Social Change and Modernization
Chapter 16 of Society: The Basis, Eleven Edition, by John J. Macionis.
Professor Charlotte Fan
University of Phoenix
Due Date 04/24/2012
Social Change is the transformation of culture and social institutions over time (Merton, 1968). A key feature of social change is that it is constant and just about everything in life is subject to change. Social change is sometimes intentional but often unplanned. An example of this can be seen with the unforeseen impact certain inventions had on society such as cars and airplanes. Social change is controversial. Some inventions are celebrated by some while condemned by others. Some social changes are more significant than others, such as cars and planes as opposed to hair and clothing styles.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving is an Alternative Social Movement because they target a small group of people displaying a specific behavior. Alcoholic Anonymous is a Redemptive Social Movement because they help certain people redeem their lives. The Civil Rights Movement is a Reformative Social Movement because they seek limited change in society yet target all of society as participants in their movement. The Communist Party is a Revolutionary Social Movement because their aim is to transform all of society and gain exclusive control of a government.
Modernization is the process of social change begun by industrialization. The key features of Modernization are a decline in small, cohesive communities where each person had a defined place, usually identified by kinship. Modernization caused people to see their lives as an unending series of options where they were able to take control of their lives instead of feeling that their lives were shaped by forces beyond their control (Britannica, 2012). Modernization changed societies where strong family ties and religious beliefs emphasized conformity and discouraged...
References: Social Groups: Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Online, 2012. Web. 27 Mar. 2012.
Merton, Robert K. (1936-12). "The Unanticipated Consequences of Purposive Social Action". American Sociological Review 1 (6): 894–904. doi:10.2307/2084615.
J. C. Davies (February, 1962). "Toward a theory of revolution" American Sociological Review, Volume 27:5-19
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