Social Change

Topics: Sociology, Culture, Agency Pages: 22 (6427 words) Published: March 14, 2011
1.1 1.2 1.3 Introduction Change - Meaning and Characteristics Types of Change

1.4 Theories of Change

1.5' Approaches to Change 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Social Change and Cultural change Steps in Social Change Dimensions of Social Change Factors of Social Change

1.10 Let Us Sum Up 1.11 References and Selected Readings 1.12 Check Your Progress - Possible Answers



If you look around, you will find that ten years ago the face of India was quite different from what we are familiar with today, and ten years from now, India will be totally different from what it is today. The same principle is applicable to each and every being. This is because change is a natural, universal, and inevitable social phenomenon. In our present hi-tech scenario, society is changing very fast. If one wants to know at what rate society is changing, I think the correct answer is - at the click of the mouse. In this techno-philic society, social change is happening exponentially.What is important to note is whether change is leading towards a positive end or not. Is change helping society in extension or development, or is the outcome just the reverse. After reading this Unit, you will be able to explain the meaning and characteristics of change; differentiate between different types of change; distinguish between social change and cultural change; discuss steps in social change; and discuss the dimensions and factors of social change.



1.21 The Meaning of Change
Your elders might tell you that things were not easy during their time. This is so because every thing has become very easy now, due to telecommunications, internet, teqhnological evolution, etc. I'm sure you might have experienced the luxury of booking tickets via the internet sitting comfortably at home which is

Dynamics of Change

very different from the traditional way of going to a counter, standing in a queue, and getting tickets booked. The same is true for paying bills, or, for any sort of inquiry, or information. In this changing scenario, even our relationships are under constant flux. The way we are bonding with each and every other person is also changing. We are moving very fast from informal, personal face-to-face relationships, to formal impersonal distant relationships. This suggests that change is universal and omnipresent. Change, since time immemorial, has affected each and every aspect of our life, whether it is lifestyles, food habits, thought processes, language, art,relationship, religion, family, marriage, systems of society (Political, economic, legal, administrative), etc. Here, we need to understand that there are two types of processes which work in society - one which sustains the social system, and, the other, which brings about change in the system. The first process may be termed, conformity, or,

time. Similarly, social change means observable differences in any social phenomenon over a period of time, and cultural change means observable differences in any cultural phenomenon over a period of time. Broadly speaking, there are two types of social change processes: (i) a process which sustain the social system: and (ii) a process which brings about change in the system, and a change of the system.

1.2.2 The Characteristics of Change
After understanding the concept of change along with social change and cultural change, now it is important to understand the nature and characteristics of change. The main characteristics of change are given below

a) Change is universal. No society is static, whether it is the primitive society, or the most civilized one. The speed and rate of change is relative, it differs fram society to society, and from time to time.

b) Social change is community change. It does not refer to the change in the life of an individual, or life patterns of several individuals. It is a change, which occurs in the life of the...
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