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Societies and cultures Essay

Societies and cultures in olden times used to live in isolation as means of transport were very slow. Men either travelled from one place to another on foot or animals like horses and camels were used. Cultural exchange used to take place when the invaders overran a country or traders came. The process of Globalization has been initiated by faster means of travel sophisticated technological advancement in communication like media and the internet boom. It has made information available to an individual at the click of a button . There is lot of foreign investment which entails creation of job opportunities.

As a result economic prosperity and ideas of the developed nations are being incorporated in the societies of these countries. a kind of cultural exchange is taking place as trade and commerce is flourishing. Multinational companies are bringing western ideas to the developing nations. The term globalization was almost a nonentity before1990 ((Lewellen, 2002, p. 7) It is catch phrase of the contemporary society. According to Stanley Barrett “Human society is in the process of being transformed to a degree possibly not seen since the Industrial Revolution.

The process can be summed up by the term globalization. ” (Stanley Barrett 1999:258). The result of these interactions is asocial change in different cultures. Family is a basic unit of society in any culture. It is an institution which stands for cohesion solidarity, social order and continuity. The challenges faced by this building block of society is very important as A contrasting study of the families of the developed country like America and a developing country like India is going to elucidate the changes that are being brought about by globalization. The Family unit in U.

S has undergone a lot of transformation some of the indicators can be the number of children living with both the parents in 1963 was 91% and it declined to 73% in 1997. (Waite & Nielsen, 2001, p. 25) The formation of family revolves traditionally around marriage . The age at which the first marriage is taking place has steadily increased . In 1950s the young women married at the age of 20 but it has increased to 28 yrs as women are more and more getting career oriented. Late marriages are also responsible for decrease in fertility rate. The population decline has many factors but it is one of the major reasons of decline.

Single person household are accounted for 20% homes in case of males and 12% in case of females in United States in 1970. The striking similarity between both the countries is that they single family is by and large headed by women . There are other factors which are responsible for the decline of the family in America. It is very interesting that though the age at which first marriages are taking place has increased to an average of 28 years in case of females but the age at first incidence of premarital sex has declined. It has become and accepted behavior by the society . it is no more considered an abnormal behavior.

United States is among the leading countries as far as pregnancies out of wedlock are concerned. India is as far as premarital sex is concerned quite conservatives . The exact figures of Premarital sexual encounter is largely undocumented as there is a stigma attached to it. Although it can be quite reliably said that a kind of sexual liberalism is in the making . The acceptance and the prevalence of Valentines day is indicator of the acceptance of these ideas Till the till the 1990 s it was an enigma but now every town and city is reverberating to these ideas . It would be wrong to say that promiscuity was not an acceptable social practice .

Especially the Hindu culture is full of the examples of the sexual liberalism. In fact it is the reason why the western concept of cohabitation and sexual freedom gained so much popularity. Various forms of family are there in United States like the extended family, the single-parent family, the “blended family” (where previously married spouses with children remarry), and the “part-time-parent” family (where a parent is only with the rest of the family for weekends). Changes in the structure of the family is severely effect the health and well being of children The divorce rate is very high in American society .

More than half of the marriages end up getting divorced and it has been studied that children of such households have more likelihood of cohabiting and premarital sex which can result in pregnancies (Le Bourdais et al1998) Children in single parents family have lower academic excellence both at high school and university level. Marriage is a precursor to the formation of the family. It is very sacred institution in which there is no escape. The Indian society is primarily a patriarchal society and male members are the bread winners and the bearer of authority.

Women’s role at the best can seen as complementary she is considered as an ardhangini or the other half. The economic independence and the transportation of the Ideas of equality coupled with the emphasis on the material wellbeing have resulted in the acceptance of the women working outside the precincts of their homes. There is consistent increase in the incidence of the family of nuclear family and the reasons of this rise is urbanization, industrialization, globalization and decrease in the fertility rates since 1961 (Niranjan, Nair & Roy, 2005) The southern India which has lower fertility rates have seen a shrinking the family size .

The size of he family dependent on the economic status as upper class have lesser tendency to form a nuclear family . it is independent of the caste and religion. Class is a predominant aspect of most of the nation states. The major distinction between the haves and the have not is of relevance to most societies . The class system in the Indian society is very rigid as those who are born in a particular class can not move up the hierarchy come what they may do. The Varna system is a social system was based on skills and qualification .

Asocial change was seen as a result of the modernization and interaction with the west in the form of the colonial occupation. Since the middle class is the most representative of the society of any country . Therefore it has been taken as indicator of the change . The organization or the structure of the family remains the same irrespective of the class distinction. The social class in the American society is strictly on the basis of the economic standing of the individuals . It is broad spectrum of society that can range from the Janitor to the manager.

We are contrasting the effect of globalization on a middle class family of the developing country like India and the developed country like America. The middle class in India comprises of a mosaic of various culture and religion. Class does play an important role in the character and the speed of the changes that are occurring as a result of the globalization. In the present context class in the Indian society is being defined more by the economic status than by the social order of the olden times which owed its existence to the Vanaashramdharama.

It is the economic compulsions which is resulting in the middle class families in India to move away from the traditional model of family to amore western concept There are certain similarities how these changes have been perceived in both the American and the Indian middle class like the acceptance of the role of women in the mainstream has been gradual. There are differences between the middle class of the two countries . India is by far more conservative as far as the role of women in society is concerned . Household duties is still the pejorative of the women .

She is doubly burdened as she has keep the hearth as well as earn to enhance the material wellbeing of her family members THE IMPACT OF ECONOMIC CIRCUMSTANCE Globalization is seen by many as an economic phenomenon as there is an influx of capital in the national economy. There is an immense interaction of the local economy with the international market. The economic changes that are taking place as a result of globalization are having an impact on the family structure of the developing countries like India . We are seeing a shift from the joint family system to the nuclear family structure.

Many factors contributed to the disintegration of the joint family. Multinational companies have captured the national economies and hence a lot of job opportunities have been created. Women are increasingly becoming economically independent . This is a step towards an empowerment of women but it doesn’t indicate that all sorts of gender bias that have traditionally been prevalent in the Indian family structure has been eradicated. Family structure provided a kind of social security net for the most vulnerable members of our society .

The old and the infirm and kids enjoyed the security and safety of their homes. The multinational companies have entered the Indian market and are eroding the value system of the traditional societies. There is a prevalence of dual earners in the middle class as a result the moms are not performing their traditional roles of caregivers which were unpaid labor. However the increase in the income of the middle class family has lead to increase in the living standards of the average middle class family. These trends is result of globalization as the in the west working women is the norm of society.

The economic independence of women was precursor to a higher divorce rate in the contemporary Indian society. Many women are opting out of abusive marriages as they are economically independent. Despite this fact the divorce rate in India is among the lowest. It stands at 1. 1%where as in America it is 54. 8% according to Wikipedia. The Indian society is in transition and divorce and remarriages are slowly gaining acceptability. It is difficult to get the exact figures of divorce rates because the divorces are filed at the local courts.

The women seeking information on how to obtain a divorce through telephone helpline of The Delhi Commission for Women has increased from 20% to 2000% Traditionally marriages in the Indian society could not be annulled it was a sacrosanct relationship and there was no way of getting out of it. Liu is quoted by Science Daily said “Not only the United States, but also other countries, including developing countries such as China and places with strict religious policies regarding divorce, are having more divorced households,”

The family structure historically had a survival and welfare function . The member of a family like the women and the children were economically dependent on the male earning member for the fulfillment of their needs The Indian family system was primarily patriarchal . despite the fact that Indian family has various strains because of the different cultures and religion practiced One thing that I common is the fact that it is primarily a male centered unit . The call centre culture is a recent phenomena and the impact of it on the Indian society is by and large undocumented .

The new found economic independence of the youth is disturbing the hierarchical structure of the family system. The parental authority is continuously diminishing as the offspring are becoming economically independent. There is shift from parental authority to Co-operation from obedience to exploration. It is a commonplace experience in the Family structure of The American society that the unmarried children who are above 18 years of age to go and live outside the family home . The new found economic independence can be seen as a precipitator of the same trend.

The traditional role of women as caregivers has seen a paradigm shift as they are more and more employed and a shift towards smaller families have created a situation in which caring for the elderly and sick is becoming difficult . there is lot of geographic mobility and the lower fertility rates are contributing to the unavailability of persons that can act as care givers. There is an absence of social security net for the elderly consequently they are the worse hit There are no alternatives for them the old homes are either in bad shape or they are not available.

In grave contrast to their American counterparts they are rich The old are a target of the advertizing agencies as they have a lot of spending power. The elderly population which can be used as a source of education and the influence of social class on families. Are there similarities in families of same social class in different culture? Whose influence is more culture or economics EFFECT OF GLOBALIZATION ON FAMILIES Globalization has brought the modern concept of individual freedom at the doorstep of the developing nations .

The demand for the excellence of the individual creates a tension which not only felt by him but by the entire family . It is affecting the parent offspring relationship. The emphasis on material success has disturbed the proviso institution and it has created a problem for the aged and the week and the children who have lost a caregiver . Some of the positive aspect of Globalization is women emancipation and lowering of the fertility rate and poverty . These are problems that the developing nations are facing Globalization has decreased if not completely eradicated this problem.

REFERENCES Hertz and Nancy L. Marshall UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS Berkeley · Los Angeles · London year 2001 Lewellen, 2002, p. 7The anthropology of globalization. SAHER MAHMOOD and SOMINI SENGUPTA As Mores Evolve, India’s Divorced Seek Second Chance. Retrieved March 30, 2008 from: http://www. nytimes. com/2008/02/14/world/asia/14remarry. html? _r=2&ref=world&oref=slogin&oref=slogin Waite & Nielsen, 2001, p. 25. Working Families The Transformation of the American Home edited Rosanna


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