Thursday, June 30, 2011



Defining a Complex Society – Complex society have the following characterstics

i) larger territory and population membership;

ii) greater occupational differentiation, and specialisation of work and social groups;

iii) advanced technology for production of consumer items, building of houses, work

places, etc;

iv) greater co-ordination in the management of the complex society;

v) quick rate of change in terms of consumer goods, forms of education, and so on;

vi) faster modes of inass communication, such as, radio, TV, computers internet etc.

Rural-Urban Dichotomy - Some sociologists found that there was as much individualism, lack of understanding, fear and suspicion of strangers even among the villagers as it existed in the urban life.

the concept of the urban community also underwent change in the 1950's. It was found that family and friends made life close, informal, and secure. That is to say there does exist 'urban villages' in city life as well.

Aspects of Community Life

One thing is clear from the above is that the rural and urban life in complex society is not the opposite of one another. In fact it could no longer be assumed that environment determined any one type of association. However this is not to say that rural and urban populations do not have any differences.

Later studies stressed that:

i) social class and

ii) stage in family cycle were very important factors in the complex societies.

According to the studies, social class influences choice over where a person can stay (live). Stage in family cycle determines choice of area within a social class. Thus young parents in a social class do not have as much to invest as those who are older. There are thus several constraints on where a person can live. The housing market makes a cluster of similar social class and stage in family cycle. Some sociologists point out that it is the group that is influenced-not the community as such. They argue in favour of studying local social systems.

They feel these should be studied with reference to:

i) maintenance and establishment;

ii) modifying circumstances; and

iii) inter-relationships with national systems.

It was suggested that community ties and behaviours are very much linked to national behaviour. Personal ties were believed to be decreasing to a very large extent. Thus vertical links to the central decision makers are replacing the 'horizontal' local ties. Thus the two are deeply inter linked, although community reflects the nation. Again the analysis of economic factors has become very important in urban studies. Further, it was felt that urban problems are not exclusively urban, e.g. slums and poverty.

Thus, it may be pointed out that community studies do help in studying social change. However locality study gives more precise data for the same.

Types of Urbanisation

Over Urbanisation

De urbanisation

Under urbanisation

Developing countries is experiencing over urbanisation. Cities are the enclaves surrounded by the villages from where the economic growth and its benefits goes outwards. Our view on over urbanisation is that the metropolitan development is due to the foreign capital thus being exploited by the developed nations and further these cities are exploiting the villages. Thus over-urbanisation implies that cities in the developing world are not industrialised enough relative to population ratios. The picture indicates that the service sector has a deep agrarian root.

In over urbanisation there is industrialisation with low employment opportunities. And in under urbanisation there is industrialisation with lack of support system such as housing. And in de urbanisation There has thus been a ruralisation of urban/industrial relations. This is seen

as a result of the economic and industrial policies, which encourage such a process.

Such ruralisation is especially evident in advanced technology sectors.

Modern Society

Modern society has several features. These include:

i) profit-motive production by big capitalists;

ii) technological advances;

iii) high rate of urban populations;

iv) bureaucratic organisation; and

v) spread of education.

Work in Complex Societies – work in complex societies means work which is paid. Need not necessary it earns monetary benefits. In simple societies leisure has different meaning it is time to relax with no end result but in complex societies leisure activities such as cricket, football earns the wages.

Work Structures - Work in simple societies is mainly linked with family and religions and person work not for the monetary gains for the kinship and religious obligations. But in complex societies the person works only because of the wages which he is paid. He fixed set of work profile and timing only emergency leaves are available. The work structure of complex society is hierarchy based such as skilled labour is adhered to manager or supervisor.

Conflict in Industry

Conflict in the industry usually takes place between the employer and the labour as labour wants there wages to be increased and employer in order to maximise the profit wants to reduce the wages and increase the work hours which leads to the conflict.

Another conflict is due to the removal of labour and use of machinery this is called retrenchment of labour, to reduce the cost.

The most.visible form of industrial conflict are legal or illegal strikes. However, other

methods require co-operation among workers to:

i) go slow;

ii) absenteeism; and

iii) sabotage.

These do not cause any impact on the surface but cause great damage the productivity.

Employment and Women

In complex societies women are given an equal opportunity in the employment but there is a horizontal segregation in the job they are mostly given the clerical jobs, teaching, nursing and also there is a vertical segregation very few women reach to top management positions. And men are preferred in spite of women as it has been thought that domestic responsibility will reduce their quality of work.

Post-Industrial Society

There are some features of the post industrial society which differs it from modern society.

(a) Service economy – The economy of the post industrial society is not completely dependent on agriculture and industries but it now also has major part related to trade and services.

More than 60 percent of the American workforce is employed in trade and services sector.

(b) Professional and Technicians: In industrial societies blue collar and semi skilled labour predominate. However in post-industrial societies professional and technical operators grow to dominate.

(c) Theoretical Knowledge: In post-industrialsociety, theoretical knowledge has a crucial value. Scientific knowledge along with mathematics based social science become very significant. In fact a shortage of scientifically trained professionals is felt. In providing this need universities gain a great deal of importance.

Further Features

Technology planning

In modem society, use of some technologies has proved to be harmful e.g. DDT is affecting crops, birds, wild life. Nuclear energy generating plants are creating nuclear wastes and accidents risks as in Chemobyl. USSR. Post-industrial societies have technology assessment to prevent any harmful effects of the technology.

Intellectual Planning

A new intellectual technology will be crucial to post-industrial society. It is not the machine technology of the modern age. Intellectual technology comprises management and other techniques needed to organise. Vast use of computers and super computers and new mathematics is crucial.

Some Trends

Post-industrial society.depends for its emergence on the persistence of the present trends. What happens if this does not happen? Let us consider some of these aspects below:

i) State Tasks: These include saving and distribution of wealth equitably. Both these are contradictory - for the latter means expenditure not saving of capital. Higher taxes do not solve the problem. Education, medicine, insurance, all needs great expenditure. Saving is not enough to meet them and a fiscal crisis arises.

ii) Cultural Change: Change may come culturally - not only in the economy but all aspects of social life. The new young may find fulfilment outside their careers as well as inside them.

iii) Ideologies: Post-industrialism regulates the big corporations strictly. It is a type of 'state capitalism'. In other countries state socialism exists. Socialism should lead to communal society, which eventually makes the state obsolete. However this is not borne out by trends in modern communism. It is also felt by some sociologists that bureaucracy needs to be replaced by communal structures.

Key words

Horizontal Segregation : Keeping one particular group apart within the similar wage and status level.

Vertical Segregation : Separating people at the top (or bottom) level from others, e.g. owners, managers, and supervisors.

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