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Characteristics of Agricultural Societies

Industrial society is associated with the emergence of industrialization which transformed much of Europe and United States by replacing essentially agriculture based societies with industrial societies based on the use of machines and non-animal sources of energy to produce finished goods. Industrial societies are in a continual state of rapid change due to technological innovations. The high level of productivity in industrial societies further stimulates population growth where people start living in cities and urban areas.

New medical technologies and improved living standards serve to extend life expectancy. The division of labor becomes complex with the availability of specialized jobs. The statuses are achieved rather than ascribed. The family and kinship as social institutions are relegated to the background. It is becomes a unit of consumption. There is breakup of joint family system and nuclear family units become prominent. The influence of religion diminishes as people hold many different and competing values and beliefs. State assumes central power in the industrial societies. Industrialism is associated with the widening gap between two social classes of 'haves' and 'have nots'.The rich or the capitalist class is seen as exploiting class and the poor class known as working class is seen as exploited. However in most of the industrial societies there is steady reduction in social inequalities. Industrial societies have given rise to number of secondary groups such as corporations, political parties, business houses and government bureaucracies, cultural and literary associations. The primary groups tend to lose their importance and secondary groups come to the prominence.

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