Online Santal Resource Page: the Santals identity, clans, living places, culture,rituals, customs, using of herbal medicine, education, traditions ...etc and present status.

The Santal Resource Page: these are all online published sources

Santal Gãota reaḱ onolko ńam lạgit́ SRP khon thoṛ̣a gõṛ̃o ńamoḱa mente ińaḱ pạtiạu ar kạṭić kurumuṭu...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Traditional music instruments of the Santals at the Museum of Santal Culture – West Bengal



Dhodro banam bowed instrument



Tirio bamboo flute

Madol or tumdak double-sided barrel drum

Information on these and other music instruments provided by the Wesanthals E-Group

* Tirio: The instrument most favoured by Santals, is bamboo flute with seven holes. It is viewed as a symbols of love and seduction.

* Dhodro banam: is a bowed instrument carved out of a single log of wood of a tree which according to Santal story, grew out of the flesh of a human being. It consits of a belly(lac) covered with an animal skin on which rests the bridge(sadam, lit, horse), an open chest( korom), a short neck(hotok)and a head( bohok) which is often beautifully carved in the shape of a human head, a couple or whole groups of humans or of animals. If the is a head, the tuning peg is inserted in the ear(lutur), and the gut string comes out the mouth.

Phet banam: is a fretless stringed instrument with three or four strings. The waisted belly is completely covered by animal skin.

* Tumdak,is also known as madol, is a two faced drum with a body brunt clay. Both heads the left one broader than the right are covered by bullock hide and are beaten by the left and right hand.

Tamak: is a bowl shaped kettle drum. Its body is made of thin metal sheets, covered by bullock hide and beaten by a pair of sticks.

Junko: is an onomatopoeic description of sounds of the ankle bells, which are cast in metal in the shape of buds and tied to the feet of dancers from where they produce rhythmical sounds.

Singa: is a S-shaped wind instrument played in pairs in weddings. Made of brass of copper, it is usually constructed in the three pierces with mouthpiece at the blowing end and a conic opening at the other.

Source: http://www.indiantribalheritage.org/?p=6529

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cross-Cultural Value Orientations among the Muslim, Hindu, Santal and Oraon Communities in Rural Bangladesh

Md. Emaj Uddin

Abstract—Value orientations toward natural and social universe
are the universal patterns of human behavior in time and space. This
study compares value orientation patterns (VOPs) and its relationship
among Muslim, Hindu, Santal, and Oraon communities in rural
Bangladesh. In so doing we assumed that VOPs not only vary but
also have significant associations among the communities. For this
585 samples (Muslim=150, and per 145 for Hindu, Santal and Oraon)
selected by cluster sampling from Bangladeshi northwestern villages
were intensively interviewed with semi-structural open-ended
questionnaire. The results of Pearson chi-squire test reveal that there
were significant differences in VOPs (p<0.01) among the
communities’ respondents selected. In addition, Spearman bivariate
correlation coefficients also suggest that VOPs were significantly
related to each other (p<0.01). Further cross-cultural research should
conduct on why VOPs vary among or other ethnic communities in
Bangladesh.
Keywords—Bangladesh, Cross-Cultural value Orientation
Patterns, Hindu, Muslim, Oraon, Santal.
I. INTRODUCTION
VALUE orientations toward social and natural universe are
the most fundamental, holistic and universal patterns of
human behavior in time and space. Kluckhohn & Strodtbeck
[1] operationally defined value orientations as the complex but
definitely patterned (rank-ordered) principles, resulting from
the transactional interplay of three analytically distinguishable
elements of the evaluative process-the cognitive, the affective,
and the directive elements-which give order and direction to
the ever-flowing stream of human acts and thoughts as these
relate to solution of “common human problems”. Based on
existential principle Kluckhohn & Strodtbeck [1] and
Kluckhhohn [2] and others critically assume that there are five
basic human problems for which the peoples all over the
world at all times must find some solution. Based on the
assumption they proposed an analytical conceptual scheme to
explore the variations in the value orientations patterns: mannature
orientation (subjugation-to-nature, compromise-withnature
and mastery-over-nature), human nature orientation
(evil, neutral, good and evil, and good), time orientation

(past, present and future), activity orientation (being,
becoming-in-being and doing), and relational orientation
(lineal, collateral and individualistic) orientation that are
generally called Value Orientation Patterns (VOPs). Since
then several culture-specific and cross-cultural researches
have been conducted, applying quantitative or qualitative
method [1, 22-55]. Based on qualitative method this study will
focus on cross-cultural value orientation patterns among
Muslim, Hindu, Santal, and Oraon ethnic communities in rural
Bangladesh.
Relevant culture-specific [20-34] and cross-cultural studies
[35-55] reviewed suggest that VOPs widely vary across the
world cultures due to differences in the ranges of pragmatic
and cognitive knowledge about the social and natural
universe. These studies clearly indicate that VOPs are
internally convergence within the particular culture and
externally divergence between or among the cultures, because
certain culture orients their behavior into the certain directions
to the social and natural universe. From this very argument
several cross-cultural studies conducted across the cultures
[35-49] reveal that the cultures (Americans and Europeans)
are highly pragmatic knowledge base cultures following more
mastery over nature, mixture of good and evil, future, doing
and personal freedom and achievement in value orientations
on which they can effectively solve more human problems
faced in their social and natural universe, while the other
cultures (Japan, India, China, South Africa, South Korea) are
moderately pragmatic cultures on which they prefer more
compromise with nature, good and evil, becoming-in-being,
present, collateral-hierarchical human relations, and still the
peoples of other cultures (folk-like religious people, Muslims
and tribal all over the world simply believe in myths and
legends and aesthetic knowledge system with which they
totally subjugate to the nature and prefer more evil or good,
being or becoming-in-being, past or present and linealcollateral
in those VOPs.
VOPs not only vary across the world cultures but also
among the sub-cultures within the same geographic and
national culture [50-55]. For example, J. Gillin [50] in a crosscultural
study between the Indian and Ladino, “folk-like”
communities, in the United States found that the Indians
harmonized to the man-nature, good in human nature, presentoriented
in time, being or becoming-in-being in activity,

cooperative and collectivistic in group relation, while the
Ladinos dominated to and controlled over the nature, future in
time, mixture of good and bad in human nature, stratified and
ordered and competitive in human relation. Kluckhohn and
Strodtbeck [1] in a classic cross-cultural study investigating
individuals’ based responses from five rural communities:
Mormons, Texans, Hispanics, Zunis and Navaho in the
southeast U.S found that the Hispanics were more subjugated
to nature, good in human nature, present in time and being in
activity, collateral in relation than the other groups; the Zuni
preferred more good and evil, doing, future, and mastery over
nature, while the Navaho preferred harmony or compromise
with the nature relationship, present in time and collateral in
human orientation. In another cross-cultural research
Sodowsky, et al. [53] studying the White American, Mainland
Chinese, Taiwanese and African Students in the U. S.
indicated that the White American and Taiwanese were more
mastery and control over nature, good and evil in human
nature, future in time, doing in activity and personal goal and
achievement in human relation, while the Mainland Chinese
and Africans were more subjugated to nature, evil in human
nature, present in time, being or becoming-in-being in activity,
and linear-hierarchical and collateral in human relation
orientations. Based on interview method Groot & Born [55]
explored visions of mastery over nature, stewardship in regard
to creation, a partner, and a participant in the process of nature
among the Christians, Muslims, Native Americans, Buddhists,
and Secularists. The results of the study reveal that all the
groups rejected first approach, mastery over nature. The
Christians and Muslims adhered to the stewardship image of
human nature relationship, while the Buddhists and Native
Americans considered themselves to be participants in nature.
The Secularists made combinations of the approaches
exemplify their view.
Every community: Muslim, Hindu, Santal and Oraon in
Bangladesh has certain perceptual and cognitive view to the
social and physical universe in which they live and
accordingly they direct their personal, familial and community
behavior to solve human problems faced [56-68]. Actually,
Bangladesh is an agrarian rural country where most of the
Bangladeshi’s Muslim, Hindu, Santal and Oraon characterized
by low socio-economic status and primitive agricultural
technologies live in subsistent peasant economy in which they
all are directly related to and dependent on the nature for their
living and sustenance. Among them the tribal groups,
especially the Santal and the Oraon and others live in
starvation and severe poverty with the scarcity of social
opportunities and natural resources [69-76] as are many lower
class Muslims and Hindus inhabited in the country [63, 80-
86]. Although the communities are communal, collectivistic,
and patrilineal in nature, and live in the same geographical
(physical universe) and socio-economic situations, they follow
and observe different VOPs embedded in and influenced by
their respective religious ritualistic cultural knowledge
systems to solve their human problems for their respective
existence. The religious ritualistic cultural knowledge systems

of the communities, that are mostly sacred in nature, are
widely different in Bangladesh: the Muslim firmly believe in
Monotheism, the Hindus in polytheism, and both the Santal
and Oraon in animism that are the mediating force or forces
(Supreme Being or Beings) to relate them to control the
physical forces and social relations practicing different modes,
manners, and rituals [59, 63, 87, 88].
Based on the religious sacred knowledge systems several
culture specific and/or cross-cultural studies indicate that the
Muslim, the Santal and Oraon generally direct their behavior
to the total subjugation-to-nature in different modes, while the
Hindus orient their behavior as compromise-with-nature [59,
63, 70]; the Muslim in human nature follow more good [62,
89], the Hindus are the good and evil [5, 90, 91], and the
Santal [92, 93] and the Oraon [94, 95] believe in evil
direction; in time orientation the Muslim (in linear mode) and
the Hindus (in cyclical mode) are more or less present [36],
and the Santal and the Oraon are past oriented [70]; in activity
orientation the Muslim, Santal and Oraon are being oriented
[92, 94, 96], while the Hindus are, to some extent, being-inbecoming
oriented [5-7]; in human relation, the Santal and
Oraon prefer more egalitarian norms focusing on mutual
support and group goal [68-87], but the Muslim and Hindus
are more linear-hierarchical value oriented [36, 63, 66, 67].
The above-mentioned cross-cultural studies conducted in
abroad and culture-specific studies in India, Middle East and
Bangladesh suggest that VOPs not only vary across the world
cultures but also differ among the sub-cultures within the
same society. Although several cross-cultural studies focused
on the communities’ demographic, social structure [56-79]
and drug behavior [56-59, 63, 68, 78-87], there is a paucity of
cross-cultural information on the VOPs among the ethnic
communities in Bangladesh. To fill in the knowledge gap,
therefore, the first aim of the study was to explore and
compare VOPs among Muslim, Hindu, Santal, and Oraon
communities and further aim of the study was to explore the
relationships between VOPs followed by the ethnic
communities in rural Bangladesh. The findings may contribute
to social and behavioral sciences.
II. BACKGROUND ANDMETHODOLOGY
A. Background
Community is a group of people who share the same belief
system and behave in social and natural situations
accordingly. First of all the Bangladeshi Muslims is the
dominant community (75%), while the Hindus (6%), the
Santal and the Oraon (2%) are the largest minority groups
[98]. Although they all speak in Bengali, the Muslims prefer
more Arabic-Urdu version, the Hindus Sanskrit, the Santal
Santali, and the Oraon Sadri and Kuruk to communicate
within the culture or between the cultures. Racially, the
Muslim and the Hindus are the mixture of different stocks,
while the Santal and Oraon belong to Proto-Australoid ones.
Religiously, the Muslims believe in Monotheism, the Hindus
in Polytheism and both the Santal and Oraon in Animism.

Although most of the people irrespective of the communities
are poor, the minority groups, especially the Santal and the
Oraon are the poorest of the poor in this country. With the
fundamental belief system and low socio-economic status
every community group differently devises their cultural value
orientations through which they solve their human problems
faced in the social and natural circumstances [56-80]. Based
on relevant literatures the following section describes the
VOPs of the communities to solve their human problems and
formulate several assumptions on the VOPs accordingly.
a. Man-Nature Orientation
Man-nature orientation is the most fundamental aspect of
VOPs. Researchers propose the three-point ranges of mannature
orientation: subjugation-to-nature, harmony-withnature,
and mastery-over-nature [1, 2]. Several culturespecific
and even cross-cultural studies in Bangladesh and
India report that the nature and its related features, mentioned
above, are universal. But the respective communities’
concepts, ideas and cultural values towards the nature are
widely different. Based on religious ideas and values in
connection with the man-nature orientation several studies
reveal that the Muslims in Bangladesh and even all over the
world firmly believe in Islam. Islam means “Surrender”,
“Resignation”, and “Submission” to Allah (Only God). This
subjugation involves in the total commitment to Allah.
Because He is the only creator, Master, and Sustainer of all
living beings and objects existed in the universe. Without his
plan and order nothing is done in the universe. Based on the
fundamental ideas the Muslims around the world submit to the
God or Allah to interact with His creations of the Universe
[56-59, 62, 63, 80, 86, 89, 99-106]. In contrast, the Hindus
believe in several Gods and Goddesses, some are males and
some are females under the creation of almighty Bhagwan,
Supreme Being. These gods and goddess, hierarchically
ordered Supreme Beings, control the nature and related
features: birth, death, illness, Sun, Moon, stars, rain, air,
cyclone and other natural disasters. Based on the basic ideas
the Hindus in Bangladesh and around the world prefer several
religious values, codes and traditions that guide their behavior
towards the man-nature interaction. In this interaction they
usually compromise with the several features of the nature,
observing several rituals [5, 36, 56, 58, 63, 88, 90, 91, 107,
117].
Likely, the Santal believe in animism, which includes
nature worships associated with the nature and its features.
They think that natural phenomena are forces or spirits, which
are Goddesses such as the bongas: Marang buru,
Mirolkoturoiko, Jahar era, Gosae era, Pagana bonga, and
Manjhi bonga. The first five bongas reside at the Jaherthan,
sacrificing grove found near their village and Manjhi bonga is
located at the manjhithan inside the village. These bongas are
national. The other bongas are regional such as Sima bonga,
Bahre bonga, and the family bongas such as Orak bonga,
abge bonga, and ancestral bonga.

TABLE I
UNITS OF VALUE ORIENTATION PATTERNS’ PROPERTIES AND
THEIR POSSIBLE RANGES OF VARIATIONS
Concepts Description
1. Man-Nature Orientation
Subjugation-to-Nature: Living in a total submission way with
the natural/super-natural forces.
Harmony-with-Nature: Living in a partial control or
compromising with the natural/super-natural forces.
Mastery-over-Nature: Living in a total control over or in the
natural/ super-natural forces.
2. Human Nature Orientation
Evil: Born with evil, but may be good through learning.
Neutral: Born neither good nor bad, but may learn both good
and bad traits.
Good-and Evil: Born with good and bad traits, may be either
better or worse through learning.
Good: Basically good, but subject to corruption.
3. Time Orientation
Past: The time before now on preserving and maintaining
traditions and beliefs
Present: The time now on accommodating changes in
traditions and beliefs.
Future: The time to come planning ahead and trying to seek
new ways to replace the old.
4. Activity Orientation
Being: Self-induced motivation that emphasizes sincere and
simultaneous activity valued by self but not by others in the
group.
Being-in-Becoming: Ability developing motivation that is
valued by us but not necessarily by others.
Doing: External motivation to us emphasizing activity that is
both valued by ourselves and is approved by others in the
group.
5. Relational Orientation
Lineal: Emphasis on hierarchical principles and deferring to
higher authority or authority within the group
Collateral: Emphasis on consensus within the extended group
of equality.
Individualistic: Emphasis on the individual or individual
families within the group who make decisions independently
from others.
Note: definitions adapted from Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck, 1961, T.
Gallagher, 2001 and Hills, 2002.
These bongas are hierarchically ordered Supreme Beings
who control Santal way of life [50-56, 73]. Similarly the
Oraon believe in Supreme Being: Dharmes, Sing bonga
(Sunlord Spirit), Tahakur baba, Baro baba. The rites or rituals
of the Oraon are employed to establish harmonious relations
with the Spirits and Deities that are offered to sacrifice birds,
and animals, ceremonial shaving, preparing foods, observing
certain taboos. These are the main rituals of the Oraon
religion [50, 57, 73-77]. Regarding this several culturespecific
researches indicate that although both the Santal and
the Oraon maintain nature worships to compromise with the
nature, they are totally subjugated to the ones due to their
minority and low socio-economic status. In this connection,
however, the Muslims throughout the world and the Santal
and the Oraon in India and Bangladesh believe in total
submission-to-nature influenced by their respective creation of
nature, while the Hindus orient their behavior to compromise-

with-nature influenced by their respective fundamental beliefs
to the natural forces.
Assumption 1: The Muslim, the Santal, and the Oraon
direct their behavior to the total Subjugation-to-Nature, while
the Hindus orient their behavior as Compromise-with-Nature
in rural Bangladesh.
b. Human Nature Orientation
Basically, human nature is universal that is culturally
constructed in every society. It has both physical and psychic
energies, forces, and spirits that work side by side. So, no man
is called totally biological or social, emotional or rational
beings. Of the human nature qualities some are innate and
some are acquired. These qualities may be destructive or
constructive, good and bad, evil and devil [1-19]. As these
qualities of human nature are the basic foundation of any
society, so the scientists: philosophers, anthropologists,
sociologists, biologists are much devoted to inquire into the
human nature. According to Kluckhohn & Strodtbeck [1] and
others human nature has three logical divisions: Evil, Goodand-
Evil and Good [3]. In this respect, the Muslims maintain
that human nature is pure and good, because every man and
woman has been created in the best of all forms: Man and
woman are made from the same substance. Every one is born
in a state of purity and innocence. Success or failure depends
entirely on one's beliefs and behavior. The view also
maintains that devils always mislead to make misdeeds of
human mankind [62, 89, 96, 100, 104]. In contrast, the Hindus
critically maintain that human nature may be good and bad.
As natural forces are sometimes good and sometimes bad, so
human nature has both destructive and constructive forces. If
we cannot control destructive aspect of human nature like
destructive natural forces, human beings cannot sustain on the
earth [5, 36, 56, 90, 91, 107, 117]. But the Santal and Oraon
view that human nature is bad, but mutable like natural
phenomena. According to them every new baby born in the
invisible and shadowy world needs to be purified, identified,
and introduced to the Santal and Oraon society through their
ritualistic ceremonies [68, 75, 76, 92-95].
Assumption 2: The Muslims in human nature orientation
are Good, the Hindus are the Good and Evil, and still the
Santal and Oraon believe in Evil direction in rural
Bangladesh.
c. Time Orientation
Like human nature time orientation is also universal for
human life. Every society or community passes on their life
and experiences of the three-point ranges of orientation: Past,
Present, and Future. In these ranges every society or
community stands in a particular stage of human cultural
evolution that has past experiences. According to the past
experiences they not only deal with present situations but also
plan to meet future hope and expectation in their socialcultural
life [12, 115, 116]. Regarding this several studies
indicate that the Muslim generally believe in linear time that
has no past, but has present and future direction [96, 115].

Although the Hindus are tradition oriented, they believe in
cyclical orientation in time that has past, present and future.
So, based on the past experiences they plan not only to solve
present problems but also to fulfill future expectations [5,
116]. On the other hand, both the Santal and Oraon people as
a vulnerable minority group sensitize to the past orientation.
They have no present or future because of their mass poverty,
illiteracy, discrimination and cultural marginalization [68, 75,
76, 92-95].
Assumption 3: The Muslim position is more Present
(linear), the Hindus are more Future, and the Santal and the
Oraon are Past oriented.
d. Activity Orientation
The activity orientation centers solely on the problem of
the nature of man's mode of self-expression. Every culture
orients activities according to their respective self or ideas
acquired from day-to-day community and environment
interaction. Kluckhohn and Strodtback [1] maintain that "by
activity we do not mean doing something but rather the
quality of the creative activity which can operate in one's
emotional, intellectual and sensuous experiences and in one's
will as well." According to them, activity orientation is the
threefold: Being, Being-in-Becoming, and Doing. In the Being
orientation the preference is for the kind of activity, which is a
spontaneous expression of what conceive to be 'given' in the
human personality. The Being-in-Becoming orientation shares
with the Being one a great concern with what the human being
is rather than what he can accomplish, but here the similarity
ends. Actually, the Being-in-Becoming orientation emphasizes
that kind of activity which has as its goal the development of
all aspects of the self as an integrated whole. The Doing
orientation is she dominant one in which accomplishments is
measured by standard that is related to external activity. In
several studies, especially Zaharna [96] and others for the
Muslims and Sen [76], Mathur [92], and Xaxs [95] for the
Santal and the Oraon indicate that they are almost Beingoriented,
while the Hindus are Being-in-Becoming oriented
[5, 36, 90].
Assumption 4: The Muslim, Santal and Oraon are either
Being or Becoming-in-Being, while the Hindus are more or
less Being-in-becoming oriented in rural Bangladesh.
e. Relational Orientation
Relational orientation is also a fundamental aspect of
VOPs that has three sub-divisions: the Lineal, the Collateral,
and the Individualistic. Which relationship an individual
prefers depends upon his or her cultural orientation. An
individual is directly related to the family cultural and
biological orientation in which lineal relation reflects in age,
sex and across the generations which cultural and biological
adaptation continues. However, an individual is not only a
member of family orientation but also a member of family of
procreation, focusing joint or extended family relationships.
There are the immediate relationships in time and space.
Biologically, siblings' relationships and even across the

generations are collateral in which individualistic values may
develop. We mentioned earlier that the fundamental belief
systems of the communities not only influence man-nature,
human nature, time and activity orientations but also relational
ones. Relevant studies report that based on egalitarian norms
although the Muslims all over the world firmly believe in
brotherhood, actually they follow more hierarchical relations
with which they arrange all living beings and non-living
things according to their statuses. According to Islamic faith,
God (Allah) occupies the highest position compared to the
angels compared to the Prophets as human beings compared to
the other pious fellow beings, such as the males, the females,
the junior and then the infra-humans [56-59, 62, 63, 80, 86,
89, 99-106]. Likely, the Hindus rigorously practice the same
principles across the man-to-man (caste system) and man-toenvironment
relations [5, 36, 56, 58, 63, 88, 90, 91, 107]. But
although the Santal and Oraon believe in the same principle,
they as a very poor and minority group widely prefer
egalitarian relations across the human relationships, focusing
on mutual support and group goals [50, 56, 57, 73-77].
Assumption 5: The Santal and the Oraon prefer more
egalitarian norms focusing on mutual support and group
goal, but the Muslim and the Hindus are more linearhierarchical
value oriented human relations in rural
Bangladesh.
f. Relationship between the Value Orientation Patterns
Based on the discussion mentioned above we may
generally assume that in man-nature orientation, most of the
Muslim, the Santal and the Oraon compared to the Hindu are
more subjugated to and less compromise with and mastery
over the nature. In human nature orientation both the Santal
and the Oraon are more evil oriented and less in the other
ranges of direction, while most of the Muslim are good and
the Hindu are good and evil and less in the other (evil and
neutral) directions. In addition, in time orientation the Oraon
and the Santal compared to the Muslim and the Hindu are
more past oriented and the Hindus compared to the other
communities are more present and future oriented. In activity
orientation the Oraon, the Santal and the Muslim in
comparison with the Hindus are more being oriented and the
Hindu than to the Muslim, the Santal and the Oraon are more
being-in-becoming and doing oriented. Lastly, in relational
orientation the Hindu and the Muslim compared to the Oraon
and the Santal are more lineal-hierarchical and less collateral
and individualistic, but the later cases prefer more collateral
human relation than the Muslim and the Hindu.
Assumption 6: The VOPs: Man-Nature, Human Nature,
Time, Activity and Relational orientation followed by the
communities in rural Bangladesh are consistently
interrelated.
B. Methodology
a. Sample
Based on qualitative approach the VOPs defined by
several researchers [1, 14, 29, 34, 41] were used in this study

and mainly interview method with open-ended questionnaire
at individual was carefully used to collect reliable and valid
data from the Muslim, Hindu, Santal and Oraon ethnic
community in rural Bangladesh. In studying VOPs most of the
cultural-specific and even cross-cultural researchers argue that
rural communities compared to urban ones are relatively
stable, homogenous and spontaneous in their cultural behavior
[1, 50, 53, 55]. Therefore, this study was conducted in the
northwestern rural community of Bangladesh from where four
villages, Mongaltara, Akkelpur, Sherpur and Ekrapara of
Rasulpur union of Naogaon district, where Muslim, Hindu,
Santal and Oraon ethnic/religious communities were living
side by side in the same geographical situations [80, 87] were
purposefully selected for this study. Ethnically the Muslims
were Sunni, the Hindus were Rajbanshi, and both the Santal
and the Oraon were Adibasies (Aboriginals). Based on the
background the unit of the study was the individual person of
the four communities. The people of the communities who
had vast real experiences and knowledge about their
community cultural value system, especially VOPs, were
identified by snowball technique [1, 53]. With the technique
first of all, 1450 preliminary respondents of the communities,
who were both male and female, were identified and then a
total of 585 respondents (Muslim n=150, Hindu n=145, Santal
n=145, and Oraon n= 145) were finally selected by cluster
sampling, whose mean age was 38.09 years, with 38.15 years
for the Muslim, 38.23 years for the Hindu, 38.01 years for the
Santal and 37.97 years for the Oraon. Most of them were
lower social class in nature [87]. Sample selection by this
procedure was more appropriate to create homogeneity within
the community’s respondents and further aim to make
heterogeneity among the four communities for valid crosscultural
comparison.
b. Instrument and Procedure
Actually, the study design was a cross-cultural descriptive
as well as co relational one in which reliable data on the VOPs
were collected from the selected respondents of the Rasulpur
union of Bangladesh. In so doing the VOPs were categorized
into (1) man-nature orientation: subjugation-to-nature,
compromise-with-nature and mastery-over-nature, (2) human
nature orientation: good, good and evil, and evil, (3) time
orientation: past, present and future, (4) activity orientation:
being, being -in- becoming and doing, and (5) relational
orientation: lineal, collateral and individualistic that were
defined and measured at the nominal and ordinal scale (See
Table 1). Based on the measures value orientation patterns
questionnaire (VOPQ) with open-ended questions was
developed following Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck’s [1], Hills
[14], Gallagher [41], and Harzing’s et al. [109] instruments
used in their studies. First of all, each aspect of VOPs was
narrated to the respondents on which 5-items of questions,
such as which one you prefer were asked to them [14, 109,
110]. The narrative situations, including questions were
slightly modified to relate to the social and physical reality of
rural Bangladesh, including the communities’ cultural

patterns. According to their responses author wrote down
answers of the VOPs.
Present author from August to November 2008 conducted
fieldwork with the VOPQ designed. In the first month of the
fieldwork, August, before final data collection rapport was
built up with the selected respondents of four religious
communities from door to door. The aim of rapport building
was to help understanding the respondents about the research
aims and subject matter, to build up interpersonal trust
between the researcher and respondents, and also to encourage
them to fully and eagerly participate and sincerely respond to
the research process [113]. In this phase of fieldwork, all the
respondents agreed to participate and contribute to the
research project. And in the rest of three months author
personally interviewed all the respondents. In this study the
interview as a technique with the VOPQ was applied, because
most of the respondents were illiterate; they themselves could
not fill up the questionnaire. At the time of interviewing the
simple questions, such as socio-economic background
questions were asked to the respondents and then the
questions of VOPs were presented to them and some times
any specific question was probed when they could not
understand it. However, the respondents were fully
participated in the research and sincerely answered our
questions presented to them within 1 and half hour. These
techniques for data collection were applied at afternoon when
they were leisured, because most of the respondents were
worked in agricultural field from morning to midday. In so
doing the author conversed with the respondents in Bengali
language, because they all were able to effectively converse in
Bengali language (national language), although the Muslim
with the mixture of Arabic-Urdu words [68], the Hindu with
the Sanskrit words and the Santal with their Santali [69] and
the Oraon with their Sadri and Kuruk [77] would speak in
their interpersonal and community settings. After completing
every interview, author gave 100 Taka (Bangladeshi currency)
with special thanks to every respondent if it was necessary for
further communication. The responses about the VOPs given
by the respondents were converted in English by author,
because author was skillful in Bengali (as a mother tongue)
and English (as a second language) language [112].
c. Reliability
The responses on the VOPs given by the respondents were
qualitative and reliable in the sense that the interview
technique with the VOPQ was applied and the author as an
interviewer was skillful in that technique [111].1 In so doing
1 Because he involved in several research projects for fieldwork. 120 workingdays
fieldwork (internship) experience at "Family Planning Association of
Bangladesh (FPAB)" Rajshahi City, Rajshahi; and "Rural Social Services
Program", Mohan Pur, Rajshahi, as a part of B.S.S. (Honors) and M.S.S.
curricula respectively. In both B.S.S. and M.S.S. field practice, I engaged in
counseling and motivating persons in adopting program goals. During my
field practicum, I learned the skills of applying social work methods. I
conducted survey, formed and organized group, motivated the group
members, and accelerate social actions for the well being of target groups and
underprivileged population.


the author built up rapport with the respondents in which
interpersonal trust between the interviewer (author) and the
respondents was developed. Based on the interpersonal
relationship (inter-subjectivity) the author with the openended
questions collected objective data within 1 and half
hour in the personal setting in which cultural and status factors
of both the parties were controlled for the collection of
relevant and reliable data [112, 113]. However, although
several quantitative studies used statistical techniques to test
reliability [53, 114], this research followed qualitative
approach, especially rapport building with the respondents, 1
and half hour structural interview for per respondent,
interviewing in personal setting and checking interpersonal
socio-cultural factors to collect reliable responses given by the
respondents.
d. Statistical Analysis
Statistical analysis of the study was qualitative in nature.
First aim of the study was to analyze VOPs: Man-nature
orientation (subjugation to nature, compromise with nature
and mastery over nature), human nature orientation (evil, good
and evil, neutral and good), time orientation (past, present and
future), activity orientation (being, being in becoming and
doing) and relational orientation (lineal-hierarchical, collateral
and individualistic) among the Muslim (n=150), Hindu
(n=145), Santal (n=145) and Oraon (n=145) respondents
selected and a further aim was to explore
association/relationship between the types of VOPs followed
by the communities’ respondents in the Rasulpur union of
Bangladesh. According to the research objectives, collected
data with the VOPQ were analyzed by descriptive statistical
techniques, such as Pearson Chi-Squire test and Spearman
Rank Order Correlation technique [1], because the data
collected were qualitative and categorical in nature.
Especially, the Pearson’s Chi-Square test was independently
applied to distribute, examine and compare variations in VOPs
among the communities’ samples with frequencies or
percentages. In addition, the strength of relationships between
the categorical variables used was analyzed by Spearman’s
bivariate correlation coefficients (rs). The findings of the
analysis were presented by cross-tabulation.
􀈱II. RESULTS
According to our research assumptions above the data
were analyzed by Pearson chi-squire and Spearman bivariate
correlation technique to find out significant differences or
similarities in VOPs and its interrelationships among the
Muslim, Hindu, Santal and Oraon communities in rural
Bangladesh. Table 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 gives the chi-squire results
I was also a data collector in the "Child Survival Project" of UNICEF at
Rajshahi office at two phases, on 1 July – 30 August 1993, 1 January – 30
March 2005. In addition, he himself collected data for his Ph. D. research
entitled “Family Structure in a Village of Bangladesh: A Cross-Cultural
Study. He also involved in periodical researches for doing fieldwork.

of VOPs: Man-nature, human nature, time, activity and human
relations among the Muslim, Hindu, Santal and Oraon
respondents in rural Bangladesh. The over all data distribution
in the given tables shows that most of the cases of the
communities were at the first and second range of variations
of the VOPs on which Chi-squire results suggest that there
were significant differences at p< 0.01 levels. In addition,
Spearman’s correlation coefficients also reveal that there were
statistically significant interrelationships (p<0.01) between the
VOPs followed by the four communities.
A. Man-Nature Orientation
Table 2 reveals that the Santal (88.96%) and the Oraon
(86.21%) compared to the Muslim (77.33%) compared to the
Hindu (56.55%) were more subjugated to nature and less
compromise with (9.66% for Oraon, 7.59% for Santal, 18%
for Muslim, 35.86% for Hindu) and mastery over nature
(7.59% for Hindu, 4.67% for Muslim, 4.14% for Oraon,
3.45% for Santal) as well. These frequency distributions on
man-nature orientation, according to Pearson’s Chi-squire
results, were significantly different among the communities at
(n =585, df =6, value=55.56) p<0.01 levels.
B. Human Nature Orientation
In human nature orientation the data shown in table 3
reveal that both the Santal (80.69%) and the Oraon (82.07%)
were more evil oriented and less in the other ranges of
direction, while most of the Muslim were good (68%) but the
Hindu were good and evil (82.76%) and less in the other (evil
and neutral) directions. Results of Pearson’s Chi-squire test
suggest that these frequency distributions were also
significantly different at (n =585, df =9, value=578.09) p<0.01
levels.
TABLE II
RESULTS OF PEARSON’S CHI-SQUIRE TEST ON MAN-NATURE
ORIENTATION BY MUSLIM (N=200), HINDU (N=195), SANTAL
(N=195) AND ORAON IN RASULPUR UNION, NAOGAON,
BANGLADESH, 2008
Man-Nature
Orientation
Mus Hin San Ora Total X2
Subjugation
Harmony
Mastery
116
27
7
82
52
11
129
11
5
125
14
6
452
104
29
Total 150 145 145 145 585
55.56*
(.000)
Note: Mus= Muslim, Hin= Hindu, San= Santal, Ora= Oraon,
Figures in parentheses indicate cell frequency, df= 6,
*p<.01
C. Time Orientation
Similarly, in time orientation the Oraon (88.28%)
compared to the Santal (86.90%) compared to the Muslim
(78%) compared to the Hindu (68.97%) were more past
directed and the Hindu compared to the other communities,
such as the Muslim the Santal and the Oraon were more
present (24.83% for Hindu, 18% for Muslim, 8.97% for
Santal, 8.28% for Oraon) and future (6.21% for Hindu, 4% for
Muslim, 4.14% for Santal, 3.45% for Oraon) oriented.

Regarding this results of Pearson’s Chi-squire test reveal that
time orientation among the communities was significantly
different at (n =585, df =6, value=23.85, p<0.01) the same
levels (See Table 4).
TABLE III
RESULTS OF PEARSON’S CHI-SQUIRE TEST ON HUMAN NATURE
ORIENTATION BY MUSLIM (N=200), HINDU (N=195), SANTAL
(N=195) AND ORAON IN RASULPUR UNION, NAOGAON,
BANGLADESH, 2008
Human
Nature
Orientation
Mus Hin San Ora Total X2
Evil
Neutral
Good-Evil
Good
102
34
7
7
9
120
9
7
8
12
117
8
5
15
119
6
124
181
252
28
Total 150 145 145 145 585
578.09
(.000)
Note: M= Muslim, H= Hindu, S= Santal, O= Oraon, Figures in
parentheses indicate cell frequency, df= 9, *p<.01
D. Activity Orientation
In activity orientation the data presented in the table 5
show that the Oraon (89.66) compared to the other
communities (87.59% for the Santal, 78% for the Muslim, and
66.90% for the Hindu) were more being oriented and the
Hindu (26.90%) than the Muslim (18%), the Santal (8.28%)
and the Oraon 6.90%) were more being-in-becoming and
doing oriented. Results of Pearson’s Chi-squire test also
reveal that activity orientation of the communities was
statistically significant differences at (n =585, df =6,
value=32.52) p<0.01 levels.
TABLE IV
RESULTS OF PEARSON’S CHI-SQUIRE TEST ON TIME ORIENTATION
BY MUSLIM (N=200), HINDU (N=195), SANTAL (N=195) AND ORAON
IN RASULPUR UNION, NAOGAON, BANGLADESH, 2008
Time
Orientation
Mus Hin San Ora Total X2
Past
Present
Future
117
27
6
100
36
9
126
13
6
128
12
5
471
88
26
Total 150 145 145 145 585
23.85*
(.001)
Note: Mus= Muslim, Hin= Hindu, San= Santal, Ora= Oraon,
Figures in parentheses indicate cell frequency, df= 6,
*p<.01
TABLE V
RESULTS OF PEARSON’S CHI-SQUIRE TEST ON ACTIVITY
ORIENTATION BY MUSLIM (N=200), HINDU (N=195), SANTAL
(N=195) AND ORAON IN RASULPUR UNION, NAOGAON,
BANGLADESH, 2008
Activity
Orientation
Mus Hin San Ora Total X2
Being
Becoming
Doing
117
27
6
97
39
9
127
12
6
130
10
5
471
88
26
Total 150 145 145 145 585
32.52*
(.000)
Note: Mus= Muslim, Hin= Hindu, San= Santal, Ora= Oraon,
Figures in parentheses indicate cell frequency, df= 6,
*p<.01
E. Relational Orientation
Lastly, in relational orientation the Hindu (85.52%) and
the Muslim (76.77%) compared to the Oraon (53.79%) and
the Santal (53.10%) were more lineal-hierarchical and less
collateral and individualistic, but the later cases (42.76% for
Santal and 40.69% for Oraon) preferred more collateral
human relation than the Muslim (19.33) and the Hindu
(8.97%) did. Pearson’s Chi-squire results also suggest that
there were significant differences in human relational
orientation (n=585, df =6, value=23.85, p<0.01) among the
communities’ respondents in rural Bangladesh (See Table 6).
TABLE VI
RESULTS OF PEARSON’S CHI-SQUIRE TEST ON RELATIONAL
ORIENTATION BY MUSLIM (N=200), HINDU (N=195), SANTAL
(N=195) AND ORAON IN RASULPUR UNION, NAOGAON,
BANGLADESH, 2008
Relational
Orientation
Mus Hin San Ora Total X2
Lineal-Hie.
Collateral
Individual
115
29
6
124
13
8
77
62
6
78
59
8
354
199
32
Total 150 145 145 145 585
60.62*
(.000)
Note: Mus= Muslim, Hin= Hindu, San= Santal, Ora= Oraon,
Figures in parentheses indicate cell frequency, df= 6,
*p<.01
F. Relationship between the Value Orientation Patterns
One of the aims of the study including hypothesis 2 was to
find out the associations of value orientation patterns among
the communities concerned. In order to explore the
relationships between the variables of the value orientation
patterns indicated above, Spearman’s bivariate correlation
technique for data analysis was applied. The results of intercorrelation
coefficients given in the table 7 show that there
were significant associations between the variables of value
orientation patterns at p<0.01 levels. That is the religious
community was positive relation with human nature ((rs= .679,
p= .000*) and relational orientation (rs= .22, p= .000*) but
negative relation to man-nature orientation (rs= -.150, p=
.000*), time orientation (rs= -.132, p= .000*), activity
orientation (rs= -.150, p= .000*). The man-nature orientation
was the negative relation with the human nature orientation
(rs= -.147, p= .000*) was the negative relation with the time
orientation (rs= -.142, p= .001*) was the highly positive
relation with the activity orientation (rs= .941, p= .000*), in
turn, was the moderately positive relation with the relational
orientation (rs= .280, p= .000*) among the communities in
rural Bangladesh.
IV. DISCUSSION
Value orientation patterns are the most fundamental
existential questions in the Muslim, Hindu, Santal, Oraon and
other tribal communities, as are many under-developed
societies and tribal cultures around the world. The main
purpose of this study was to explore and compare value
orientation patterns (VOPs) and its interrelationships among

the Muslim, Hindu, Santal, and Oraon communities in rural
Bangladesh. For this the study proposed 6 assumptions: (1)
The Muslim, the Santal, and the Oraon direct their behavior to
the total Subjugation-to-Nature, while the Hindus orient their
behavior as Compromise-with-Nature in rural Bangladesh; (2)
The Muslims in human nature orientation are good, the
Hindus are the good and evil, and still the Santal and Oraon
believe in evil direction; (3) The Muslim position is more
Present (linear) oriented, the Hindus are more Future oriented,
and the Santal and the Oraon are Past oriented; (4) The
Muslim, Santal and Oraon are either Being or Becoming-in-
Being, while the Hindus are more or less Being-in-becoming
or Doing oriented; (5) The Santal and the Oraon prefer more
egalitarian norms focusing on mutual support and group goal,
but the Muslim and the Hindus are more linear-hierarchical
value oriented human relations; and (6) Lastly, the VOPs:
Man-Nature, Human Nature, Time, Activity and Relational
orientation followed by the communities are consistently
interrelated. In order to examine and compare the assumptions
585 respondents (Muslim n- 150, Hindu n= 145, Santal n=
145 and Oraon n=145) selected by cluster random sampling
procedure were personally interviewed by VOPQ (Value
Orientation Patterns Questionnaire), including 5-items
questions related to their social and physical reality in which
they live. The results of Pearson Chi-Squire test on the 5-items
questions delivered to the respondents confirm that there were
significant differences in the VOPs (p<0.01, 2-tailed test)
among the communities. In addition, the results of Spearman’s
bivariate correlation coefficients also indicate that the VOPs
were positively or negatively inter-connected to each other
(p<0.01, 2-tailed test) in the study villages of Bangladesh, as
were assumed previously.
TABLE VII
RESULTS OF SPEARMAN’S INTER-CORRELATION COEFFICIENTS
(rs) BETWEEN VALUE ORIENTATION PATTERNS (VOPs) BY
COMMUNITIES (N=585), RASULPUR UNION, BANGLADESH, 2008
Variables of VOPs 1 2 3 4 5
1. community 1
2. Man-Nature
Orientation
-.150*
.000
1
3. Human Nature
Orientation
.679*
.000
-.147*
.000
1
4. Time Orientation -.132*
.001
.059
.151
-.142*
.001
1
5. Activity Orientation -.150*
.000
.078
.059
-.148*
.000
.941*
.000
1
6. Relational
Orientation
.229*
.000
-.042
.306
.160*
.000
.288*
.000
.280*
.000
Note: * p<0.01 (2-tailed test)
A. Man- Nature Orientation
Man-Nature orientation was one of the aspects of VOPs
comparison among the Muslim, Hindu, Santal and Oraon
communities in rural Bangladesh. Regarding this we assumed
that three communities: Muslim, Santal, and Oraon follow
more to the Subjugation-to-Nature, while the Hindus orient
more to the Compromise-with-Nature in rural Bangladesh.
The results of this study suggest that most of the Santal

(88.96%) and the Oraon (86.21%) compared to the Muslim
(77.33%) compared to the Hindu (56.55%) were more
subjugated to nature and less compromise with (9.66% for
Oraon, 7.59% for Santal, 18% for Muslim, 35.86% for Hindu)
and mastery over nature (7.59% for Hindu, 4.67% for Muslim,
4.14% for Oraon, 3.45% for Santal) as well. These
frequencies, according to Pearson’s Chi-squire test, were
significantly different among the communities at (n =585, df
=6, value=55.56) p<0.01 levels. These findings are consistent
with the several cross-cultural researches [1, 50, 53, 55]
conducted in abroad as well as in India and Bangladesh. For
example, Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck [1] found that of the
Mormons, Texans, Hispanics, Zunis and Navaho in the
southeast U.S the Hispanics were more subjugated to nature,
while the Navaho preferred harmony or compromise with the
nature relationship. Gillin [50] found that the Indians
compared to the Ladino harmonized to the man-nature.
Sodowsky, et al. [53] found that of the White American,
Mainland Chinese, Taiwanese and African Students in the U.
S. the Mainland Chinese and Africans compared to the White
American and Taiwanese were more subjugated to nature.
B. Human Nature Orientation
Like Man-Nature orientation we also assumed that the
Muslims in human nature orientation were good, the Hindus
in good and evil, and still the Santal and Oraon in evil
direction. Our frequencies reveal that most of the Muslim
selected were good (68%), and the Hindu were good and evil
(82.76%) and most of the Santal (80.69%) and the Oraon
(82.07%) were more evil directed. Results of Pearson’s Chisquire
test suggest that these frequency distributions were
significantly different at (n =585, df =9, value=578.09) p<0.01
levels. These findings of the studies were supported by several
cross-cultural studies [1, 50, 53, 55]. For example, like the
Muslim in Bangladesh the Hispanics [1], the Indians [50] and
other Muslims in the world [55, 96] firmly believed in good in
human nature, but the Hindus’ attitude towards it was related
to the Ladinos [50], the Zunis [1], the White Americans and
the Taiwanese’s view of human nature. Still others, such as
the Santal and the Oraon’s view of human nature were clearly
consistent with the Mainland Chinese and the Africans’s view
[53].
C. Time Orientation
Time orientation was one of the comparisons of VOPs
among the Muslim, Hindu, Santal and Oraon communities in
rural Bangladesh. For this we assumed that the Muslim were
more Present (linear), the Hindus more Future, and both the
Santal and the Oraon Past oriented. The findings of the study
reveal that the Oraon (88.28%) compared to the Santal
(86.90%) compared to the Muslim (78%) compared to the
Hindu (68.97%) were more past directed and the Hindu
compared to the other communities, such as the Muslim the
Santal and the Oraon were more present (24.83% for Hindu,
18% for Muslim, 8.97% for Santal, 8.28% for Oraon) and
future (6.21% for Hindu, 4% for Muslim, 4.14% for Santal,

3.45% for Oraon) oriented that were significant at p<0.01).
These findings were also supported by the studies mentioned
above. For example, several studies explored that like the
Muslim, Santal and Oraon in Bangladesh the Indians [50], the
Hispanics and the Navahos [1] in the U. S. would prefer more
past and present in time orientation and most of the
respondents in Bangladesh would follow future direction like
other communities in that culture.
D. Activity Orientation
In activity orientation our assumption was: The Muslim,
Santal and Oraon are either Being or Being -in- Becoming,
while the Hindus are more or less Being-in-becoming or
Doing oriented in rural Bangladesh that were consistently
supported by our findings. That is like the Indians, the
Hispanics, the Palestinians and others [1, 50, 53, 55, 96] the
Oraon (89.66) compared to the other communities (87.59%
for the Santal, 78% for the Muslim, and 66.90% for the
Hindu) were more being oriented and the Hindu (26.90%)
than the Muslim (18%), the Santal (8.28%) and the Oraon
6.90%) were more being-in-becoming and doing oriented
(p<0.01).
E. Relational Orientation
Lastly, in relational orientation we assumed that the Santal
and the Oraon preferred more egalitarian norms focusing on
mutual support and group goal, but the Muslim and the
Hindus are more linear-hierarchical value oriented human
relations in rural Bangladesh. This study explored that the
Hindu (85.52%) and the Muslim (76.77%) compared to the
Oraon (53.79%) and the Santal (53.10%) were more linealhierarchical
and less collateral and individualistic, but the later
cases (42.76% for Santal and 40.69% for Oraon) preferred
more collateral human relation than the Muslim (19.33) and
the Hindu (8.97%) did (p<0.01). These findings of the study
were clearly matched with the findings explored by
Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck [1], Gillin [50] and Sodowsky, et
al. [53]. Especially Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck [1] in their
cross-cultural study found that the Hispanics and the Navahos
compared to the Mormons, Texans, and Zunis in the southeast
U.S would follow more collateral human relation as were
more or less in the Santal and Oraon community. Gillin [50]
in a cross-cultural study found that the Indians were more
cooperative and collectivistic in group relation, while the
Ladinos were stratified and ordered and competitive in human
relation like the Hindu and the Muslim in Bangladesh.
Sodowsky, et al. [53] indicated that the Mainland Chinese and
Africans compared to the White Americans and the Taiwanese
would believe in more linear-hierarchical and collateral in
human relation orientations.
F. Relationship between the Value Orientation Patterns
The people of every community group or society behave in
patterned and shared ways influenced by given cultural system
in which the consistent interrelationships occur across the
social and physical situations. To explore the relationships

between the value orientation patterns in this study was one of
the important aspects of data analysis. The results of
Spearman’s inter-correlation coefficients suggest that there
were statistically significant relations between the types of
value orientation patterns at p<0.01 levels. Specifically, the
religious community was positive relation with human nature
and relational orientation but negative relation to man-nature
orientation, time orientation, and activity orientation. The
man-nature orientation was the negative relation with the
human nature orientation was the negative relation with the
time orientation was the highly positive relation with the
activity orientation, in turn, was the moderately positive
relation with the relational orientation among the communities
in rural Bangladesh. These relational findings of the study are
supported by several studies conducted in abroad [32, 38, 44,
45, 53].
V. CONCLUSION
Value orientation patterns all over the world are the most
fundamental existential principles to adapt to the environment.
The purpose of this study was to explore and compare value
orientation patterns (VOPs) and its interrelationships among
the Muslim, Hindu, Santal, and Oraon communities in rural
Bangladesh. For this purpose the study proposed several
assumptions: The VOPs were not only significantly different
among the communities but also had significant
interrelationships between the VOPs followed and preferred
by the communities in their cultural and social life in rural
Bangladesh. In order to examine and compare the assumptions
a number of 585 respondents: 150 for Muslim and 145 for per
Hindu, Santal and Oraon were personally interviewed by
Value Orientation Patterns Questionnaire (VOPQ). The results
of Pearson Chi-Squire test suggested that there were
significant differences in the VOPs (p<0.01, 2-tailed test)
among the communities. In addition, the results of Spearman’s
bivariate correlation coefficients also indicated that the VOPs
were positively or negatively inter-connected to each other
(p<0.01, 2-tailed test) in the study villages of Bangladesh.
These findings of the study were consistently supported by
several cross-cultural and even culture-specific studies
conducted in different cultures or sub-cultures around the
world. Further cross-cultural studies should conduct why the
VOPs are significantly different among the four communities
in Bangladesh.
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Md. Emaj Uddin (Ph. D.) is an Associate Professor, Department of Social
Work, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh.
[Phone: (0721) 750041- 4158, Fax: (0721) 750064, Email:
emaj691@yahoo.com

Source: http://www.waset.org/journals/ijshs/v3/v3-146.pdf
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Cross-Cultural Socio-Economic Status Attainment between Muslim and Santal Couple in Rural Bangladesh

Md. Emaj Uddin
Abstract—This study compared socio-economic status
attainment between the Muslim and Santal couples in rural
Bangladesh. For this we hypothesized that socio-economic status
attainment (occupation, education and income) of the Muslim
couples was higher than the Santal ones in rural Bangladesh. In order
to examine the hypothesis 288 couples (145 couples for Muslim and
143 couples for Santal) selected by cluster random sampling from
Kalna village, Bangladesh were individually interviewed with semistructured
questionnaire method. The results of Pearson Chi-Squire
test suggest that there were significant differences in socio-economic
status attainment between the two communities’ couples. In addition,
Pearson correlation coefficients also suggest that there were
significant associations between the socio-economic statuses attained
by the two communities’ couples in rural Bangladesh. Further crosscultural
study should conduct on how inter-community relations in
rural social structure of Bangladesh influence the differences among
the couples’ socio-economic status attainment.
Keywords—Bangladesh, Couple, Cross-Cultural Comparison,
Muslim, Socio-Economic Status Attainment, Santal.
I. INTRODUCTION
OCIO-ECONOMIC status attainment around the world is
the achievement aspect of human behavior across the
social systems. An individual with his or her personal socioeconomic
status attainment not only occupies certain status in
the family, group, community or wider society but also
acquires certain prestige through which s/he meets his or her
day-to-day human needs and solves personal physical, mental
and social problems faced in a particular environment [1-30].
Eshleman and Cashion [31] and others defined socioeconomic
status as an assessment of person’s education,
occupation and income position within a particular social
system. Likewise socio-economic status attainment refers to
the achievement of persons’ relative position of education,
occupation and income within that particular social system [1-
30]. This paper focuses on cross-cultural comparison of socioeconomic
status attainments and its interrelationships between
Muslim and Santal couples in rural Bangladesh.

The socio-economic status persons singly or collectively
attain is socio-culturally constructed and modified in every
society. Social scientists separately suggest three approaches
to study socio-economic status attainment: Prestige approach
by National Opinion Research Center, functionalist approach
by Duncan and others, and class approach by Marx and
Weber, including its categorical and numerical variables.
These approaches generally assume that socio-economic
status attainment may vary across the class, caste, sex,
religion, race, region etc. due to inequality in property, power
and opportunity distribution in the hierarchical social structure
in every society.
Based on the assumption relevant cross-cultural
comparative studies conducted across the cultures reveal that
socio-economic status attainment widely varies: people in the
dominant market economy compared to the non-dominant
ones achieve high status [3, 6, 9, 13, 19, 21, 25]. These studies
argue that without high status achievement people in the
highly modernized market economy cannot fulfill their human
problems faced in that environment. Other comparative
studies reveal that this socio-economic status achievement
also varies among the different classes, castes, religions, races,
regions within a given culture, because dominant class or
cultural group always dominates, deprives and exploit nondominant
classes or cultural groups within a society [1, 10, 11,
15, 24]. Regarding this several researches investigated in
multicultural societies indicate that every parental socioeconomic
status attainment of the cultural groups is
transformed into the next generation. As socio-economic
status attainment of minority parents or non-dominant groups
(Black, Hispanic, Asian and African born) compared to the
majority or dominant ones (White) is low, so their children’s
socio-economic status attainment is also low [26, 30]. In
addition, it is widely reported that males’ socio-economic
status attainment compared to the females within the family
and other formal organizations also varies in different
cultures: socio-economic status attainment of males is higher
than the females. These socio-economic status attainments:
education, occupation and income are cyclical process in
which low educational attainment by someone influences his
or her low prestige job involvement that in turn influences low
income rate in the particular social system [3, 28].
Several culture-specific [36, 37, 39-42] and even crosscultural
studies [38, 43-45] conducted across the sub-cultures

in Bangladesh report that socio-economic status attainment of
the dominant group (Muslim) is higher than the minority
group (Santal) in rural Bangladesh. These studies clearly
argue that most of the minority groups are the poorest of the
poor; they have no land property and even settlement land;
they, irrespective of male and female, are busy to collect their
daily necessity as day laborers. As a result, many of them
never go to school for their formal learning and never access
to formal labor force participation because of formal learning
and their annual family income is very low than the other
community groups, such as the Muslim and the Hindu [43-
45]. Our research questions on the problem situation: Are the
Muslim couples’ socio-economic status attainments higher
than the Santal couples in rural Bangladesh economy? Are
there significant differences in socio-economic status attained
by the communities’ couples? Are there significant
associations between the socio-economic status attainments:
education, occupation and annual family income in rural
Bangladesh?
Relevant comparative literatures reviewed suggest that
socio-eco-economic status attainment not only significantly
varies from one culture to another but it also varies among
sub-cultures within given the culture. Although these
comparative studies conducted in high and moderate market
economy contribute to socio-economic status attainment, there
is a paucity of comprehensive cross-cultural information on
the couples’ socio-economic status attainment and its
relationships in agriculture-based economy like Bangladesh.
Therefore, the first aim of this study was to examine and
compare socio-economic status attainment by Muslim and
Santal couples and second aim was to explore how the socioeconomic
status attainments: education, occupation and
income of the communities’ couples were inter-related to each
other in rural Bangladesh economy. These findings of the
study explored may contribute to social and behavioral
sciences.
II. BACKGROUND AND METHODOLOGY
A. Background
Community is a group of people who not only share the
same believe system but also acquire more or less the status in
a particular environment. This community status may vary
from other community. The Muslim in this country is the
dominant group, while the Santal are the non-dominant group.
Religiously, the former believe in Monotheism, but the later
believe in animism (Bongas). The former speak in Bengali
language with the mixture of Arabic-Urdu preference. On the
other hand the later speak in Austric-Mundary, and sometimes
speak in Bengali version with the other Bengali-speaking
people [38, 43-45]. Based on their respective fundamental
believe system both the communities interact with agriculture
economy for their livelihood. Although about 75% of the rural
people live in subsistent economy in which most of them are
poor, minority groups such as the Santal are the poorest of the
poor. One report indicates that 53% of the rural peoples are

poor and there are 55 million food insecure households and
62% adults are illiterate [32]. It is more interesting that
although main occupation of the rural villagers is agriculture,
man-land ratio is very low and many of them are landless or
near the landless due to law of inheritance, land fragmentation
and over-population. Some reports indicate that about 62% of
the rural households are functionally landless [32, 33-42]. In
the socio-economic situations socio-economic status attained
by the Muslim and Santal couples is embedded in rural
Bangladesh.
a. Educational Status Attainment
Educational attainment is a basic criterion not only to
acquire social status in the family as well as in the wider
community but also the first one to access in formal labor
force participation in any society. Educational attainment here
refers to year of formal education/ learning recognized by a
given society [11, 46]. Relevant cross-cultural researches
report that timing of formal education in a particular education
system not only varies from one person to another (such as
sibling education difference) within a system but also varies
between sub-cultures within given society influenced by the
parental educational background, aspiration, educator’s
personal motivation and cognition in education achievement
and pattern of job involvement for livelihood [1-14, 16-18, 20,
21, 23-30, 47, 48, 51]. Although education across the levels in
Bangladesh is universal, most of the rural people are not
motivated for education, because of traditional agricultural
economic system in which they almost informally learn how
to cultivate land and plant on it. Relevant culture-specific and
cross-cultural studies reveal that educational attainment of
lower class couples compared to the middle and high class
ones is very low: They have no formal education. In crosscultural
studies Uddin [38, 43-45] and others [52-54] found
that average years of Muslim couples’ education was higher
than the Santal couples, because of their high dominance in
rural power structure and parental aspiration in education.
Hypothesis 1: Educational status attainment of Muslim
couples is higher than the Santal couples in rural Bangladesh.
b. Occupational Status Attainment
Occupational attainment of individual person in an
economic system fully depends on his or her educational
attainment. Regarding this relevant researches [1-30, 46, 51]
reveal that formal education and skill training in any culture
are essential involving in formal labor force participation. But
what type of job a person will adopt depends on his or her
level of education achieved. As most of the rural Bangladeshi
are illiterate, so they adopt several occupations related to
agricultural system. As many of them are landless farmers, so
they work as day laborers. Regarding this Uddin [38, 43-45]
and other [52, 53, 55-58] found that both Santal adult men and
women take part in agriculture and any other fields as manual
labor and work outside the family from dawn to dusk as
laborers, because of their low education, landlessness and
mass poverty. On the other hand, division of labor between

adult men and women in Muslim community is strictly
maintained according to sex norms: Only Muslim adult men
are the breadwinner of the family. So they work in agricultural
field and other economic sectors. But Muslim women do not
work on the agricultural field. They are mainly housewives.
Hypothesis 2: Occupational status attainment of the
Muslim couples is higher than the Santal couples in rural
Bangladesh economy.
c. Annual Family Income Attainment
Income of couples depends on their aggregate educational
and occupational attainment. Relevant researches reveal that
the higher the educational and occupational status the higher
the income attainment. Several cross-cultural studies in
multicultural societies reveal that annual or monthly family
income of dominant group is two-fold higher the minority
ones because of their high educational and occupational
attainment [1, 10, 11, 15, 24]. Like wise Uddin [38-45] in his
cross-cultural studies found that annual income of the Muslim
families was higher than the minority families, especially the
Santal and Oraon families in rural Bangladesh, because the
former had more land property, business and other source of
income compared to the later ones.
Hypothesis 3: Annual family income of Muslim couples is
higher than that among the Santal couples in rural
Bangladesh economy.
d. Relationship in Socio-Economic Status Attainment
Cross-cultural studies explore that variable of socioeconomic
status attainment especially education occupation
and income are consistently inter-related. That is high
educational attainment by respective member of social system
influences high job involvement that in turn influences high
income [1-30]. Based on relevant literatures review this study
mentioned that educational and occupational status
attainments of the Muslim couples were higher than the Santal
couples in rural area of Bangladesh [43-45]. So, the annual
family income of former cases was higher than that among the
later cases. Uddin [44, 45] in his cross-cultural studies
explored that like higher educational and occupational
attainment average annual income of the Muslim families was
two-fold higher than the Santal families studied. Therefore,
higher educational and occupational attainments of the
Muslim couples compared to its counter ones linearly
influence more family income.
Hypothesis 4: there are positive linear relationships
between educational, occupational and annual family income
attainment by the Muslim and Santal couples in the study area
of Bangladesh.
B. Methodology
a. Samples
Based on the several specific hypotheses derived from the
relevant literatures review mentioned in above section this
study cross-culturally investigated socio-economic status
attainment between Muslim and Santal couples in rural
Bangladesh. In so doing the village Kalna, situated in Tanore
Upazila of Rajshahi district, Bangladesh was purposefully
selected for this study, where two distinct cultural
communities: Muslim and Santal were living side by side as a
neighbor. In this village, there were about 380 eligible couples
(families): 200 couples were Muslim's and the rest of them
were Santal's. In order to collect data from the couples, two
separate sampling units were developed: one for Muslim and
another for Santal. Each sampling unit was considered as a
cluster and each individual person of both the cluster couples
was accounted for as a study unit and then 288 couples, 145
couples (72.5%) from the Muslim and 143 couples (79.44%)
from the Santal, were randomly selected through cluster
sampling. The mean age of the selected samples, who actively
participated in this study, was 23.05 for husbands and 15.11
for wives for the Muslim and 20.71 for husbands and 14.34
for wives for the Santal respectively. The samples selected by
this sampling procedure were cross-culturally equivalent for
cross-cultural comparison of socio-economic status attainment
between the communities in rural Bangladesh.
b. Variables and Measures
The main comparison areas of this study were to examine
and measure the Muslim and Santal community couples’
socio-economic status attainments and its interrelationships in
rural Bangladesh context. In so doing socio-economic status
attainment was categorized into education, occupation and
income that were converted into the nominal, ordinal and
interval variables [18]. First of all Community was nominally
measured and coded as 1= Muslim, and 2= Santal; Couple
was nominally categorized into Husband=1 and Wife=2; Age
of both husband and wife was numerically counted in year.
However, selected couples’ socio-economic status attainment
characteristics were measured and coded in the following
ways:
1. Education status attainment was numerically measured
in years and then it was categorized into 1= Illiterate (0 year
of education), 2= Primary (1-5 years of education) and 3=
Secondary (6 and above years of education).
2. Occupation status attainment of both husband and wife
was nominally measured. For example, husband's occupation
(1= Farming only, 2= Farming + Business, 3= Farming +
Employment, 4= day laboring, wife's occupation (1=
Housewife only, 2= Housewife and Employee, 3= Housewife
+ Day Laboring.
3. Yearly total income attainment was numerically
measured in Taka (1 US$ = 68 Bangladesh Taka in currency
exchange) and then it was categorized into 1= Low Income
Couple (>20,000), 2= Middle Income Couple (21000-30,000)
and 3= High Income Couple (31,000+).
c. Instrument and Procedure
This study used cross-cultural descriptive survey design in
which quantitative variables (education and income) of the
socio-economic status attainment were categorized into
several classes to make equivalence with the occupational
attainment, as it was categorical in nature. Based on the
measure semi-structural questionnaire with open-ended and
close-ended questions on the variables of the socio-economic
status attainment was designed, following from several
comparative studies [1-30], especially Uddin’s [38, 43-45]
cross-cultural instruments. As most of the respondents were
low socio-cultural statuses, interview technique with the
questionnaire was applied for data collection. According to
the questionnaire author as a data collector was individually
asked for relevant answers to every couple of the community.
Sometimes the questions were proved to the specific
respondents who could not understand.
Field work for this research was conducted from January
to June 2007. In order to collect real and valid data from the
selected couples of the communities with the questionnaire the
author built up rapport with the respondents to create
consciousness about the research purposes and objectives, to
make easy them for conversation and to encourage them to
active participation in the research. It continued until the
completion of data collection. First 4 months of the data
collection period were used to build up rapport with the
respondents and 2 months were worked for data collection.
Most of the respondents of the communities, especially the
husbands in the Muslim community and both the husband and
wife in the Santal community worked from morning to
midday and even round the day in agricultural field. So, the
necessary data were collected at afternoon when the
respondents of both the communities were leisured, and each
individual person of the couple was met within the family
setting where they were intensively interviewed for one hour.
After completion the interview especial thanks were given to
each husband and wife for further contact. In so doing the
author conversed in Bengali language with the respondents
because they all did converse in Bengali language and then the
responses of the selected respondents were converted in
English by author, because he was skillful in both languages:
Bengali as a mother tongue and English as a second language
[43-45].
d. Reliability
The responses given by the selected respondents on the
qualitative variables of socio-economic status attainment were
reliable in the sense that the interview technique with the
semi-structural questionnaire was applied in which both the
open-ended and close -ended questions were included and the
author as an interviewer was skillful in that technique.1 In so
1 Because he involved in several research projects for field work. 120
working-days fieldwork (internship) experience at "Family Planning
Association of Bangladesh (FPAB)" Rajshahi City, Rajshahi; and "Rural
Social Services Program", Mohan Pur, Rajshahi, as a part of B.S.S. (Honors)
and M.S.S. curricula respectively.
In both B.S.S. and M.S.S. field practice, I engaged in counseling and
motivating persons in adopting program goals. During my field practicum, I
learned the skills of applying social work methods. I conducted survey,
formed and organized group, motivated the group members, and accelerate
social actions for the wellbeing of target groups and underprivileged
population.
doing the author built up rapport with the respondents in
which interpersonal trust between the interviewer (author) and
the respondents was developed. Based on the interpersonal
relationship (subjectivity) the author intensively interviewed
every husband and wife of the couples with the questionnaire
schedule aimed to collect objective data within one hour in
their personal and familial settings [59-61]. In addition, the
author also considered cultural and status factors of both the
parties (interviewer and respondents) when he interacted with
the respondents for data collection. However, although there
were many quantitative methods to test reliability of the
collected data, this research followed qualitative techniques:
rapport building with the respondents, one hour structural
interview for per husband and wife of the couple, interview in
personal and familial settings, and controlled interpersonal
cultural factors to collect reliable responses presented in the
result section.
e. Data Analysis
Based on the main research objective, including the four
hypotheses the analysis of collected data was carried out by
SPSS. Especially both Pearson’s Chi-Squire test and Intercorrelation
techniques were applied to find out similarities or
differences and associations in the socio-economic status
attainment: education, occupation and annual family income
distributions between Muslim and Santal couples in the study
village Kalna, Bangladesh. These statistical techniques to find
out cross-cultural differences and interrelationships for the
socio-economic status attainment variables included were
more relevant, because most of the variables used were
numerical (quantitative) in nature [43-45]. The findings of the
analysis with frequency distribution and test scores were
presented by cross-tabulation.
ІII. RESULTS
Differences in Socio-Economic Status Attainment
In order to compare socio-economic status attainment by
Muslim and Santal couples in rural Bangladesh, education,
occupation and income in the study were measured and
compared. In addition, this study also analyzed how education
and occupation of the Muslim and Santal couples influence
their annual family income in the study area of Bangladesh.
The findings of the analysis are given in the tables, 1-6.
A. Educational Status Attainment
Table 1 and 2 presents data on educational attainment by
Muslim and Santal couples studied. The overall data clearly
show that educational status attainment of Muslim couples
was higher than the Santal couples. Most of the Santal
I was also a data collector in the "Child Survival Project" of UNICEF at
Rajshahi office at two phases, on 1 July – 30 August 1993, 1 January – 30
March 2005. In addition, he himself collected data for his Ph. D. research
entitled “Family Structure in a Village of Bangladesh: A Cross-Cultural
Study. He also involved in periodical researches for doing field work.

husbands (68.53%) compared to the Muslim ones (29.66%)
never went to school. Educational attainment of Muslim
husbands at both primary (43.45% for Muslim, 22.38% for
Santal) and secondary levels or so (26.89% for Muslim,
9.09% for Santal) was higher than the Santal husbands. Like
husbands’ educational status attainment most of the Santal
wives (72%) compared to the Muslim wives (40.69%) had no
formal education. In addition, Santal wives’ educational
attainment at both levels (44.83% and 14.48% for Muslim and
24.48% and 5 cases for Santal respectively) was also lower
than the Muslim ones (See Table 2). The findings presented in
the tables suggest that the husbands’ educational attainment
compared the wives in both the communities across the
educational levels was higher in the study village, Kalna.
However, based on Pearson’s Chi-Squire test these frequency
distributions for both husband and wife’s educational
attainment were significantly different between the
communities at p<0.01 level.
TABLE I
RESULTS OF PEARSON’S CHI-SQUIRE TEST ON HUSBAND
EDUCATION ATTAINMENT BY MUSLIM (N=145) AND SANTAL
(N=143), VILLAGE KALNA, BANGLADESH, 2007
Husband’s Muslim Santal
Education
attainment
Frequency Frequency
Total X2
Illiterate 43 98 141
Primary 63 32 97
Secondary+ 39 13 52
Total 145 143 288
82.65*
(.000)
Note: df= 11, * p<0.01
TABLE II
RESULTS OF PEARSON’S CHI-SQUIRE TEST ON WIFE’S EDUCATION
ATTAINMENT BY MUSLIM (N=145) AND SANTAL (N=143), VILLAGE
KALNA, BANGLADESH, 2007
Wife’s Muslim Santal
Education
Attainment
Frequency Frequency
Total X2
Illiterate 59 103 141
Primary 65 35 97
Secondary+ 21 5 52
Total 145 143 288
72.29*
(.000)
Note: df= 11, * p<0.01
B. Occupational Status Attainment
Table 3 and 4 presents data on occupational attainment by
the Muslim and Santal couples in the agriculture-based
economy of Bangladesh. Occupational distribution by the
couples shows that although main occupation of this country
is agriculture, most of the Muslim husbands (62.07%)
compared to the Santal ones (5.59%) were farmers. That is
most of the Santal husbands (83.92%) were day laborers
because of landlessness or severe poor. Least of them adopted
other occupations, such as employment or business for
livelihood. Like husbands’ occupational attainment most of
the Santal wives (90.21%) adopted day laboring, including
house wife role because of the same cause, while the Muslim
wives (91.72%) were only housewives due to high gender role
segregation. The results of Pearson’s Chi-Squire test on
educational attainment by the communities’ couples were also
significantly different at p<0.01.
TABLE III
RESULTS OF PEARSON’S CHI-SQUIRE TEST ON HUSBAND’S
OCCUPATION ATTAINMENT BY MUSLIM (N=145) AND SANTAL
(N=143), VILLAGE KALNA, BANGLADESH, 2007
Husband’s Occupation Muslim Santal
Attainment F F
Total X2
Farming 90 8 98
Farming+ Business 28 10 38
Farming+ Employee 9 5 14
Day Laboring 18 120 138
Total 145 143 288
195.05
*
(.000)
Note: F= Frequency, df= 4, * p<0.01
TABLE IV
RESULTS OF PEARSON’S CHI-SQUIRE TEST ON WIFE’S
OCCUPATION ATTAINMENT BY MUSLIM (N=145) AND SANTAL
(N=143), VILLAGE KALNA, BANGLADESH, 2007
Wife’s Occupation Muslim Santal
Attainment F F
Total X2
Housewife only 133 8 141
Housewife+ Employee 7 6 13
Housewife+ Laboring 5 129 134
Total 145 143 288
249.86
*
(.000)
Note: F= Frequency, df= 2, * p<0.01
C. Annual Family Income Attainment
Table 5 shows data on annual family income by the
Muslim and Santal couples. Data presented in the table clearly
suggest that annual family income of the Muslim couples were
relatively higher than the Santal couples. Regarding this data
by category-wise distributions suggest that low income
couples (>20,000 Tk. yearly) in the Santal community were
80.42% compared to the Muslim couples (33.10%). But high
income (31,000+) and middle income (21,000-30,000 Tk.)
among the Muslim couples (40% for high and 26.90% for
middle income respectively) were higher than that among the
Santal couples (6 cases for high and 15.38% for middle
income respectively). In this respect results of Pearson’s Chi-
Squire test suggest that there were significant differences in
annual family income earned by the Muslim and Santal
couples at p<0.01 level.
TABLE V
RESULTS OF PEARSON’S CHI-SQUIRE TEST ON YEARLY FAMILY
INCOME ATTAINMENT BY MUSLIM (N=145) AND SANTAL (N=143),
VILLAGE KALNA, BANGLADESH, 2007
Range of Muslim Santal
Income
Attainment
in Taka
Frequency Frequency
Total X2
Low 48 115 163
Middle 39 22 61
High 58 6 64
Total 145 143 288
153.79*
(.000)
Note: Low Income= >20,000, Middle Income= 21,000-
30,000, High Income= 31,000+, df= 42, * p<0.01
D. Relationship in Socio-Economic Status Attainment

Socio-economic status attainment characteristics, such as
education, occupation and annual family income are
consistently interrelated. Data mentioned above showed that
educational and occupational status attainments of Muslim
couples were higher than the Santal couples. As a result
annual family income of the former was also higher than the
later. For more understanding table 6 presents data on
Pearson’s inter-correlation coefficients of education,
occupation and annual family income attainments of the
Muslim and Santal couples in the village studied. Data reveal
that there were significantly positive and inverse relationships
between the variables of socio-economic status attainment at
p<0.01 level. That is husbands’ educational attainment was
negatively related to their occupational attainment ((r= -.346,
p= .000*) in turn was positively related to annual family
income attainment (r= .499, p= .000*). In addition, wives’
educational attainment in turn was negatively related to their
occupational attainment ((r= -.379, p= .000*) was positively
related to annual family income attainment (r= .399, p= .000*)
between the communities in rural Bangladesh.
IV. DISCUSSION
Purpose of the study was to compare socio-economic
status attainment between Muslim and Santal couples in rural
Bangladesh. For this, we formulated four hypotheses: (1)
Educational status attainment of Muslim couples was higher
than the Santal couples, (2) Occupational status attainment of
the Muslim couples was higher than the Santal couples, (3)
Annual family income of Muslim couples was higher than that
among the Santal couples, and lastly there were positive linear
relationships between educational, occupational and annual
family income attained by the Muslim and Santal couples in
rural Bangladesh.
TABLE V I
RESULTS OF PEARSON’S INTER-CORRELATION COEFFICIENTS
BETWEEN NUMBER OF COUPLES, HUSBAND’S EDUCATION,
WIFE’S EDUCATION, HUSBAND’S OCCUPATION, WIFE’S
OCCUPATION AND FAMILY INCOME AMONG MUSLIM AND
SANTAL COUPLES (N= 288), KALNA VILLAGE, BANGLADESH, 2007
Variables 1 2 3 4 5
1. Number of
Couples
1
2. Husband’s
Education
-.407*
.000
1
3. Wife’s
Education
-.363*
.000
.531*
.000
1
4. Husband’s
Occupation
.676*
.000
-.389*
.000
-.354*
.000
1
5. Wife’s
Occupation
.871*
.000
-.409*
.000
-.403*
.000
.611*
.000
1
6. Annual Family
Income
-.500*
.000
.451*
.000
.401*
.000
-.455*
.000
-.500*
.000
Note: *p<0.01 (2-tailed test)
In order to examine and compare the hypotheses 288
active couples (per 145 husbands and wives for Muslim and
per 143 husbands and wives for Santal) from the village

Kalna, Bangladesh, were randomly selected by cluster random
sampling. The selected couples were singly interviewed with
semi-structural questionnaire method. The findings of
Pearson Chi-Squire Test suggest that there were significant
differences in socio-economic status attainment: education,
occupation and income between the Muslim and Santal
couples in the Kalna village studied. In addition, these
variables of socio-economic attainment were significantly
related to each other. However, the findings of the study
confirm the hypotheses previously determined in rural
Bangladesh.
A. Educational Status Attainment
Educational attainment was the main comparison area of
socio-economic status attainments by Muslim and Santal
couples in rural Bangladesh. Regarding this we hypothesized
that educational attainment of Muslim couples was higher
than the Santal ones in rural Bangladesh. Our findings reveal
that most of the Santal couples (68.53% for husband and 72%
for wife) compared to the Muslim ones (29.66% for husband
and 40.69% for wife) never went to school. At both primary
and secondary levels educational attainment of the former
couples was also higher than the later cases. Pearson’s Chi-
Squire test suggests that these frequency distributions on
educational attainment by the couples were significantly
different between the communities at p<0.01 level. These
findings of the study are supported by several cross-cultural
studies in abroad [1, 11, 23, 27, 51] and Bangladesh [38, 43-
45, 49, 54]. These studies clearly argued that parental low
socio-economic status and aspiration and structural inequality
were the main causes to access to educational opportunity and
educational attainment for the lower class and minority people
in abroad. Likely Uddin [43-45] in his studies interpreted that
most of the minority people such as the Santal compared to
the dominant group (Muslim) never went to school because of
their mass poverty and structural deprivation and cultural
dominance to them. As a result their educational attainments
across the levels were lower than the dominant group in this
country.
B. Occupational Status Attainment
Occupational attainment was one of the socio-economic
status attainment comparisons by the Muslim and Santal
couples. For this we hypothesized that occupational status
attainment of Muslim couples was higher than the Santal
couples in the agriculture-based economy of rural Bangladesh.
The findings of this study reveal that most of the Muslim
husbands (62.07%) were farmers, while most of the Santal
husbands (83.92%) were day laborers. Regarding wife’s
occupational attainment most of the Santal wives (90.21%)
adopted day laboring, including house wife role, while the
Muslim wives (91.72%) were only housewives due to high
gender role segregation. The results of Pearson’s Chi-Squire
test on educational attainment by the communities’ couples
were also significantly different at p<0.01. These findings are
confirmed by Uddin’s cross-cultural studies [38, 43-45]

conducted in rural Bangladesh. According to his research
although main occupation in this region of Bangladesh is
agriculture, most of the minority people are landless and
severe poor and even they have no settlement /housing land,
as are many lower class Muslims. As a result most of the
minority people, including both adult and non-adult sexes are
involved in day-laboring. In addition, occupational mobility
like many lower class Muslims was very low because of
proper and sufficient education, including skill training in
rural Bangladesh.
C. Annual Family Income Attainment
Lastly this study compared annual family income
contributed by both husband and wife. We also hypothesized
that annual family income attainment of Muslim couples was
higher than its opposite group, the Santal. The results of the
study show that low income couples (>20,000 Tk. yearly) in
the Santal community were 80.42% compared to the Muslim
couples (33.10%). But high income (31,000+) and middle
income (21,000-30,000 Tk.) among the Muslim couples (40%
for high and 26.90% for middle income respectively) were
higher than that among the Santal couples (6 cases for high
and 15.38% for middle income respectively) that were
significant differences at p<0.01 level. These findings are also
supported by Uddin’s several cross-cultural studies [43-45] in
rural Bangladesh. In these studies he argued that low
educational and occupational attainment, unemployment and
landlessness and mass poverty of the Santal compared to the
Muslim were the fundamental affecters on their low annual
family income in rural Bangladesh economy.
D. Relationship in Socio-Economic Status Attainment
Lastly, socio-economic status: education, occupation and
annual family income attained by the couples are consistently
interrelated. Data mentioned above showed that as educational
and occupational status attainments of Muslim couples
compared to the Santal ones were higher, so their annual
family income was also higher. Pearson’s correlation
coefficients reveal that there were significantly positive and
inverse relationships between the variables of socio-economic
status attainment at p<0.01 level. That is husbands’
educational attainment was negatively related to their
occupational attainment ((r= -.346, p= .000*) in turn was
positively related to annual family income attainment (r= .499,
p= .000*). In addition, wives’ educational attainment in turn
was negatively related to their occupational attainment ((r= -
.379, p= .000*) was positively related to annual family income
attainment (r= .399, p= .000*) between the communities in
rural Bangladesh. These findings are confirmed by Covello &
Bollen [25], Rivera-Batiz [26], Kaur & Kalaramna [28] as
well as Uddin’s studies [44, 45].
V. CONCLUSION
Socio-economic status attainment of married couples is the
building block of family social structure. The couples with

their socio-economic status attainment not only occupy certain
statuses and prestige in the family and the community but also
meet human needs and solve familial problems faced in a
particular socio-cultural environment. In order to compare
socio-economic status attainment, including education,
occupation and income this study randomly selected 288
couples, 145 for Muslim and 143 for Santal and interview
method with semi-structured questionnaire was applied for
data collection. The data collected were analyzed by Pearson
Chi-Squire test and Pearson inter-correlation techniques.
Based on the tests our findings suggest that socio-economic
statuses of the Muslim couples were higher than the Santal
couples that were significantly varied and inter-related to each
other between the two communities in the study village,
Kalna, Bangladesh. The results of the study are supported by
several studies conducted in abroad and Bangladesh. Based on
these studies’ findings the present study argues that inequality,
deprivation and dominance in rural power structure between
the two communities influence variations among the couples’
socio-economic status attainment in the study area. Further
cross-cultural study should conduct on how inter-community
relations in hierarchical rural social structure of Bangladesh
influence their respective couples’ socio-economic status
attainment.
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N.B.Md. Emaj Uddin (Ph. D.) is an Associate Professor, Department of Social
Work, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh.
[Phone: (0721) 750041- 4158, Fax: (0721) 750064, Email:
emaj691@yahoo.com].

Source: http://www.waset.org/journals/ijhss/v4/v4-11-102.pdf
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