Rural to urban migration a sociological interpretation
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This study argues that the ultimate causes of accelerating rural to urban migration must be sought in the social dynamics of the rural societies and that these same causal factors also affect the urban adaptation process. of migrants. This study critically examines theoretical models which put forward rationalistic motives as explaining the reasons for accelerating rural to urban migration, and comes to the conclusion that: (1) These theoretical models are more appropriate for explaining the causes of rural to urban migration process in its initial stages because the factors initiating this process could be economic motives. They however do not explain the factors supporting and accelerating the process, which is our concern just now. (2) These theoretical models in emphasizing economic motives as explaining the migration process, are only dealing with some of the factors and exclude others; and all of these are involved in a complex social interaction which creates an atmosphere conducive to migration. The study suggests an alternative and broader approach which brings into single focus all factors both social (economic motives included) and non-social, bearing on the given situation as causing the movements of people to town, and influencing their adaptation process there. The methodology employed for this study involved a comparative study of the attitudes of members of the two selected rural communities in Kakamega district of Western Kenya, and a follow-up study of migrants from the same rural communities living in Nairobi city. Attitudes were examined here because it was assumed that attitudes are psychological reflections of the social dynamics in a society. Attitudes have a social origin so that motivation which results from attitudes at the level is cause which results from normative conditions at the social level. At the urban end this study examined the adaptation process of members of the two rural communities living in town, in an attempt to find out the influence of rural attitudes internalized during rural socialization and carried within the migrants to towns, or their adaptation patterns. This study therefore examined migration as a process resulting from changes occurring in the rural societies. Migration was also examined as a process, itself leading to changes both in the rural communities and in the urban centres.


Khasiani, Elizabeth S
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