Thursday, November 21, 2019

Impact of Social Heterogeneity and Population Size and Density on Essay

Impact of Social Heterogeneity and Population Size and Density on Social Relations - Essay Example Heterogeneity leads to gradual breaking down of rigid customs and social structures causing increased instability and insecurity. The city being the hub of economic, political and cultural life, human beings from different areas are attracted to it. These human beings come from diverse backgrounds and cultures. According to Wirth, "69.2 per cent of the total population of those countries that do distinguish between urban and rural areas is urban" (Pearson, cited in Wirth 1938, p.2). Moreover, the growth of the cities is far greater in areas where industrialisation is more advanced than those where it is not as progressive. This transition from a rural area to an urban city has impacted every phase of social life. A city is a product of evolution rather than spontaneous creation, and hence it is only natural that "the influences which it exerts on the modes of life should not be able to wipe out completely the previously dominant modes of human association" (Wirth 1938, p.3). Moreover, a great section of the inhabitants of a city, who have moved in from different and most probably rural areas, bring with them i nfluences of their own cultural backgrounds and previous modes of lives. Such influences leave their imprint on their personalities also. From a sociological perspective, urbanism refers to the characteristic mode of life of the aggregation of human beings living in the city. The dominance of the city is the result of its concentration of industrial and commercial, financial and administrative, transportation and communication, cultural and recreational, healthcare and hospital facilities along with its professional and educational, and religious and welfare institutions. Urbanisation, thus, is the mode of life distinctive to the city as well as the changes that it causes to modes of lives of the people who are under the influences of the predominant features of the city (Wirth 1938, p.5). The social aspects of a city depend on the essential characteristics of the city. For example, an industrial city is significantly different in social respects from a commercial, mining, fishing, resort, university or capital city. Similarly, the social characteristics of a single-industry city differs significantly from a multi-industry city as do that of a residential suburb from an industrial suburb and an old city from a new city, etc. A city, for sociological purposes, may be therefore defined "as a relatively large, dense, and permanent settlement of socially heterogeneous individuals" (Wirth 1938, p.8). Hence the social relationships between individuals in a city are influenced by the population size, density of settlement and the heterogeneity of its inhabitants. Large numbers are naturally consistent with a great range of variation among individuals in human interactions. Therefore the personal traits, the beliefs, the ideas, the cultural lives and occupations of individuals in an urban community are spread over a far wider range than those of individuals in a rural community. In such a setting, human bonds of kinship, neighbourliness and sentiments "arising out of living together for generations under a common folk tradition are likely to be absent, or at best, relatively weak" (Wirth 1938, p.11). In such a situation, formal control systems take the place of

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