Thursday, May 30, 2013


In the primitive societies, there was no rigid family system. Group marriages were not uncommon. With civilization the systems of family living came into vogue. In the development of economy and social standards the join family was considered to be advantageous. This was particularly so in the pastoral or agrarian society because of the common land holdings and inheritance of property from generation to generation. In the agrarian society the woman was completely a house wife under subdued the control of the husband in the joint family. The old people were looked after by the next generation. In modern families the economic status of the family has changed in the wake of industrialization, migrations and opportunity for women to participate in different walks of life. There has been gradual as well as radical change of functions in modern families in keeping with changing values, attitudes and customs.

It has been observed that family and kinship groups the primary group from the primary group for social interaction and the elders in the families have an influence or control on the younger ones. The control of the mother-in-law on the daughter-in-law and the husband on the wife and the influence of the father over the children are of great importance, for the community worker who is interested introducing new ideas for adoption and change of behavior. For effective decision making the worker has to find out who in the family or in the kinship group has definite say or influence. 

Kinship: Kinship Next to the family are to the kinship groups which are bonded together by relationship of marriage. Kinship relations are called relations of consanguinity (related of blood). Kinship is therefore concerned with descent and marriage. It is the most universal and basic bond. Families are tied together by kinship. In other words, the families give rise to a wider circle or group which can be called the kinship systems. There are two types of kinship, (1) affinal kinship; (2) consanguinal kinship. 

Affinal kinship refers to the bond between the persons and their relatives on either side.  All the in-laws. Consanguinal kinship refers to the bond between the parents and children and grand children and so on. It also refers to the relationship between the children—brothers and sisters.

Social Institutions:

Social institutions are the functional groups that get established in any society from time to time in keeping with the various activities that are required to be done for satisfying individual as well as common group needs. The following are examples of several institutions: (1) Cultural institutions; (2) Recreational institutions; (3) Economic institutions; (4) Commercial institutions; (5) Communication and transport institutions; (6) Political institutions.

Though the community comprises a number of institutions, it has a pattern of interdependence amongst its units and groups. Strictly speaking the smallest unit in a community is the individual. But from sociological point of view the smallest unit of the community is the family. Of course this concept has come into common understanding only after man started living to a couple. The family is a cohesive unit marked by a man and woman bond together by physical or emotional union resulting in a multiplication of the size of the unit and also an understanding of living together till death.

Next to the family we have the kinship groups which are bonded together by relationship of marriage. Depending on the locations community is referred to as village community or an urban community. There are many criteria which are used for deciding whether a geographical location is rural or urban. The main considerations are the size of the population, stage of development in different spheres, occupation, literacy, socio-economic conditions, etc. Village as well as a town as a unit of socio structure is composed of an entire community which will however be broken down into smaller groups according to occupation, caste, religion, etc.

Caste is probably the most important single classifying factor in the Indian context. It governs to a considerable extent the organization of kinship groups.

Village can be classified as a single settlement village—in which the community shares a compact settlement; and nucleated village—with central settlement as nucleus around which around which there are small satellite settlements; disbursed village—consisting of disbursed or scattered houses.

Social stratification: We have considered the bondage existing in a family and among the kinship group. The society however consists of a number of families which apart from closeness, or remoteness, depending on the affinal and consanguine relationship will have a number of other characteristics. Within the family itself the different individuals have different positions and statuses. Similarly the individuals in society differ from one another with regard to their economic status, literacy status, political status and social status and so on. Such differentiation in characteristic in society gives rise to a grading and group of individuals and families. This is known as social stratification.

Stratification denotes the process of placing any set of items along a continum according to grades or magnitude and grouping them. Stratification is a very important process in statistics in connection with sampling. In sociology stratification means the process by which amilies or individuals in a sociology get arranged in graded strata with varying degrees of power, prestige, property, political standing, educational standing, caste, etc.  

According to T. Parson, social stratification is the differential ranking of human individuals who compose a given social system and their treatment as superior or inferior relative to one another in certain socially important respects. 

Dimensions or criteria for ranking and stratification. When all the individuals in a society or all their associated kinship groups are ranked along any one of the social dimensions of social stratification, there results the distribution of the differential ranking which can be conceived of as having a structured shape.

No comments:

Post a Comment