Explain the Nature and Characteristics of Urbanization in Sociology

Urbanism is a concept that revolves around the organisation and lifestyle of a society which includes the use of technology, division of labour, high mobility, social relations’ impersonality, and interdependence of the society’s members upon the fulfilment of economic functions. Thompson Warren defines urbanisation as,

“the movement of people from communities concerned chiefly or solely with agriculture to other communities, gen­erally larger whose activities are primarily centred in government, trade, manufacture, or allied interests.”

Anderson on the other hand believes,

“urbanisation is not a one-way process but it is a two-way process.”

Nature and Characteristics of Urbanisation in Sociology

The nature and characteristics of urbanisation in sociology is as follows:

High Population Density

As compared to rural communities, the population and size of the urban community is much larger. A high population density leads to an increase in the number of utilitarian, impersonal, and short-term social relationships a person develops. 

Anonymity

Due to the high population density, anonymity is another characteristic feature of urbanisation. It leads to a need for a sense of belongingness and one may also face a loss of identity. This sense of anonymity is further increased by the diversity of races, creeds, castes, classes, occupations, and the like in an urban society. 

Social Distance

Although urban areas are physically crowded, the people living there are socially distant. Impersonality, heterogeneity, and anonymity produces social distance. There may be little to no acquaintance with neighbours in urban areas. 

Personality Segmentation

In urban areas, people may make acquaintances to fulfil a certain purpose and hence, the communication that occurs does not take the form of close relationships rather one in which the skills and occupations of the people are taken into account. 

Regularity and Punctuality

The urban lifestyle is clock-regulated meaning that people in urban areas have to live by regularity, order, and punctuality due to which these become the main characteristics of urbanisation. 

As per recent surveys, the urban population of India constitutes an estimate of 461 million people. This number is subject to growth by 2.3 percent each year. Cities have been accounted to provide 75 percent of India’s national income by 2031. Economic growth is not one of the major causes of urbanisation but rather an integral part of it.