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Structural Change Class 12 Sociology NCERT
Class 12 Sociology students should refer to the following NCERT Book chapter Structural Change in standard 12. This NCERT Book for Grade 12 Sociology will be very useful for exams and help you to score good marks
Structural Change NCERT Class 12
Understanding the present usually involves some grasp of its past. This holds true probably as much for an individual or social group as for an entire country such as India. India has a long and rich history. While knowing about its past in ancient and medieval times is very important, its colonial experience is particularly significant for comprehending modern India. This is not just because many modern ideas and institutions reached India through colonialism. It is also because such an exposure to modern ideas was contradictory or paradoxical. For example Indians in the colonial period read about western liberalism and freedom. Yet they lived under a western, colonial rule that denied Indians liberty and freedom. It is contradictions of this kind that shaped many of the structural and cultural changes that chapter 1 and 2 looks at. As the next few chapters shall show, our social reform and nationalist movement, our laws, our political life and our Constitution, our industry and agriculture, our cities and our villages have been shaped by our paradoxical experience with colonialism. This has had lasting implications for our specific experience with modernity. The following are just some of the many instances we face in our daily life.
We have a parliamentary and a legal system, a police and educational system built very much on the British model. We drive on the left side of the road like the British. We have ‘bread-omlette’ and ‘cutlets’ as menu ffered in many roadside eateries and canteens. A very popular manufacturer of biscuits, is actually named after Britain. Many school uniforms include neck-ties. We often admire the west and as often resent it. These are just some of the many and complex ways that British colonialism lives on in contemporary India.
Let us take the example of the English language to show how its impact has been many sided and paradoxical in India. This is not a matter about wrong spellings alone. English is not only widely used in India but we now have an impressive body of literary writings by Indians in English. This knowledge of English has given Indians an edge in the global market. But English continues to be a mark of privilege. Not knowing English is a disadvantage that tells in the job market. At the same time for those who were traditionally deprived of access to formal education such as the Dalits, knowledge of English may open doors of opportunities that were formerly closed. n this chapter we focus on structural changes that colonialismbrought in. We, therefore, need to shift from this broad impressionistic view to a clearer understanding of colonialism as a structure and system. Colonialism brought into being new political, economic and social structural changes. In this chapter we look at only two of these structural changes namely industrialisation and urbanisation. While the focus is on specific colonial context we also briefly touch on developments after independence. All these structural changes were accompanied by cultural changes which, we look at in the next chapter. However any strict separation of the two is difficult. As you will see the structural changes aredifficult to discuss without some mention of the cultural changes too.
At one level, colonialism simply means the establishment of rule by one country over another. In the modern period western colonialism has had the greatest impact. India’s past has been marked by the entry of numerous groups of people at different times who have established their rule over different parts of what constitutes modern India today. The impact of colonial rule is distinguishable from all other earlier rules because the changes it rought in were far-reaching and deep. History is full of examples of the annexation of foreign territory and the domination of weaker by stronger powers. Nevertheless, there is a vital difference between the empire building of pre-capitalist times and that of capitalist times. Apart from outright pillage, the pre-capitalist conquerors benefited from their domination by exacting a continuous flow of tribute. On the whole they did not interfere with the economic base. They simply took the tribute that was skimmed off the economic surplus that was produced traditionally in the subjugated areas. (Alavi and Shanin, 1982) In contrast British colonialism which was based on a capitalist system directly interfered to ensure greatest profit and benefit to British capitalism. Every policy was geared towards the strengthening and expansion of British capitalism. For instance it changed the very laws of the land. It changed not just land ownership laws but decided even what crops ought to be grown and what ought not to be. It meddled with the manufacturing sector. It altered the way production and distribution of goods took place. It entered into the forests. It cleared trees and started tea plantations. It brought in Forest Acts that changed the lives of pastoralists. They were prevented from entering many forests that had earlier provided valuable forage for their cattle. The box carries a brief account of the impact of colonial forest policy in North-East India.
1. How has colonialism impacted our lives? You can either focus on one aspect like culture or politics or treat them together.
2. Industrialisation and urbanisation are linked processes. Discuss.
3. Identify any town or city with which you are familiar. Find out both the history of its growth and its contemporary status.
4. You may be living in a very small town, may be in a very big city, a semi urban settlement or a village.
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