Industrialization refers to the emergence of machine production, based on the use of inanimate
power resources like steam or electricity. In most standard western textbook of sociology we learn that in even the most advanced of traditional civilizations, most people were engaged in working on the land The relatively low level of technological development did not permit more than a small minority to be freed from the chores of agricultural production. By contrast, a prime feature of industrial societies today is that a large majority of the employed population work in factories, offices or shops rather than agriculture. Over 90 per cent of people in the industrialized societies live in towns and cities, where most jobs are to be found and new job opportunities are created Not surprisingly, therefore, we usually associate urbanization with industrialization. They often do occur together but not always so. For instance in Britain, the first society to undergo industrialization, was also the earliest to move from being rural to a predominantly urban country.
Many of the great works of sociology were written at a time when industrialization was new and machinery was assuming great importance. Thinkers like Karl Marx, Max Weber and Emile Durkheim associated a number of social features with industry, such as urbanization, the loss of face-to-face relationships that were found in rural areas where people worked on their own farms or for a landlord they knew and their substitution by anonymous professional relationships in modern factories and workplaces. Industrialization involves a detailed division of labour. People often do not see the end result of their work because they are producing only one small part of a product. The work is often repetitive and exhausting. Yet, even this is better than having no work at all i.e., being unemployed Marx called this situation alienation, when people do not enjoy work, and see it as something they have to do only in order to survive, and even that survival depends on whether the technology has room for any human labour.
- Industrialization leads to greater equality, at least in some spheres. For example, caste distinctions do not matter any more on trains, buses or in cyber cafes. On the other hand older forms of discrimination may persist even in new factory or workplace settings. And even as social inequalities are reducing; economic or income inequality is growing in the world Often social inequality and income inequality overlap, for example, in the domination of upper caste men in well-paying professions like medicine, law or journalism. Women often get paid less than men for similar work.
- While the early sociologists saw industrialization as both positive and negative, by the mid 20th century, under the influence of modernization theory, industrialization came to be seen as inevitable and positive. Modernization theory argues that societies are at different stages on the road to modernization, but they are all heading in the same direction. Modern society, for these theorists, is represented by the West.
Evolution of Modern Industry in India
- The presence of industries in India can be traced back to the Mauryan period and Mughal rule. Where there were large number of ‘karkhanas’ and artisan based industries.
- But Britisher’s tariff policy and economic ruin of handicrafts led to de-industrialisation and reverse migration to villages, which continued for a long time.
- In the wake of revolt of 1857, increased need of communication networks was felt and hence railways as an industry was given an impetus. Simultaneously the growth of Plantation industry-coffee and tea was witnessed.
- The naval blockade by Germany during First World War also forced Britishers for the industrialization in India for routine administrative purposes. Hence the period after first world war saw diversification of Indian Industries in the field of paper industry, sugar, matchmaking, iron, coal, metallurgical industry etc.
- After 1947, India embarked on the journey of nation-building. Due to long gestation period and requirement of capital state-led industrialization was pursued This model is also known as Nehru-Mahalanobis modeL It was felt that a trickle down effect would be achieved Capital intensive industries would be in public sector, would bring private industries in the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer goos) Sector.
- But due to inefficiencies of public sector, dystunction of bureaucracy and high inflation in the wake of wars fought by India, very low growth rate was achieved and eventually in 1991, Mahalanobis model was dropped when India liberalized its economy.
- Post-liberalization, Indian industry, especially tertiary sector, has performed in excellence that promoted MNCs to grow in number and size.
- In India the impact of British industrialization led to deindustrialization in some sectors. And decline of old urban centres.Just as manufacturing boomed in Britain, traditional exports of cotton and silk manufactures from India declined in the face of Manchester competition. This period also saw further decline of cities such as Surat and Masulipattnam while Bombay and Madras grew. When the British took over Indian states, towns like Thanjavur, Dhaka and Murshidabad lost their courts and therefore, some of their artisans and court entry. From the end of the 19th century, with the installation of mechanized factory industries, some towns became much more heavily populated.
- The experience of industrialization in India is in many ways similar to the western model and in many ways different Comparative analysis of different countries suggests that there is no standard model of industrial capitalism. Let us start with one point of difference, relating to what kind of work people are doing. In developed countries, the majority of people are in the services sector, followed by industryand less than10% are in agriculture (ILO figures). In India, in 1999-2000, nearly 60% were employed in the primary sector (agriculture and mining),17% in the secondary sector (manufacturing, construction and utilities), and 23% in the tertiary sector (trade, transport, financial services etc.) However, if we look at the contribution of these sectors to economic growth, the share of agriculture has declined sharply, and services contribute approximately half. This is a very serious situation because it means that the sector where the maximum people are employed is not able to generate much income for them.
Industrialization in the Early Years of Indian Independence.
- The first modern industries in India were cotton, jute, coal mines and railways. At independence, the government took over the ‘commanding heights of the economy/ This involved defence, transport and communication, power, mining and other projects, which only government had the power to do, and which was necessary for private industry to flourish.
- In India’s mixed economy policy, some sectors were reserved for government, while others were open to the private sector. But within that, the government tried to ensure, through it’s licensing policy, that industries were spread over different regions.
- Before independence, industries were located mainly in the port cities like Madras, Bombay, and Calcutta. But since then, we see that places like Baroda, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Pune, Faridabad and Rajkot have become important industrial centres. The government also tried to encourage the small-scale sector through special incentives and assistance. Many items like paper and wood products, stationery glass and ceramics were reserved for the small-scale sector in1991; large-scale industry employed only 28 per cent of the total workforce engaged in manufacture, while the small-scale and traditional industry employed 72 per cent.
Globalization, Liberalization privatisation and Change in Indian Industry
- Since the 1990s, however, the government has followed a policy of liberalization. Private companies, especially foreign firms, are encouraged to invest in sectors earlier reserved for the government, including telecom, civil aviation, power etc. Licenses are no longer required to open industries. Foreign products are now easily available in Indian shops.
- As a result of liberalization, many Indian companies have been bought over by multinationals. At the same time some Indian companies are becoming multinational companies. An instance of the first is when. Parle drinks were bought by Coca Cola. Parle’s annual turnover was Rs. 250 crores, while Coca Cola’s advertising budget was Rs. 400 crores. This level of advertising has naturally increased the consumption of coke across India replacing many traditional drinks. The next major area of liberalization may be in retaiL
- The government is trying to sell its share in several public sector companies, a process which is known as disinvestment Many government workers are scared that after disinvestment, they will lose their jobs. In Modern Foods, which was set up by the government to make healthy bread available at cheap prices, and which was the first company to be privatized 60% of the workers were forced to retire in the first five years.
- More and more companies are reducing the number of permanent employees and outsourcing their work to smaller companies or even to homes. For multinational companies, this outsourcing is done across the globe, with developing countries like India providing cheap labour. Because small companies have to compete for orders from the big companies, they keep wages low and working conditions are often poor. It is more difficult for trade unions to organize in smaller firms. Almost all companies, even government ones, now practice some form of outsourcing and contracting. But the trend is especially visible in the private sector.
To summarize, India is still largely an agricultural country. The service i.e. sector-shops, banks, the IT industry, hotels and other services are employing more people and the urban middle class is growing, along with urban middle class values like those we see in television serials and films. But we also see that very few people in India have access to secure jobs, with even the small number in regular salaried employment becoming more insecure due to the rise in contract labour. So far, employment by the government was a major avenue for increasing the well-being of the population but now even that is coming down. Some economists debate this, but liberalization and privatization worldwide appear to be associated with rising income inequality.
At the same time as secure employment in large industry is declining the government is embarking on a policy of land acquisition for industry. These industries do not necessarily provide employment to the people of the surrounding are as, but they cause major pollution. Many farmers ,especially Adivasis, who constitute approximately 40% of those displaced are protesting at the low rates of compensation and the fact that they will be forced to become casual labour living and working on the footpaths of India’s big cities.
Socio cultural implications of industrialization in India
Industrialization got under way in India in the last quarter of the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century. Cities grew around the new industries. Before industrialization, we had :
- Agrarian less-monetized economy,
- A level of technology where the domestic unit was also the unit of economic exchange,
- A non-differentiation of occupations between father and son and between brothers and brothers, and
- A value system where authority of the elders and the sanctity of tradition were both supported as against the criterion of ‘rationality’.
But Industrialization has brought about economic and socio-cultural changes in our society :
- The economic field it has resulted in specialization in work, occupational mobility, monetization of economy, and a breakdown of link between kinship and occupational structures;
- In the social field it has resulted in the migration of people from rural to urban areas, spread of education, and a strong centralized political structure; and
- In the cultural field it has brought secularization of beliefs and faiths
Effects of industrialization on family organization :
- Firstly, family which was a principle unit of production has been transformed into a consumption unit. Instead of all family members working together in an integrated economic enterprise, a few male members go out of the home to earn the family’s living.This has affected not only the traditional structure of the joint family but also the relations among its members.
- Secondly, factory employment has freed young adults from direct dependence upon their families. As their wages have made them financially independent, the authority of the head of the household has weakened further. In the city, in many cases, along with men, their wives also have started working and earning. This has affected intra-family relations to some extent
- Finally, children have ceased to be economic assets and have become liabilities. Although in a few cases, the use and abuse of child labour has also increased law does not permit children to work.At the same time, educational requirements have increased, lengthening dependence upon parental support. Accommodation in the cities is expensive and child-care is demanding.Thus, work and home have become separated due to industrialization.
Some sociologists have, however, recently challenged the theory of emergence of nuclear families due to industrialization. This challenge is based on the results of empirical studies and the documentation of the variety of family systems in different parts of the world Studies by scholars like M.S.A Rao, M.S. Gore and Milton singer have shown that jointness is more preferred and prevalent in business
communities, and many nuclear families maintain widespread kin ties. Several recent researchers in the industrialized West have also emphasized the supportive role, of kin and their function of acting as a buffer between the family and the impersonal wider world Social historians too have shown that the nuclear family was prevalent as a cultural norm in Europe and the United States even before industrialization. However, it has to be noted that the supportive role of the kin does not have the compulsory character which is found in the family obligations of the Indian nuclear family.The youngsters in nuclear family still willingly follow the normal responsibility towards the primary kin (such as parents and siblings), solidarity of the close kin, and some sense of unity of the family, even though living in separate households. (Dube)
- While the population movement from the rural to the urban areas has led to decline in authoritarian power, growth of secularism has developed a value system which emphasizes individual initiative and responsibility. Individual now functions without any restrictive familial controls. Formerly, when man worked in the family and all family members helped him in his work, there was more intimacy among the family members but now since he works in the industry away from the family, the intimacy in relations has been adversely affected
- The effect of industrialization on the pattern of family relationship is also evident from the decline in self-sufficiency of the family, and attitudinal changes toward family. Industrialization has, thus contributed markedly to the creation of a new social and psychological setting in which the survival of the early joint family with its authoritarian organization has become very difficult.
The social profile of communities under the impact of industrialization is indicative of many dimensions of linkages and interactions among segments of region, culture, social categories and communities. It is reflected in migration of people from one region to another which has contributed to increase of bilingualism. The Census of India, 1991 placed bilingualism to about 15 per cent, which in reality has been estimated to be as high as 60 per cent in survey of communities. Interaction and commonality among
cultural regions too, is reflected in shared cultural traits, which is also true for large number of communities across regions and territories.Such cultural traits belong not only to rituals and institutional practices but also to technologies of occupation, skills and division of labour. Most communities have also moved away from their traditional occupations and show keen awareness of developmental programmes sponsored by the government.