Q. 1. Explain the contribution of Chicago School in the origin and development of Urban Sociology.
Answer: As a result of its ground-breaking studies of metropolitan environments and social interactions, among other things, the Chicago School of Sociology is widely acknowledged as having contributed to the establishment of urban sociology as a distinct scientific sub-field of study. In the first half of the twentieth century, a group of sociologists who resided in Chicago, over a period of several years conducted research on urban environments. As a result, later researchers have used qualitative methodologies such as ethnography and land-use mapping to conceptualise urban phenomena, which have had a long-lasting impact on the profession. After establishing the Chicago School of sociology, they worked to attain their goal to better understand the interplay between urban structures and micro-interactions in cities by combining theories from both sociological and anthropological perspectives. Those connected with the Chicago School of Sociology assigned subjective meaning to human behaviour when it was subjected to structural, cultural, and social contexts, as opposed to those associated with other schools of thought in the discipline of sociology who assigned objective meanings.
They defined urban culture as a single culture that could characterise city dwellers regardless their social class, gender, or race, according to their concept, and that characterises city dwellers regardless of their social class, gender, or race. When it came to philosophy, a substantial number of those linked with the Chicago School were pre-occupied with the concept of urban culture. It was essentially the core challenge of American society at the time that the Chicago sociologists were addressing, namely, how to form a society out of fragmented communities and competitive people who were all struggling for survival in an increasingly competitive environment. Even though the Chicago sociologists were dealing with a specific problem in American society at the time, they were actually dealing with the basic problem that American society was facing at the time. The challenge of rebuilding patterns of social interaction for former peasants and transients in an urban-industrial milieu was just as difficult, if not more so, than the effort of reconstructing patterns of social interaction for former peasants and transients in a rural milieu. The study of spatial patterning, together with the research of social integration and spatial patterning, was a primary priority of urban sociology. Theorizing about human ecology was formalised in the 1960s by other Chicago School sociologists, who linked it to social Darwinism in the formation of what became to be known as human ecology, which was a subset of the subject. The study of patterns and processes that characterise human settlements in the setting of competition and social selection created the framework of development for urban sociology during the nineteenth century. Studies of the socio-economic elements that encourage cultural integration, which are now underway, can also be built on this foundational framework. It responded to the historical obstacles caused by industrialization and urbanisation during the first half of the twentieth century, and it continued to do so throughout the twentieth century, despite its ideological prejudices.
Q. 2. What is the relationship between the ‘changing role of women and migration’? Discuss.
Answer: Migration provides new opportunities for women, both financially and in terms of reforming oppressive gender relations. Earning revenue boosts migrant women’s self-esteem and autonomy, allowing them to rise up the social ladder. Current female migration patterns as seen in South East Asia and Latin America (Krishnaraj 2005). Many young Asian women are driven to travel, either alone or in groups, to take advantage of India’s new, more liberalised economic policies. This may not auger well for women’s advancement, but it allows them to support their families. It also helps males find time to seek a career or learn new skills.
Women farmers grew by 86% in Rajasthan between 1981 and 1991. Agrarian concerns have led hordes of migrant women to labour on construction sites, quarries, and mines. Migrant women gain economic freedom and thus self-esteem as a result of migration. Sadly, the job market reserves the most monotonous and unskilled occupations for female rural-urban migrants. Moreover, migrant women often face long hours, little pay, and physical and sexual assault (Krishnaraj 2005). Either as “residual followers” or solo travellers, women tend to be the most victimised. A majority of female migrants in Orissa (75 percent) left for marriage, followed by migration of the household breadwinner (17 percent ). Migration is not an unrestricted process. Instead, it is dominated by social and political frameworks that limit their labour options. Women must first negotiate with their own identities, shaped by an old, conservative societal order (Thapan 2005). It is a tool for economic diversification and upward mobility, as-well-as a means of personal discovery and well-being.
Employees who have settled overseas send money home, and formal firms rely on migrant workers to fill in “casual labour” slots are all examples of how migrant workers contribute to India’s macro-economic stability (Ghosh 2005). Certainly, migrant culture is now part of Indian society. It has become normal in several jurisdictions due to its strong cultural roots. Desperation to migrate is thus a cultural political process, transmitted via generations and social networks.
Despite the rare light of hope afforded by labour migration, imbalanced urbanisation is a reality that is tough to embrace. In addition, urban deterioration exacerbates migrants’ issues. Large-scale rural-to-urban migration from states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, and Rajasthan produces severe urban congestion and degradation (Mukherji 2001). Unskilled and illiterate migrants are employed in low-paying informal jobs, as capital-intensive industrialisation produces few jobs. In the process, they go from rural to urban poverty.
The fate of surviving family members and communities is likewise a concern. Many Asian families are suffering a “care crisis” since female migrants outweigh male migrants in some locations (Nguyen et al. 2006). We must consider those ‘left behind’ in a fascinating, dangerous, and fatal metropolitan environment.
Q. 3. Define Neighbourhood. Discuss its sociological relevance.
Answer: The “Home area” is the geography covered in 5-10 minutes’ walk from one’s home (Kearns and Parkinson 2001). A neighbourhood is a group of houses, parks, and shops that are close to our dwellings. While the neighbourhood is a social unit, it is also a web of social networks (Forrest and Kearns 2001). The neighbourhood has a social purpose.
Choice of a Neighbourhood
Famous Indian journalist Vinod Mehta noted one oddity of Delhi in his memoir. He stated your Delhi address determined your identity. Urban surveys claim that locality represents one’s social identity. Your address is a social data point (Goffman 1997). Our place of residence, like our job, physical traits, and personality, provides clues about us. Choosing one’s neighbourhood takes a lot of thought. A nice neighbourhood is subjective and is dependent on several
things. Some want peace and quiet, while others want to be near a city. Some prefer to live near their workplace, while others prefer the outskirts. Defining these parameters is pointless. But, according to Brower, three factors influence people’s satisfaction with their neighbourhood choices: Ambience, involvement, and choicefulness (Brower 1996). Our neighbourhood should be a place where we can live comfortably. It also provides status and self-esteem. Brower argued that individuals should like their neighbourhood. An “engagement” is a chance for meaningful interactions. A hostile or hazardous neighbourhood is unattractive. That’s why high-crime areas are stigmatised. Urban ghettos and neighbourhoods are stigmatised for their low living standards. Members feel their neighbourhood identities confining.
According to Brower, living in such places reflects negatively on one’s neighbourhood. People must own their choice to reside in a certain neighbourhood and recognise that they can choose to leave it at any time (Kearns and Parkinson 2001). It makes people pleased to know their neighbours reside nearby. Planners need to consider this last factor. It explains why people resist bureaucratic or market-based allocation methods (Hastings and Dean 2003).
Neighbourhoods and Social Cohesion
Social cohesiveness occurs in neighbourhoods. It provides security and identity. They also provide members a sense of belonging. We meet our first friends outside of our family in the streets. Didn’t we all meet our first friend in our neighbourhoods? Neighbour-hoods facilitate face-to-face encounters, fosters community (Casey 2013). These encounters have been shown to help create social capital. Some economic studies demonstrate that the success of home-based and micro-businesses is dependent on the quality of local relationships. The poll proves that neighbourhood resources can help one’s business succeed (Reuschke and Houston 2016). However, studies on social cohesion in neighbourhoods show varying viewpoints. Affiliation with and cohesion within a community varies. For example, the kids these days are less involved in their communities than their elders (Bannister and Fyfe 2001). It is also possible to make more friends when you reside longer in a neighbourhood (Sampson and Groves 1989). People meet as you reside at a place for a longer duration. Contrarily, blue-collar workers and pensioners have closer ties to their neighbourhood than white-collar workers. Perhaps blue-collar people spend more time outside in the neighbourhood. Retired members are one such example. They spend most of their time in social groups outside their residence (Henning and Lieberg 1996). In this way, neighbourhood interaction varies greatly amongst groups.
Neighbourhoods and Community Spirit
A neighbourhood’s potential to facilitate collaborative actions is one of its many attributes. Neighbourhoods have increasingly become venues for debates, discourses, agreements, and political acts. As stated above, this trait varies per class. The underprivileged classes have a tremendous sense of communal spirit. Those communities stood together to defend their rights. This oneness is based on survival, according to urban studies, (Burns and Taylor 1998; Friedrichs 1998) spirit born by necessity rather than choice.
Q. 4. Is there any relationship between urbanization and growth of slums? Discuss.
Answer: Slums are an indication of unplanned urbanisation, especially in developing countries (Bolay 2006). Most Indian cities have undergone enormous growth. Urbanization increased from 27.8% in 2001 to 31.10% in 2011. (2001; 2011) Improving living conditions and health outcomes is vital in a fast-growing country like
India, where most cities are undergoing constant population expansion. (Sajjad)
Slums in India
Slums are illegal urban developments that eventually encircle the city. Slums are more widespread in cities, although they are slowly spreading across
India. Slums surround Chandigarh, a planned metropolis in northern India. Conditions in slums are poor, with limited or no access to water, electricity and sanitation. Slum dwellers dread losing their homes and belongings due to government evictions. Slums foster antisocial behaviour, degrade often environment, and house criminals (Sawhneya, U. 2013).
Like in India, where overpopulation is a key growth inhibitor, slums spring up swiftly surrounding cities. Without legitimate full-time employment, rural poverty leads to migrants building temporary housing for themselves and later many others utilising vacant public space to build shanties and settle down. Then there’s slums that surround or are within most Indian metropolises, industrial and service towns and cities (Sawhneya, U. 2013).
Slum Population as Percentage of Urban Population
42.6 million people lived in slums in 2001. This represents 15% of the urban population. It is followed by Andhra Pradesh (24.9%) and Haryana (27.3%). (14.9 percent). (23.2%) There are 10-20% slum dwellers in Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Kerala has the lowest percentage of urban slum inhabitants (0.8%), followed by Goa (2.2%) and Assam (2.4 percent). Construction in the city’s outskirts is a major source of employment for people from Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh (Sawhneya, U. 2013).
Q. 5. Discuss in detail types of migration.
Answer: Many people take the decision to relocate. Many others, on the other hand, have no choice but to leave their houses. The following are some of the several types of migration:
Rural-rural migration: Rural-to-rural migration streams are more restricted in terms of migration distance than other rural-urban migration streams.
Rural-to-rural migration remains the dominant mode of movement in developing countries such as India, accounting for approximately 62 percent of total migration in 1999-2000. According to the findings of the National Sample Survey Organization, the flow of rural-to-rural migration in India is significantly greater than the sum of all other migration streams put together. It was discovered in the 64th round of sruvey by the National Sample Survey Organization, which took place in 2007 and 2008, that rural-to-rural movement was the most popular migration stream, accounting for around 62 percent of all internal migrants. Following that came the rural-to-urban migration stream, which accounted for around 20% of all internal migrants. According to the findings of the study, rural–rural migration is the most common type of migration, followed by rural–urban migration, urban–urban migration, and rural–rural migration.
Rural-urban migration: The normal push-pull processes that drove persons from impoverished rural and urban areas to wealthy rural and urban areas exist, and may even be intensified, as a result of increased population pressure and deteriorating land. Following India’s economic liberalisation, rural-urban migration accelerated, with more people migrating from rural areas to urban areas in quest of improved job chances.
Rural-urban migration slid to third place in terms of major stream of migration, 32.15 million migrants in the 2011 Census, owing to the tremendous surge in urban-urban migration. Appalling poverty, miserable unemployment, low and uncertain wages, uneconomic land holdings, and a lack of educational and other amenities all contributed to rural areas’ push forces. As a result, rural-urban migration is motivated by lucrative opportunities available in cities.
According to the 2011 Census, Maharashtra continues to be a popular destination for rural migrants who arrive from various states and other districts within the state. Haryana had 1.05 million migrations from rural areas to urban areas. Gurgaon’s growth and the impact of the National Capital Region have resulted in a significant increase in employment in the State’s urban informal sectors. 3.14 million migrants in Gujarat said that they had relocated from rural to urban regions. Rural-urban migration is equally noteworthy in the southern states.
The Gulf countries in Middle East Asia attract a considerable number of migrants from South India, leaving an unskilled and semi-skilled labour shortage in the state. However, in the urban informal sector, urbanisation and industrialisation have created new job prospects. As a result, individuals from remote areas throughout North India, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand, East India, West Bengal and Odisha, and even North-East India, Assam and Manipur began migrating to the southern states in search of work in the informal economy. With 2.43 million rural-urban migration, Andhra Pradesh has the highest rate in the southern states, followed by Tamil Nadu 2.24 million. Even though migrants account for a relatively small proportion of the total population in the North-Eastern states in comparison to the rest of India, the states of Assam, Mizoram, and Nagaland recorded significantly more rural-urban migrants than urban-urban migrants at a national level. Except for West Bengal, states in Central India, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and East India, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha had a higher proportion of rural-to-urban migration.
Urban-urban migration: The urban-urban migration stream accounted for 14.3 million migrants in the 2001 Census, ranking third behind rural-rural and rural-urban migration streams. However, according to the 2011 Census, urban-urban migration increased at a rate 130.3 percent faster than any other type of migration. In metropolitan environments, both push and pull forces contribute to this movement. In India, the urban-urban migration stream developed as job opportunities in big cities increased relative to rural areas. Urban-to-urban migration in India is increasing at a rate of 130.3 percent per year. According to state- level analysis, increased urbanisation is often fuelled by a major growth in the number of census towns, which results in an increase in urban-to-urban migration.
Maharashtra has 5.93 million urban-urban migrants, making it India’s most populous state, according to the 2001 Census of India. However, in comparison to southern Indian states, the rate of urban-urban migration expansion in the state has been slow, 78.5 percent. Tamil Nadu is second in terms of migration, with 4.36 million individuals moving to the city. In India’s northern states, only Uttarakhand, with a population of 3.14 million, has the greatest rate of urban-urban migration.
Punjab is home to 1.10 million urban-rural migratory workers. During the intercensal era, the urban-urban migration stream in Uttarakhand increased by 200 percent. Surprisingly, the absolute increase in urban-urban migration is less than in the rest of India in all other important states of Central and North-East India. As a result, the northern region, which has a higher proportion of the rural population, encourages individuals to migrate to metropolitan areas that are geographically distant from their homes.
Urban–rural migration: The urban-rural stream has the fewest migrants at 11.45 million. However, between the 2001 and 2011 Censuses, this stream experienced tremendous growth. The reality of a migrant worker’s existence is far more complicated than those precise numbers, as the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated. Not all migrant workers, however, were impacted in the same way. The COVID-19’s most vulnerable migrants were a group of people compelled to relocate from urban to rural areas. Seasonal migrants were most vulnerable, and they were also the hardest hurt by the COVID lockout in 2020, which triggered a rise in return migration. The informal wage industry employs an estimated 60–65 million short-term and circular migrants, with 40% working in construction and 15% in agriculture. The remainder of the workforce is employed in manufacturing, transportation, and other service-related businesses. Migrant workers (with their families) are frequently favoured at work due to their docility, flexibility, and cheaper labour costs, making them an easily exploitable class of employees.
Q. 6. Explain the concept of network in Urban Sociology.
Answer: A transformation occurred around the turn of the century. The development of the previous era signified this transformation. Each aspect of life underwent multi-dimensional modifications that were difficult to fathom. Sociology was needed now more than ever. This had to be a social science. It was not to be confined to a normative kind of instruction. In short, a new sociology was felt. On observation, hypothesis construction, and communication. The society was undergoing rapid social transformation, with new social processes forming at an alarming rate. Sociologists needed to comprehend and elaborate on this transformation using the creativity implicit in Information Age ideals and technologies. Several concepts from a network approach of urban sociology are presented here.
Power & Empowerment
In any social organisation, the presence and vital role of ‘power’ influences social change. Power is the ability to impose one’s will on others. In network societies, communication control and influences are the major form of power. This is also true for groups use connectivity and network access to impose their ethics, laws, and aims on society. So, these are also the tools of power. It’s interesting to observe that network society transcends space. An important result of globalisation in a network society is the establishment of social, political and cultural links that transcend geographical boundaries. Power is wielded beyond these boundaries. Traditional societies establish social relations, customs, and culture differently in different places. Individuals then operate in accordance with the established regulations of that space (e.g., families, communities, cities. However, the urban network space changes. Regional spaces have no control here. People can now freely communicate and form relationships via internet, mass media, and computers. They may not have a common past or have had much face-to-face contact, but they develop a bond. The rising network society and its values also alter earlier traditions and social connections. For Castells, empowerment is strengthened by the role of social media and networking, including Facebook, because there are always social movements connected via the internet. Globalisation through active social media leads to increased cultural diversity, creativity, and new forms of freedoms. Thus, one of the most vital functions is played by Information Technology across all borders.
Meaning of Information Technology
According to Castells, social networks have always existed in all societies. However, the widespread use of ICTs distinguishes the network society from past social networks. ICTs enable creation of networks across broad geographical areas and hence of new social ties. The evolution of existing social systems depends on how we interpret, comprehend, and apply new communication methods.
• If communication is perceived as a ‘one way’ flow of knowledge and information to recipients who passively absorb it without challenges, communities can become ‘disempowered’, relying on just external knowledge. This can lead to irrational passive growth.
• If communication is seen as a constant process of information processing, with recipients learning, questioning, and developing their worldview, then local communities become a collection of ‘empowered’ people. Existing cultures have fresh concepts. Innovative communication and knowledge exchange becomes empowering.
Using ICTs can either empower or disempower communities. Indeed, critics of globalisation have criticised it. Technological capabilities, say detractors, lead to a uniformed and standardised community creation. The person in authority decides what information and knowledge are, and consequently how civilizations are organised. However, there are many who believe that this electronic communication exchange is a two-way process, as the information is not taken in blindly. Interpretations, differences, new applications, and suggestions are always welcome. So dominant knowledge isn’t seen as a goal. This is the primary tension in most network societies, where certain groups try to force their ideas and thinking on others, while others constantly oppose. The impacts of expanding information technology and its use in society are a hot topic.
Q. 7. Discuss the concept of Social Ecology and Urban space.
Answer: Social ecologists argue that unfair hierarchal structures and relationships within society are to blame for today’s climate crisis and the continued degradation of the environment. One of the most fundamental characteristics of social ecology is its framework for understanding how our activities and behaviours affect the environment. Social ecologists examine how people interact with their environment and how these relationships might be modified to produce a more sustainable society. Social ecology aims to create a society where humans are connected to and live in harmony with nature. Social ecology studies the interaction and response between individuals towards the environment around them and how these interactions affect society and the environment as a whole.
Social ecology portrays ecological issues as stemming primarily from social problems, particularly various forms of hierarchy and dominance. It aims to address these problems through the model of a society tailored to human growth and the biosphere. Murray Bookchin, an American political philosopher, author, historian, and social theorist, pioneered the idea of social ecology. Bookchin established and refined the social ecology and urban planning theory within anarchist, socialist and ecological thought. According to social ecology theory, humans are a part of nature, not separate from it. As a result, all human activity impacts the environment. It is vital to note that social ecology does not believe in hierarchy or the dominance of people over nature but rather in collaboration and mutual aid.
The notion of urban areas states that cities and towns are examples of urban areas since they are located in locations where there is a disproportionately large concentration of people who reside in its vicinity. Various methods of earning a living are used by individuals to support themselves. Young people in metropolitan areas have responded to this phenomenon by engaging in a wide range of activities that may be traced back to it.
Census of India occupational definitions include “participation in any economically productive activity,” is defined as “participation in any economically productive activity,” which can refer to any kind of economic activity. It is possible that “participation in any economically productive activity” refers to any type of economic activity. For example, people can carry out responsibilities of their professions, which need physical stamina and endurance on a regular basis, while still engaging in economic activity. On this list are also activities that require prolonged mental endurance on a daily basis, such as the ability to supervise and direct labour efficiently, as-well-as the ability to interact successfully with other people. Paid and uncompensated labour are believed to be the same thing in the professional world, and are therefore treated as such, according to the definition. Workers who are not paid for their job on a farm or in a family-owned business are categorised as “farmers” or “family business owners.” In India, as we all know, agriculture employs the great majority of the country’s inhabitants, with subsistence agriculture accounting for the large majority of those employed there. In contrast to the increasing concentration of capital in metropolitan areas in many other nations, the increasing concentration of capital in metropolitan areas in India has resulted in a significant proportion of India’s Gross Domestic Product GDP being derived from urban areas. Due to the fact that they provide employment chances to people from all walks of life, urban regions are sometimes referred to as the “heart of employment opportunities.” Given the massive number of jobs that are available in metropolitan areas, it should come not comes as a surprise that urban areas account for such a disproportionately large part of the country’s gross domestic output. As a result of the large number of professions that people engage in order to support themselves and their families, as-well-as the large number of jobs that people engage in in order to support themselves and their families, metropolitan regions generate a significant amount of gross domestic product gross domestic product.
Q. 8. What is Urbanism? How does acculturation process help in Urbanisation?
Answer: Urbanism is the state of being in a city, whereas urbanisation is the process of growing a city. It includes all physical and social interactions in cities. It manifests as social, economic, and political forces and processes in cities. Urbanism provides a comprehensive understanding of urban life. Let us try to comprehend. A person moving from rural to urban may observe cultural changes. Others are subtle. One eats, clothes, and even think differently depending on their ethnicity. Rural residents, for example, may rise early and sleep early. Cities like Bangalore, Los Angeles, and Barcelona are recognised for their vibrant nightlife. After moving to a new city, an individual may encounter numerous inconsistencies and conflicts between his/ her upbringing and the new culture. He or she eventually learns the new place’s customs. She/he learns how city dwellers dress, think, work, and interact.
As he gains knowledge, he begins to adopt new traits. It can be deliberate or even accidental. After a few days, they may adjust to their new lifestyle, adopting some new traits while keeping others. This is called acculturation. Acculturation is the acquiring of a culture’s qualities (Anderson 1959). Acculturation not only helps newcomers to feel more at ease, but it can also help them live more efficiently. For example, knowing local culture allows one to converse with the locals. Knowing your options for urban transit can save you time and money.
So, when in a strange land, acculturation can help. Acculturation may have occurred as you progressed from elementary to secondary to university. Urban Sociology investigates the effects of urbanisation on humanity. Louis Wirth’s Urbanism as a way of life is one of the most fascinating books since it explains how the phenomenon changes people’s lives, habits, interactions, and thinking (Wirth 1938). While urban life offers endless social chances, Wirth’s work highlights the contractions. While people live close together, loneliness, estrangement, and sadness can result from lack of intimacy in social relationships. Consider. How do you feel about rural areas if you live in a city? Is it easier now? Why do you think so?