Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Urbanization

Urbanization is a universal process implying economic development and social change.It also means a breakdown of traditional social institutions and values.MSA Rao observes that the breakdown hypothesis originated from the western experience and it ignores the fact of traditional urbanization in India.

Urban centers in traditional India were important places of worship,annual congregations,trade and navigation.They had a stable population.Today cities have come up as places of industry headquarters of districts and states or as centers of higher education.Some towns have lost their traditional significance whereas some have acquired added importance because of economic and political factors.

Rao classifies urban studies into three categories - those concerned with the institutional approaches,those treating cities and their growth in the general contexts of history of civilization and those which formulate the cultural role of cities in the context of social organization of the great tradition.The first category of studies highlights on the economic institutions such as emergence of middle class and commercial organization and religion.For Pirenne the city consisted of middle classes and groups engaged in trade and commerce.For Coulanges an ancient city was a religious community.Max Weber's emphasis was on social action and autonomous city government.The institutionalists look for specific causes and conditions for the growth of cities in different contexts.Robert Redfield has provided a typology of the city in terms of orthogenetic and heterogeneity processes of change in the organization of tradition and culture.Milton Singer observes that the Great Tradition is basically an urban phenomenon and transformation of the little tradition into the great tradition refers to the process of urbanization.However  the great tradition has also been undergoing significant change hence individualism freedom and fluidity in traditional norms and values.

Gideon Sjoberg distinguishes cities into pre-industrial  and industrial.The pre-industrial  city was a feudal one.There are two limitations to this approach feudalism was not the only basis of city formation and modern city is found in existence due to other factors too in addition to industrialization.

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