Ecological Factors as Explanatory Variables in ...

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Paper title Ecological Factors as Explanatory Variables in Community Analysis
Paper author(s) R. A. G. H. U. N. SINGH, Satadal Dasgupta
Proceedings title Southwestern Sociological Association (SWSA), 1971
Date 1971
Abstract In the past, study of the ecological aspect of the community has ranged from a somewhat superficial treatment of the spatial patterning of a locality to a depth analysis of its ecological structuring & related processes. The present study takes an intermediate position. Study of the ecological aspect of the community is treated as one of the several levels of analysis. 3 other levels are: (1) institutional or cultural, (2) social or interactional, (3) ego or individual. The study attempts to show the degree to which the variables at the ecological level are significant in explaining the social interactions in the community field. The analysis is based on first hand data from a small town in India. The spatial patterning of this town was studied with the help of 'natural area' approach. The theory of the 'social field' provided a conceptual framework for the study. Field work for the study was conducted in 2 phases. The 'natural areas' were identified first on the basis of criteria such as caste, religion, occupation, & income. The 2nd phase consisted of interviews of 483 heads of the families, who were selected through systematic random sampling. The social interaction patterns of the R's were delineated in this phase, mainly in terms of leadership, social participation & community actions. The data revealed that different 'natural areas,' especially on the basis of caste system, had significant differences with respect to the social interaction patterns of the community residents.

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