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Keywords: Social Sciences
Social sciences
Sociology & anthropology
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: This study is a sociological revisit of a Punjabi village in Pakistan after over 50 years. The village was previously studied by Eglar (1960). Since then no viable research is conducted to throw light on changes in social structural aspects of the village. Keeping this in view, we designed a retrospective longitudinal study on changes in various social institutions from 1960s through 2008. To understand changes in the social structure in a holistic way, institutions covered in this study are caste system, marriage and family, gender roles, decision making, traditions, belief system and leisure. For objectivity and representativeness of the results, quantitative data was collected through a probability sample survey. An extensive, complex and comprehensive interview schedule was developed to interview persons, age 55 + years. These persons are assumed to have observed changes during the study period. Of all the households in the village (350), every second household was systematically selected resulting in 109 respondents. Our findings are based on descriptive, trend and regression analyses of the data. Our results show that social structure of the village has changed substantially since 1960. The transition in traditional stratification structure started in 1970s leading to significant changes in 1990s and onwards. This shift from traditional to non- traditional occupations occurred mainly due to infrastructure, international migration and education, in about that order. Influence of caste on various social aspects (except marriage) declined significantly in 1990s and onwards. During the same time period, class system has partially replaced the rigid caste system in the village. Overall, caste system has weakened primarily due to economic factors. Our data shows that most of the marriages were taking place between close relatives from 1960s through 1980s. Substantial decline in these marriages was replaced by corresponding increase in inter-caste marriages after 1990. Education and economiciv factors are significant for the change in marriage patterns. During the same period, a shift is observed from joint family system to nuclear one, primarily due to lack of integration and intolerance. This resulted in fading away of role of grandparents in decision making which got replaced by parents and grownup children. Traditional gender roles, particularly of women are also changing since 1980s, mainly due to education that has partially influenced their autonomy. Positive change in attitudes towards daughters is observed to have appeared in the recent past. However, the majority celebrates birth of sons than daughters at the time of study. Our findings suggest that one-half of the villagers believe in various superstitions. Beliefs in black magic, taweez, ghosts and dreams are strong perhaps due to their religious relevance. Trend regarding visiting sufi shrines remained consistent throughout the study period. Changes are also found in traditions regarding deaths and marriages. Many traditions on death are losing their significance. On the contrary, some new traditions on marriage emerged during the last two decades. Economic conditions and influence of media, particularly television played important role in bringing about the change. Watching television is a popular leisure activity in the village. Leisure activities such as folklores, visiting neighbors and smoking huqa disappeared during the last two decades. Traditional sports are almost replaced by modern ones such as cricket, football and badminton from 1990s and onwards. The trends show that changes have occurred in almost all the social institutions in the village over the period of time. Pace of changes, in general, was slow before 1990 which got accelerated afterwards. Major agents of social structural changes in the village include education, international migration, television, computer, infrastructure (e.g. highway) etc.. If the trends in our study are extrapolated, one may expect that the traditional socio-cultural elements in future will be replaced by the unconventional ones.
Appears in Collections:PhD Thesis of All Public / Private Sector Universities / DAIs.

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