Q. What factors affect the formation of a person’s attitude towards social problems? In our society, contrasting attitudes are prevalent about many social problems. What contrasting attitudes do you notice about the caste system in our society? How do you explain the existence of these contrasting attitudes?
Caste based discrimination is one of the unique social problems plaguing the Indian society. The others being religion and ethnicity- based discrimination. While a section of the society completely downplays such discrimination leading to merit- based approach the other sections till subscribes to orthodox thinking. This presents paradox of contrasting attitudes present in Indian society about social problems.
Factors for formation of such attitudes: –
1. primary socialization – in family – if the family strictly believes in orthodox thinking such attitudes also get transmitted to children
2. secondary socialization – this refers to education, peer group and organizational values
3. Self- education – sometimes even after being educated enough the people do not change their attitudes due to narrow thinking
4. experiences – self experiences lead to formation of cognitive attitudes amongst people about certain social problems e.g., if a foreigner is visiting India for the first time and gets treated badly, he or she might make a negative attitude towards all Indians
social problems such as dowry, patriarchy etc are seen as prevalent among the rural as well as urban population as well. The contrasting attitudes are also a result of conventions being followed in our society since ages. E.g., dowry is a situation where both the parties who take and give dowry are seen to have a higher social status and so the attitudes are still pervasive
Caste system is a unique feature of Indian society and the attitudes towards it are also widely varied. The anonymity offered by urban life has somewhat diluted the caste based identities but 70% of India is rural India and there caste is still the primary source of identity.
Also with democratic decentralization and reservation policies the sections of backward castes have uplifted themselves. This has created a sense of discomfort among the forward castes as their privileged positions are getting questioned every day.
The policies such as abolition of untouchability, EWS reservations are right steps to alleviate such attitudes.
To conclude, in 21st century where we are aspiring to establish a New India we also need a change in our attitude towards fellow human beings. The values of humanism and rationality need to be promoted to achieve social justice as envisaged in the preamble.