നരവംശ ശാസ്ത്രം

നുറുങ്ങു കവിത…

നരവംശ ശാസ്ത്രം

ഡോ. എം.പി. ദാമോദരൻ

 

നരന്റെയും,

നാടിന്റെയും,

നാലും തെരഞ്ഞറിയുന്ന

നന്മയുടെ ശാസ്ത്രം…

                                                (30 June 2014)

Urbanization of Social Institutions

Published in “The Asian Man”, Vol. 7, Issue 1&2, January – December 2013 : 37-44 (DOI: 10.5958/j.0975-6884.7.1X.006).

Urbanization of Social Institutions*

 by

M.P. Damodaran and P. Govinda Reddy

ABSTRACT
Urbanisation indicates a way of life. It is a universal phenomenon that exists all over the world. It is for various reasons, likely in
most cases, search for a better livelihood. It brings complexity and changes in culture and society. In the Indian context, the urban
population is increasing, and has its uniqueness. The joint households will be continued as a social arrangement. It may serve the
needs of the urbanite as well as the traditional farmer in rural areas, albeit the nature of joint family is different. The selection of a
partner is more individualistic, and conventional marriages are in decline. Most of the kin-ties lost their social relevance and are being
transformed into more of need-based ties in the urban life.
Keywords: Culture, Society, Urbanisation, Institution, Structure

 

Introduction

Urbanization indicates “a way of life” (Wirth 1980, 1938). It is a universal phenomenon that exists all over the world. It is for various reasons, likely in most cases, search for a better livelihood. This does not mean Urbanization is only a movement from villages to cities but, it also brings complexity and changes in the migrant’s culture and society.

There is a shift in understanding of the urban development in the late 1960s, from single factors to more general or, structural understandings. Structuralist explanations (cf. Harvey 1978, Castells 1977) managed to link general social changes with urban development.

Social and political conditions play an important role in drawing people out of the countryside into cities (Gugler & Flanagan 1978). Migration to urban areas can provide an escape from family and cultural constraints, such as restricted land access or a low level of female independence (Tacoli 1998). Migration to an urban area may also occur because of an expected increase in social status and standing – the perception that the “high life” can be found among the “bright lights” of the city.

Whether migration is circular, seasonal or permanent, often it is a response to economic incentives. The classic analysis of rural-urban migration (Harris & Todaro 1970) attributes migration to the existence of relatively better economic conditions in urban areas. According to this model, migrants compare expected wages in the city to alternative rural income. If urban wages are higher (perhaps through government wage policies or trade unions), rural people will be attracted to the city. If expected urban income is much higher than rural income, rural-urban migration may occur even if the employment prospects in the city are dim. Migrants may be willing to endure a period of unemployment if expected urban income is sufficiently high (Mazumdar 1987).

Throughout much of the period of modernization, urban places have been growing in patterns much similar from country to country thus reflecting parallel processes at work. These included first of all a structural change of production and a huge migration of workers to the rapid growing manufacturing areas.

The recent upturn in urban studies is often related to the rise of the informational society hand in hand with globalization as basis for an understanding of the potentials of individual localities. Urban growth can be considered as a cumulated specification of social changes, although with some delay due to the particular features of the built environment (Harvey 1978).

A distinction between rural and urban areas is not always possible in a single definition that is applicable to all countries or even to different areas in a country. Ideally, the useful definition of an urban area is in terms of level of infrastructure, availability of civic amenities, and proportions of land uses as well as conventional factors like density of population and proportion of nonagricultural work force (Dutt, Monroe & Ramesh 1986).

Urbanization: World Scenario

The last decade of the twentieth century marks a major watershed in the evolution of human settlement, for it encompasses the period during which the location of the world’s people became more urban than rural (Clark 1996).  Levels of urbanization, however, are far from uniform (United Nations 1991). They are high across the Americas, most of Europe, parts of western Asia and Australia.  Urban development was largely confined to developed countries before mid-century but has spread to developing countries since. Recent urbanization in Africa and Asia is a locational response to the new global economic order. The extent of urbanization in the developed and developing worlds is an interdependent consequence of the evolution of capitalism and its changing space relations. It took over eight millennia for half the world’s population to become urban. Present predictions suggest that it will take less than 80 years for this process to encompass most of the remainder (Clark 1998).

Urbanization is an index of transformation from traditional rural economies to modern industrial one. It is progressive concentration (Davis 1965) of population in urban unit. The urban population (United Nations 1993) was estimated to be 2.96 billion in 2000 and 3.77 in 2010. It was estimated that at mid 1990s, about 43 per cent of the world population lived in urban areas, and nearly 50 million people are added to the world’s urban population and about 35 million to the rural population each year. The share of world’s population living in urban centers has increased from 39% in 1980 to 48% in 2000. The developed countries have higher urbanization level (76% in 2000) compared with developing countries (40% in 2000) The urbanization level has almost stabilized in developed countries. Africa and Asian countries are in the process of urbanization (Datta 2006). United Nations projections further show that by 2025, more than three- fifth of the world population will live in urban areas (United Nations 1993).

Kenneth (1980:121,122) had given a good account of urbanization of Africa that: “West Africa involves a social process somewhat analogous to the social changes that resulted in the urbanization of Western Europe during the 19thcentury. The large centres of Western commerce and administration, rapidly growing ports and of places where mining and other industries are being developed. Its effect has been to swell the population of such places for beyond their previous size, as well as to convert a good many villages into urban areas. For example, the principle towns of Senegal French West Africa increased their populatios by 100 percent between 1942 and 1952 and those of the French Ivory Coast by 109 percent during the same decade. In the Gold Coast there was an increase of 98 percent in the populations of the five largest towns between 1931 and 1948. Cotonou in Dahomey grew from 1100 in 1905 to 35,000 in 1952 and Lunsar, in Sierra Leone, which was a village of 30 inhabitants in 1929 has a population today of nearly 17,000”.

In many African countries, economic decline in the 1980s, and the impact of IMF structural adjustment programmes, combined to devastate the real incomes of a very large proportion of the urban population. The gap between real rural incomes and real urban incomes has often narrowed considerably. It appears that the rate of urban growth in some African countries has slowed considerably, and there is also some evidence that new forms of ‘reverse migration’ from urban to rural areas have occurred (Deborah 1995).

A study of northern Ghanaian migrants to Accra revealed the powerful “bright lights” myth–migrants had been lured to the city by exaggerated tales of high income and technologically advanced living, especially by returned migrants who “wished to convey to others a positive image of themselves and their experiences.” (Gugler & Flanagan 1978).

Danish urban research has followed the general development described by O’Donoghue (2002); the general explanation of the Danish urban system has been sought in long terms, socioeconomic structures. This can be seen as an outcome of the economic and industrial structural changes (Pedersen 1983, Matthiessen 1985). Specifically the relations between industrial structures, due to progressing technology have been highlighted. The long waves in the number of industrial innovations and their diffusion (Schumpeter 1934) were considered as the explanation of economic and thus urban development.

In the context of globalization, O’Donoghue (2002) argues that: “The current emphasis must be that each and every urban place is part of a wider urban system, and change at any point within the system (…) cannot be understood without understanding the respective roles of places within the system”. Pedersen (1983) has opined that urbanization is a basic adjustment to the international market of manufacturing industry as the driving factor behind the decentralized urbanization.

Australia covers an area of approximately 7.8 million km yet 85% of the current population lives in urban areas. These urban areas only constitute 0.1% of the total area of Australia. It has been estimated that by 2011 an additional 1.25 million dwellings will need to be constructed on the fringes of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane. This is equivalent to four cities the size of Adelaide (Collin 1993)

Urbanization of Social Institutions in the World Context

Urbanization leads to the weakening of the traditional set-ups like family, marriage, kinship, and so on. It effects inter and intra personal relations. Isolation and loneliness are more in urban life than in rural community life. But at the same time, changes occur in social status and role. Thus, the structure and function are re-defined in an urban context, where resources and facilities are abundant. It may lead to lowering of performance of every social institution. For instance, new institutions such as, Child-care Centers, Schools, Hospitals, and Old-age Homes have taken over the duties of family in child care, care of sick persons, and old-age care. These institutions are more significant than family and kin in the care of the needy, the ill, and the aged. Sexual relations are also found outside of marriage, and may be quite impersonal rather than social norms. The restrictions to freedom of choice in mate selection no more prevail. Either the woman’s ability to deliver children or, her skills in house-hold care has not been a determinant factor for the choice of mate. It is also relevant to note here that the ethnic affiliation of the mate is not a big concern in the urban context, always.

Parsons’ (1949) assumption that the joint household or extended family system will retard social change and economic development. However, Straus (1970:3) suggests that empirical studies which test this assumption have shown, for the most part, contradictory results. While some studies seem to conclude that contact with kin retards innovation, others seem to show no “kinship barrier” to change. Straus (1970:3) concludes, “It seems clear then that one cannot either accept or reject the Parsonian theory on the basis of present empirical evidence because some of the evidence is consistent with the theory and some is contradictory.” Instead of more samples which might yield even more contradictory results, Straus argues that a new theoretical perspective is needed. The solution reached by Straus concerning the role of theory and research in regard to the family and social change is that Parsonian theory is far too general to be of much use in research. Straus has argued that joint households in themselves may not be a barrier to social change. In fact, he argues, joint households and extended kinship ties might even be a factor which could help urbanization because the extended family could ease urban adjustment among its members.

Straus (1970:4) summarizes his conclusions as follows: To the extent that the kin is concerned with transmitting and enforcing a relatively fixed set of values and behaviors, the greater the number of functions performed by the kin, the greater the modernizing inhibiting effect of the kin group. Conversely, to the extent that the kin is concerned with situational problem solving, the greater the modernity facilitating effect of the group.

Stack (1980:148), while discussing the residence and family organization of an urban Black American family, has reported that: Two major paterns emerge from their life histories: (1) relatives tend to cluster in the same areas during similar periods; and (2) the most frequent and consistent alignment and cooperation appears to occur between siblings”. Leichter and Mitchell (1980:167) found that kinship ties exists among the Jews of New York City, a highly urbanized ethnic group, and wrote on that: “They discovered that extended kin sometimes organized into formal corporate groups-continue to exist and serve as a mechanism by which the kin may influence each other”. They further went on to say that a crucial factor is reciprocity. Even those families who are not in business with kin have extensive economic and service relationships with their kin, and the values of kinship give strong support for binding obligations of reciprocity. Thus when business ventures entail assistance from kin, as they often do, this assistance creates an obligation for reciprocity and for continuing involvement (Leichter & Mitchell 1980:174).

Sonya’s (1977) work on family bounds and friendship bonds in Japan and West Germany    gave rise to the following observations: With the lessening of economic dependence on kin, and the associated emphasis on individual achievement which characterizes the middle class, family members do not find kin necessarily important relative to friends in their daily lives. Perhaps Parsons was correct in down-playing the importance of kin to maintenance of the middle-class family. Of the two, the Japanese system seems more likely to produce independent individuals who, while they still are part of a family, are able to make deep and lasting bonds with others easily. The German system might be thought of as producing individuals who have more difficulty in initiating bonds outside of the family although once they are made, they may be strong and deep.   In retrospect, we can look at the family ideology which favors extra familial bonds as one which has made an adaptive adjustment to an environment which is rapidly changing.

Wolf (1966:17) points out that “complex societies differ less in the formal organization of their economic or legal or political systems than in the character of their supplementary interpersonal sets.” The middle class families studied in Japan and West Germany hold neolocal residence patterns as an ideal and, therefore, on this level, their family systems appear similar. Nonetheless, the nuclear family experience differs greatly as a result of the contrasting nature of inter-personal relationships found in the two systems. Because of an ideology favoring individualized bonds for members, Japanese families appear able to tolerate greater variability in members’ lives.

Northern Ghanaian migrants to Accra seek to acquire cash income to contribute to bride-wealth as the money economy increasingly penetrates marriage rituals among them (Gugler & Flanagan 1978).

Urbanization: Indian Scenario

The urban population in India is increasing at much faster rate than its total population. From various census reports, Datta (2006) has analysed that India shares most characteristic features of urbanization in the developing countries. Number of urban agglomeration/town has grown from 1827 in 1901 to 5161 in 2001. Number of total population has increased from 23.84 crores in 1901 to 102.7 crores in 2001 whereas number of population residing in urban areas has increased from 2.58 crores in 1901 to 28.53 crore in 2001. It reflects a gradual increasing trend of urbanization. India is at acceleration stage of the process of urbanization (Datta 2006).

The pattern of urbanization in India is characterized by continuous concentration of population and activities in large cities. Davis and Golden (1954) used the term over-urbanization to indicate Indian milieu. “Where in urban misery and rural poverty exist side by side with the result that city can hardly be called dynamic” and where inefficient, unproductive informal sector (Kundu & Basu 1998) becomes increasingly apparent.

Breese (1969) depicts urbanization in India as pseudo urbanization where in people arrives in cities not due to urban pull but due to rural push. Kundu (1983) had forwarded a similar argument: Urbanization is occurring not due to urban pull but due to rural push.

Thus the Class I cities such as Calcutta, Bombay, Delhi, Madras etc have reached saturation level of employment generating capacity (Kundu 1997). Since these cities are suffering from of urban poverty, unemployment, housing shortage, crisis in urban infra-structural services these large cities can not absorb these distressed rural migrants i.e poor landless illiterate and unskilled agricultural labourers. Hence, this migration to urban class I cities causes urban crisis more acute. Mukherji (1995) has a difference of opinion: Indian urbanization is involuted not evoluted. Poverty induced migration occurs due to rural push. Megacities grow in urban population (Nayak 1962) not in urban prosperity, and culture.

According to Muthusamy and Ramalingam (2003), Tamil Nadu has been one of the widely urbanized States, in a country with more than 1/3 of the population living in the 469 urban settlements. Tamil Nadu contributes 6.05% of the total Indian population, out of which rural population is 56.14% and urban population is 43.86%. The percentage of the Urbanization of Chennai district is 100%, Coimbatore (66%), Kaniyakumari (65%) and Nilgiries (59%).

Urbanization in the Indian context has its uniqueness since; the process of urbanization in our country is referred as the growth of large urban centers. It is observed that the new census material from India and from various researches and studies on house-hold composition, structure, and function will serve as a good ground for matching the above said Straus (1970) assertion.

Urbanization of Social Institutions in the Indian Context

The household in urban India will continue its joint living of fathers and sons to be a completely rational and generally comfortable social arrangement. It may be interesting to see the joint households seem to serve the needs of the urbanite as well as the traditional farmer in rural areas, albeit the nature of joint family is different. Thus, the traditional and institutional functions of households, and even families, remain the same. The selection of partner is more individualistic, and the conventional marriages are in decline. Most of the kin-ties lost their social relevance and are being transformed into more of need-based ties in the urban life.

The joint family system of India is of ancient origin, being mentioned explicitly by the lawgiver Manu almost a thousand years ago (Kapadia 1966:221). Manu prescribed as an ideal that fathers and sons should stay together until the death of the father, at which point brothers could, if they wished, either stay together or separate. As Orenstein and Micklin (1966) have argued, this ancient rule is still in practice today. Fathers and sons as an ideal tend to live together until the father dies, at which point a vast majority of brothers will separate the household and any property they own

The Census of India today defines a household as those who eat food cooked from one hearth and who live under one roof. This definition is similar to the definition of the Hindu household given by Karve (1965:8): “A joint family is a group of people who generally live under one roof, who eat food cooked in one kitchen, who hold property in common . . . and are related.” Orenstein studied the trends in household size in India from 1901 to 1951, recomputing the published reports to hold constant for changing definitions of household in several regions in earlier years of census operations. Orenstein (1961:345) demonstrated that household size in India was actually increasing during the period, from an average household size in 1901 of 4.9 persons per household to 5.0 in 1951. He concluded that even though most authors seem to accept the Parsonian position, “we know of no adequate evidence, involving actual time depth, presented on behalf of this belief. There is only the theory that Westernization implies a small family and the fact that India has been in contact with the West for some centuries (Orenstein 1961:342). The household size data for 1951 were the last available census data when Goode was writing his book on World Revolution and Family Patterns. Citing numerous smaller surveys in addition to census evidence, Goode (1963:247) argued that, “although the changes are not as yet great, the direction of change is clear”- the change being towards fewer joint households. One apparent reason for this conclusion is that the urban house-hold size in India was slightly smaller than the rural (Government of India 1951:151). Yet, Goode (1963) does not present any evidence to show that the urban household size was decreasing in India over time. Twenty years of additional data are now available on household size in India. In 1961, household size in India increased to 5.2, while by 1971 average household size rose to 5.5 (Government of India 1961:258, 1971:616). More interesting, the household size in India increased in both urban and rural areas. In 1961 the average household size in urban India was 5.0, and this figure increased to 5.3 in 1971 in spite of ever-increasing literacy in the country as a whole. Further, household sizes increased in all parts of India and the trend was not limited to any one region or linguistic zone. While many predictions have been made on the role of the joint household in India, the specific prediction that the household size in urban India would increase over the past twenty years seems to have been unclaimed by any scholarly source. Shah (1974), however, has argued that there is a difference between older and newer sections of cities which is important in interpreting the newest census results.

While analysis of data on household size and composition is tedious, three important conclusions may be drawn from the new information now available on the household in urban India. First, the practice of the joint household in India is well-diffused among nearly all communities, of both high and low caste, urban or rural. Second, urbanization has probably not resulted in any ideological pressure for the nuclear household norm. Education, especially among long-term urban residents, seems to be associated with the feeling that the joint household is a very convenient way to live. Third, the only factor which seems to be important in decreasing the incidence of joint households in urban India is active involvement in a job which requires transfers. As Shah (1974) suggested, older parts of cities in which the residents have been exposed to urban life-styles also show the greatest frequency of large house- holds.

Conklin (1976) had demonstrated that Straus (1970) assertion is true through a detailed analysis from a demographic survey in Karnataka State, India.  Through this, he had pointed out the apparent mechanisms which seem to be influencing the adjustment of the joint household to the urban setting in India as a whole.

The inter and intra personal relationships are being reshaped in urban life. As a result the caring of old aged and children are getting affected. Child Care Centres, Nurseries, and Old Age Homes have made their appearance in cities. The working couples feel it as a boon since, they do not have time to look after their grand parents, parents and kids due to their terrible work schedule. Individuals are more independent in terms of economy, the person to person reliance is collapsed, and either kin ties too. The young ones think that the elders are either a burden or, useless when they are bringing the bread for the family, and their children are looked by the Day Care Centres. Eventually, the age old person finds his way to his Old Age Care Centre. The important institutional functions of family like caring the children and old ones, have been taken over by the newly emerging institutions in urban area.

Marriage and marriage ceremonies are fast changing. The whole concept of marriage is redefining now. Our traditional marriages are naturally done through alliance with opposite sexes. Homosexual marriages are getting more attention, and even the gay-marriage is in the verge of legal approval. It is interesting to quote  Grover (2009) from his article: “In a landmark ruling that could usher in an era of greater freedom for gay men and lesbians in India, New Delhi’s highest court decriminalized homosexuality. “The inclusiveness that Indian society traditionally displayed, literally in every aspect of life, is manifest in recognizing a role in society for everyone,” judges of the Delhi High Court wrote in a 105-page decision, India’s first to directly address rights for gay men and lesbians. “Those perceived by the majority as ‘deviants’ or ‘different’ are not on that score excluded or ostracized,” the decision said. In their decision, Chief Justice A. P. Shah and Justice S. Muralidhar declared Section 377, as it pertains to consensual sex among people above the age of 18, in violation of important parts of India’s Constitution. “Consensual sex amongst adults is legal, which includes even gay sex and sex among the same sexes,” they said. The old law violates Article 14 of the Constitution, which guarantees all people “equality before the law;” Article 15, which prohibits discrimination “on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth;” and Article 21, which guarantees “protection of life and personal liberty,” the judges said (Grover 2009). Recently, the Supreme Court of India has approved that men and women can stay together without marriage ceremony in India like our Western counterparts. Three Judge Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice Deepak Varma and Justice B.S. Chauhan of Supreme Court, observed that there is no laws which prohibits live-in relationships or pre-marital sex among men and women (Times of India 2010)

Since the ethnic affinity is in the decrease, the matrimonial negotiation and agreement also get effected. Individuals are more independent than ever in their mate selection. They prefer desired ones rather than they ought to choose in consensus with custom. Factors such as fairness, education, and economy will determine who the mate is.  Divorce and remarriage is possible but, not followed customary laws any more. The divorce cases are on the increase now. Stalin (2009) in his write-up rightly pointed out the fact that: “A majority of divorce cases are on the grounds of cruelty and desertion. Adultery and bigamy are other main grounds. Money is not the only criterion for seeking separation. Nowadays, both husband and wife are working and hence the stress in office reflects in family life too. Late marriage, no time to think and adjust, no time to interact and superiority complex are some of the factors leading to divorce”.

One of the aims of marriage is to procreate offspring. In our urban city, Chennai, people prefer to deliver in hospitals than their own home. A recent report has unveiled that assisted births on rise in city (Pushpa 2010). She further says: “Until 2007, less than 2% of the total deliveries were assisted, but the number has gone up to 13% in 2009”. She also reported that: “The women are refusing to push, and ask doctors for assisted deliveries instead” (2010).

Although researchers considered Asiatic countries are belonging to collectivistic cultures. A study by Reddy and Reddy (2004) pointed that the sample from Chennai based M.B.A. Students are showing characteristic of individualistic cultural domains. In a foraging community or, any simple societies, sharing of feelings, emotions, labour, and even resources brings satisfaction and prosperity. Under such circumstances, a person is recognized and attended to, not for his or her unique self but, as someone in the community with a recognized position and role. In a sharp contrast to this, the urban way of life promotes self-ridden individual achievements. Thus each and every one is running behind to such achievements.

Most of our relationships in urban areas have been displaced by other modes such as friendship, and interactions with colleagues, actually lose the warmth and hearty feelings of belonging together.  For instance, the warm feeling one has toward one’s fellow workers will not be the same as one has to his/her kin.  Yi-Fu Tuan (2002) narrates one of his experiences: “I was in London’s Underground, changing trains to go to a friend’s home and stay with him overnight before catching a plane back to the United States the next day. I carried two suit- cases up a steeply sloping escalator. A man accidentally gave me a little push as he passed by. I fell backward and knocked my head against the sharp edge of a rising step. The escalator was promptly stopped. Blood oozed from the back of my head. An Underground official rushed up with a first-aid kit. He put his arm around my shoulder and said that an ambulance had been called and would be there in ten minutes. In what seemed to me less than that time, medical assistants arrived to help me into a waiting vehicle, which started its sirens and raced through London’s streets to the emergency room of a city hospital. There, doctors and nurses danced to my attendance. After various probing and tests, they concluded that my injury was minor and released me. I went into the waiting room and tried to telephone my friend. Still in a daze, I could not make the public telephone work. I needed help but was not able to catch anyone’s attention. A nurse came towards me. She who had personified solicitousness only five minutes earlier looked right through me as though I were a ghost. Eventually, I succeeded in putting the call through. My friend came to the hospital, picked me up, and drove me to his home…This London incident is a small example of how civil society works, how humane and efficient it can be. A foreigner-me-who had not contributed to it in any way was given immediate help. But the help stopped the moment society discovered that I was in no mortal danger. That is why society can seem cool and impersonal. I may not have had a concussion, but I still needed assistance of a more mundane kind, and I would have appreciated tokens of lingering sympathy. In a small traditional community, if I were injured the medical treatment given to me might not be the best, but someone I knew would be at my elbow muttering soothing words and, later, would offer me chicken soup. That is why a community can seem personal and warm. But soothing words and chicken soup go only so far. Having just had an experience that showed my life hanging on a thread and concluding darkly that every human life suffered the same degree of contingency, I wanted very much to talk with someone”.

Conclusion

Our discussion throws light on changes that are taking place amid social institutions in the process of urbanization. The major institution such as, family, marriage and kinship are changing in tune with urban way of life. Extended families are continued to exist in urban centers but, the nature and function are changing to cope with urban ways. New institutions are emerging and performing the traditional function of family in the sphere of care and protection of children and old age persons. In the field of marriage and mate selection, changes are also occurring. The significance of ethnic affiliation is fading gradually. There is more freedom and liberty in the selection of life partner instead of customary preferences.  Due to the stress in urban life, divorce rate is increasing. More expectant mothers give births in hospitals, assisted by modern medical technology. Kinship relations are being replaced by friendship, business ties, interrelations among the colleagues, and so on. We are loosing the warmth of belonging and togetherness. Collectivistic tendencies are being slowly transformed into individualistic tendencies in socio-cultural milieu of urbanites. However, trade unions, and other organisations including political parties have very strong hold in urban areas.

References:

Breese, G. (1969), Urbanisation in Newly Developing Countries, Prentice Hall, New Delhi.

Castells, M. (1977), The Urban Question, Edward Arnold, London.

Clark, David (1998), Interdependent Urbanization in an Urban World: An Historical Overview, The Geographical Journal, 164 (1): 85-95.

Clark, David (1996), Urban world: global city, Routledge, London.

Collin, T. (1993), Living in the City, ABC Books, Sydney.

Conklin, George H. (1976), The Household in Urban India, Journal of Marriage and Family, 38 (4): 771-779.

Datta, Pranati (2006), Urbanisation in India, European Population Conference, June 21-24, 2006 (Paper Presentation).

Davis, K. (1965), The urbanization of the human population, Scientific American, 213(3): 41-53.

Davis Kingsley & Golden H.H. (1954),  Urbanisation and development in pre-Industrial Areas, Economic Development and Cultural Change, 3 (1).

Deborah, Potts (1995). Shall We Go Home? Increasing Urban Poverty in African Cities and

Migration Processes. The Geographical Journal, 161 (3): 245-264.

Dutt, Ashok K., Charles B. Monroe & Ramesh Vakamudi (1986), Rural-Urban Correlates for Indian Urbanization, Geographical Review, Thematic Issue: Asian Urbanization (Apr., 1986), 76 (2): 173-183.

Harris, J. R. & M. P. Todaro (1970), Migration, Unemployment and Development: A Two-Sector Analysis, American Economic Review, 60: 126-142.

Harvey, D. (1978), The Urban Process under Capitalism: A Framework for Analysis, International Journal of Urban and Regional research.

Goode, W. (1963), World Revolution and Family Patterns, Free Press of Glencoe, Glencoe, II.

Government of India (1971), Census of India, Government of India, New Dehli.

Government of India (1961), Census of India, Government of India, New Dehli.

Government of India (1951), Census of India, Government of India, New Dehli.

Grover, Manik (2009), Victory for Gay Rights in India, http://www.legalserviceindia.com., accessed on 2-2-2010.

Gugler, Josef & William G. Flanagan (1978), Urbanization and social change in Wes Africa, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Kapadia, K.M. (1966), Marriage and Family in India, Oxford University Press, Bombay.

Karve, Irawate (1965), Kinship Organization in India, Asia Publishing House, Bombay.

Kenneth Little (1980), The Role of Voluntary Associations in West African Urbanization in  Urban Life: Readings in Urban Anthropology (ed. by: George Gmelch & Walter P. Zenner), St. Martin’s Press, New York.

Kundu, A. (1997), Trends and Structure of Employment in the 1990s: Implications for Urban Growth, Economic and Political Weekly, 32(24): 1399–1405.

Kundu, A. (1983), Theories of City Size Distribution and Indian Urban Structure-A   Reappraisal, Economic and Political weekly, 18(3).

Kundu, A. & Basu S. (1998), Informal Manufacturing Sector in Urban Areas-An Analysis of Recent Trends, Manpower Journal, 34(1) (April-June 1998).

Leichter, Hope J. & William E. Miitchell (1980), Family-Kin Businesses among New York City Jews in Urban Life: Readings in Urban Anthropology (ed. by: George Gmelch & Walter P. Zenner), St. Martin’s Press, New York: 167-175.

Matthiessen, C.W. (1985), Danske byers vækst, Atlas over Danmark, serieII, bind 3, Reitzel, Copenhagen.

Mazumdar, Dipak (1987), Rural-urban migration in developing countries in Handbook of regional and urban economics (ed. by: Edwin S. Mills), Volume 2, Elsevier Science Publishers, Amsterdam.

Mukherji, Shekhar (1995), Poverty Induced Migration and Urban Involution in ESCAP Countries, Paper presented at UN-ESCAP, Expert Group Meeting on Poverty and Population in ESCAP Region, Bangkok, Sept 1995: 1-45.

Muthusamy, N. & M. Ramalingam (2003), Environmental Impact Assessment For Urban Planning And Development Using GIS in Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Environment and Health, Chennai, India (ed. by: Martin J. Bunch, V. Madha Suresh & T. Vasantha Kumaran edited), Department of Geography, University of Madras and Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, Chennai, (December 15-17, 2003): 290-299.

Nayak, P. R. (1962), The Challenge of Urban Growth to Indian Local Government in India’s Urban Future (ed. by: Turner), University of California Press, Berkley.

O’Donoghue, D. (2002), Defining the Elements of Urban System Change in Monitoring Cities: International Perspectives (ed. by: Davies, W.D.K. and Townshend, I.J), IGU: 269-293.

Orenstein, H. (1961), The recent history of the extended family in India, Social Problems, 8 (Spring): 341-350.

Orenstein, Henry & Michael Micklin (1966), The Hindu joint family: The norms and the numbers, Pacific Affairs, 39 (Fall-Winter): 314-325.

Parsons, Talcott (1949), The social structure of the family in The Family: Its Function and Destiny (ed. by: Ruth N. Anshen), Harper, New York.

Pedersen, P.O. (1983), Vandringerne og den regionale udvikling, Esbjerg Sydjysk Universitetsforlag.

Pushpa Narayan (2010), Assisted Births on Rise in City, The Times of India, February 2, 2010: 2.

Reddy, G.S. & Reddy P.G. (2004), Individual VS. Collectivism: A Study on Students, Management Matters, 1 (2): 15-20.

Schumpeter, J.A. (1934), Theory of Economic Development, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.

Shah, A.M. (1974), The Household Dimension of the Family in India, University of California Press, Berkeley.

Sonya Salamon (1977), Family Bounds and Friendship Bonds: Japan and West Germany, Journal of Marriage and Family, 39 (4): 807-820.

Stack, Carol B. (1980), The Kindred of Viola Jackson: Residence and Family Organization of an Urban Black American Family in Urban Life: Readings in Urban Anthropology (ed. by: George Gmelch & Walter P. Zenner), St. Martin’s Press, New York: 145-155.

Stalin, J. (2009), Nuclear families to blame for discord, Deccan Chronicle, 19 October, 2009: 2.

Straus, Murray (1970), Family organization and problem solving ability in relation to societal modernization, Kolner Zeitschrift fur Soziologie, Supplement 14. Reference to author’s reprint number PS-1.

Tacoli, Cecilia (1998), Rural-urban interactions: A guide to the literature. Environment and

Urbanization, 10 (1) (April 1998): 147-166.

Times of India (2010), Live-in relationship, pre-marital sex not an offence: SC, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/23-3-2010.

United Nations (1991), World urbanization prospects, United Nations, New York.

United Nations (1993), World Urbanisation Prospects-The 1992 Revision, United Nations, New York.

Wolf, Eric R. (1966), Kinship, friendship, and patron-client relations in complex societies in The Social Anthropology of Complex Societies (ed. by: Michael Banton), Frederick A. Praeger, New York: 1-22.

Wirth, Louis (1980), Urbanism as a Way of Life in Urban Life: Readings in Urban Anthropology (ed. by: George Gmelch and Walter P. Zenner), St. Martin’s Press, New York.

Wirth, Louis (1938), Urbanism as a Way of Life, American Journal of Sociology, XLIV (1938): 8.

Yi-Fu Tuan (2002), Community, Society, and the Individual, Geographical Review, 92 (3) (Jul., 2002): 307-318.

 


* Earlier version of the paper was presented at the National Seminar, “Urban Sustainability and Issues”, held at the University of Madras, Chepauk, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, during 5-6 February, 2010.

SHAPES TECHNOLOGY: A HYPOTHETICAL OBSERVATION ON THE TEYYAM IN NORTH MALABAR, KERALA

Abstract of the paper presented in

 the Seminar on Eco-Folklore, organized by the Dept. of Malayalam, University of Madras, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

on January 31st-1st February 2007.

——————————————————————————————————————————-

 SPACE SHAPES TECHNOLOGY: A HYPOTHETICAL OBSERVATION ON THE TEYYAM IN NORTH MALABAR, KERALA

 

Dr. M.P. Damodaran

Since from my childhood, I used to watch teyyam, the sacred performance in our village.  By performing specific functions, teyyam should be able to maintain a special pattern of human behaviour, a way of interaction; the interaction between man and man, man and his environment, and man to spirits. These interactions ease the human survival, both in terms of social and cultural. Thus, the struggle for existence exhibits a complex system, teyyam. The society utilized it both as a mechanism, and a technique to subdue life-crisis. For that reason, I would like to share a few thoughts of mine with you on this unique tradition, teyyam.

It has long been established that ecology plays a vital role in conditioning the culture, and thoughts of the people. In a like manner, in North Malabar, the interaction between man, and Nature (environment) led to the emergence of a mechanism, a worship system with the belief that their destiny is guided, and controlled by supernatural powers, locally known teyyam. So, many teyyam deities had their origin in the transfigured nature, e.g. serpent, monkey, leopard, etc. that testify the mode of natureman interaction in teyyam.

Teyyam is used as a social mechanism by the society to preserve the religious as well as caste feelings among its members, by assigning specific duties to each and every one. An individual’s status and role is purely determined by a descent rule, which is strictly based on heredity, and traditional occupation. No person is allowed to violate this rule. Accordingly, teyyam is working on a wide network of service-return system through which the society is able to keep its religious interests vigour and vitality, by exploiting the teyyam as the best and effective tool.

Teyyam also assists the people as, a technique with a social purpose, to criticize social discriminations, and social evils experienced by people at the bottomlayers. It is accomplished by converting their ancestors and heroes, who faught bravely against discriminations, to teyyams. Chonnamma, Iyepalli teyyam, Kurikkal teyyam, Muchilottu bagavathi, Pottan teyyam, Pulimaranja thondachan, etc are the best examples to this.

In one more sense, teyyam is also used by the society to transmit traditions, and knowledge from one generation to the next generations. Its myth, and tottam pattu are really our treasures from the gone past, which tells us about the life activities like, hunting, fishing, pastoralism, cultivation, etc.

So, my observations on ‘teyyam’ in North Malabar of Kerala leads me to the generalization/conclusion that it had been shaped long go, as a technique, and a mechanism of the society through nature-man interactions, to smoothen the day-to-day life of man in a given space.

Status of Women in our Contemporary Societies: Factitious Observation on A Caste and Tribe in South India

Abstract of the Paper presented in the International Seminar on Ethnographic Discourse of the other in Contemporary India

At the University of Hyderabad, on 18th – 20th June 2007.

——————————————————————————————————————-

Status of Women in our Contemporary Societies:

Factitious Observation on A Caste and Tribe in South India

  Dr. M.P. Damodaran

It is a trend among us that we have been using many ornamental words and statements in our day-to-day life, particularly during addressing persons or, groups in public meetings and gatherings, which are neither coincidents, nor shows the reallity. I am very particular about a few among them, and one of them is: ‘women are instrumental for the success of men’. But, I feel that these kinds of ‘ornamental words’ are misleading, and stands opposite to their real sense! In reality, the position of women has been different in different societies from time to time. This is pointing towards the fact that the status, and role of women, and their contributions to the society vary from society to society. So, I try to examine what is the status and role of a woman in our contemporary societies in the light of my own field experience, that I had with a Caste Hindu, the Malayans of North Malabar in Kerala, and a Tribe, the Todas of Nilgri Hills in Tamil Nadu. The Malayans are living both in urban and rural settings in sharp contrast with the Todas, who are still living in isolated, homogeneous settlements.

The Malayans of North Malabar, a Scheduled Caste according to the Indian Constitution, are popular for their exellent performances of teyyam, as well as magic. The women of Malayans, called as Mali or Malayi, play important roles in the society for the common good of their family, community, and the entire population in North Malabar, by performing multiple activities. She must play a dual role in the society. The important and primary role of a woman is to behave like a member of the family such as, wife, mother, daughter, sister, and a breadwinner of the family. And besides these roles, she has to perform very significant social roles such as, midwife and magicwoman for the benefit of all in the area.

The Todas of Nilgiris are well known as a polyandrous tribe. The tribe is also famous for its pastoralism, and sacred buffaloes. The tribe adapted themselves fit to live in an extreme cold, and harsh climate. Like the Malayans, the Todas are also patrilocal, patriarcal, and patrilineal society. So, the males enjoy greater previlages than the females. The women of this tribe do not have any right and role in political and religious actions and activities. Like the women in all other societies, the women of Todas also has to do different roles in day-to-day life.

The Mali enjoys a better status than the Toda women because, she has playing better, and significant roles not only for the benefit of her family, and community, but also for the people of other communities. But unfortunately, however, the family relationships are strong in both the societies, and she always support the males when they are in dilemma or, critical situations, and yet remain dependent on men! They are enjoying less previlage even today!!

ENVIRONMENT EMANATES EXISTENCE: A SYNTHETIC ANALYSIS OF THE ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES OF TWO TRIBES IN SOUTH INDIA

Abstract of the paper presented in

The Platinum Jubilee National Seminar on Environment, Health and Sustainable Development

organised by the Department of Geography, University of Madras

      9th – 10th January 2007.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 ENVIRONMENT EMANATES EXISTENCE:

A SYNTHETIC ANALYSIS OF THE ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES OF TWO TRIBES IN SOUTH INDIA

M.P. Damodaran

 Since food, shelter, clothe, etc., are considered as the basic needs of human existence, it is a widely accepted fact that economic organisations help the man for his easy survival. Man, everywhere in the world, systematizes certain type of economic behaviours on the basis of production, distribution, and consumption. The same was true even in the past. These organisations have shown great variations, ranging from simple to complex. Whatever may be the type, gathering or complex market-based economy, it always tries to explore the given resources, the natural resources in particular. For example, the hunting and gathering require forests, fishing wants water sources, pastoralism needs grazing lands, and agriculture and cultivation are always coupled with fertile land. Accordingly, we can observe a close interaction between the nature and man in the sphere of economic activities. So, here in this paper, I make a humble effort to share a few ideas with you, regarding this matter based on empirical experience with two famous tribes in South India, the Todas of Nilgiris and the Kurichchians of Kannavam Reserve Forest. Even though both of them differ in their indigenous way of living they are similar in exploring the natural settings where they live.

The Todas are considered as the first inhibitors in Nilgiri hills, Tamil Nadu. Earlier they are living on pastoralism and collection of minor forest produces. The people are lacto-vegitarians, and heavily depend on their buffalo’s milk and milk by-products. The whole economic activities are encouraged by the geographical conditions, the forest and graze-lands. The Kurichchians are well known for their hunting-gathering, and rebellion against the British. The practice of hunting, fishing, shifting cultivation, and collection of minor forest produces have made ease their subsistence in the living forest habitat.

So, by synthetic study of their economy, we can understand the role of environment that shapes their mode of actions and existence.

Changing Family System among the Todas of Nilgiris: A Case Study

Abstract of the paper for presented in the National Seminar on

Critical Questioning of Changing Indian Family in 21st Century

organized at R.B.V.R.Reddy Women’s College Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh India on 10th-11th September 2009.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 Changing Family System among the Todas of Nilgiris: A Case Study

Dr. M.P. Damodaran

 All of us have our own conceptualization vis-à-vis our own family, and also believe that we know what a family is. Though we have crystal-clear idea what a family is, we equally doubt whether deceased persons, stepparents, in-laws, and friends are or, can be our family members? It point towards the fact; the concept of family differs from person to person, society to society, place to place, context to context, and even time to time. Similarly, it is noted that Household is used as synonymous to family, and vise-versa. This confusion is further complicated by seeing the family either through its single or, multiple factors. But, on the other hand, family is widely accepted as an association of individuals, either through blood or, other ties. Whatever may be the size, shape, and structure of the family, it is dynamic. This character of family has great survival value since, each family is trying to adopt with circumstances or, situation. Obviously, the Todas of Nilgiris confirm this factor.

The Todas are a well-known tribe both for their socio-cultural, and physical features. They are more popular as a polyandrous tribe. The Toda society is divided into two endogamous moieties namely, tarthar, and teivali. Each of these divisions is further divided into patrilineal exogamous clans. They now-a-days spread, and settled in a number of small settlements, known as munds. Their traditional, semi-barrel huts are disappearing in tune with new trends. Such interventions, and contact with outsiders, especially the Hindus, have been bringing changes in their society, and the culture in particular, over time.  Thus, fraternal polyandry becomes a history, and monogamy come out the sole marriage norm. As a result, the Todas today prefer nuclear families than extended families over their customary polyandrous family, when two or more brothers married to the same woman, together with their children, and parents.

Urbanization of Social Institutions

Abstract of a Seminar Paper
Urbanization of Social Institutions
M.P. Damodaran and P. Govinda Reddy

Urbanization indicates a way of life. It is a universal phenomenon that exists all over the world. It is for various reasons, likely in most cases, search for a better livelihood. This does not mean Urbanization is only a movement from villages to cities but, it also brings complexity and changes in the migrant’s culture and society.
Urbanization leads to the weakening of the traditional set-ups like family, marriage, kinship, and so on. It effects inter and intra personal relations. Isolation and loneliness are more in urban life than in rural community life. But at the same time, changes occur in social status and role. Thus, the structure and function are re-defined in an urban context, where resources and facilities are abundant. It may lead to lowering of performance of every social institution. For instance, new institutions such as, Child-care Centers, Schools, Hospitals, and Old-age Homes have taken over the duties of family in child care, care of sick persons, and old-age care. These institutions are more significant than family and kin in the care of the needy, the ill, and the aged. Sexual relations are also found outside of marriage, and may be quite impersonal rather than social norms. The restrictions to freedom of choice in mate selection no more prevail. Either the woman’s ability to deliver children or, her skills in house-hold care has not been a determinant factor for the choice of mate. It is also relevant to note here that the ethnic affiliation of the mate is not a big concern in the urban context, always.
Urbanization in the Indian context has its uniqueness since; the process of urbanization in our country is referred as the growth of large urban centers. The urban population in India is increasing at much faster rate than its total population. The household in urban India will continue its joint living of fathers and sons to be a completely rational and generally comfortable social arrangement. It may be interesting to see the joint households seem to serve the needs of the urbanite as well as the traditional farmer in rural areas, albeit the nature of joint family is different. Thus, the traditional and institutional functions of households, and even families, remain the same. The selection of partner is more individualistic, and the conventional marriages are in decline. Most of the kin-ties lost their social relevance and are being transformed into more of need-based ties in the urban life.

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,800 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Need for a New Theory for the Dalit Deliverance

Abstract of the paper Presented at the UGC International Seminar on Rural Communities: Problems and Challenges
at the Department of Sociology, University of Madras, Chennai-05 on 4th–5th March 2008.

Need for a New Theory for the Dalit Deliverance
M.P.Damodaran

Krishna Iyer said that,
“India has had an ancient heritage of social injustices with indigenous nationalities and sub-nationalities reduced to slavery, serfdom, bonded labour and degrees of privation based on inferior birth and other unhappy happenstances” (1990:8).
Fortunately, untouchability of those days is set down forever. This is mainly due to the efforts of peoples like Ambedker, Gandhi, etc. after our nation’s independence. The State takes due consideration for the development of the Dalit by implementing various welfare measures.
So far, we adopted several administrative and other approaches to put the last first. But, still we are worried about the Dalit. Why? I am not going to blame the state bureaucracy or, any other, for the enduring backwardness of the marginalized. A thorough analysis necessarily leads us to conclude that this is mainly due to the lack of proper education, and solidarity on the one hand, and social isolation, and less expectation on the other hand, which pose barrier for their bolster.
So, I am taking this opportunity to put forward some of my suggestions, and recommendations here in front of you, over the Dalit issue because, I believe this is the right place to kindle a flame that will spread, and boost the Dalit to think about for an effective tool for their deliverance. Honestly, I believe none has any formula or, magic for this but, the Dalit can reinforce them by getting educated, and organized. Adieu to your dependency! Hug the best way of putting yourself in the mainstream.

Tribes and Natural Resource Management

Abstract of a Seminar Paper

Tribes and Natural Resource Management
Dr. M.P. Damodaran and Dr. P. Govinda Reddy
Department of Anthropology

Since times immemorial, the tribes and their cultures are continued to be the centre of attraction for many scholars, researchers and academicians. The scintillating ethnographies, documents, and descriptions explore and expose the nature of tribal life, societies, and so on. Though, such studies, works and documents have supplied a vast knowledge over the tribal life and livelihood, hardly explained how they manage the natural resources. Any management process occurs within an environment, which consists of cultural, social, economic, political, and ecological elements.
Sustainable use and management of resources and habitats by the tribes are seen as widespread and universal. They are very friendly to the nature and environment. Always, they attempt to use the available resources in minimum, only according to their needs and life demands, and never do any harm, destruction or, imbalance to the nature. Over production and excessive use are out of their thoughts. This made them the conservers or, even creators of biodiversity.
The tribes have been managing their natural resources effectively through their tradition with a multi-pronged approach. It should not be a kind of consumerism nor, intended to make any profit out of it.
The tribal people have their own knowledge and perspectives towards natural resources, and locally developed practices of resource use. The present paper is an effort to observe how the tribal people manage the natural resources provided to them with a special emphasis on the Tamil Nadu tribes, especially our empirical experience with the Todas of Nilgiris, and the Sholagas of Sathyamangalam.

« Older entries