According To Redfield, The Main Characteristics of a Little community are Smallness, Homogeneity, Self Dependency
Robert Redfield, an American anthropologist, is known for his work on rural communities and social organization. He introduced the concept of the “little community” and identified several main characteristics that define such communities: smallness, homogeneity, and self-dependency. Let’s delve into each of these characteristics to better understand Redfield’s perspective:
Smallness: In Redfield’s view, a little community is characterized by its small size in terms of population. These communities are relatively compact and typically consist of a limited number of families or households. The smallness of the community allows for close social interactions and interpersonal relationships among its members. This intimacy fosters a sense of belonging and social cohesion within the community.
Homogeneity: Homogeneity refers to the similarity or uniformity of the community’s members in terms of cultural, social, and economic aspects. In little communities, people often share common cultural values, traditions, and ways of life. This cultural homogeneity contributes to a strong sense of identity and solidarity within the community. Members tend to have similar beliefs, practices, and worldviews, which can create a sense of comfort and familiarity.
Self-Dependency: Little communities are often self-contained and self-sufficient to a certain extent. They rely on their own resources, both natural and human, for their sustenance and daily needs. Redfield observed that these communities tend to engage in subsistence agriculture or traditional crafts, which help them meet their basic requirements without significant dependence on external factors or urban centers. This self-dependency contributes to a sense of autonomy and resilience within the community.
Redfield’s concept of the little community reflects his interest in studying rural societies and their unique social dynamics. He argued that these characteristics of smallness, homogeneity, and self-dependency shaped the social organization and values of such communities. It’s worth noting that while Redfield’s work provided valuable insights into rural life, the concept of the little community has been critiqued for oversimplifying the complexities of rural societies and overlooking their diversity.