- Examine the structural functional approach given by SC Dube for studying the Indian village. 10
- Village studies were significant for the development of Indian sociology. 10
1. Examine the structural functional approach given by SC Dube for studying the Indian village. 10
- Village studies in India used participant observation and ethnographic approaches as the primary investigative tools to generate an empirical image of the villages which was closer to contemporary reality.
- S C Dube applied structural functional approach for studying the Indian village community.
- His study of Shamirpet provides description of social, economic and ritual structure, family level living etc.
- He accepts the character of an Indian village as a semi-autonomous character. But, he does not regard it as “static, timeless and changeless”.
- He argued that only one village cannot be representative of rural India as a whole; it does not encompass the cultural area.
- According to Dube, village communities are organised around caste, kin and territorial affinities, with links to the wider community.
- He divided Indian villages into
- Single settlement villages
- Nucleated villages;
- Dispersed villages.
- Contrary to the colonial understanding, according to which the Indian village was considered a ‘monolithic structure’ with complete social harmony and functional integration between the different occupational groupings, Dube identified six factors that contributed to status-differentiation or inequality in the village community.
- Caste and religion
- Position in government service and village organisation
- Distinctive personality traits.
- Though the village appears as an organised, compact whole, there did exist groups and factions within the village settlement.
- S C Dube through his studies offered detailed descriptions of the village social life. And broke the myth of the colonial regime which held villages as self-sufficient in character.
2. Village studies were significant for the development of Indian sociology.
- As the name suggests, village studies are the field studies of rural india. It provides a holistic, diverse and authentic picture of Indian villages.
Significance for the development of Indian sociology
- AR Desai argues that they are a departure from the earlier prevailing Indological approach.
- Village studies helped in development of different methodologies in Indian sociology. For example: They used Participant observation and ethnographic approaches for investigation.
- Policy framing: After independence village studies were focused on the socio economic condition of the villages to frame realistic policies.
- M N Srinivas argued that villages were never self sufficient, they have undergone considerable changes.
- Andre Beteille was of view that the villages were self sufficient from times immemorial thus his studies broke various previous stereotypes of Indian villages. Also, Desai was of the view that these studies help in contesting many dominant stereotypes of Indian villages which were made popular by British administrators.
- Concepts like sanskritization, dominant caste emerged due to village studies.
S.C. Dube was critical of village studies.
- He speaks of a few limitations of such studies.
- These are not often representative in nature.
- Village studies exaggerate the unity and self-sufficiency of the village.
- Village studies are influenced by alien concepts. Those who undertake village studies, blindly Imitate western methods, western styles and western models.
- Thus, the village studies was a subtle shift from book view and opened new horizons for Indian sociology.