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