Democratic Politics (NTSE/Olympiad)
3. Democracy & Diversity
Social Division and Social Difference
Social division and social difference
A social difference means the difference in a group of people due to their race, religion, language or culture. It becomes a social division when some social differences are joined by another set of social differences. In other words, when two or more social differences join together, it turns into a social division. For example, the difference in the Blacks and the Whites in America is due to their different race which is a social difference. It becomes a social division when, say, the income factor is also seen. The Blacks tend to be poor, homeless and the Whites tend to be rich and educated. This creates a divide in the people, making them feel that they belong to different communities.
(a) Reasons of social differences :
(i) Birth : Birth is the most important factor which is responsible for social differences. A person in India is considered of a low caste because of his birth in the lower class family. A black is discriminated from white because of his colour which is once again controlled by birth.
(ii) Differences based on choice : Some of the differences are based on our choices. For example, some people are atheists. They don't believe in God or any religion. Differences also occur because of choice of occupation. Differences occur among the people because of different profession and economic activities also.
(iii) Differences based on religion : Sometimes religion can be one of the causes of social differences. It is fairly common for people belonging to the same religion to feel that they do not belong to the same community because their caste or sect is very different.
(iv) Differences based on economic status : Economic status can also be responsible for social differences. Rich and poor people belonging to same community or religion or sect often do not keep close relations with each other as they feel that they are very different.