Rural Sociology as the name itself indicates is that branch of sociology that studies the social interactions, institutions and activities and social changes that take place in the Rural Society. It is a systematic study of the Rural Society. The interactions and the changes that are seen in the rural aspect of the society are studied under this branch. This is what Dr. Desai has said:
“Rural Sociology is the science of the law of development of Rural Society”.
Difficult to separate Urban and Rural Society:
Although Rural Sociology studies the rural life and the development in Rural Society, but it is difficult to separate completely the urban society and the Rural Society people living in Rural Society may be progressive and urban in outlook while people living in cities may have complete rural or village outlook. This is Anderson has said:
“Whatever may be pleasant for ruralism, urbanism seems to be a border crossing phenomenon. Every modern community is urban to a degree. One can study a city and limit the research to the municipal area, but urbanism itself is not so confined. One can study the rural community using the city as a background for rural urban comparison, but a line cannot be drawn between the urban and the rural.”
Thus Rural Sociology does not study the Rural Society from a geographical point for view, but it studies the Rural Society from a particular angle or pint of view. There are certain standards of rural and urban society, and rural sociology studies the rural social life and the standards and the factors that influence the social structure of the Rural Society.
Definition of Rural Sociology:
Different sociologists and social thinkers have defined Rural Sociology in different ways. Given below are a few definitions of this branch of sociology:-
1) Rural Sociology as defined by Sanderson:
“Rural Sociology is the sociology of rural life in the rural environment”.
2) Rural Sociology as defined by A.R. Desai:
“Rural Sociology is the science of Rural Society. The laws of the structure and development of Rural Society in general can and as in discovering the special laws governing a particular society. Rural Sociology is the science of the laws of the development of Rural Society.
3) T.L. Smith has defined the Rural Sociology in the following words:
“Some investigators study phenomena that are present only in or largely confined to the rural environment, to persons engaged in agricultural occupation. Such sociological facts and principles as one derived from the study of the rural social relationship may be referred to as Rural Sociology.”
4) F. Stuord Chapin has defined Rural Sociology as given below:
“The sociology of rural life is a study of the rural population rural social organisation, and the social processes comparative in Rural Society “.
5) Rural Society has defined by Lowry Nelson:
The subject-matter of Rural Sociology is descriptive unless of course of various kind as the exist in rural environment.”
6) Bertrand has defined Rural Sociology as given below:
In its broadest definition, Rural Sociology is the study of human relationship in rural environment”.
Rural Sociology is therefore the study of rural environment and social facts and social interactions that are to be found in Rural Society. It is the study of the country rural population in the mass. It is concerned to answer the large and important questions confronting the country at large as and important questions confronting the country at large as they affect to that population. As a scientific study it studies the social organisations, structure and set up. It provides us that knowledge about the rural social phenomena which can help as in making contribution to the development of Rural Society.
Origin of Rural Sociology:
Rural Sociology, comparatively speaking is anew branch of sociology which saw its origin in United States of America around1820. Within the century a good deal of literature had been produced about this branch of knowledge and main contributions to the development of Rural Sociology and Charles Anderson of the Chicago University, Butterfields of the Michigan University. Ernest Burmholme of the Michigan state college, John Moris Gillin of the North Deroth Derota University unarkim H.Giddings of the Columbia University and Thomas Nixon Carver of the Harword University.
It was President Roosevelt who through the appointment of country life commission gave a good encouragement and filling to the development of the Rural Sociology in the 20th century. The report of this commission was aimed at encouraging the studies of the rural society and can rightly be called ‘Magna Carta’ of the Rural Sociology’.
In 1917, the development of Rural Sociology was set up by the American sociological society and in 1919. ‘A Rural Sociology Department was established under the aegis of the Burcane of Agriculture Economics Dr. C.J. Golpim headed the department and the department and the Burean. Later on, its name was changed to rural population and rural life. The social science Research Council not only encourages but helps the research of the study of the Rural Sociology.
In 1930, due to depression this branch of sociology got a good deal of fillip and encouragement. In 1936 a quarterly (magazine) called: Rural Sociology was published in 1938 Rural sociological society was established then came the Second would War which brought a good deal of devastation and destructing. This destruction had to be mending and reconstructed. This reconstruction work brought further encouragement of Rural Sociology. America under its point a programme sent-rural sociologist to work in under developed countries and science then Rural Sociology has been growing and growing ground everyday.
Origin or Rural Sociology in India:
India is basically a country of villages of the 110 crore people, who constituted the 2011 population 77 crores or about 70 percent live in villages and 33 crores or 30 percent in cities and towns. If this country has to develop, a good deal of progress has to be made in the villages. Real progress of the country lies in rural reconstruction. This was realised even when India was slave but after in dependence the study of the rural social structure and rural reconstruction became imperative in the country.
Since 1947 a good deal of attention is being paid, to the development of Rural Society of this country. Planning commission has introduced several projects for it. Community development project national extension services, co-operative movement Rural Institutes and such other programmes have contributed a lot to the development of Rural Sociology in India. A good deal of literature has been published but to be very frank, the development of Rural Sociology in India is progress is going and the day is not for off when it shall have attained proper scientific from in this country.