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Characteristics Of Society Can Be Understood By Studying The Cities - With A Free Essay Review

"To understand the most important characteristics of a society, one must study its major cities." Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.

Society is a web of social relationships. Social relationships are built upon likelinesses, differences and the dependencies among the social beings. Every society has its own culture. Society and Culture are intertwined. The culture of one particular society can be understood by exploring the rural areas where each society's own culture is still preserved. Whereas the social relationships between people, the way they interact, the way they develop by sharing knowledge, working interdependently and the new developments in the path of globalization can be well known by studying the cities.

The culture of a society refers to the beliefs, norms, tradition, values, science, literature acquired by man being a member of a society, which he passes to his future generations. On exploring the rural areas in South India, one can find many old traditions which have been washed out of cities. The major occupation of those villages are making earthen pots, cotton fabrics, hand-made bags etc. These people live according to the hot climate they face, work accordingly and they are benefited as a result. This way of life is declining at an alarming rate. But still a visit to those areas will help us understand the own culture of that society. Since most indigenious food, clothing and archaic homes will tell more about the individual culture of a society than the multicuisine restaurants, embellished costumes and towering apartments. We can find many prehistoric monuments in India, describing the life of ancient people.To name a few, temples like Meenakshi Temple of Madurai, Tanjavoor Bragadheeshwar temple are famous for their sculptures and the Ajantha and Ellora caves for their paitings. Each one describes its own society's characteristics with the stories scriptured on the walls and ceilings.

While coming to the social relationships starting from inside a home to the relationship between countries, this aspect of society can be best understood by studying cities. Cities are a hub of people from various states as well as various countries. Education and employment sectors are the major contribution to this rich variety of people living at major cities in almost all countries from Chennai to New York. The pace at which these people interact is tremendous. Considering Bangalore, it is the home to IT people. The interdependency created at work place helps in improving social relationship between these people from various societies. At any school in Bangalore one can find students from different places interacting merrily with each other.

There is great increase in global relationships by the transnational circulation of ideas, languages, popular culture and the most importantly manufactured goods and services. There are many meetings held between the rulers of the nations on improving the social relationships resulting mutual benefits. The recent few meetings of The President of India and Pakisthan holding talks on leaving fights and wars and improving the exchange of goods, ideas and culture suggests that we are on the right path to improve global relationships.

"Society lives by faith and develops by science"

So one can understand the most important characteristics of any society by studying both the urban and rural areas. Since its a wider arena of discussion we need to consider both. Studying the society from rural areas may be possible now because some traditions are still existing when most already faded away. Every villages will be changing its way of life soon as the younger generation are easily affected by the new cultures from cities. So recording all these studies will be usefull to learn the society in a better way. As the first Sociologist of India Dr. G. S. Ghurye has written as many as 32 books which cover such wide-ranging themes as kinship and marriage, urbanization, ascetic traditions, tribal life, demography, architecture and literature. Recordings made by new age sociologists will be helpful for future generation.



There are many different things that we could call the "characteristics" of a society. For that reason, it is a good idea to explain from the beginning what you think are the most important characteristics. You mention two things: social relationships and culture. That's a reasonable way to start, but if you want to claim that those two things are the most important characteristics of a society, you should do so explicitly, and perhaps offer a reason for that view.

Your discussion of culture seems reasonable to me, but again, to respond directly to the prompt, as I think you should, you need to make explicit the claim that it is not the cities but rather the rural areas that must be studied in order to understand this "important characteristic." You should also explain why you think (if this is what you think) you cannot appreciate a society's culture by studying its cities, whereas if you think there is something to be gained for an understanding of a society's culture from studying its cities, then you should include that thought in your essay.

So your first two paragraphs are good, but they are not sufficiently explicit with respect to how your claims relate to the prompt. The next paragraphs, from this point of view, are even worse. The argument you want to make, in referring to Bangalore, is especially vague, and while the facts that you assert about international relations are clearly articulated, you don't try at all to relate those facts specifically to the claim made in the prompt.

In the final paragraph, after the first sentence, you go off on a tangent, ending rather abruptly with a reference to Ghurye, the relevance of which you do not clarify.

So, you write well and say interesting things, but you don't fully respond to the prompt. The prompt essentially asks whether we must study the cities in order to understand the characteristics of a society. You answer that we must study both the cities and the rural areas. Note, however, that the prompt does not ask whether it is sufficient to study the cities, only whether it is necessary. So you are being asked to what extent is it necessary. Based on what you've said here, your answer ought to look (in brief) like this: There are certain characteristics of a society that we can understand without studying the cities, but there are other characteristics that we can only understand by studying the cities. That's not an eloquent way of articulating a claim, but it is an explicit way of doing so, and being explicit in this case is more important than being eloquent.

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: LakshmiRam


Sorry i left out my question : To understand the most important characteristics of society one must reside in its major cities.
Write a response
May,03 2012


Thanks for your comment. I understood clearly where i went wrong! I will try to improve connecting things in a better way and responding to the actual prompt
May,04 2012

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