Accommodation- As a Social Process


The suspension of rivalry between the parties for the temporary or permanent period is accommodation process.  Ogburn and Nimkoff are of the opinion that accommodation is a term used by the sociologists to describe the struggle of individuals and groups to adjust to their hostility towards their rivals. In this process, the issue may not be resolved or settled, but for a time being, the rivals terminate their hostile activities and come to an agreement to cease their conflicts by joint efforts.

The opposing parties are not necessarily of human beings. Sometimes, a human has to adjust himself to an opposing force of nature or any other abstract idea such as culture, religion, etc.

Smith defines accommodation as a “social adjustment, e.g. adjustment of man to both natural and man-made environment”. Man fulfills his needs in different environments. In the natural environment, he adjusts himself according to it. In the man-made environment, he brings about changes into it and then adjusts himself to it. Both these conditions of adjustments are called accommodation.

Park and Burgess have classified accommodation in the following two categories: Adjustments with natural conditions and Adjustments with new social conditions.

Adjustments to natural conditions

A man adjusts himself to new climatic, geographical, and geophysical conditions where he migrates. People change their residence, cities, and countries as a result of this they have to live an environment which is quite strange to them. In such situations, people have to change their mode of living according to the new environment.

Adjustments to new social conditions

In this case, an individual who migrates to another cultural area adopts the prevailing cultural conditions of that society. He learns the language, techniques of everyday social life, customs of marrying, patterns of interaction, various other norms, and values social practices of the new society.

An individual faces a large number of problems in adjusting himself in the new society. He has to adopt new ways of life in order to survive. The individual adopts new ways of living just for the sake of survival; however, he does not follow the same way of living as soon as he leaves that society.

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