Social structure

Topics: Sociology, Social class, Bangladesh Pages: 8 (2884 words) Published: January 21, 2014
Social Structure a term loosely applied to any recurring pattern of social behaviour, or, more specifically, to ordered interrelationships between different elements of a society. Social structure comprises different kinship, religious, economic, political and other institutions as well as of norms, values and social roles of the members of a society. The development of the social structure in any society is historically conditioned. The social structure of Bangladesh, therefore, needs to be analysed in that context. Bengal is basically an alluvial land with a network of a large number of small and big rivers. The early establishment of settled agricultural economy in the region helped her people to evolve their own distinctive lifestyle. By the end of the eighth century, the people of Bengal constituted a homogenous ethnic whole, possessing a distinct language, culture, and ethos. Ethnologically, however, Bengal is inhabited by a mixed race formed by three main elements, namely, the original non-Aryan people, the Dravidians, and the Aryans. The pre-modern culture in the sub-continent developed predominantly in a rural setting and in keeping with its archaic method of cultivation. It maintained a rigid social structure based mainly on religious principles and largely characterised by caste food and caste attire. The main caste division was between brahmans and non-Brahmans, the later being the conglomeration of different sub castes evolved through the unregulated interaction of different castes. Some believe that local Brahmans were not conversant with the Vedas and Kaibarta Brahmans from Northern India migrated here to serve as clergymen. The non-Brahman sub castes were broadly divided into three hierarchical categories, within which there were as many as forty one professional caste groups like chandal, swarnakar, tanti etc. The Muslim conquest contributed largely to the spread of islam in Bengal. The new faith achieved the highest popularity in East Bengal, where the religion in vogue till then was buddhism that had certain theological affinities with Islam. The social structure in pre-British Bengal was different from that in other parts of India not merely because Bengal was ruled by a separate set of rulers. Bengal had developed distinctive social institutions, the most important among which is the Bengali village. The British administrators, in their efforts at imposing and collecting revenues realised the vital role villages played in the social life of India. The village community in rural areas of Bengal had been historically different in many ways from other parts of India. The village community was a working institution, whose leading economic feature was production, mainly for the purpose of local consumption. Some industries developed in a few big towns giving rise to urban life. Urban centres were considered as seats of local or provincial administration. In Bengal, by contrast, the development of commerce led to the break-up of the traditional character of the village even before British rule. The political and economic structure in Bengal during the pre-British period was not similar to the feudalism that existed in Western Europe. The basic principles of feudalism ie, a hierarchical relationship between lords and serfs, proprietary rights over land, development of private army etc. did not appear here. Due to several socio-cultural constraints such as caste restrictions, endogamous practices, and also harsh measures adopted by despotic rulers in destroying flourishing urban centres, an independent urban community could not develop in India. More importantly, although a rich merchant class existed in India long before British or Muslim rule, it did not constitute the middle class or the bourgeoisie in the European sense. The Indian merchant class could not generate an anti-feudal force in the Indian body politic and hence did not or could not play the role of its European counterpart. Max Weber termed...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Social Structure Theory Essay
  • W3 CJS 231 Examining Social Structure Theory Paper
  • Student Activism/Social Apathy Essay
  • capital structure Essay
  • Theoretical approaches to Social factors and health inequalities Essay
  • Structure Functionalism’ Described by Radcliffe-Brown Essay
  • Essay about Social Construction & Proactive vs. Reactive Approaches
  • Family: Social Change Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free
Isaac Byrne | お支払い方法 | Anello Donna MORELLATO DUCALE Acciaio Diamante Naturale 3 Misure 12 14 16