Using Census of India data from 1901 to 2011 and national and international reports on women’s condition in India, beginning with sex ratio trends according to regional distribution up to female infanticides and sex-selective abortions and dowry deaths, this study examines the sociological aspects of the gender imbalance in modern contemporary India. Gender inequality persistence in India proves that new values and structures do not necessarily lead to the disappearance of older forms, but they can co-exist with mutual adaptations and reinforcements. Data analysis suggests that these unexpected combinations are not comprehensible in light of a linear concept of social change which is founded, in turn, on a concept of social systems as linear interaction systems that relate to environmental perturbations according to proportional cause and effect relationships. From this perspective, in fact, behavioral attitudes and interaction relationships should be less and less proportionally regulated by traditional values and practices as exposure to modernizing influences increases. And progressive decreases should be found in rates of social indicators of gender inequality like dowry deaths (the inverse should be found in sex ratio trends). However, data does not confirm these trends. This finding leads to emphasize a new theoretical and methodological approach toward social systems study, namely the conception of social systems as complex adaptive systems and the consequential emergentist, nonlinear conception of social change processes. Within the framework of emergentist theory of social change is it possible to understand the lasting strength of the patriarchal tradition and its problematic consequences in the modern contemporary India.

An emergentist vs a linear approach to social change processes: a gender look in contemporary India between modernity and Hindu tradition

CONDORELLI, Rosalia
2015

Abstract

Using Census of India data from 1901 to 2011 and national and international reports on women’s condition in India, beginning with sex ratio trends according to regional distribution up to female infanticides and sex-selective abortions and dowry deaths, this study examines the sociological aspects of the gender imbalance in modern contemporary India. Gender inequality persistence in India proves that new values and structures do not necessarily lead to the disappearance of older forms, but they can co-exist with mutual adaptations and reinforcements. Data analysis suggests that these unexpected combinations are not comprehensible in light of a linear concept of social change which is founded, in turn, on a concept of social systems as linear interaction systems that relate to environmental perturbations according to proportional cause and effect relationships. From this perspective, in fact, behavioral attitudes and interaction relationships should be less and less proportionally regulated by traditional values and practices as exposure to modernizing influences increases. And progressive decreases should be found in rates of social indicators of gender inequality like dowry deaths (the inverse should be found in sex ratio trends). However, data does not confirm these trends. This finding leads to emphasize a new theoretical and methodological approach toward social systems study, namely the conception of social systems as complex adaptive systems and the consequential emergentist, nonlinear conception of social change processes. Within the framework of emergentist theory of social change is it possible to understand the lasting strength of the patriarchal tradition and its problematic consequences in the modern contemporary India.
Complex adaptive social systems,; Emergentist vs linear social change process; Gender inequality and Mutual reinforcement between tradition and modernity
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/15362
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