What does mean by Community as a Social System?

Community as a social system mean that members of the same community are functionally related with each other. This means they have their own role to play and they love doing their work. All the part are linked with each other and they make an integrated whole. Community as a system has three sub-system.

  1. Economic subsystem.
  2. Political Subsystem.
  3. Social subsystem.

Economic Subsystem.

For knowing well about the economic sub-system of a community, we will have to study its main occupation, the wages, the mode of payment the assets, expenditure pattern etc. What proportion of the income is spent on food, housing, clothing, education, health, etc. Same can be done with urban community. The answer to these questions will help us to understand the economic sub-system of the village.

The primary occupation of an Indian villager will be cultivation or labor work. A small section will be managing their own land by employing laborers, while the majority will be working on other’s land as laborers.

Land ownership particularly that of irrigated land, is concentrated only in the hands of a small section of the population. Different regions will have different systems, but generally speaking, laborers will be paid on a weekly basis. In many of the villages, old occupations, like that of washer-men, goldsmith, iron-smith have been finished.

Political Subsystem.

Political word here signifies the concept of power. Although power is a mental notion and it is real which is used for some sections of the society. For understanding the power structure following questions have to be answered their answers will give us an idea about the power structure of the community.

Who has the power in the community? The easiest technique of identification of powerful people is by identifying the leaders of the community. Leaders denote those individuals who are occupying some formal positions in local organizations: religious, political, economic or social. It is difficult to recognize informal leaders because they exercise power without occupying any positions.

Simplest way to identify them is by asking a number of people in the community who are helpful and influential. The names suggested by a number of people can be considered as the informal leaders of the community.

What are the bases of power? Leadership has some foundations and they refer to a number of factors like money, house, land, etc., caste membership, education, information, contacts and networking, family prestige, memberships in important political parties, and business establishment. A permutation of these influences helps the members.

How is power utilized? Next question arises is how the power is utilized by the leaders? Supremacy can never be a status quo organization. It always strengthens in different forms and ways. Political power strengthens economic power of the leaders which therefore, reinforces political power. A politically acknowledged person will always try to strengthen his economic base while economically powerful person will strengthen his position by developing strong political contacts.

Official controllers of the community will be worked out by the Sarpanch and other elected members of Gram Panchayat. Political parties, education, information, caste, etc. usually form the bases of power. This power is used to get a family member or member of one’s group to run Government aided schools and hostels.

Social Sub-System.

Everything covering non-economic and non-political are covered in this heading. The social structure referring marriage, family, caste system, religious beliefs, values, etc. are some of the aspects to be studied.

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