rural and urban societies

Rapid urbanization has increased the gap between rural and urban societies. However, that is not to say that rural societies are still living in the medieval times, as they have been evolving too, albeit at a slower rate. Here are a few of the differences between these societies:

Industrialization – While the present-day urban society is highly urbanised and industrialized with access to great infrastructure, rural society is left way behind. At a maximum level, there might be some small-scale family-owned cottage industries.

Nature – In rural society, life revolves around the natural environment with elements like rains, heat and drought affecting the society. In urban societies on the other hand, life is more complicated and has moved away from nature and into a man-made environment.

Density – The population density in rural societies is lower with poor health facilities and a percentage of people moving to cities for better prospects. Urban societies tend to be densely-populated but have better prospects.

Population – Rural societies have a homogenous population that is socially, racially and psychologically correlated with agriculture. The urban society is more heterogeneous with people of different castes, races and religion co-existing together despite their economical and cultural differences.

Interaction – Interestingly, the rural society has better social interaction with face-to-face informal and genuine relationships. There is greater cohesiveness and unity within the society too. The urban society falls back in this regard with interactions being wider, but relationships being shallow and short-lived.  Due to social dissimilarities within urban societies, interactions are more formal and impersonal.  

Societal Control – The rural society exerts greater informal social pressure to conform to the norms of the society with religion and traditions playing a major role. Urban society on the other hand is controlled by rules and regulations exerted by the existing laws of the land.

Societal Culture – Rural society has a simple single-unit group society while the urban society is a more complicated, but never-the-less doable complex, multi-group society. Rural society is also more-or-less static and stable, with few changes over the years; urban society on the other hand is constantly evolving and changing.

Living Standards – For rural societies, living standards are low with a lack of proper home conveniences, public utilities and recreational, educational and medical facilities. In urban areas, the standard of living is high with easy availability of a fore-mentioned conveniences and facilities.