Concept of Digitization and Causes of Social Digitization Meaning of Social Digitization: Some condition of order and system pervades all forms of physical, biological and social existence. The sociologists have at least accepted a starting point that some order and organization exist in social life. The very essence of the group, culture pattern, and social personality implies an arrangement of parts into an integrated whole. But side by side social organization and social order have their concomitants in social disorder.
Social organization and social disorientation re two relative terms, because neither there is any society totally organizes not only disorganized. There is social disorientation when the equilibrium of social factors is disrupted. As observed by Osborn and Knockoff, “Society is a going concern of an organization. The organization consists of habits and institutions among which there is a fair degree of equilibrium. This equilibrium is often shaken by social changes. We begin therefore, by considering how the balance achieved in a stationary contract with the condition of changing society”.
Similarly, according to Elliott and Merrill, “Social digitization occurs when here is a change in the equilibrium of forces, breakdown of social structure, so that former patterns no longer apply and the accepted forms of social control no longer function effectively. The dynamic nature of society involves a constant rearrangement of the constituent element. Definition of Social Digitization (1) Empower: “Social digitization is the process of by which the relationship between members of a group are broken”. 2) Osborn and Knockoff: “Social digitization imply some break in cultural contact, some disturbance in the equilibrium among the various aspects of the culture pattern”. (3) Fairies: a) “Social digitization refers to the disruption of the function of some social unit such as group, in institution or community’. (b) “Social digitization is a disturbance in the patterns and mechanisms of human relation”. (4) Fairs Robert E. L: “Social digitization is the disruption of the functional relations among persons to a degree that interferes with the performance of the accepted task of the group”. 5) Illicit and Francis: “Social digitization is the process by which the relationship between members of a group are broken or dissolved”. (6) Joseph B. Glitter: “When affairs deviate either from the existent order of from he desired order, the inference is that there is social disorder. It is the deviation that is referred to as social digitization. It consists of the relative decline and breakdown of those factors that have made and do mark for the effective patterning of collective living”.
Social digitization is not the negation of the harmonious relationship in a given society, it is indicative of serious breakdown of those relationships. Strike by factory workers or by sanitary workers results in the dislocation and paralysis of normal function of the society, besides it involves a direct conflict between the employer and the employee. Social digitization is therefore a product of clash of interests of groups. Conflicts between the interests of individuals, if not organizes as group conflict, have little bearing on social digitization.
Social digitization in the Modern Society In our own times, the process of social digitization has assumed in universal dimension. The developed as well as the underdeveloped societies, both are almost equal suffers. The society of the old world was comparatively peaceful partly due to stronghold of customs and traditions over the social conduct of man. Modernization of human society is mainly the result of industrials evolution of the consequent breakdown of old social relationships, first at the economic place and later on at cultural level.
The man himself was swayed by the tides of industrial revolution which crushed the old order with ruthless velocity but the establishing some substitute values. Old society was not divided into sharp economical classes with mutually-conflicting interests. In the old world order, societies cultures and communities were isolated from each other by distinct geographical barriers. Modern means of communication and transport have pushed the barriers of space and time into background. But the old attitudes and concepts die a hard way.
Culture is regarded as he distinguishing feature of a community or people. Preferences are given to one’s own culture and others are looked down as inferior. The West has its own ways and East follows the suit. Culture is still regarded completely synonymous with group, community or class interest when in fact the speed of modern life and means of communication have accelerated greatly cultural diffusion. Culture by itself does not stand in clashing position in modern world but it is the class interests which push them into the forefront of conflict.
When cultures clash, social serialization affected by cultural conflicts work from within. Cultural clash has become more frequent with the increasing arbitration of country’s population. According to Massive and Page, “The situations we have just been describing, especially those in which the resistance is to an imported technology, serve also to illustrate the phenomenon of culture clash. We have used this expression to denote the conflict of opposing value scheme, creeds or ways of life when these are brought into contact inside the same community.
The feat of an alien technology is not simply a fear that it will disturb the old values; it is also a fear hat with it will be introduced alien values different goals. We do not include under culture clash the conflict of creeds and ideologies, so frequent in every modern society. We refer only to conflicts between two entire culture patterns each of which embraces a whole way of life. Such clashes arise permanently from the coming together within a single community of groups that have been bred in separation before they become thus conjured.
Usually one of the cultures concerned is an imported culture while the other indigenous or at least has long been established in its present home. The two are brought rather abruptly into intact and out of those conditions one of them appears to be a threat to the very existence of the other especially if the former is associated with a dominant group. ” Cultural clashes cause social digitization but this fact has also to be kept in mind that industrial civilization has disrupted the overall pattern of human culture.
Old cultural patterns themselves have undergone the process of digitization resulting further breakdown of those elements of solidarity in our society which were directly based on cultural patterns. Social digitization is thus happening in every sphere of modern life, from all sides directly or indirectly. The outcome has yet to crystallize before any prediction may be made about the nature of the new social set up that is bound to replace in the old one.
Scenery of social change Dossier 5-6: Women, Religion and Social Change in Pakistan: A Proposed Framework for Research – Draft in Dossier Articles South Asia Pakistan Empowerment Publication Author: Afraid Shaded Date: December 1988 – May 1989 Attachment Size Word Document 102 KGB number of pages: 103 The research project on Women, Religion and Social Change in Pakistan, India and Sir Lankan currently being undertaken by ICES provides a unique opportunity o explore the cross-cultural dimensions of continuing tradition and the process of change as these relate to women and in this the role of religion.
A grey area of uncertainty, prejudice, and very little research, the role of religion in determining the possible for individual actors, particularly women, has rarely received the attention it deserves. Religion has normally been ignored by development planners and those concerned with women’s development as a personal matter beyond planning, and its rituals beliefs and superstitions have often been dismissed as anachronisms that “would disappear with modernization and science. ”
Especially in ex-colonial states, religiously defined or religiously colored practices and beliefs are an everyday reality for most people and are not viewed as anachronistic. Together, they provide an essential worldview and a reference for self-identity that is underscored by the experience of colonization and subsequent post-independence developments. Nor should it be presumed that religion is nun-dimensional or fixed in time. Most religions are divided into sub- sects. Within one sub-group religious attitudes and practices vary with ethnic and class identity, and with time, these undergo changes.
Any one of these factors may impede or facilitate positive changes for women. Some Conceptual Issues: To examine the dynamism between religious continuity and social change thus requires some clarity about the factors under consideration. In our view, social change is the concrete expression of people’s adaptation to structural and material changes in the means, organization and relations of production. Adaptation to structural/material changes is filtered through people’s worldview in which religion plays a greater or lesser role depending on past history and social grouping.
At the same time the ‘world view filter’ is neither static nor monolithic, but varies with time and social grouping. Once social changes have taken place, these have a momentum of their own. In turn, these influence structural organization and material conditions, necessitating further social changes, re-filtered through the worldview. In responding to structural or social changes, the worldview itself undergoes modifications. In fact it is the ability of religions to continuously re-interpret traditions in the light of altered circumstances that allows religious continuity.
Equally important is the need to recognize that religion operates at different bevels and, for analytical purposes, to distinguish between religion as faith, as an embodiment of social customs, as a monopolizing force in the political arena and, linked to all of these, religion as a means of self-identity and identification of one’s environment. In this, we would posit that religion as faith undergoes the least changes but, insofar as it provides its adherents with a means of self- identity, is a starting point. This identity takes on material shape as a body of beliefs and behavioral patterns that order community life.
In translating identity into tangible norms and customs, factors other than faith intervene. Pre-existing social structures and power relations play a major role in determining social customs and religious practices. Consequently, social customs having nothing to do with a given religion and possibly in contradiction with the religious scripture are practiced by communities as supposedly religious norms. (As for instance the practice of dowry amongst Muslims in Pakistan or their refusal to grant females their due inheritance. ).
Religion as an ideology is normally used to legitimate existing structures and relations but can also be used to challenge these. In the first instance, religion will be used by ruling elites, in he second by emerging political groups or movements. (See Tiger and Levy: 77) (Iran is the most striking example of the second instance. ) Clearly then, religion does not always fulfill the same needs of different social classes/groups, and, in looking at women, religion, and social change, class identities will have to be kept in focus.
In the context of South Asia, such differences have been underscored by the experience of colonization. Speaking of the Muslim world, Candidate says: “(Religion) provides believers with a consistent vantage point from which to view and interpret the world – a vantage point which may at times be successfully appropriated as their own by social forces intent on control of the state and radical change… It is easily possible to demonstrate that Islam has taken on the attributes of a ‘defensive’ ideology, an ideology of cultural reproduction under conditions of real or perceived threat.
The failure of most Muslim states to generate ideologies capable of realistically coping with social change and their histories of colonization, or at least dependence visa–visa the West has meant that they relied on Islam not only as the only coherent ideologies at their disposal but also as a symbol of their Guttural identity and integrity. This has had extremely serious repercussions for women… (Since) the control of women became the last bastion of cultural identity to be tenaciously defended. ” ‘up 3-4).
Candidate raises a number of important points. To begin with, the procedure of adapting to social change delineated above allows men to adapt to changed circumstances while maintaining some social and psychological continuity by making the private sphere of life and women the repositories of cultural identity. The same process that facilitates change for men thus imposes artificial restrictions on women. The more pressing and rapid the changes taking place, he greater will be the desire to maintain stability in the home. As a rider we would add that the increasing loss of control in the outside world reinforces this tendency. See Mutual and Shaded – 88). Further, she underlines the fact that the beneficiaries and losers of the changing socio-economic orders do not necessarily share the same world view. Religion provides a useful vehicle through which the losers can express their alienation and antagonism visa–visa the ruling elites who, in ex-colonial states, are condemned not for being exploiters but for being Westernizes.
Alternatively, elision can be the vehicle adopted by an emerging class that, having gained economic status, is making a bid for political power. The shifting patterns of political development therefore cannot be ignored. For instance, if pre- independence India saw the emergence of a traditionalist movement among the Muslim in the North, the movement found material support from Muslim weavers who were the worst hit by the colonial policies promoting British textile mills. Olivia: 87) Having achieved independence, there has been little scope for traditionalists in Pakistan, and they have now given way to the emerging fundamentalists”, who can more appropriately be called obscurantist and who are more notable for their opportunistic maneuvering than an unrelenting stand on fundamental principles. Although the most consistent stand of fundamentalist men is their position on women, even this has been modified in response to political exigencies. Candidate provides yet another pointer, which is that the same political process affects religious communities differently.
If Islam is characterized by its “defensiveness” then, conversely, during the colonial period Christianity was far from defensive. The linkage to colonial power facilitated the acceptance f British norms and customs amongst the Christian community and allowed Christian women to participate in social changes such as education and employment to a greater extent and faster than either Hindus or Muslims. After the departure of the British at independence, and in a predominantly Muslim Pakistan, Christianity is far more defensive.
Its adherents are now assuming norms and customs that are rooted not in Christianity but in the South Asian Muslim environment in which they have to operate. The specificity of religious communities is also highlighted by the position of the Pareses in Pakistan. The community arrived in India on the condition that its members would not undertake any conversions. Having kept this promise, the Pareses enjoy a unique position. A well-educated and economically affluent community, the Pareses are not associated with colonial power nor are they large enough to pose a serious political/economic threat.
And, it should be added, they have always maintained a low political profile. The very distinctiveness of the Parse community, combined with the visible profile of Parse women in “modern” occupations, makes them an interesting case study for Pakistan. With respect to the Muslim majority (90-95%) it is clear that, on the whole, smaller changes have been allowed in order to maintain more basic institutions. This is most obvious in the case of aliphatic medicine and education on the one hand, and the institution of Purdue on the other.
As an essential pillar of the Muslim patriarchal system in South Asia, Purdue had to be maintained. (See Shaded: 85&88). However, once ‘modern’ education and aliphatic medicine were accepted by Muslim Indians, they faced a dilemma. Without allowing women access to medical and other education, the benefits of these could only e made available to Muslim women through the intermediary of men. To rectify this situation, Purdue schools and hospitals were created giving an impetus to female employment, firstly of non-Muslim and later of Muslim women.
As a result, women in India became doctors and gained positions of eminence in education at a time when this was still rare elsewhere. As Woodsman noted, it seemed as if “the very lack of social equality in the East thus has been the major factor in promoting professional equality” (Woodsman: 83,p. 244). An unplanned consequence was that the acceptance of women’s employment as doctors and in education paved the way for women entering other professions. On a different plane, a similar pattern is visible. Inspired by other communities, Muslim Indians slowly started monopolizing Muslim women in the nationalist struggles.
Though inflammation was not intended to promote female emancipation as such, the fact that women left their homes, addressed meetings and carried out political and social work did break the taboos constraining ” respectable” Muslim women (i. E. The non-working class minority) to remain strictly within the confines of the household’s Keenan section. The legitimating of his type of work later facilitated women leaving their homes for other purposes. Here we would like to emphasis that the cultural norms followed and aspired to by a community in general are usually dictated or guided by those practiced by the dominant classes.
Yet, paradoxically, because society is constantly in a state of flux, there are situations where upwardly mobile classes are adopting various customs at the very time that the upper classes are discarding them. Specifically in the case of Pakistan one can see this happening with Purdue-norms. Today, the all-encompassing Burma has virtually disappeared amongst the urban upper lass in Punjab and in Karachi, yet this is now being adopted by the newly upwardly mobile middle class.
The adoption of the Burma may be for two reasons: either as an easily recognizable status symbol that distinguishes the wearers from the poorer classes they have left, or because it is the only condition under which these women can leave their homes. Both reasons are important and though they may act in concert have different implications. The Burma itself is a relatively new innovation of the 19th century, which allowed women of the affluent classes to break the isolation of strict home confinement.
The association with the upper lasses gave the Burma its social prestige. Over time, with the acceptance of women’s expanded space, the need for this “portable seclusion” amongst urban affluent families may have disappeared. But it is possible that for other women, access to education and employment may be only, or more easily, available if they wear a heavy veil. The question that needs to be answered is whether the adoption of a physical veil enhances or reduces the scope for social change for women and the circumstances leading to one or the other.
In her new introduction to Beyond the Veil, Merriness makes a very revealing statement (Merriness: 87). She says that one has to differentiate between what people do (reality) from what they say (how they identify themselves). In Pakistan, the dissonance between action and fertilization is clearly demonstrated in the case of the “fundamentalists”, particularly the women. While calling for strict gender segregation, fundamentalist women have steadily moved away from supporting female seclusion.
In the last ten years the fundamentalist call for women to stay in the home except for emergencies has given way to demanding segregated work places to allow millions of women to get employment in ‘Islamic’ conditions. This radical change has taken place so gradually that it has been completely over-looked until now. (Mutual and Shaded: 88). This supports the contention that fundamentalism is a dynamic force and that the rise of such movements is related to the bewildering pace of change being experienced in today’s countries of the South.
In the absence of any other ideology that would enable people most affected to deal with such changes and their histories of colonization, religion is used to fill the vacuum. This has also been recorded in the Malaysian context by Zinnia Inward, in a study on Islamic revivalism amongst students. Inward: 87). In the case of Pakistan, the rise of fundamentalism cannot be isolated from the role of Sis’s government over the past decade. There is no doubt that his well-orchestrated and widely publicized campaigns for the “Colonization” of society have given a new, and unprecedented, impetus to the fundamentalist/ obscurantist lobbies.
If Aziza used Islam as an obvious ploy to legitimate his illegal seizure of power and subsequent self-perpetuation at the head of an authoritarian and undemocratic rule, it is equally true that, backed by the entire state apparatus, his decade-long Colonization has given credibility to the individualists’ argument and promoted their cause in a country where they have never enjoyed popular support (as seen from the consistently poor results of religiously defined political parties in any type of election).
The position taken by those holding state power also influences the role religion as culture plays at any given time – though religion as culture exists independently of the state machinery allowing for its political use – underlining the political use of religion. For Pakistan, the question of religious identity is perhaps more easily used for political purposes than elsewhere because it is one of only two countries to have achieved statehood on the basis of this single identity.
Unfortunately, in the intervening years Pakistan has failed to develop a national identity uniting the smaller nationalities it comprises and remains a state-nation. (see Rasher: 85 and Shaded: 87). After independence: “In jockeying for power, the political elites, of whom the fundamentalists were never a part, used the latter’s views to bolster their own relative positions, and in the bargain gave currency to fundamentalist arguments.
The most important casualty of this internal tussle for power and the manipulations it entailed was he democratic process and, consequently, the chances of evolving a Pakistani national identity. ” (Mutual and Shaded 1988: p. 5) As a result, ethnic identities have become increasingly important in deciding the parameters of people’s lives, at the same time that Sis’s Colonization campaign has sharpened sectarian divisions. The impact of intensified sub-state identities on women is an uncharted area in Pakistan that needs to be explored. Even a surface appraisal shows that the impact is not uniform.
Whereas Paths (of the North West Frontier Province) decided that in certain constituencies no women loud cast a vote in the 1985 and 1987 elections both in the Frontier and in the far-off metropolis of Karachi, the recent Shindig nationalist movement has given birth to wide-spread women’s organizations, activating huge numbers of Shindig women on political and social issues including those affecting women. The latest manifestation of this process is the Macarthur Quant Maze, representing the second and third generation of those who migrated from India at independence.
The MGM held a mammoth women’s meeting recently, so far unequalled in size. Proposed Framework for Pakistan: The study on women, religion and social change being proposed for 1988-89 cannot cover all the points mentioned above. Nevertheless it should be designed to allow some insights into these and devised with the following in mind. 1. Religion has a multiple role in society: it provides adherents with both self-identity and a worldview it gives shape to (and justifies) social customs and norms; it mediates between changing material/structural circumstances and people’s lives. It is a powerful monopolizing force in the political arena. 2. However, religion is not the only intervening factor, and class and ethnic identity also play important roles in governing women’s lives and the possibility of social change. 3. Past histories affect a community’s behavior, influencing the reaction of both sub-sects and religious communities to social change. Some reactions may facilitate positive change for women while others obstruct this. 4.
Religious minorities are both influenced by and influence society at large, and to understand women, religion and social change, even small minority communities should be examined. 5. The rise of Muslim fundamentalism in Pakistan has to be seen as a dynamic force responding to social change. The role of state-power in promoting or opposing fundamentalist movements also needs to be kept in view. 6. The great level of social change has taken place in the urban environment where – not coincidentally – the fundamentalist movement has the greatest support-base.
Urban centers thus occupy a primary position in determining both social change and the possibilities for women. With this in mind it is proposed that the research project for Pakistan be based in the two largest cities where it is presumed that the greatest scope for social change exists. As the largest urban and industrial centre of the country, Karachi Sins) is unique in that its population has a representation of all the ethnic and religious diversity of Pakistan. It also has the largest concentration of Pareses. In Karachi, the research project would cover: a.
The Pareses as a separate community, to examine the manner in which social change is experienced by women. Unlike Islam, Zoroastrian does not appear to restrict women and therefore provides a useful point of comparison, since on the other hand the community has to operate in the same over-all environment. B. The ethnic pot-pourer of Karachi also provides a rare opportunity to study he interaction of ethnicity and religion as these relate to social change in the midst of the most rapidly changing environment of the country.
As many of the communities also include recent rural migrants it will allow some exploration of the tensions and pressures that bear upon recent migrants and the extent to which religion and ethnic cohesiveness play a role in the adjustment process. Lahore, a very old city, is the cultural and political centre of Punjab, and also plays an important national role in religion, culture and politics. At the same time it is the second largest industrial centre. In Lahore the study will focus on Islam and its sub-sects and the rise of fundamentalism.