste system.
The English word ‘caste’ is derived from the Portuguese word ‘Caste’. ‘Caste’ means breed, race or kind. The Hindi equivalent of caste is ‘Jati’ or ‘Jat’. Jati means birth or descent. Risley defines caste as “A collection of families or groups of Families bearing a common name, claiming a common descent from a mythical ancestor, human or divine, professing to follow the same hereditary calling and is regarded by those who are competent to give an opinion as forming a single homogeneous community.
Ketkar defines caste as “A social group having two characteristics.
- Endogamy and
- Membership is confined to those who are born of members and includes all persons so born.
According to Anderson and Parker, “Caste is that extreme form of social class organization . in which the position of individuals in the status hierarchy is determined by descent and birth”. Prof. Ghurye discusses some of the important characteristics of caste N.K. Dutta also gives a list of the salient features of the caste system, which is an essence not very much different from the one given by Prof. Ghurye. The general features of caste are:
Segmental division of society:
Society is divided into several small social groups under the caste system. Each social group is called a caste. The membership of a caste is based on birth, so mobility from one caste to another is impossible. Thus, each caste is a social world by itself.
Prof. George says that all the castes are arranged into a hierarchy on the basis of their social precedence. At the top of the hierarchy, there is the Brahmin caste and followed by Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra castes. The relative position of all these castes are not always very clear.
Restrictions on food, drink and social intercourse :
Every caste imposes restrictions on its members, with regard to food, drink and social intercourse. The members of a higher caste do not accept water or food from the lower castes or untouchables. For example, the Brahmins do not accept water and food from the Harijans. Likewise, there is restrictions on social inter¬course. There are widespread beliefs of pollution by touch which require the members of different castes to maintain social distance from one another.
Differential civil and religious privileges and disabilities:
In a caste society, there is an unequal distribution of privileges and disabilities among its members. While the higher caste people enjoy all the privileges the lower caste people suffer from all kinds of disabilities. The un- touchable castes live far away from the residential areas of the higher castes. They are not allowed to move freely in the community.
The untouchables along with the Shudras, are not permitted to study the Hindu scriptures like the Vedas. Punishment for crime varies not according to the caste of the criminal. They are not allowed to participate in public fairs etc. They are even not allowed to use public fairs etc. They are even not allowed to use public wells, ponds, roads etc.
Restrictions on choice of occupation:
The choice of occupations in a caste system is hereditary and the members of a caste are expected to follow their traditional occupations without fail. Thus, a Brahmin should be a Priest and Chamar should always cure hides and make chappals.
Restrictions on marriage:
Each caste is an endogamous group. Every caste or sub-caste imposes restrictions that its members should many within the group. Marriage outside one’s caste is strictly prohibited. Any deviation of this rule is viewed as a serious offence and results in ex-communication from the caste or severe punishment.
Each caste in Hindu society is subdivided into a number of sub-castes. Each sub-caste, like a caste, is an endogamous group.
Every caste has its own panchayat or praise. It discusses various matters and problems of its own caste. It functions like a governing body. It settles various disputes of caste and punishes the offenders who violate the rules of the caste.
Discuss various theories of the origin of the caste system.
The English word ‘Caste’ is derived from the Portuguese word ‘caste’. ‘Caste’ is derived from the Portuguese word ‘caste’. ‘Caste’ means breed, race or kind. The Hindi equivalent of caste is ‘Jati’ or ‘jaf. Jati means birth or descent. So caste of a person is determined by his birth. A number of theories are found in India to explain the origin of the caste system in India. Some important theories of the origin of the caste system are
- Racial Theory
- Political Theory
- Occupational Theory
- Traditional Theory
- Theory of Mana.
- Functional – Racial Theory
- Theory of cultural integration.
- Evolutionary Theory
The racial theory is regarded as an important theory of the caste system. Sir Herbert Risely, GS. Ghurye and D.N. Mazumdar are the main propounders of racial theory. Sir Herbert Risely points out that the Caste system originated in India after the entrance of Aryans from Persia to India. He points out that when Aryans came to India, at that time there was a scarcity of women among them.
So they started marrying from non-Aryans or lower vamps. But the Aryans refused to give their women in Marring to the non-Aryans. Later on, when the Aryans had enough of women they closed to marrying women from the non-Aryans or lower vamps. Hence they married women among their Aryans and the custom of endogamy was founded.
Risely argues that the caste system originated due to this attitude of Aryans toward non-Aryans. Prof GS- Ghurye argues that the Aryans invaded India and conquered the original non-Aryan races. Later on, these non-Aryans were regarded as ‘Sudras’. The Aryans did not give permission to the non-Aryans or the Sudras to participate in all their religious and social activities.
Even the Aryans did not allow the non-Aryans to reside near their houses. This racial conflict is the cause of the origin of the caste system. Mazumdar points out that the caste system originated in India after the entrance of Aryans to India. After their arrival, hierarchy increased gradually in India. This hierarchy is the basis and origin of the caste system. Hutton criticises the racial theory of the origin of the caste- system.
He says that it is very difficult to believe that hypergamy has created the caste system in India alone. Secondly, the existence of two races cannot convincingly refer to the existence of untouchability in India Lastly, this theory only stresses race while it neglects many other possible factors which contribute to the formation of the caste system.
Some early European observers point out that the Caste system was a creation of the clever priesthood on a single law- given for the division and subjection of the masses. Dr Ghurye says that the “Caste system in India is a Brahminic child of the Indo- Aryan culture.” But the critics of this theory says that caste system is so widespread and deep-rooted in Hindu society that it could not have been imposed upon the public either by a clever priesthood or by an administrative measure.
Secondly, the caste system is so co-related with Hindu society that it is difficult to conceive of Hindu society without a caste- system. Hence caste system is organic rather than artificial to Hindu society.
Nesfield is the main propounder of this theory. According to him, some occupations were regarded as higher than others occupations. So occupation or function alone is responsible for the origin or caste- system in India. The critics of this theory say that if the occupation is the sole basis of the caste- system then why agricultural castes in the south are considered lower castes whereas they are regarded as respectable in North India.
The traditional theory explains the caste- system in terms of divine origin. Rigveda states the four varhas have emerged from the four limbs of the supreme being. The Jatis or castes have been formed due to the prevalence of hypergamy and hypogamy marriages between the four original games.
The mixed offspring of such unions created many different castes. The critics of this theory say that from a scientific point of view it is wrong to believe that the four games are the creation of divine beings. Secondly, it is also wrong to believe that all the various castes have been formed by vamasankara.
Theory of Mana:
J.H. Hutton is the main propounder of this theory. He says that the belief in “Mana” has given rise to the caste system. Mana is a supernatural power in which, the tribal people believe. Mana has the power to do good or bad, profit or loss to people. It is also believed by the tribal people that “Mana” can be transmitted through contact and social- intercourse.
Functional Racial Theory:
Slater has tried to explain the origin of the caste system by functional and racial elements. According to him, the caste system developed in India much before the Aryans came. He says the caste system arose in India as a result of occupations becoming hereditary and marriage being arranged by parents to safeguard craft secrets. Further, the occupational groups were created because of magic and religious ceremonies attached to crafts. He says, the Aryans came and strengthened the existing tendency by associating a colour to castes.
Theory of Cultural Integration:
Sarat Chandra Roy is the main propounder of this theory. In his opinion, the caste system arose due to geographical intimacy and equality of social ideas of different races. He says the caste system evolved as a result of the integration and assimilation of different cultures. For example, the Aryan “Varna system us a cultural entity which is based on ‘Karma’, and the Dravidian division of society is<a culture which is based on occupation.
Denzil Ibbetson is the main propounder of this theory. He points out that the caste system evolved as a result of the interaction of tribes, occupational guilds and religion. Therefore, from the above discussion, it is very clear that a number of theories are found to explain the origin of the caste- system.
But no theory has yet been able to explain its origin convincingly. The caste system is so complex that it is not easy to explain it in terms of any one factor. The Indian caste system is not the product of any one single factor. This system is a natural result of the interaction of geographical, social, political, economic and religious factors.
Discuss various merits or advantages of the caste system,
Discuss different functions of the caste system.
Risley says caste of “A collection of families or groups Of families bearing a common name, claiming a common descent from a mythical ancestor, human or divine, professing to follow the same hereditary calling and is regarded by those who are competent to give opinions as forming a single homogeneous community.” Under the caste, system society is divided into a number of castes.
Though the castes are hierarchically ordered hence the relative positions of different castes are always not very clear. The membership of a caste is based on birth, so mobility from one caste to another is impossible. Each caste has its own traditional social status, occupation, customs, rules and regulations. Each caste is an endogamous group. So a marriage outside one’s own caste is prohibited.
Every caste imposes restrictions on its members with regard to food, drink and social- intercourse. Each caste also has its own occupation. Freedom is not allowed for the members of the different castes to choose their occupations freely. Similarly, each caste has its own governing body called the ‘caste council’ of ‘ Jati’ Panchayat’, which enforces the caste rules. Thus, each caste is a social world itself. But in all activities, all the castes are dependent upon each other and serve as the device in our division of labour for the smooth functioning of society.
The caste system has certain merits and demerits:
The merits of the caste system can be viewed from two angles. One from the individual’s point of view, the other from social point of view. So the merits or advantages on functions of caste system from an individual point of view are:-
Determines Social Status:
As caste- system is based on the principle of birth an individual automatically becomes a member of it and gets the traditional status of that caste. For example, a Brahmin occupies the highest position in Hindu society not because of his extra- ordinaiy qualities or achievements, but because of his birth in a Brahmin caste. So in the caste- system the ascriptive status of the individual is fixed.
Provides Social Security:
A caste offers social security to the individual from his birth to death. It provides him with an occupation, acts as a trade union, a benefit society, health insurance and also provides for his funeral if it is needed.
Guides the Individual behaviour:
Caste- system controls the behaviour of the individual. Every caste has its own behaviour patterns. The members of each caste obey this behaviour patterns in matters like dress, diet, ceremony, rituals at birth, initiation on Upanayana, marriage, death etc.
Functions of the caste system from the social point of view –
Caste – system preserves culture:
Every society for its stability passes its culture from one generation to another generation. The caste system is specially, fit for such a task of handling over cultural patterns like skill, knowledge and behaviour from one preceding generation to the other succeeding generation with little change. In the caste- system the hereditary occupation and the caste customs are safeguarded and handed over to the next generation.
It integrates Society:
Caste system has acted as an effective means of integrating the diverse racial, religious, national and ethnic groups in to a vast Community. The caste- system is capable of integrating these groups in such a way that it becomes a part of the social whole and yet retains its own distinctive character and identity.
Caste – system establishes stability in society:
The caste- system has also been responsible for the stability in society. Hindu society has proved stable because it is firmly based on a caste- system, which survives even conversion to Islam or Christianity. It has also saved Hindu society from being disrupted under the pressure of alien invasions, famines and upheavals of all kinds.
Caste- system brings Political – stability in Society:
The caste- system has acted as a political stabilizer in the country. It acts as a constitution for the Hindu. The caste- system is responsible for the preservation of India from complete barbarism, a sure basis of orderly government, a defence against despotism and as a means for preserving the arts as a sure means for preserving Hindu pattern of culture under the regime of alien conquerors.
It serves as a device for the division of labour:
caste- system acts as a unique system of division of labour in Hindu society. It provides to the individual, with all functions ranging from education to scavenging. One important feature of this system is that it believes in the religious dogma that is belief in ‘Karma’. This belief in Karma makes in-equitable division of labour acceptable to the people. It is said that the present position and occupation of the individual is the result of his past life, and if he performs his caste duties perfectly in present life then he will maintain a better life in future.
The caste- system maintains the purity of blood:
The caste- system has served as a method for preserving the purity of blood by its instance on endogamy. Because the caste system prohibits marriage outside one’s own group. So this endogamy prevents hybridisation and thereby maintains the purity of blood.
Discuss dysfunctions of caste-system Or. Discuss the demerits of the caste- system
‘No doubt’ caste- system has certain merits. It is not altogether devoid of dysfunctions or demerits. The system has been responsible for various evils in Hindu society. The main disadvantages or demerits or dysfunctions of caste- system are:-
Hinders Social Progress:
Caste-system is a hindrance to social progress. Because it does not easily allow the changes in society.Under caste system the individual has no freedom.He is bound to conform to his age old customs of his caste. If some one violates the age old customs, then he is published. Since the members of caste believe in the law of Karma, they become conservative in society. This rigidity of the system has almost paralysed Hindu society. Innovation has no place in it. So caste system hinders social progress in Hindu society.
Caste – system creates un- touchability:
Un- touchability is the ugliest expression of caste- system. Caste- system is mainly responsible for the prevalence of untouchability in Hindu society. These untouchables suffer from all kinds of disabilities. They are economically suffered, specially disabled, politically have no rights in the society.
Caste- system hinders the national unity:
Caste- system creates love and loyalty towards one’s own caste and hatred attitude towards other castes. This sense develops casteism among the people. Under caste system the lower caste people become dissatisfied with the behaviour of upper caste- people. As a result conflict takes place between different castes, which ultimately hinders the national unity.
Caste- system leads to political disunity:
Under caste- system an individual is required to be more loyal to his caste than to any other group. As such, it fosters casteism rather than nationalism among the people. It is for this reason that the Indians could not develop nationalism and combine against foreign invasions. In fact, disunity and lack of patriotism among the Indians encouraged many foreigners to invade India.
The past two hundred and fifty years of India’s recorded history reveals that India was a victim of foreign invasions for atleast hundred and twenty five times. In other words, India was attacked by foreign powers in every 20 years on an average. Even now, caste seems to be one of the most disruptive forces in India.
Caste- system perpetuates social in- equality :
Caste system has served as an instrument in the hands of the upper castes to maintain their own privileged position in society. It led to the disposition of the upper castes and created permanent feelings of inferiority and insecurity in the minds of the lower caste people.
The caste system imposes hardships on women:
Under caste system, a caste wishing to raise its status in the caste hierarchy, should follow certain customs like child marriage, prohibition on window remarriages and seclusion of women, which entails hardship for women.
Caste system hinders economic progress:
Caste – system acts as an obstacle on the path of economic development. Under the caste- system a person is not freely allowed to choose any occupation. Because there is fixed occupation for every caste and this custom is transmitted from one generation to other. Hence it leads to immobility and inefficiency of labour and there by to economic backwardness.