Cultural Change – CBSE Notes for Class 12 Sociology

• Cultural change refers to the change in customs, traditions, beliefs, lifestyle, behaviour etc. (We got inspired by the British clothes, etc).
• Impact of British on our culture, values, norms, basically any impact or change on the cultural side.
• Change in aspects of daily life.
Social Reformers
• During British rule, social reformers wanted to change the social system, in India.
• Changing life of women and Dalits, ridding of social evils, ensuring education for women etc.
1. Raja Ram Mohun Roy-started Brahmo Samaj and abolished Sati Pratha.
2. Dayanand Saraswati started Arya Samaj.
• Social reformers came during British rule and not Mughal rule because the British tried to change/shape the social system.
Modern Communication and Transport
• British brought in railways and postal system, also they made improvement in the roads.
• Postal system and railways benefit both, because the British used this to transport goods and facilitate easy movement and the Indians benefited from this as through easy transport, they could facilitate, the freedom struggle.
• Though easy travel one would move from one place to another and one would also know what was happening all over the country.
New Organisation
• Social reformers would hold debates and talk about important issues.
• Associations were set up all over the nation.
• Social reformers set up their own association in their respective states, e.g., Raja Ram Mohun Roy’s Brahmo Samaj in West Bengal.
• Reformers would write in journals and newspapers.
• Reformers were well educated.
New Ideas
• When Colonial rule started we were influenced in all aspects of life.
• This changed the relationships between mothers and daughters because liberalism and freedom of thought came into being. This changed the outlook of life, relationships.
• Furniture and interior design of their houses changed with the use of sofa and dining set and crockery.
• Social reformers debated whether women should be educated, this led to formation of associations writing in journalism, newspapers etc. e.g. Jyotiba Phule.
• There was a difference in interpretation, growth of ideas and gave them a better outlook of life.
• Ranade and Ishwar Chandra Vidayasagar focused on widow remarriage, but they had different approaches to it.
• Ranade – widow remarriage, we must treat the differences accepted to Vedas. Ishwar asked men to obey them).
• Many social reformers believed on similar issues and aspects of life but they had different approaches to it.
Major Cultural Changes In India
I. Sanskritisation
• Lower caste copies the lifestyle of the upper caste without changing their culture.
• Giving up non veg and becoming true to them. Lower castes started1 earing the sacred thread and this antagonised the Brahmins.
• De- Sanskritization when the dalits are in majority in a place and they don’t feel to copy the upper caste culture.
• Upliftment of status, better job opportunities are the positive aspects.
• Gap between upper caste and lower caste has reduced.
• By starting copying negative aspects of British, including dowry, child marriage etc. position of dalit women worsened.
• Upper caste feels superior as they are being copied.
II. Westernisation
• Copying or immitating of western culture such as values, beliefs, food, clothes, etc.
• Copying by Indians most in terms of behaviour patterns.
Three Levels.
(i) Primary: Those who came under direct influence or contact with the British, e.g., officers who traded with them.
(ii) Secondary: Those who came under prudent contact with the Britishers, but came in contact with primary level, e.g., spouses, family. Slowly family life would westernise.
(iii) Tertiary: Those who were remotely is contact with the British e.g. rural people. Western Way of Thinking
Freedom of thought: Social informers tried to uplift status of dalit, women.
Liberty: Individualism became Important.
• Besides change in behaviour patterns and customs etc, there was a change in art and architecture.
e.g., Raja Ravi Varma—first to paint a nuclear family. Earlier they would paint only joint families.
• Architecture—parliament buildings, houses, railway stations.
• Two ways of thought
1. Western thinkers started thinking like them e.g. the way they treated women.
2. Western practices were influenced by their beliefs, food, customs, way of speaking, etc
• General Conflicts between generations were always prevalent in society.
III. Modernisation
• Modems thinking and ideas influence. Change in mind sets, life changes for better features:
1. Due to globalization and broader outlook, universal/cosmopolitan attitudes are replacing local ones.
2. Science and technology has replaced non-rational, emotional thinking, anything connected to religion.
3. Workplace and family were mixed together, but now work and personal life are separate. (Before entire family would work together)
4. Individual is given more importance than group. Now individuals don’t want any institution and want freedom of thought, ideas etc. Nuclear family is more imporant and preferable than joint.
5. Achieved/Acquired status is more important than ascribed status.
6. When people pick up work and communicate with people, they associate with those who are associated with their achieved status (colleagues, boss etc) than with those from ascribed status.
7. Attitude of people towards the human environment and natural environment has,
changed for the better as the circumstances have changed. We don’t associate nature with religion. We are actually concurred with the environment.
Modernisation and Secularisation
• Our attitude towards religion has changed with modernisation. One does not attribute everything to religion.
• Modernity and Secularism (tradition) are the two sides of a coin. They go hand in hand.
If we don’t keep up all traditions we can’t be part of the global village and if we don’t modernise them we can’t develop and grow.
• With modem ideas and thinking, the religious aspects are not given the same importance.
• Due to Sanskritisation, the tribes feel that their culture is being eroded and in order to prevent that from happening, they have community celebrations.
To retain and maintain their identity they try to show the others not to forget it and show unity.
• The local calendar has been replaced by the English calendar. Now we are part of the global village and we have sedateness.
• Ceremonies, rituals etc have changed. Now it is community over private.
“Village display of wealth”now that is a want for materialistic goods and so traditions have changed from what they used to be.
It is now a status symbol and celebrations are more elaborate.
• Coming in of modem thinking and ideas by (British, modem inform movements started coming up.
Instead of the old ideas (child marriage etc). We now have new ideas (education of girl child, etc). Now it is more towards improving status of women and dalits and not only the traditional practices.
• Now rituals and immunise are less important and materialistic things are more important
(celebrities dance, sing, designer clothes, catering etc).
• We take it for granted that as we are modernising we are becoming more secular.
• Religion can usually disappear from one lives. As we are becoming more modem, we assume that the importance of religion will deteriorate. This is not true as practising dowry, honour killings still exist.
Rituals-Secular Dimenstion is different from Secular Goal
• Today ceremonies, celebrations are given more importance than the actual rituals.
Materialistic goods are more important.
• Marriage ceremonies, the actual rituals are not given importance.
• Secular dimension-when you don’t give importance to religion, but while doing religious
practice people get to show off opportunity to socialise, communicate etc and show off.
• Secular goal social-economic aspects are given more importance than rituals (when dancing, food etc is more important)
• Now what matters most is what happened in the wedding and not the rituals.
Secularisation of Caste
• Once upon a time caste was referred to with pollution purity and the practices were important.
• Now politicians use caste for vote banks.
• Power and Authority are important for politicians and they use religion, region, caste,language, etc to get these.
• They make full useof the law for religion and caste to Indians.
• Caste system is the weakness of the Indian society.
• Caste identities have political backing.

Words That Matter
• Brahaminisation: Process of mobility of low caste Hindus to the upper caste hierarchy
was initially called Brahaminisation.
• Culture: ‘Culture’ is socially established norms or patterns of behaviour.
• Dominant caste: Caste which own a sizeable amount of the arable land locally available, have strength of numbers and occupy a high place in the local hierarchy.
• Modernisation: The term modernization has a long history. From the 19th and more so the 20th century the term began to be associated with positive and desirable values.
• Sanskritisation: The tetfn ‘sanskritisation’ was coined by M.N. Srinivas. It may be briefly defined as the process by which a low caste or tribe or other group takes over the customs, ritual, beliefs, ideology and style of life of a high and, in particular, a twice- born (dwija) caste.’
• Tahsib-e-Niswan: Leading journal for women in the Punjab came out in favour of the resolve, but others disapproved.
• Twice-born caste: The upper caste who undergoes the initiation or the “Thread ceremony” to become, dwij, Rao as twice bom caste.
• Westernisation: M.N. Srinivas defines westernization as “the changes brought about in Indian society and culture as a result of over 150 years of British rule, the term subsuming changes occurring at different levels technology, institutions, ideology and values.”

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