Conceptualising Rural and Urban Societies

Home/ Conceptualising Rural and Urban Societies
Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSUS1SC8054

Course Teacher: Dr. Rinju Rasaily

Email of course coordinator: rinju[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: NA

Time Slot-Wed 9-11 am and Friday 11-1 pm, CR 6

Aim: This course specifically aims to inculcate the skills of reflective reading and thinking through the lens of understanding the rural – urban interlinkages.

Course Outcomes:

  • The course will enable the students to understand specific concepts and meanings that defines the rural and the urban and its interlinkages
  • The course will enable the students to reflect and understand such changes by engaging in the ‘context’ via fieldwork
  • It will further help the students to understand how the present urban spaces get shaped and defined

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Unit I: Understanding the rural

This unit introduces the students to the classical readings around the village and its underlying social structure. Its relationships explained through concepts such as the jajmani system, patron-client relationship and so on that existed and changed over time. The attempt is to provide the students with a social landscape of the village as understood through the empirical literature.

Unit II: Debunking the stereotypes

This unit takes forward in understanding the changes in the agrarian context in terms of ‘culture’ influenced by the economy and the market and how disciplines have shaped in analyzing such contexts.

Unit III: Village India: From ‘Little republic’ to ‘village on sale’

This unit particularly focuses on the shifts and changes that are occurring in village societies as a result of macro changes in the agrarian economy post Green Revolution.

Unit IV: Understanding Urban, Urbanism and Urbanization

This unit while introducing certain important concepts such as urbanization and commercialization through the existing literature discusses the changes occurring in social and well as political relationships in the Indian context. It also emphasises how the concept of urbanism triggers individualism and redefines the urban.

Unit V: Understanding the City and its Political Economy

This unit specifically looks at how aspects of culture play a role in shaping of a city in terms of its economy as well as societal characteristic.

Unit VI: Cities of Everyday Life: Migration, Slum, Neighbourhood, Culture

This unit specifically studies migration as a concept and how it shapes the urban in terms of its social space as determined by livelihoods.

Unit-VII: Towards the liminal space beyond the Urban and Rural

This unit addresses the space beyond the urban and rural through the readings of Singer and Scott and raises a question whether a divide really exists between the rural and urban.

Assessment Details with weights:

  • Take- home assignment 20%
  • Field assignment (group activity) 40%
  • End semester 40%

Reading List:

  • Srinivas, M.N. 1976. The Remembered Village, Delhi: Oxford India: Ch 4: The Universe of Agriculture pp 112- 152; Ch 6: Relations between Castes (pp 182-233) Ch 7: Classes and Factions (pp 234-256); Ch 8: The Changing village (pp237-284)
  • Beteille, Andre. 1980. The Indian Village: Past and present in E.J. Hobsbawm, Peasants in History, Published for Sameeksha Trust by Oxford University Press, Delhi.
  • Srinivas M.N.. 1975. Village Studies: Participant Observation and Social Science Research in India. EPW, Vol 10 (35-36), pp 1387+ 1389-1394.
  • Jodhka, Surinder. 1998. From “Book view” to “Field view”: Social Anthropological construction of the Indian Villages. Oxford Development studies, Vol. 26, No. 3.
  • Gupta, Dipankar, 2005, “Whither the Indian Village: Culture and Agriculture in Rural India,” Economic and Political Weekly, Feb. 9, 2005.
  • Louis, Wirth 1938 “Urbanism as a way of Life” in American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 44, No.1 (July), Pp1-24
  • Guin Debarshi. 2018. From Large Villages to Small Towns: A Study of Rural Transformation in new Census Towns, India, International Journal of Rural Management, Vol 14 (2), pp 87-109.
  • Singh Chandni and Andaleeb Rahman. Urbanising the Rural: Reflections on India’s National Rurban Mission, Asia and Pacific Policy Studies, Vol 5 (2), pp 370-377.
  • Shah A. M. 2012, The Village in the City and the City in the Village EPW Dec 2012 pp 17-19
  • Redfield, R & Singer, M 1954, “The cultural role of cities”, Economic development and cultural change”, vol. 3.
  • Rao, M.S.A. 1981. Some aspects of Sociology of Migration, in Sociological Bulletin, vol.30:1.

Additional Reference:

  • Weber, Max. 1978. Economy and Society.Vol.2, G.Roth and C.Wittich (eds.). Berkeley: University of California Press. Ch. 16.
  • Rao, M.S.A. (ed.). 1974. Urban Sociology: A reader .New Delhi: Orient Longman, Chapters 1,9,10 & 15
  • Appadurai, A., 1989. “Transformation in the culture of agriculture.” in Contemporary Indian Traditions: Voices on Culture, Nature, and the Challenge of Change (ed.) C. Borden: 173-184. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press.