Monday, February 25, 2013

Definition of some important words

Body Language: The way people dress, talk, move, gesticulate, interact, carry themselves.

Commercialisation: The process of transforming something into a product, service or activity that has economic value and can be traded in the market

Culture: Culture was understood as that which referred to knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.

Decentralisation: Refers to a process of gradual devolution or transfer of functions, resources and decision- making powers to the lower-level democratically elected bodies.

Digitalisation: Refers to the process whereby information is produced as a universal binary code, and can thus be easily processed, stored and circulated at greater speed across communication technologies like internet, satellite transmission, telephones, fiber optic lines etc.

Disinvestment: Privatisation of public sector or government companies

Division of labour: Specialisation of tasks in ways that may involve exclusion from some opportunities. Hence, closure of labour opportunities exist in employment or by gender.

Diversification: Spread of investment into different types of economic activities in order to reduce risks.

Fordism: Refers to a system of production made popular by the American industrialist Henry Ford in the early part of 20th century. He popularized the assembly line method of mass production of a standardized product (cars). This era also led to payment of better wages to the workers and social welfare policies being implemented by both industrialists and the state.

Great and Little Tradition: The ways of folks or unlettered peasants constitute the Little Traditions and that of the elite or the reflective few the Great Tradition. While the Little Tradition is often localised, Great Tradition has a tendency to spread out. However studies of festivals in India will show how sanskritic rites (Great Tradition) are often added to non Sanskritic rites (Little Tradition) without replacing them.

Identity politics: Refers to a range of political activities that are founded in the shared experiences of a particular marginalized group such as gender, race, ethnic group etc.

Import-substitution development strategy: The import substitution substitutes externally produced goods and services, especially basic necessities such as food, water, energy. The notion of import substitution was popularized in the 1950s and 1960s to promote economic independence of development in developing countries.

Industrialization: The development of modern forms of industry- factories, machines and large-scale production processes. Industrialization has beenone of the main sets of processes influencing the social world over the past two centuries.

Means of production: The means whereby the production of material goods is carried on in a society, including not just technology but the social relations between producers

Micro-electronics: The branch of electronics dealing with the miniaturization of components and circuits. The giant step in the field of micro-electronics came in 1971 with the invention by an Intel engineer of the microprocessor that is a computer on a chip. In 1971, 2,300 transistors (a device for controlling flow of electricity) were packed on a chip of the size of a thumbtack, in 1993, there were 35 million transistors. Compare this with the first electronic computer which weighed 30 tons, was built on metal stands 9 feet tall and occupied the area of a gymnasium.

Mono crop regime: Planting a single crop or type of seed over a large area.

Norms: The normative dimension consists of folkways, mores, customs, conventions and laws. These are values or rules that guide social behaviour in different contexts. We most often follow social norms because we are used to doing it, as a result of socialisation. All social norms are accompanied by sanctions that promote conformity. While norms are implicit rules, laws are explicit rules.

Optic fiber: A thin glass strand designed for light transmission. A single hair-thin fiber is capable of transmitting trillions of bits of information per second while a thin copper wire which was used earlier could transmit only 144,000 bits of information.

Outsourcing: Giving work out to other companies.

Patrilineality: A system in which one belongs to one’s father’s lineage or family;

Piece rate wage: Payment on the basis of items produced.

Post-Fordism: Refers to the method of flexible production adopted by multinational companies who either off-shore their production units or outsource the whole process of production and distribution to third world countries because of the availability of cheap labour. This period also marks the growth of the financial sector and growth of the culture and leisure industry evident in the appearance in cities of shopping malls, multiplex cinema halls, amusement parks and the phenomenal growth in television

Raiyatwari system: A system of tax collection in colonial India in which the government settled the revenue directly with the cultivator.

Reference Group: The social group which an individual or group desires to be like and therefore adopts their ways of dressing and behaving. Usually the reference group occupies a dominant position in society.

Sensex or Nifty index: These are indicators of the rise or fall in the share of the major companies. Sensex is the indicator of the shares of the major companies at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) while Nifty is the indicator for the companies at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) located in New Delhi.

Social Fact: According to Emile Durkheim they refer to those aspects of social life that shape our actions as individuals.

Sovereignty: The title to supreme power of a monarch, leader or government over an area with a clear-cut border.

Structure: Was widely seen as web of interactions, which are both regular and recurrent

Taylorism: System invented by Taylor, involving break up of work under management control.

Values: Ideas held by human individuals or groups about what is desirable, proper, good or bad. Differing values represent key aspects of variations in human culture. What individuals value is strongly influenced by the specific culture in which they happen to live.

Urbanisation: The development of towns and cities

Zamindari system: A system of tax collection in colonial India in which the zamindar would collect all taxes on his lands and hen hand the revenue over to the British a authorities (keeping a portion for himself)