ROLE OF NASCENT ECO­NOMIC PRO­CESSES AS SO­CIO-CUL­TURAL CHANGES IN UR­BAN IN­DIAN FAM­ILY ETHOS

Economic Challenger - - CONTENTS - - Dr. Tara Sing­hal

Any process that af­fects the pro­duc­tion, devel­op­ment and man­age­ment of ma­te­rial wealth is eco­nomic process. Eco­nomic pro­cesses in­volve in­crease in the flow of trade, cap­i­tal and in­for­ma­tion as well as mo­bil­ity of in­di­vid­u­als across bor­ders.

The in­creased in­ter­na­tional trade and cap­i­tal flow as­so­ci­ated with eco­nomic pro­cesses have gen­er­ated rise in liv­ing stan­dards all over the world. Var­i­ous pro­cesses have led to dis­man­tling of trade bar­ri­ers and bring­ing about tech­no­log­i­cal changes, fa­cil­i­tat­ing trans­port and com­mu­ni­ca­tion as well as melt­ing of ge­o­graph­i­cal bound­aries. In­dus­tri­al­iza­tion, in­creas­ing mod­ern­iza­tion and ur­ban­iza­tion are some of the eco­nomic pro­cesses that lead to rise of var­i­ous fields such as out­sourc­ing, both knowl­edge and busi­ness pro­cesses, M-Com­merce, E-Gov­er­nance etc.

Glob­al­iza­tion, out­sourc­ing, mo­bile com­merce, ca­reer shifts are the bud­ding in­ter­re­lated pro­cesses to bring about a rad­i­cal change in the In­dian econ­omy as well as so­ci­ety. It has been opined by O. P.Ban­sia that " Glob­al­iza­tion is the ac­cel­er­a­tion and in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion of in­ter­ac­tion and in­te­gra­tion among the peo­ple, com­pa­nies and gov­ern­ments of dif­fer­ent na­tions." It is the on­go­ing and the mul­ti­fac­eted process of greater in­ter­de­pen­dence among coun­tries and their ci­ti­zens, which brought prod­ucts, ser­vices and mar­kets around the world closer to­gether. It is the process that in­volves a com­plex ar­ray of ac­tors and in­sti­tu­tions, in­clud­ing firms, gov­ern­ments, NGOs and con­sumers.

Out­sourc­ing is one of the im­por­tant pro­cesses play­ing sig­nif­i­cant role in the so­cioe­co­nomic shift­ing of the so­ci­ety. This is the con­sol­i­da­tion of non-core busi­ness func­tions across or­ga­ni­za­tions to spe­cial­ized third party which may be busi­ness process out­sourc­ing (BPO), knowl­edge process out­sourc­ing (KPO) or hu­man re­source out­sourc­ing (HRO) or any other type to say. In­dia seems to be the most at­trac­tive des­ti­na­tion for USA and Europe to out­source the ser­vices as men­tioned in var­i­ous stud­ies and re­ports con­ducted by sev­eral or­ga­ni­za­tions and agen­cies like NASSCOM, In­ter­na­tional Data Cor­po­ra­tion etc.

Mo­bile com­merce is also a bud­ding process which is bring­ing about a rad­i­cal change in the man­ner con­sumer mar­ket­ing takes place. It is bring­ing about a phe­nom­e­nal rev­o­lu­tion in the mar­kets thereby in­tro­duc­ing tech­no­log­i­cal aware­ness. Due to easy avail­abil­ity and faster speed mo­bile com­merce is mak­ing it very pop­u­lar in per­form­ing e- com­merce trans­ac­tions. Aug­men­ta­tion in us­age of mo­bile de­vices, amal­ga­ma­tion of mo­bile telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion net­works and in­ter­net, upgra­da­tion to 3G etc have also made M-com­merce more pop­u­lar spe­cially amongst the young­sters. Since they are not sat­is­fied by any level of achieve­ment, the ca­reer shift is also a ten­dency de­vel­op­ing in this IT savvy seg­ment.

Tech­no­log­i­cal changes are of­ten con­sid­ered in con­junc­tion with eco­nomic pro­cesses. Th­ese in­clude the for­ma­tion and ex­ten­sion of mar­kets, mod­i­fi­ca­tion of prop­erty re­la­tions (such as the change from feu­dal-lord peas­ant re­la­tions to con­trac­tual pro­pri­etor ten­ant re­la­tions) and change in the or­ga­ni­za­tion of labour from in­de­pen­dent crafts­men to fac­tory em­ploy­ees. In this ref­er­ence the his­tor­i­cal ma­te­ri­al­ism, devel­oped by Marx and En­gels, is

one of the most prom­i­nent or rel­e­vant the­o­ries that give pri­or­ity to eco­nomic pro­cesses.

Th­ese emerg­ing pro­cesses im­pinge the In­dian econ­omy as well as In­dian so­cio-cul­tural her­itage greatly.

In­flow of for­eign cap­i­tal, im­prove­ment in in­fra­struc­ture, more em­ploy­ment gen­er­a­tion through MNCs, de­vel­op­ing con­sul­tan­cies and call cen­ters are lead­ing to ex­plo­sive growth of In­dian econ­omy. Fur­ther in the job mar­ket , In­dian em­ploy­ees com­pete di­rectly or in­di­rectly in global job mar­ket. In the past, the eco­nomic fate of work­ers was tied to the fate of na­tional eco­nomicy. With the ad­vent of the in­for­ma­tion age and im­prove­ment in com­mu­ni­ca­tion, this is no longer the case be­cause now work­ers com­pete in global mar­kets.

Th­ese bud­ding pro­cesses can be dis­cerned in the form of: Source of moder­nity New agent of so­cial­iza­tion with new con­tent Global or broader per­spec­tive Role of a new dom­i­nat­ing young work force hav­ing more eco­nomic power with less re­spon­si­bil­i­ties at fam­ily front New global goals Source of women em­pow­er­ment.

To study the im­pact of th­ese pro­cesses 131 IT savvy work­ers, work­ing in Gur­gaon sit­u­ated MNCs were in­ter­viewed. It was no­ticed that the mar­riage, fam­ily and cul­ture of fam­i­lies in which peo­ple (mainly young­sters from 25 to 35 years age) were en­gaged in the tech­ni­cal jobs saw changes con­sid­er­ably.

Changes can be pin pointed as fol­lows:

So­ci­ety is los­ing its con­trol on mar­riage and fam­ily both. Ku­tumba which was con­sid­ered as an "in group" (kin group) is los­ing its iden­tity and a new type of IT savvy "in group " is coming into ex­is­tence. Joint fam­i­lies are con­vert­ing into nu­clear fam­i­lies. Tal­cott Par­sons also men­tions of this change where he opines that in prein­dus­trial so­ci­eties there was an ex­tended fam­ily struc­ture span­ning many gen­er­a­tions who prob­a­bly re­mained in the same lo­ca­tion for gen­er­a­tions. In in­dus­tri­al­ized so­ci­eties the nu­clear fam­ily con­sist­ing of only par­ents and their grow­ing chil­dren reach­ing adult­hood are more mo­bile and tend to re­lo­cate to where job ex­ists. Ex­tended fam­ily bond be­comes more tena­cious. Source and con­tent of an­tic­i­pa­tory so­cial­iza­tion is chang­ing. As de­mands of mar­ket are be­com­ing the ba­sis of so­cial­iza­tion like what, when and where chil­dren will learn. Fam­ily size is sharply shrink­ing. As small fam­ily, DINK (Dou­ble in­come no kid )like con­cepts are coming in In­dia also. Th­ese IT savvy work­ing women are be­ing seen as an as­set to their fam­i­lies, spe­cially in the fam­ily of pro­cre­ation. The in­come earned by them is pro­vid­ing them a cer­tain es­teem, pres­tige and free­dom in the fam­ily as they are be­com­ing more self-re­liant, self­de­pen­dent and con­fi­dent. Fam­ily is los­ing its con­trol­ling power. As along with men, th­ese IT savvy women are also no longer bound by tra­di­tional pat­tern of fam­ily con­trol and con­sid­er­ably drawn out from fam­ily re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and house­hold obli­ga­tions. Fund man­age­ment is be­com­ing per­sonal af­fair in place of fa­mil­ial. Fa­mil­ial and so­cial tol­er­ance to­wards th­ese work­ing women and lib­eral be­hav­ior is in­creas­ing. Changes in fa­mil­ial power struc­ture are also no­ticed. As in place of sub­or­di­nate po­si­tion of women, egal­i­tar­ian re­la­tions are de­vel­op­ing. Ir­re­spec­tive of area, women`s space in de­ci­sion mak­ing is in­creas­ing. Women are ex­er­cis­ing their right of choice in re­la­tion to job, mar­riage and chil­dren. In­ter­ac­tion among fam­ily mem­bers is los­ing its place as cell phones or tiny palm­tops are be­com­ing the im­por­tant part of their lives. Pa­ram­e­ters of obe­di­ence, sat­is­fac­tion and love are chang­ing sharply. Level of de­mand is de­clin­ing. In place of phys­i­cal as­sis­tance par­ents learn to be happy with SMS, sweet tele­phonic talk, good mes­sages and see­ing their chil­dren through web-cam­eras. Causes of bit­ter­ness in par­ent-chil­dren re­la­tion­ships are un­healthy life style, bad di­etary and sleep habits, week­end par­ties

etc.The thing which was never seen in the past can be seen now a days . As 35% work­ing women re­ported that they also take party pills and al­co­hol with their hus­band with­out any hes­i­ta­tion in their for­mal par­ties. Kitchen-less fam­i­lies can be seen where both hus­band and wife are high- tech em­ploy­ees. Mar­riage bound­aries like caste and com­mu­nity, re­li­gion and ge­o­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tion are break­ing. Age of mar­riage is ex­tend­ing and the ex­pec­ta­tion and de­mand of vir­gin­ity is chang­ing from both the sides. The role of par­ents in ar­ranged mar­riages in se­lec­tion of groom or bride is shrink­ing and work place and pro­fes­sional view is play­ing a de­ci­sive role. Most of the things re­lated to bride and groom are de­cided by them­selves with the help of their peer group. Ar­range­ments of live- in re­la­tion­ship, in­ci­dents of wife swap­ping and other re­ported per­ver­sions are now dis­rupt­ing the In­dian ur­ban cul­ture.

Cul­tural bound­aries across the world are fad­ing away be­cause of near-in­stan­ta­neous com­mu­ni­ca­tion, dig­i­tal forms and me­dia. In­ter­net is as­so­ci­ated with the process of cul­tural glob­al­iza­tion be­cause it al­lows in­ter­ac­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween peo­ple with very dif­fer­ent cul­tures.

Culi­nary cul­ture has be­come ex­ten­sively glob­al­ized. For ex­am­ple, Ja­panese noo­dles, Swedish meat­balls, In­dian curry and French cheese have be­come pop­u­lar out­side their coun­tries and en­tered to ur­ban In­dian plat­ter.

World­wide fads and pop cul­ture in T.V. me­dia such as Poké­mon, Sudoku, Han­nah Mon­tana, Bar­bie , Dore­a­mon etc have be­come pop­u­lar all over the world and is af­fect­ing for­ma­tive years of young chil­dren.

CON­CLU­SION

To sum up, it can be said that there is con­ti­nu­ity as well as change and mod­i­fi­ca­tion. Women, the pivot of the fam­ily and the saviour of fa­mil­ial pres­tige and tra­di­tional cul­tural val­ues, is un­der­go­ing trans­for­ma­tion be­cause of her in­creas­ing eco­nomic par­tic­i­pa­tion, which fur­ther leads to changes within fam­ily as an in­sti­tu­tion. Roles are be­ing re­de­fined and re­struc­tured. Ide­ol­ogy of lib­eral fem­i­nism can be seen in prac­tice.

Th­ese pro­cesses have ul­ti­mately re­sulted in growth of cross cul­tural con­tacts. Ad­vent of new cat­e­gories of con­scious­ness and iden­ti­ties which em­bod­ies cul­tural dif­fu­sion, the de­sire to in­crease one’s stan­dards of liv­ing and en­joy­ing for­eign prod­ucts and ideas, adop­tion of new tech­nol­ogy and prac­tices and fi­nally par­tic­i­pa­tion in 'World Cul­ture' are in­creas­ing.

REF­ER­ENCES:

At Kear­ney Report 2004,"Mak­ing Off­share De­ci­sions", Re­trieved from http://www.atkear­ney.com/share­dres/pdf/makingoff­shares.pdff

Ban­sia o.p., Glob­al­iza­tion _ Prob­lems and Chal­lenges ,Jour­nal Of Com­merce And In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy, Vol.9 , No.2 , Ju­lyDec. 2009.

Bour­guignon, Fran­cois (2002) Mak­ing Sense of Glob­al­iza­tion: a Guide to the Eco­nomic Is­sues , Cen­tre for eco­nomic Pol­icy Re­search , Lon­don, CEPR Pol­icy Pa­per No . 8.

Dos­sani R. and Ken­ney M.(2004), "The Next Wave of Glob­al­iza­tion? Ex­plor­ing the Re­lo­ca­tion of Ser­vice Pro­vi­sion to In­dia",Work­ing pa­per 156, Re­trieved at http://www.berke­lye.edu/-briewww/publi­ca­tion/WP156.Pdf.

Kaur, Kamaldeep, M.Com­merce, COMDEX Times, Jour­nal of Man­age­ment, Vol­ume XVII/No.02 Fe­bru­ary,2011.

NASSCOM-McKin­sey Report (2002)"In­dian ITES-BPO In­dus­try-Fact Sheet" re­trieved from http://nasscom.org/down­load/In­di­anITES-BPOFact­sheet.Pdf.

Sing­hal, Tara, Work­ing Woman and Fam­ily, RBSA Pub­lish­ers, Jaipur, 2003

Va­sudev, Kavita, Wel­fare Pro­grammes, Vishnu Bharti Publi­ca­tion, Jaipur, 2009.

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