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Types of Society

Types of Society

# Socilogy recognises many types of Society and defines these types of society in a very clear manner. Following are some of those types of Society and their characteristics. Tribal Society

    * Characteristics of Tribal Society
    * Tribal Practices
    * Profiles of some of the selected Indian tribes
    * Some of the studies of Tribes

    * Characteristics Of Indian Tribes
    * Geographical location of tribes
    * Tribal-Caste Continuum
    * Exploitation and Unrest of the tribes
    * Problems of tribal communities
    * Tribal Development Efforts after Independence
    * Tribal Struggles
    * Tribal policy- Isolation, Assimilation and Integration

# Agrarian society

    * Characteristics of Agricultural societies

# Industrial society

    * Characteristics of Industrial Society

# Post -Industrial Society

    * Features of Post- Industrial society

# Books and Authors
# Race

Whether you are researching native American or Indian history the internet is a great place to start whether you are seeking ideas on Indian tattoos or you want to find Indian jewelry, learn all about Indian history and culture online.

Types of Society
# Socilogy recognises many types of Society and defines these types of society in a very clear manner. Following are some of those types of Society and their characteristics. Tribal Society

    * Characteristics of Tribal Society
    * Tribal Practices
    * Profiles of some of the selected Indian tribes
    * Some of the studies of Tribes

    * Characteristics Of Indian Tribes
    * Geographical location of tribes
    * Tribal-Caste Continuum
    * Exploitation and Unrest of the tribes
    * Problems of tribal communities
    * Tribal Development Efforts after Independence
    * Tribal Struggles
    * Tribal policy- Isolation, Assimilation and Integration

# Agrarian society

    * Characteristics of Agricultural societies

# Industrial society

    * Characteristics of Industrial Society

# Post -Industrial Society

    * Features of Post- Industrial society

Whether you are researching native American or Indian history the internet is a great place to start whether you are seeking ideas on Indian tattoos or you want to find Indian jewelry, learn all about Indian history and culture online.

Tribal Society

According to Ralph Linton tribe is group of bands occupying a contiguous territory or territories having a feeling of unity deriving from numerous similarities in culture ,frequent contacts and a certain community of interests.Ghurye calls the tribal of India as imperfectly segment of the Hindus.D.N Majumdar defines tribe as a social group with territorial affiliation endogamous with no specialization of functions ruled by tribal officers hereditary or otherwise united in language or dialect recognizing social distance with other tribes. A large section of tribal population depends on agriculture for survival. The examples of agricultural tribes are: Oraons, Mundas, Bhils, Santhals, Baigas, and Hos etc. The Toda furnish classic example of pastoral economy. Their social and economic organization is built around the buffaloes. They obtain their living through exchange. In some parts of India the tribal people are engaged in shifting cultivation.

It is known by different names- Nagas call it Jhum,Bhuiya call it Dahi and Koman ,Maria of Bastar call it Penda, Khond refer to it as Podu and Saiga call it Bewar.Many subsidiary occupations like handicrafts are undertaken in the various tribal zones. These include basket-making, spinning and weaving. For e.g. Tharu depend upon furniture making, musical instruments, weapons, ropes and mats. The Korw and Agaria are well known iron-smelters producing tools for local use.
  • Characteristics of Tribal Society
  • Tribal Practices
  • Profiles of some of the selected Indian tribes
  • Some of the studies of Tribes

Characteristics of Tribal Society

The tribe inhabits and remains within definite and common topography.The members of a tribe possess a consciousness of mutual unity. The members of a tribe speak a common language. The members generally marry into their own group but now due to increased contact with outsiders there are instances of tribal marring outside as well. The tribes believe in ties of blood relationship between its members. They have faith in their having descended from a common, real or mythical, ancestor and hence believe in blood relationships with other members.

Tribes follow their own political organization which maintains harmony .Religion is of great importance in the tribe. The tribal political and social organization is based on religion because they are granted religious sanctity and recognition.

Tribal Practices

  • Joking relationships prevails in Matrilineal Hopi, Matrilineal Trobriand Islanders,Oraons and Baigas
  • Group marriage prevail among Marquesans and Todas
  • Couvade is practiced mainly in Khasi,Toda,Ho and Oraon
  • Teknonymy in Khasis
  • Ultimogeniture in Khasis
  • Uxorilocal in Garos
  • Matrilineal societies are present among Moplahs,Hopi,Nayars
  • Polyandry practices tribes are -Todas,Ladaki Botas and Nayars
  • Polygamy is found among Eskimo tribes,Crows of North America
  • Levirate marriages are found in Ahirs in Haryana,Kodagus of Mysore and Jats and Gujars of UP

Profiles of some of the selected Indian tribes

  • Constitute the largest tribal group in India.
  • Found mainly in Madhya Pradesh (Jhabua,Dhar,Kahnwa) and east Gujarat.
  • Martial race; primarily agriculturalist.
  • Badwas are witch finder,Pujaro are priests and Kotwal are drummers,Tadni is village headman.
  • Generally endogamous
  • Practice polygamy also.
  • Second largest tribal group in India.
  • Dravidian background
  • Found mainly in Madhya Pradesh
  • Some of the tribal groups are Bastai,Marias,Murias,Prajas,Bhatras
  • Dependent mainly on agriculture, cattle rearing second main occupation.
  • Divided into exogamous sects or clans.
  • Speak Gondi dialect.
  • Lineage is traced through male lines.

  • Third largest tribal group in India believed to be of Pre-Aryan origin.
  • Mainly in Santhal Paraganas of Bihar,West Bengal etc.
  • Speak Santhali language.
  • Naik is the village priest,Gorait is the messenger,Jogmanjhi is the headmentribal council is Parganait.
  • Singlonga or Sun God is the main deity.
  • Found mainly in Nilgiri Hills of South India.
  • Classic example of polyandry.
  • Call themselves Tora
  • Badaga,Kota,Kurumbaand Irula tribes
  • The word Toda is derived from Tundra, name of sacred tree of Topdas.
  • Divided into two moieties called Taratharal and Teivaloil.These are endogamous units.All the sacred herd and cattle are owned by Tartharal thus they occupy a higher status.
  • The clans are divided into families locally known as Kudupeli.
  • Fraternal polyandry found.
  • Divorce freely allowed.
  • Todas have classificatory type of kinship calling many relatives or friends by some designation.
  • Females have low status.
  • People are governed by council of five elders called as Naim.Three members of this council come from Tarthar clans,two from Teivali clans and one from Badagas.
  • Two of the main deities are Teikirizi and On.
  • Mainly found in Andhra Pradesh on the river Krishna.
  • They are mostly settled cultivators and very much influenced by neighboring plains people.
  • They speak dialect of Dravidian origin.
  • Now they have started living in semi-permanent huts.
  • They are divided into exogamous clans and have animal totems.
  • Divorce is common.
  • Chenchus have traditional leader Peddamanshi.
  • Bhaivov and Garelamaisama are popular local deities.
  • One of the matriarchial tribes of world.
  • Have a rich economy influenced by industrialization and urbanization.
  • They are mainly in Jaintia hills of Assam.
  • Divided into four main sub-groups- Khynrian,Pnar,War and Bhoi.
  • They speak a dialect that belongs to the Mon- Khmer branch of Austric family.
  • Each of the sub-tribes is divided into a number of clans known as Kurs.
  • Marriage within the clan is prohibited.
  • Khasis are characterized by matrilineal descent.
  • The clan is further sub-divided into sub class known as kpoh (composed of descendents of one grandmother.

Some of the studies of Tribes

Todas- W.H.R Rivers Baiga- V.Elwin Muria& Ghotul- Elwin Ho of Singhbhum- D.N Majumdar Azande,Nuer,Amak & Luo- Evans Prichard Hopi- R.K Merton Mundas and Oraons- S.C Roy Angami Nagas- J.H Hutton Nupe- S.F Nadel

Agrarian society

The invention of plough marked the beginning of agrarian societies 6000 years back. According to Collins dictionary of Sociology Agrarian society refer to any form of society especially so traditional societies primarily based on agricultural and craft production rather than industrial production. Wallace and Wallace describe agrarian societies as employing animal drawn ploughs to cultivate the land. The mode of production of the agrarian society that is cultivation distinguishes it from the hunter-gatherer society which produces none of its food. The theories of Redfield and Tonnies are considered important. Robert Redfield talks about folk-urban continuum and little tradition and great tradition as his paramount focus in rural studies.Tonnies on the other hand discuss concepts of Gemeinschaft and Gesselschaft.

    characteristics of Agricultural societies

characteristics of Agricultural societies

Cultivation of land through the plough as this invention enabled the people to make a great leap forward in food production. It increased the productivity of land through the use of animals and bringing to the surface the nutrients of the soil. Combining irrigation techniques with the use of the plough increased the productivity and the crop yield. It also brought fallow land under cultivation. The size of the agricultural societies increased as it lessened the burden of large number of people who engaged themselves in other activities. Agricultural societies lead to the establishment of more elaborate political institutions like formalized government bureaucracy assisted by the legal system. It also leads to the evolution of distinct social classes -those who own the land and those who work on the other's land. Land is the major source of wealth and is individually owned.

This creates major difference between the social strata. Agricultural societies provide the basis for the establishment of economic institutions. Trade becomes more elaborate and money is medium of exchange. It also demands the maintenance of records of transaction, crop harvest, taxation, governmental rules and regulations. Religion becomes separate institution with elaborate rituals and traditions. The agricultural societies support the emergence of arts and cultural artifacts due to surplus food production people tend to divert their attention to other recreational activities. There is far more complex social structure. According to Ian Robertson the number of statuses multiplies, population size increases, cities appear, new institutions emerge, social classes arise, political and economic inequality becomes inbuilt nto the social structure and culture becomes much more diversified and heterogeneous.

Industrial society

The Industrial mode of production began some 250 years ago in Britain and from there it spread to the entire world. In the simplest sense an industrial society is a social system whose mode of production focuses primarily on finished goods manufactured with the aid of machinery. According to Wallace and Wallace in industrial societies the largest portion of the labour force is involved in mechanized production of goods and services. The term 'industrial societies' originated from Saint Simon who chose it to reflect the emerging central role of manufacturing industry in the 18th century Europe in contrast with previous pre-industrial and agrarian society.

Characteristics of Industrial Society

Industrial society is associated with the emergence of industrialization which transformed much of Europe and United States by replacing essentially agriculture based societies with industrial societies based on the use of machines and non-animal sources of energy to produce finished goods. Industrial societies are in a continual state of rapid change due to technological innovations. The high level of productivity in industrial societies further stimulates population growth where people start living in cities and urban areas.

New medical technologies and improved living standards serve to extend life expectancy. The division of labor becomes complex with the availability of specialized jobs. The statuses are achieved rather than ascribed. The family and kinship as social institutions are relegated to the background. It is becomes a unit of consumption. There is breakup of joint family system and nuclear family units become prominent. The influence of religion diminishes as people hold many different and competing values and beliefs. State assumes central power in the industrial societies. Industrialism is associated with the widening gap between two social classes of 'haves' and 'have nots'.The rich or the capitalist class is seen as exploiting class and the poor class known as working class is seen as exploited. However in most of the industrial societies there is steady reduction in social inequalities. Industrial societies have given rise to number of secondary groups such as corporations, political parties, business houses and government bureaucracies, cultural and literary associations. The primary groups tend to lose their importance and secondary groups come to the prominence.

Post-Industrial Society

The concept of Post-Industrial society was first formulated in 1962 by D. Bell, and subsequently elaborated in his seminal work 'Coming of Post Industrial Society' (1974) It describes the economic and social changes in the late twentieth century. According to Bell in modern societies theoretical knowledge forms the 'axial principle of society and is the source of innovation and policy formulation. In economy this is reflected in the decline of goods production and manufacturing as the main form of economic activity, to be replaced by services. With regard to the class structure, the new axial principle fosters the supremacy of professional and technical occupations which constitute a new class,

in all spheres economic, political and social decision making is influenced by new intellectual technologies and the new intellectual class. Other writers have also commented on the growing power of technocrats in economic and political life. G.K. Galbraith ( 1967) believes that power in the United states economy and therefore in American society as a whole lies in the hands of a technical bureaucracy of the techno-structure of large corporations, A Jouraine (1969) suggests similar technocratic control of French economic and political life.


The term 'race' is often used loosely to indicate groups of men differing in appearance; language or colour.To some race means a nationality or all of humanity. Some even define race as the group which is mixed in nearly all aspects but socially designated as different.

Race is scientifically defined as a group of people possessing the same biological inheritance, identified on the basis of external physical characteristics. Thus shape of head, color of the hair, eyes, skin etc are some of the physical characteristics which are taken into account in determining race.

Race is a biological concept but in course of time the members of a particular race develop a kind of consciousness. This race consciousness becomes a sociological phenomenon and it has an impact on social relations.

The earliest classification of race was suggested by Huxley in 1870 who gave four principle types of classifications:

  • Negroid
  • Australoid
  • Xanthochroid
  • Melanochroid

According to Maclver and Page the term race when properly used refers to a biological category. It refers to human states that owe their differences from one another specially their physiological differences to a remote separation of ancestry.

Franz Boas defined race as a scientific concept applies only to the biological groupings of human types.

Horton and Hunt defined race as a group of people somewhat different from other groups in a combination of inherited physical characteristics.

Ralph Linton, an American anthropologist made a three-fold classification in The Study of Man. According to him the subdivision of Homo sapiens are breeds, races and stocks. Today breeds are encountered rather infrequently in some small primitive tribes or in some isolated mountains, though variants exist in such a group. A race consists of a number of breeds which share certain physical characteristics. The individuals constituting a race will have fewer characteristics in common than those making up a breed. A stock includes a number of races and of course its members will share even fewer characteristics.

Major races in the world:
Usually mankind is divided into three major racial stocks-the Caucasoid, the Mongoloid and the Negroid.

Determinants of Race:
Physical traits are examined to determine the race but sometimes it becomes difficult to tell whether the differences of traits are hereditary or environmental. Attributes such as weight, color of skin can be greatly modified by the environment. So the determinants can be definite as well as indefinite.

Definite: stature, structure of head, structure of nose, blood group, length of hands and feet and perimeter of chest.

Indefinite: Color of skin, texture and color of the hair and structure and color of the eyes.

Races in India
Sir Herbert Risley classified the Indian population into seven racial types. The three fundamental races are - Dravidian, Mongoloid and Indo-Aryan. Four secondary races- Cytho-Dravidian, Aryo-Dravidian, Mongolo-Dravidian and Pre-Dravidian.

Though one of the major racial stocks the Negroid was not present in Risley's classification, J.H Hutton is of the view that Negrito races were the original occupants of India. The latest classification of the Indian people is made by Hutton, Guha and Majumdar.Guha lists six main races with nine subtypes:

  1. The negrito
  2. The Proto-Australoid
  3. The Mongoloid- Palaeo -Mongoloids,Tibeto-Mongoloids
  4. The Mediterranean- Palaeo-Mediterranean,Mediterranean,Oriental
  5. The Western Brachycephalis- Alpiniod,Dinaric,Armenoid
  6. The Nordic

Guha has summed up his conclusions as regards the racial composition of tribal India in 1952.

  1. The Kadar,the Irula and the Paniyan of South Indian with frizzly hair have an undoubted Negrito strain.
  2. The tribes of Middle India belong to the Proto-Australoid group
  3. The Brachycephalic Mongoloids of North Eastern India with typical features of the face and eye.
  4. A slightly different Mongoloid type with medium stature, high head and medium nose living in Brahmaputra valley.

Majumdar expresses fundamental disagreement with the support of an ancient negrito-strain theory. There is no evidence in support of a Negrito racial stock in India.

Culture and Race
Differences in physical characteristics among people belonging to different races are often confused with differences in culture and behaviour.When the term race is used it combines a set of unrelated features such as physical characteristics,language,religion,cultural traditions and behavior patterns which differentiate a given people from others. Furthermore there is invariably an implicit value judgment in this sense of the term. Some races are regarded as being naturally and inherently superior to the others. This is a wrong view. There is no necessary connection between race, language, culture and nationality. Racial features are largely determined by genetic and biological factors whereas culture and languages are learnt, acquired and transmitted through training and education. Race prejudice is based on false and irrational premise.

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