The characteristics of urban society in India are as follows:
1• Anonymity: Urban areas are large and have very high population. Besides, the communities do not reside in close proximity. In such circumstances, anonymity of individuals and urban communities becomes a way of life.
Unlike villages, where everyone knows each other, people in towns and Urban Community
cities are very impersonal and know only very few people by name. Given
the high population and the hectic pace of life in Indian cities and towns, it is not possible to know each other personally.
== Anonymity refers to loss of identity in a city teeming with millions.
Many urbanites live in a social void or vacuum in which institutional
norms are not effective in controlling or regulating their social behaviour.
Although they are aware of the existence of many institutional
organizations and many people around them, they do not feel a sense
of belongingness to any one group or community. Socially, they are
poor in the midst of plenty.
2• Social heterogeneity: Compared to rural society, the urban society in
India is far more heterogeneous. People from diverse backgrounds with great racial, cultural and educational variations live together in the cities and towns. The urban society in India is a melting pot for all cultures and traditions and people learn about each other in this setting. This society has thrived by
recognizing and rewarding individual differences. The personal traits and
the ideas of the members of the urban society are completely different from
those of their rural counterparts.
3• Social distance: Due to anonymity and heterogeneity, the urban dweller
becomes lonely and stays removed from other persons. All social interactions are routine, mechanical and impersonal. There is no social cohesiveness between one another. Rather, there is a great deal of social distance amongst the members of the urban community.
4• Homelessness: The housing problem in Indian cities is so acute that many people from the lower class of income do not get a roof above their heads. They spend their nights in railway stations, on footpaths or under the flyovers or bridges. This homelessness is a very disturbing feature of our urban society
and is a violation of basic human rights. Even the middle class families do not get homes of their choice. They reside in small and badly located houses, which do not provide the children of such families with any space to play.
5• Class extremes: Indian cities are characterized by inhabitants of all classes. The richest persons of the country like Mukesh Ambani, Sachin Tendulkar, Aamir Khan, etc. cohabit with the poorest of the poor in a city like Mumbai. Thus, urban society is replete with class extremities. Such extremities have their own problems and can create a sense of dejection in the minds of the poor people. Sometimes, this leads them to the door of crime in lure of easy money.
6• Hectic pace of life: Life is very fast-paced and hectic in the urban areas and is completely different from the languid pace of rural life. People are always in a hurry to do their work so that they accomplish their targets and get their rewards. This endless run eventually affects their health and creates a great deal of tension in their personal lives.
7• Materialism: The urban community of India is greatly focused upon material acquisitions and wealth accumulation. An individual’s worth is expressed in terms of his material possessions. There is a lot of conspicuous consumption
and an urban Indian feels happy to lead a luxurious lifestyle.
8• Secularism: The urban community is more secular than its rural counterparts. Religious, caste and community feelings take a back seat as people are more concerned about working and earning a good livelihood. Interactions amongst people of different castes and communities at workplaces force
them to adopt a more secular outlook.