1. Formation of Class and Transformation of Power:
The relevance and significance of rural sociology is largely due to
political transformation and the resultant class formation. This uneven
development has resulted in conflict and contradiction at village level,
besides giving rise to communalism and bringing non-secular into power.
2. Impact of Panchayati Raj:
Yet another reason for the significance of rural sociology is that of the new power given to Panchayati Raj. The structure and functioning of
Panchayati Raj and the policy of reservation to the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes have led to transformation in village life. This needs the application of scientific approach to the comprehension of village community.
3. Poverty Elimination Programmes:
A number of poverty removal programmes, both at the central and
state level, require an in-depth understanding of the village community. The programmes introduced the need of new perspective on rural sociology for churning out successful stories of development.
4. Changing Eco-system and Environmental Dilemma:
The forest and forest land is passing through environmental erosion. The debate on development and sustainable environment has
assumed new significance in the country. It is argued that plans of development should not be made at the cost of environmental degradation
and disequilibrium in eco-system.
There is a consensus in the country that development, in all conditions, should be eco-friendly. The significance of rural sociology assumes importance in the present situation of the vast development and environmental decay in rural life. Rural sociology, like scientific social science, uses concepts along with theoretical formats, which can be of substantial importance for the development of rural life.
Our world is a land of diversities and it is essential here to under-
stand the village life thoroughly. It is here that the branch of rural
sociology assumes crucial importance.
6. NGOs and their Role:
NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) occupy a pivotal role in the implementation of developmental plans. With the decentralization of power, the role of NGOs in the developmental process has substantially increased. Though the NGOs are not the professional holders of the knowledge of rural sociology, they definitely apply the perspective of rural sociology for the study of village life.
7. Widening Horizons of Rural Sociology:
About 50 years back, rural sociology consisted of the study of rural
life and its composition. At present, these features of village life have
changed. In its new situation, village life includes agrarian relations, land
reforms, agricultural laborers, wage reforms, stratification, rural leadership, environment, peasant movements and struggles. Such a widening zone of rural sociology provides attractive feedback to an attractive rural development.
8. Social Science Research as a Major Growth Industry towards
Sociologists and social anthropologists were conducted extensive
studies in the field of rural sociology in the beginning of 1950s. The main
concern of these studies was the examination of interrelationships between different dimensions of rural organizations. We now have reached a stage where some serious research is required. Whatever rich data we have in the domain of rural sociology, should be put to theoretical construction.
Though, we have certain hypothetical formulations regarding rural
life such as caste, mobility, dominant caste, etc., efforts should be made to
bring these findings closer to students and social workers. This makes the
study of rural sociology all the more significant for developing certain
hypotheses and laws for improving the standard of life of rural people. It is in this context people consider social science research as a major growth industry in the world.
9. Growth in Urbanization: Industrialization and Migration
The speedy industrialization and urbanization have pushed the rural
people to urban market. The burden on land and unemployment at the rural level has compelled the rural population to migrate to urban areas. The importance of rural sociology has assumed greater significance to study
and meet the challenges of rural people.