Monday, 1 April 2019


The metropolises of today in advanced countries are standard-bearers of revolutionary changes in social, political-economic and Cullinan movements. The process of urbanization has been greatly hastened in advanced countries due to industrialization and technological change. Thus urbanization has also given rise to member of economic, social and cultural problems. As a result of urbanization, there is a change in personal tendencies and trends, the norms and standards of marriage and family have undergone a sea- change and there has been a considerable rise in corruption and disorganization. It has also given rise to groove problems of health psychological as well as physical. In order to understand and remedy this sorry state of affairs,, we need a systematic study. And as the problems are grave and crucial, governments. Are closely attentive to these. It is in this connection that the need for urban sociology is felt. An urban sociologist is a social doctor or engineer and like doctors and engineers, he is concerned with the organization and the disorganization of the urban society. Therefore without his services, urban problems cannot be effectively solved. That is why the services of urban sociologists are in high demand. In order to reconstruct towns the services of urban sociologists are indispensable.

It is very difficult to compare rural and urban society and this has prompted Gift and Halbert to write, thus the familiar dichotomy between ‘Rural and Urban’ is more of a theoretical concept than a division based upon the facts of community life. Some of the difficulties faced are that there is no universal definition of village and town that can clearly distinguish them. For, actually, the difference between town and village is merely one of the degrees, as a result of which it is very difficult is make a clear distinction between the two. Even though the environment of the city and the village are different, a town can have a variety of environments within itself including that of a village but obviously, that part of the city cannot be called a village. Both towns and villages influence each other and at times it becomes difficult to decide whether a place is a town a village considering that villages have improved electricity and education etc and the population charge also that to resemble with a similar birth rate and family size.

But, in spite of the existence of these difficulties, sociologists have shown the distinction between both societies. The chief among them is the following.

1. Differences in social organization - The biggest distinction between rural and urban society is that of social organization. These exhibit differences in the following respects:

  1. Family - The families in the villages and towns exhibit the following differences (a) In the villages the families are comparatively stronger than the families in the town, where greater importance is attached to the individual than to the family (b) In the villages the system of joint family is to be found in greater member than in the town (c) In the villages there is greater control, intimacy and organization than in the families in towns (d) In the towns, as compared with the village, the functions of the family are more steadily decreasing.

  2. Marriage - (a) In the towns there is a preponderance of love marriages in comparison with the villages (b) In towns as compared to the villages, one finds a number of divorces (c) In towns greater freedom are allowed in the selection of a life partner.

  3. Condition of women - Generally, the women in the villages are not much, if at all, educated and their social status is also low.

  4. Neighbourhood - In the villages, the neighbourhood has greater importance than it has in the towns, where sometimes people do not even know their neighbours.

  5. We feeling - In the rural community the `we feeling’ is found to be far stronger than in the urban community. The influence of the community on the individual in the village is greater than in the towns.

  6. Inequality of classes- The inequality of classes is much more demarcated in the towns than in the villages and there are correspondingly more conflicts in the towns. In the words of Bogardens, “Class extremes characterize the city”.

2.Differences in Social Restrictions - A great difference is evident between the social control characteristics of the rural and urban societies. About the social control in the villages, Biesanz writes, In the rural community custom is the king, the followings and more control most of the behaviour. On the other hand, society does not exercise much control over the individuals in the urban society. In the crowds and the high velocity of life in towns, no one has time to look to another. In the words of Kingsley Davis, He can escape the oppressive control of any primary group when he wishes, simply by disappearing into the sea of strangers. But the control of police, law, court, etc., is greater in the towns than in the village.

3.Difference in Social Interactions - The social interactions peculiar to the rural and urban societies exhibits the following distinctions:

  1. Nature of Social Relations - In comparison with towns the social relations in the villages are far smaller in number and those that do exist are personal (usually) with primary groups, family, near relations etc. On the other hand, the social relations in the town are numerous of which most are indirect and impersonal (relations tend more towards secondary groups). In the words of Gist and Halloert, “the city encourages impersonal rather than a personal relationship.”

  2. Division of labour and specialization - In the towns, but not in the villages to quite the same extent, division of labour and specialization are found to exist. In this way, the scope for social co-operation is far greater in the towns than in the villages.

  3. Competition - The activity of competition has a far greater velocity in the town than in the villages.

  4. Conflict - The conflict in the villages is usually direct while the conflict is comparatively indirect in the urban context.

  5. Tolerance - When compared to villages there is greater toleration in the towns and consequently a larger degree of accommodation.

  6. Assimilation - The process of assimilation takes place rather slowly in the village as a result of a near absence of cultural differences. In the townspeople of different cultures live side by side and thus the process of assimilation operates much faster.

4.Differences is social viewpoint - The following difference found:-

  1. Progressive - According to New Mayer, “Rural Cultural tends to be conservative”. In the words of Ross, “The city is cosmopolitan whereas the country is nationalistic and patriotic.” In this way, the city is more progressive than the village.

  2. Politics - In the towns, more than the villages, people take an interest and active part in politics.

  3. Religion and Ritual - In the villages, greater importance is attached to religion and ritual than in towns. Whereas the religion of the rural people is based upon faith, the religion in the city is relatively more based upon reason.

  4. Fatalism - The villagers are more fatalistic than the urban people because the lives of the villagers are affected to a very large extent by natural forces while the urban people are equipped with scientific knowledge and techniques in handling natural calamities and catastrophes.

  5. Artificiality - There is more artificiality in the urban people than in the villagers. Bogardus has correctly written, “Rural People are frank, open and genuine; they scan the artificiality of many phases of city life.”

5.Differences in Social Mobility and Stability - There is greater social disorganization in the towns than in the villages. To quote Sorokin and Zimmerman, “The rural community is similar to calm water in a pail and the urban community to boiling water in Kettle. Stability is the typical trait for the one; mobility is the typical for the other”. In this way, cited posses greater mobility than the villages (Territorial, occupational and other forms and soc. mobility).

Normally the migration current carries more individuals from the country to the city and only in the periods of social catastrophe is the migration from the city to the country greater than from the country to the city.

6.Differences in Economics Life - There are great differences between the economic lives of the villages and towns. In this respect the major differences are the following:

  1. Modes of living - “Two fundamentally different modes of getting a living set the rural and urban worlds apart”. In the villages, the major occupation is agricultural while in the towns the major occupations are of an industrial nature. (Commerces, professions, governing etc).

  2. Standard of Living - The standard of living in the villages is lower than that of the towns because the means of earning money are limited in the villages. Besides making more money the urban people are more prodigal than the villagers. In the words, of Ross, “Country life, then suggests ‘save!’ city life suggests ‘spend!”. At the same time, the villagers do not get much to spend whereas the man in the city is at his wits end as to the means of making enough money to enable him to buy the commodities displayed for consumption.

7.Differences in Cultural life - 

  1. Static - Culture is more static in the villages than in the towns.

  2. Caste - In the village, the basis of culture is caste and purity. In the towns, it has a secular basis.

  3. Traditions - Traditions have a very important place in rural culture, while urban culture does not attach much importance to them.

8.Physical Differences:-

  1. Environment - In the villages, there is a predominance of nature ever anthropological environment and a direct relationship to nature exists. On the other hand in cities, greater isolation from nature is seen. There is a predominance of man-made environments over the natural.

  2. Size of community - As a rule in the same country and at the same period. The size of the urban community is much larger than the rural community.

  3. The density of population - In the same country and at the same period the density is lower than in the urban country.

  4. Heterogeneity and Homogeneity of the population compared with the urban population, rural communities are more homogeneous in social and psychological traits. The urban population. Is more heterogeneous than the rural community of its time and country.



Urban Rural Differences ~ Link

Rural – Urban Difference ~ Link


The Urban-Rural Contrast: As a Factor in Socio-Cultural Change ~ Link

Urban-Rural Connections: A Review of the Literature Elizabeth Mylott ~ Link

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