Environment and Society

Environment and Society

Question

Explain the similarities and dissimilarities between rural and urban communities.

Answer
I. Introduction : The villagers and cities represent two different social systems but, if we look into these two social systems, we find a great deal of similarities also. Therefore, it is necessary here to draw a comparison between villages and dissimilarities. It is sociologically significant to know these aspects because Indian villages and cities posses typical characteristics features of their own.

II. Distinction : 1. The most common distinctions between village and city are population density and its size. In a city a large number of people live and work in close proximity. By contrast rural areas have low population density. Villagers are small in size and have small population. Cities have much bigger size and have vast population. Density of population is low in villages, but density of population in cities is very high.

2 Homogenious/Hetro-geneity : Villages are homogenous, whereas hetro-geneity is the hallm ark of cities. In the village, people are more differentiated into caste and religion and less into class. However people of cities are highly differentiated into a number of castes, communities, classes, linguistic groups, religious groups and occupational groups.

3. In villages, people belonging to one linguistic group live together. Whereas in the cities, different linguistic groups are found.

4. In the villages, main source of direct or indirect income is agriculture, whereas in cities, people are predominantly engaged in non-agricultural occupations such as the jobs of officers and clerks in the government and nongovernment organisations, managers and workers in factories and in many professions.

5. Availability of Land : In village, people depend on cultivation of their own land. Those who do not have sufficient land, work as labourers on other's lands. A very small section of village population engage themselves in the non-agricultural occupation. On the other hand, people in the cities follow non-agricultire occupations. Only a few engage themselves in agriculture-related activities. The majority of them are industrial workers or workers in various occupations in the organized or unorganized sector. Industrial, urban varieties of trade and commerce-related occupations are found in the cities.

6. Rigidity in the caste system is far less in the cities, as compared to villages.

7. Frequent and intense inter-community relations are found in the cities while it is less pronounced or absent in the villages.

8. In the cities, people are individualistic in their disposition with formal and impersonal relations. While people in the villages are connected with each other through informal and personal relationships.

9. Social obligations are more in the villages than in the cities.

10. In urban areas, people are found performing varieties of roles; therefore, network of social relationships is characterized by anonymity.

11. Social mobility in cities is very high whereas, in the villages it is comparatively low. Occupational, educational and class mobility are in greater abundance in cities than in villages.

12. Further, ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors work behind continuous and large scale migration of village people to the cities. But hardly any individual is found migrating to villages from cities.

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