Definition of Industrial Sociology

1. 'Industrial sociology is the application of sociological approach to the reality and problems of industry'. -P. Gisbert.

2. "Industrial sociology centres its attention on social organization of factory, the store, and the office. This focus includes not only the interactions of people playing roles in these organizations but also the ways in which their work roles are interrelated with other aspects of their life" -Charles B. Spaulding.

3. Industrial sociology is the sociology of industrial relations and industrial activities of man.

Introduction of Industrial Sociology

The Industrial Revolution that took place in England in the 18th century changed the course of human society. The revolution, through essentially took place in economic field, its effects were never confined to the economic field alone. It brought down the cost of production, improved quality and maximised output. More than that, it changed the pattern of human relations. It eased human life, and proved more comforts and luxuries to man. At the same time, it altered human outlook and attitudes. It brought about radical changes in the very structure of the society.

Industrial revolution, in course of time resulted in the continuous process of industrialisation. Industrialisation is a phenomenon of world significance today. Development in the field of science and technology further added to the volume and speed of the process. Agricultural economy turned into industrial economy. Industrial area developed into towns and cities. The process of urbanisation began. People from rural areas started to flocking towards cities. Capitalist economy was born. Social classes with class-hatreds emerged. Social institutions and values underwent changes. New problems and new fears and new anxieties were invariably the result of it. The very face of the society changed. These developments necessitated the birth of a new branch of sociology called "Industrial Sociology" which essentially deals with the industrial society with all its complexities.

Importance of Rural Sociology

The practical value of the study of rural sociology is widely recognised today. As long as the villages and the rural society assume importance, the rural sociology shall continue to acquire importance. The value of rural sociology can be understood by the following points:

1. Rural Population is in Majority: The world's is more rural than urban. More than two-third of people of the world live in villages. It is the village that forms the basis of society. Rural sociology is inevitable for the study of the majority of the population.

2.Intimate Relationship between the Land and Man: Man is born out of land and his entire culture depends on it. Land has been the part of and parcel of human life. Progress starts from the village. The type of land partially conditions the type of society and the opportunities for human development. This close relationship between man and land has also been recognised by economists and political scientists.

3. Villages and Rural Life from the Source of Population: Cities normally grow out of towns and villages. No city can come into existence all of a sudden without having a rural background. A village, when improved and thickly populated, becomes a town or city. Thus it is the village population that forms the source of urban life.

4. Psychological Approach to the Rural Life: Rural progress, rural reconstruction or improvement of rural societies is possible only when the people have correct idea about the rural way of life and problems. Rural sociology touches upon the rural psychology and provides a good understanding of the rural people and their society.

Scope or Subject-Matter of Rural Sociology

The scope or subject-matter of rural sociology is basically the study of rural society with all its complexities. According to Lawry and Nelson, 'The subject-matter of rural sociology is the description and analysis of the progress of various groups as they exist in the rural environment.'

The main tasks of rural sociology can be mentioned here. They are as follows,

1. Rural Community and Rural Problems.

This includes the characteristics and nature of rural community and its problems.

2. Rural Social Life.
This includes various aspects of the rural people.

3. Rural Social Organization.

This includes the study of various rural social organizations and institutions including family and marriage.

4. Rural Social Institutions and Structure.

This includes the study of dogmas, customs, traditions, morals, conventions, practices and various political, economic, religious and cultural institutions

5. Rural Planning and Reconstruction.

Rural sociology has great practical applications. Hence rural planning and reconstruction are also the main tasks of rural sociology to be be dealt with.

6. Social Change and Social Control in Rural Social Setup: It is here we study the impact of city on rural life. The mechanisms of social control of the rural society are also examined here.

7. Religion and Culture in Rural Society.

Religion plays an important role in the rural set up. Culture of rural society exhibits striking peculiarities. These come within the domain of rural sociology.

8. Rural Social Processes.

Different social processes such as cooperation, competition, integration, differentiation, isolation etc., that take place in rural society are also studied in rural sociology.

9. Differences between Urban and Rural Society.

The study of rural society includes the differences between urban and rural society also.

Origin of Rural Sociology

Rural Sociology is comparatively a new branch of sociology. It was first originated in the United States of America. It has taken more than half a century to become established as a distinct academic field or professional study. The main contributors to the development of rural sociology are-Charles Sanderson, Burtherfield, Ernast Burnholme, John Morris Gillin, Franklin H. Giddings and Thomas Nixon Carver. It was President Roosevelt who, through the appointment of 'Country Life Commission' gave a good encouragement to the development to the rural sociology in 1908. The report of this Commission encouraged the studies of rural society.

In 1917 the Department of Rural Sociology was set up by the American Sociological Society. In 1919, a 'Rural Sociology Department' was established under the chairmanship of Dr. C. J. Galpin. The Great Depression of 1930 provided another stimulus to the growth of rural sociology. In 1937, 'Rural Sociological Society' was formed. It started publishing a professional journal 'Rural Sociology' containing results of rural sociological research. C. J. Galpin of University of Wisconsin developed techniques for defining and delimiting the rural community. His approach is still popular today.

The Great Second World War gave yet another fillip to the growth of rural sociology. The destruction caused by the war demanded reconstruction. The reconstruction work brought further encouragement to the science. By 1958 there were about 1000 professional rural sociologists in America. Rural sociology crossed the boundaries of America and became popular in Europe. A European Society for Rural Sociology was formed in 1957, and a similar organisation was started in Japan also. In developing countries, the role of the rural sociologists is primarily in the applied field of more effective planning and operation of rural community development programmes.

Definition of Rural Sociology

Different sociologists have defined rural sociology in different ways. A few definitions may be examined here.

1. Sanderson says that "Rural sociology is the sociology of rural life in the rural environment".

2. Bertand says that in its broadest sense, "Rural sociology is that study of human relationships in rural environment".

3. F. Stuard Chapin defines rural sociology as follows: "The sociology of rural life is a study of the rural population, rural social organisation and the social processes comparative, in rural society".

4. A. R. Desai says that "Rural sociology is the science of rural society...It is the science of laws of the development of rural society".

It is clear from the above mentioned definitions that rural sociology studies the social interactions, institutions and activities and social changes that take place in the rural society. It studies the rural social organisations, structure and set up. It provides us that knowledge about the rural social phenomena.

Introduction of Rural Sociology

Rural Sociology is a specialised field of sociology. As the name indicates, it deals with the society of village or rural society. It is a systematic and scientific study of rural society. The majority of the people on the earth live in villages and rural areas. They follow patterns of occupation and life, and beliefs are conditioned and deeply influenced by their rural environment. A specialised branch of sociology called, Rural Sociology, has therefore, emerged to study the rural society

Sociology of Religion

The phenomenon of religion attracted the attention of the sociologists because of its great human importance. No society is free from the influence of religion. In established societies, religion is one of the most important institutional structures making up the total social system. A special branch of sociology has now emerged in order to analyze the religious behavior of men from a sociological point of view. "The sociology of religion is but one aspect of the study of the relationship between ideas and ideals embodied in movements and institutions, and the social situations of their origin, development, flourishing and decline" Thomas F. O' Dea.

The early sociological studies of religion had three distinctive methodological characterisristics-Evolutionist, Positivist and Psychological. Ex: The works of Comte, Tylor and Spencer. But Emile Durkheim is his "Elementary Forms of the Religious Life", 1912, made a different approach to the study of religion. He argued that in all societies, a distinction is made between the "sacred" and "profane". He emphasized the collective aspects of religion. He was of the opinion that the function of religious rituals is to affirm the moral superiority of the society over its individual members and thus to maintain the solidarity of the society. Durkheim's emphasis on ritual as against belief, later influences many anthropologists to undertake functionalist investigations of religion. B. Malinowski and A. R. Rascliffe-Brown and other anthropologists were also influenced by the views of Durkheim.

In the study of religion in civilized societies, Durkheim's theory has proved less useful. Here, religion not only unites people but also divides. In modern societies, beliefs and doctrines have more importance than ritual. Here, the sociological study of religion differs from that anthropology. It is more influenced by the ethical doctrines of the world religions. This approach can be witnessed in the works of L.T. Hobhouse and Max Weber. Hobhouse, in discussing religion in his major work "Morals in Evolution",-1907, gave more importance to moral codes of the major religions and particularly of Christianity.

Max Weber's treatment of religious beliefs differs in important respects. Firstly, it is not based on an evolutionary scheme. Secondly, it is mainly concerned with one major aspect religious ethics. That is, he wanted to examine the influence of particular religious doctrines upon economic behavior; and the relations between the position of groups in the economic order and types of religious beliefs. He is less concerned with ethical doctrines as such. His famous work, "The Protestant Ethic and Spirit of Capitalism" is an example of such an approach.

Comparatively, nothing more has been added to the theoretical development of a Sociology of Religion since the works of Weber and Durkheim. Weber's influence has contributed to two main lines of study; (i) The characteristics, doctrines and social significance of religious sects, and (ii) the interlink between social classes and religious sects. Ernst Troeltsch's "The Social Teachings of the Christian Churches", 1912, H. R. Niebuhr's "The Social Sources of Denominationalism", 1929; and Brian Wilson's "Sects and Society", 1961, can be mentioned here as examples carrying weber's influence.

The Sociology of Religion seeks to offer a scientific explanation to religion. As Kingsley Davis says this "Task is not easy. No societal phenomenon is more resistant than religion to scientific explanation". Two factors seem to be responsible for this-first an emotional and second a 'rational bias'. "The emotional bias springs from the fact that religion by its very nature involves ultimate values, making it almost impossible to view with a disintersted attitude". The 'rational bias' would also create problems. Religion which involves transcendental ends, strong sentiments, deep-rooted beliefs, and symbolic instruments may appear to be fallacious to "rationalist". He may attribute religion simply to ignorance and error and assume that when these are removed there will emerged the completely 'rational' man. Some hold that religion is an expression of instinctive emotions. These views are equally false, "The very non-rationality of religious behaviour is the thing that gives religion its vitality in human life".

Sociology of Occupations

'Sociology of Occupations is one of the new branches of sociology. It deals with the problem of examining how the occupational structure and particular occupations associate with other segments of society like the family, the economy, the educational system, the political system and the system of social stratification. Its investigations concentrate upon the following themes: (i) the division of labor, its causes and consequences, (ii) The study of specific occupations of the people like the prostitute, the dockworkers, the clerk, the architect, the physician, etc. (iii) The function and meaning of work and related phenomena such as leisure, unemployment and retirement. (vi) Researches are also undertaken on such topics as the amount and method of remuneration, recruitment and training, career patterns, conflicts inherent in role, the relation between personality and occupation, interpersonal relations at work, the public image of occupation, and distribution of power and prestige within the occupation, etc.
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