Relation between Society and Environment
This emphasis on the relationship between the characteristics of the physical to establish relation between man's physical environment and his social life. Man, Society and Environment 7,5 Credits. Course Contents. Geographical perspectives on the relation between man, society and environment; The theoretical. SOCIOLOGYMAN ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY HUMAN BEINGS, HUMANS OR Population of humans characterized by patterns of relationships between.
The topography of a country affects the human habitation, diet, dress and animal husbandry. Houses in the mountains are made of wood and stone while those in the plains are built of brick and cement.
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The dietary habits also are affected by the topography. Thus rice is the diet of Bengalese while wheat is the diet of Punjabese. People living in the mountainous regions wear thick and woollen clothes while those living in the plains wear cotton clothes. Particular animals can be reared only in particular geographical environments. Camels are found in Rajasthan, goats and sheep in the hills, cows and buffaloes in the plains.
In all the coastal areas of India fishing is the main occupation. Oil wells are to be found in Assam. The main occupation of Northern plain is agriculture. There are more sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh because of the sugarcane crop.
The mountainous people rear the sheep. The topography affects the colour of the skin, stature, shape and colour of the hair, shape of the nose, head etc. People of the hot climates have got darker skin than those living in colder climates. According to Durkheim, there is a close relation between seasons and criminal activity. Huttington also is of the opinion that geographical environment has a great deal to do with the human activity. Extremes of heat or cold have a deterrent effect on human activity.
It seems clear that a certain moderate temperature is best calculated to evoke human activity.
Civilization and culture also are influenced by the geographical environment. The Euphrates, the Ganges, the Nile, the Yangtzekiang nurtured the earlier civilizations. The civilization of Europe would have been very different had there been no Danube or Rhine.
The seas are both a barrier and an opportunity for the people.
Relation between Society and Environment
The power of Spain, Holland and England have arisen not only by historical circumstances but also by improvements in the techniques of navigation. The Britishers were able to extend their empire in such an extent that the sun would never set on it, because she was the mistress of the seas.
Culture also is influenced by the geographical environment. The art, literature and modes of living of a country bear the impression of its natural environment.
The economic organisation of a country is to a large extent determined by geographic conditions. Sufficient natural resources are necessary for the economic prosperity of a country. The products of a place are governed by the raw material available. Above we have described the influence of geography on human life in general. Now, we may devote our particular attention to the influence of plains, hills and deserts on human life.
Firstly we consider the influence of plains. The influence of plains on population can be seen from the fact that greater number of people live in the plains than elsewhere. In the plains there are greater number of towns and densely populated cities.
As there is a greater density of population in the towns on the plains, we find major industries there. The economic life of the people living in the plains is more prosperous and active. Agriculture is their main occupation.
Animal husbandry also can be done better in the plains. In the plains there is a wide network of roads and railway lines.
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The standard of living is higher in the plains. The progress of culture is ensured through the progress of civilization. Art, literature and music progress. Education also develops easily. The social organisation is strengthened. Preponderance of agricultural occupations leads to worship of weather gods. The sense of group cooperation is awakened. The easy means 01 transport and communication affect the political functioning in the plains.
Administrative functions can be smoothly performed. The work of the police and the army is made easier by the availability of efficient transport system. Exchange of political opinion and propaganda are facilitated. The people come into close contacts with each other thereby developing the sense of social unity. The life of the people being prosperous and contented, they take an active interest in the political affairs of the country. The effect of hills on society is as follows: The population in the hilly areas is thinner.
The distribution of population is also uneven. The people live scattered due to the unevenness of the terrain. The economic condition of the people living in the hilly areas is worse than those living in the plains.
The hilly people are generally poor. There are fewer means of transport and communication which make industrial growth difficult. The terrain being uneven and rocky, farming also is made difficult. The modern agricultural implements cannot be used. The modes of farming are crude and orthodox. There cannot be large farms. Much of the surface soil is washed away by rains.
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Thus in the mountains we do not have large scale farming. The main occupations of the people are animal husbandry, cultivation of dry fruits, fruits, wool, tea and wood work etc.
The mountainous people are generally religious and orthodox. Absence of education keeps them conservative. The scattered nature of population makes it difficult to have a well-knit society. The people are very busy in earning livelihood. Hence they do not get ample leisure to develop art and literature. Due to the extreme cold a number of working days are lost. The people do not benefit by the modern scientific inventions because of the lack of developed means of transport and communication.
There are few doctors, teachers and engineers due to lack of education. The people wear thick and woollen clothes. They usually worship gods and goddesses. The mountain-dwellers do not have a well organised political life. The scattered nature of population and fewer means of transport make it difficult to give an organised shape to the administration.
Poverty and lack of education do not allow democratic notions to develop. In the deserts there is very little rain and there are few rivers.
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The climate is very hot. The influence of deserts on social life is as follows: There is lack of means of transport and communication; hence the economic life is naturally backward.
There is no agriculture because there are no rains or rivers. Of course, date palms are abundantly found. The people move from place to place in search of fodder. They lead a backward life. Trade is not in a flourishing condition.
Consequently, there is poverty. Due to the excessive poverty and a hard life, the social life of the desert dwellers is unorganised. They live in caravans. The caravans are their basic social units. These caravans often conflict with each other and indulge in loot and plundering. There is lack of good manners. Poverty deprives them of good education. Due to the poor means of communication and transport there is little contact with the civilised world.
There is much religious superstition and dogmatism.
They have got a tough life. The establishment of permanent government is a problem in the deserts. The Government experiences much difficulty in maintaining peace and order. Due to poverty the Government cannot tax the people very much and so it is not in a position to provide them with good education and other social welfare activities. Thus from the above account it is clear that the geographical environment influences a great deal the economic, social and political life of the people.
We remain ever bound to the earth and the twig can only grow on the stem. Human nature may raise its head aloft in the pure ether, but its feet must ever rest in the ground and the dust must return to the dust.
Huttington holds that climate is the main determinant of the growth and decay of civilisation. In the absence of good climate, civilisation cannot develop. If the climate is unfavourable, civilisation starts decaying or at least its progress is hindered. Huxley also has tried to establish a close relation between climate and civilisation.
This could provide many opportunities for the application of smart technology sensors, communications, information management technology, filtration, etc. What if we reduced the use of toxic materials so that we would not have to worry about removing them from the water supply, air or soil? What if agricultural practices followed sustainable guidelines to ensure species diversity, soil health and integrated pest management?
This could create local jobs and reduce the energy required to ship finished goods and waste products long distances. What if healthcare systems were rewarded for preventing illness and promoting health, rather than being paid for tests and procedures? What if energy was managed on a distributed basis, optimizing renewable resources, integrating electrical vehicles, energy efficiency and helping customers manage their energy demand and supply dynamically?
What if culture, ideas and communication were exchanged widely, but most manufacturing was done on a just-in-time basis, in a way that allows each region to meet their needs primarily from local resources feedstocks, water, energy, labor, etc.Society and the Environment
The good news is that many companies, communities and other institutions are researching, inventing and implementing solutions that will lead to a better future. Best efforts alone will not be enough; people and institutions will have to work together to create policies and practices that lead to a sustainable future. For example, smart infrastructure for water, energy and transportation can provide markets for new technology, new jobs and better quality of life. It will take political will to change policies that inhibit cradle-to-cradle management of resources.
Humanity has defeated slavery, fascism and second-hand smoke.