Loss of traditional forms of social security

Other Names:
Loss of traditional means of social control

The heavy incidence of crime and delinquency in towns and cities of new industrial growth is related, in the first instance, to the disruption of the traditional family system and the consequent weakening of family authority and control over individual members. The individual tends to lose the older controls before he has acquired the new and more personal moral codes and controls under the impersonal sanction of the law, which characterize urban societies. First generation town dwellers who repudiate their parents as peasants and reject traditional familial authority before they have had an adequate opportunity to acquire the values and controls appropriate to the urban industrial environment are apt to show a particular propensity for anti-social and criminal behaviour. Similar and particularly acute forms of social disorganization may occur in areas where the effects of the rapid growth of industrial centres are reinforced and aggravated by the simultaneous disintegration of traditional tribal systems. In such a situation conflicts among the heterogeneous norms of different tribal groups, brought into new and close contact within factory and town, as well as conflicts between tribal norms and those belonging to the alien urban pattern, may result in a state of moral confusion and social anonymity.


Loss of traditional forms of security may be an important impediment to the stabilization of the newcomer in industry and to his assimilation in the new social environment. The traditional society usually has established patterns of family reciprocity and mutual aid, which provide for the individual's economic and social security in times of need. In traditional societies, old people have always enjoyed a privileged position based on respect, consideration, status and authority; but this is starting to be upset under the influence of modern trends, and that privileged position is now being questioned. Attachment to the traditional forms of social security and confidence in their efficacy - as compared with the uncertainties of industrial employment - are important influences preventing the peasant migrant from identifying his future and his life interests with a career as industrial worker, and from settling permanently in an urban environment.

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST