Rural-Urban Interaction and Social Change

Rural-urban interaction is an important aspect of urbanisation. It is very probable that urbanisation and urban growth would have their impact on rural areas and activities in rural areas would have their effect on the nearby towns and cities.

 Urbanisation has impact on the economy and society of the surrounding villages. There is increase in farm pro­ductivity (due to the availability of fertilizers, better seeds, tractors, etc., in nearby cities), increase in commercialization of crops and decline in the density of farm population.Villagers  imbibe several urban characteristics in day to day life . Rural society also undergoes a certain change.

The dichotomous like rural urban dochotomy perspective neglects the existence of continuous interdependent, complimentary and overlapping relationships of rural and urban sectors which are reflected through mutual exchange system of goods and services. The rural people are dependent on the urban dwellers for their banking and credit needs, for the purchase of agricultural equipment and other supplies, for marketing of farm products, and even for commercial recreation.

The urban sector is dependent on the rural sector for food supply, for cheap labour, and for vast market of its manufactured goods. The urban professionals like doctors, lawyers, etc., draw a large number of their patients/clients from rural areas because hospitals and courts are mostly con­centrated in the urban areas.

One phenomenon which affects rural-urban relationships is migration. Most rural migrants who move to urban areas are young males who take up unskilled and semi-skilled occupations.This migration from rural to urban areas exerts pressures on urban public services and creates problems of social disorganisation.

Migration from rural to urban areas is of different types. One is to settle down permanently in the urban area of one’s choice. This is called translocatory migration. Other is one in which migrants hang on to their rural base and migrate repeatedly and for varying duration, either to the same urban area or to different ones. This is termed circulatory migration.

Yet others migrate in graded steps from a smaller to a latter settlement. This is known as step-migration. Mary Chatterjee (1971) has shown that the stability of migration is a function of distance from the native place, as well as of occupational status.

The longer the distance from the native place, the greater the number of migrants who regard their stay in city as temporary. Relatively, more migrants from lower-prestige occupations than those from higher occupations regard their stay in city as temporary.

Migration from rural to urban areas also follows certain patterns. One, it depends upon the ‘pull’ factors at the urban and ‘push’ factors at the rural end. Thus, migration of agricultural labourers from Bihar to Punjab during the harvest season is of this type. Then there is migration which is caused by rural poverty and urban opportunity of getting work. Migration of young children as well as of adults from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to other states for the lure of a job is of this ‘pull’ type.

However, rural-urban conflicts are not clear- cut and do not erupt in open violence. It is difficult to fix their beginning or ending. The three factors identified by which promote/foster cleavages and conflicts among the rural people for the ur­ban people are: contrasting environmental subcultures, modernisation, and urban bias.

Urban Sphere of Influence

The urban sphere of influence can be defined as the geographical region which surrounds an urban system  and maintains inflow-outflow relationship with the system .

Every urban centre, irrespective of the size and the nature of function, has a region of influence. Generally speaking, as the size of the population increases, the multiplicity of functions increases. As a result, the influence zone is larger and vice versa.

Rural Urban Continuum

Rural- urban continuum is  the merging of town and village.The concept is a term used in recognition of the fact that there is rarely, either physically or socially, a sharp division, a clearly marked boundary between the two, with one part of the population wholly urban, the other wholly rural.

Rural Urban Fringe

The Rural-Urban fringe is the name given to the land at the edge of an urban area, where there is often a huge mixture of land uses.


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About Rashid Faridi

I am Rashid Aziz Faridi ,Writer, Teacher and a Voracious Reader.
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