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Urbanization & Crime

  1. Examine the major pathological problems of urban life. Suggest measures for their solution. Kumar P.129-131.
  2. Write an essay on the growth of urban population & its Pathological Problem.
  3. Define Urbanization & discuss its consequences with regard to slums, sanitation & hygiene.

Urbanization has been often used to denote the process of population concentration in an urban area. Hope Tisdale Eldridge treats urbanization as a process of population concentration & identifies two elements in the process (i) The multiplication of points of concentration, & (ii) the increase in the size of individual concentration. Urbanization can occurs only when the rate of growth of the urban population is greater than the rate of growth of non-urban population in a country.

We find more mal adjustments in cities than in villages. The main reason for this is that life in the city becomes impersonal & the sense of community & fellowship is superseded by the sense of gain, profit and status. Therefore people in cities do not care or bother about others. The sex-oriented entertainment provided by the cinema, the club & television keeps people in a state of perpetual excitement. This gives rise to personal disorganization. The old restraints of religion & morality are giving way to a sense of independence & emancipation. Everyone thinks himself quite competent & is afraid to lean on others for help. In cities in many families' husband & wife both work out of home. This leads to faced neglect to children. Moreover, women come to feel & think themselves equal to men & want the husbands to share household work. The rate of crime is very high in the cities because it is easy to buy anonymity in the cities & escape police detection. Finally the gap bet the rich & poor is very wide in cities. The palatial mansions & the hutments exist side by side. The spectacle of many people eating the leftover of rich people & sleeping on the pavements cannot but deepen the bitterness & conflict set rich & poor.

Some of the major pathological problems of the urban population are discussed & some solutions suggested below:

Crime is anti -social behavior which a group rejects and to which it attaches penalties. In this way all those activities for which the state lays down punishments are crimes. Those activities to which no punishments are attached may be sinful but they would not be criminal.

There is a positive correlation between crime rate and size of cities. Bigger the city, higher the rate of crime. The types of crimes also significantly differ from rural areas to urban areas. Economic offences such as property thefts, automobile thefts, pick pocketing, cheating etc, are more in urban areas than in rural areas. Murder, physical violence, instance of unit cases etc, are relatively rare in rural areas.

White collar crime is a type of criminal activity which is not totally disapproved by the upper class & dominates political groups, though these activities are harmful to the well being of the society. The motivating factor for white collar crime among the lower strata is a desire to gratify their economic wants somehow. As for the well -off it is an easy way to acquire more wealth became in the present social set up, material success is an important part of prestige and nobody bothers as to how one has acquired his wealth.

The illegal economic activities of the upper classes of society are not severely condemned by the society, there is even appreciation for such activities as business tactics. Therefore, in modern urban centers corruption and white collar crimes are rampant. In recent years corruption has penetrated every walk of life. The calm acceptance of regular practice of corrupt activities by individuals has made it is gain the status of an institutional practice in urban centers.

Sex crimes have increased in contemporary societies with its emphasis on sex education, late marriage, free mixing between sexes & the evidence of contraceptives. Sex crimes occupy the attention of sociologists as they affect the moral health of the people. Sex crimes refer to the illegal sexual relations of every kind with a without the consent of the other person. They include a wide variety of offences such as prostitution, rape, adultery, fornication, sex perversions like homosexuality, kidnapping of young children with a sexual motive & illegal pre-marital & extra marital relation etc.

Some of the important means applied for the prevention of crimes are:

  1. Probation - It is the postponement, on certain conditions laid down lay the prosecuting authority of the punishment due to a criminal by law. These individuals are kept in the guardianship of someone instead of being imprisoned. The work of the probation officer is to assist and by to put the criminals on the right track by convincing & cantiming them. Mostly for the minor offender of the juvenile delinquent.
  2. Parole - It is also a means of reforming criminals. Under probation the criminal is given over to the protection of the probation officer without being punished but a criminal is placed on parole after he has served a short prison sentence.
  3. Reformatory- Three are two categories of reformations - Juvenile & Adult. Criminals are confined in these reformatories and efforts are made to reform them by training and educating them.
  4. Borstal Schools - Only criminals bet the ages 16 and 21 are kept in the schools. They are educated & efforts are made to make term good citizens.
  5. Prison - Prison is a University accepted means of preventing crime but now days efforts are made to reform rather than to punish criminals in jail.

All these means are however are a form of one so as to prevent them from subsequent criminal activity, which is in no guarantee against crimes. We need preventive measures. We have to take measures to prevent all those factories from the social, economic & political life of the community in which crimes originate.

As far as while collar crimes and corruptions concerned. In order to combat these tendencies it is essential that political corruption be firstly eradicated and that governments should refuse to yield to political & economically vested interests. In a democracy every government wants to retain power & for this it is very necessary that it may not alienate any political lobby. But if the problem is to be tackled the govt. should be prepared to take risks. The judiciary should be very well paid & selection should be strictly on merit (this stands for every other recruitment). The judges must be persons of high intellectual & moral caliber. They should be persons of proven integrity & must be incorruptible. The greatest differing factor in this regard is the concentration of the economy in limited hands on whomever the govt. depends for its survival. The aim therefore should be at enabling the money to be more evenly distributed. It is possible to control or at least contain such crimes if liberal labour laws have are enforced very strictly & if the govt. servants are so well paid that they have little temptation to accept bribes.

Peasant community and the changes within it

(a) Explain the idea of peasant community. Identify & discuss the factors which are responsible for the changes in peasant communities in the past four decades.

The term peasant is very vague and in fact it is very difficult to clearly and precisely define it. Several rural sociologists have tried to define the term in their own way. Moore says that peasantry by history is somewhat subordination to landed upper class, recognized & enforced by law. It has sharp cultural distinctions as compared with the elite class & that has de-facts possession of land.

The peasant society, according to Robert Redfield, falls in between the little community and the urban society. On the one hand, it is not as much self sufficient and isolated as the little community and on the other hand it is not as much secular as the urban society Robert Redfield therefore calls it "Part Societies". These part societies are those village communities which have a culture of their own, together with wide spread relationship with other villages & cities. According to him peasantry are such due to this long established inter-dependence with gentry & towns people.

According to Redfield the peasant society is composed of two halves, the `intelligent and' the rustic these two parts may also be observed in distinction between the local life and the life of the state. Both these forms a system of social relationship arranged in hierarchy. In the social system at the bottom are the kinship and neighbor -hood relationships & at the top are mere impersonal and formal institutional relationships. (at landlord & political elite level).

The local peasant life is bound by traditions and others. One important feature of the society is that a peasant does not leave his basic characteristics even if he leaves the village & begins to live in the town. We can see peasant society, dependent on the outer world in four sphere of life - economic dependence, political dependence, administrative contact & in social organization.

In the economic field it depends on the outside would because it is to sell its products in the outside market so that it can earn money both for paying the taxes as well as for purchasing commodities of day to day use. Since these days barter system is not possible, therefore, sales of produce to some extent is unavoidable.

It has political dependence in that, that it must depend and accept social & political decisions. The decision makers are political elites & peasant society cannot completely ignore them.

In the administrative field too it has dependence on the others. It must participate in panchayat raj institutions and activities. It must also participate in other institutions of democratic decentralization in a reasonable way.

In the social field the dependence of this society on the others is unavoidable. It cannot have matrimonial alliances in one village alone. Similarly it cannot expect that all its relation must be concentration in a particular village alone. In the words of Marriott "Daughters of the village move out & wives of the village move in at marriage, moving & from more than 300 other villages.

Thus the peasant society has its own characteristics & feature and these are not peculiar to India but found all over the world.

The agrarian society is undergoing several changes in it structural aspects. Important changes have taken place in family, caste, political & economic institution. Religious system also is slowly being influenced lay modern forces. The development of modern communication & transport system, spread of modern education, the process of industrialization & urbanization. The government's development programme & legislative measures, the political parties & social reform movements are some of the important factors which introduced changes in rural society. The picture of social transformation is more visible in economic field than in cultural values. Even though the peasant communities are changing the changes are not evenly taking place in all communities. These changes vary from region to region depending on the nature of their exposure to modern forces but the process of change has started in all rural communities.

  1. Scope of Urban Sociology
  2. Slums and Deprivation in Urban Areas