Social Change

Social Change (Intoduction)- The word ‘’change’’ denotes a difference in anything observed over a period of time. Social change, therefore, would mean observable differences in any social phenomena over any period of time. The following are some of its definitions-

  • Jones, ‘’Social change is a term used to describe variations in, or modifications of , any aspect of social processes, social patterns, social interaction or social organization.
  • H.T Mazumdar ,’’Social change may be defined as a new fashion or mode, either modifying or replacing the old, in the life of a people ,or in the operation of a society.’’
  • M.D. Jenson, ‘’ Social change may be defined as modification in ways of doing and thinking of people.’’

On the basis of these definitions it may be concluded that social change refers to the changes that take place around the society over a period of time. These changes take very long period of time because societal pattern changes with time and changing environment. These changes take place basically in terms of culture, environmental patterns, religion, clothing, food pattern etc. People adopt according to the changes that take place in society and develop the habit and mindset that allow them to adapt to the societal changes that take place around them. The changes in art, language, technology, philosophy, etc. may not included in the term ‘’Social Change’’ which should be interpreted in a narrow sense to mean alterations in the field of social relationships.

It is a change in the institutional and normative structure of a society. Society undergoes changes because of many cultural, social, political ,economic etc changes that happens which changes the mindset of the millions of the people and these people are the torch bearers of the great and influential changes that happens all around the world. Because of these changes we have produced some of the great minds all over the world such as Alexander, Chanakya,Aristole,Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela,Martin Luther King Junior,Max Weber, Napolean etc who have the whole outlook of the society as a whole with their sharp minds, confidence, swift movements and actions etc. These are some of the people in this universe who name is written on the golden and by reading their interesting achievements and talents which they processed and changed the whole conception of the society are remembered for a long period of time.

Because of their great contributions and talents the whole perception of the society changed all around the world. Societal change is the usual change that takes place over the centuries and the coming periods. We have seen many powerful dynasties being overthrown by other powerful dynasties and with changing dynasties and cultures, the mindsets and social perception of the people in the society also changes. The greatest dynasties of all time such as Roman Empire, Mauryan Empire, Greek Empire, Mongol Empire, Mayan Civilization, Mughal Empire etc brought lots of changes with them and changed the whole pattern and outlook of the society and cultural and social patterns also changed with these dynasties. The social and cultural patterns have also changed the environmental patterns of that region. Changes in environmental patterns also takes a longer period of time along with the changes that takes place in the societal patterns.

NATURE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF SOCIAL CHANGE

The main characteristics of the nature of social change as follows-

1) Social change is a universal phenomenon- Social change is a universal phenomenon because the changes that take place in cultural, social, religious, food patterns, environmental patterns ,architectural patterns etc takes a very longer period of time because these changes takes time for the people to adjust accordingly and these changes takes places over years or even centuries. For instance, take the example of Islam influence in India or British Colonization that took place around the world.

The Islam’s influence in India bought many cultural,social,architectural,religious,dressing-patterns etc changes in India. This also resulted in the intermixing of cultural and ideological thoughts and processes between the two different religions ie. Hindus and Muslims in Indian Subcontinent. Similarly the influence of French, Portuguese,Spanish,Dutch,British rules all around the world brought many changes all around the world and thus it resulted in the universal social change. So it can be justified with these processes that social change is a universal change.

2) Social Change is community change- Social change does not mean individual change. It involves whole community where the changes in social pattern includes all the communities and social changes include wholesome changes in all these communities.These changes take place over a period of time and even centuries and changes the life patterns in these communities and these communities adopt according to these changes. For instance, globalisation all over the world resulted in the changes in terms of food, clothing , housing, lifestyle etc in these indigenous communities and changed their lifestyle as a whole community.

3) Speed of social is continuous- While social change occurs in all societies, its speed is not uniform in every society. In most societies it occurs so slowly that it is often not noticed by those who live in them. Even in modern societies there seems to be little or no change in many areas. Social change in urban areas is faster than in rural areas.

4) Social change is continuous- Society is constantly changing. These changes are inevitable. Society cannot be stored and preserved . These changes occurs over a period of time which takes years or even centuries but it is continuous because it is nature of law that changes takes place every time in the society where whole of the community leaves.

5) Social Change is temporal- Change takes place through time. Change is temporal in the sense it denotes time-sequence. In reality, society exists only as a time sequence. Innovation  of new patterns, modification and renovation of the existing behavioural traits, discarding of old styles and acceptance of new behaviour takes time.

CAUSES OF SOCIAL CHANGE

Internal Causes of Social Change

1) Strain and Conflict- Every society undegoes changes over a period of time and with these changes arises conflicts of interests and strained relationship between different groups of people in a community. With these conflicts and interests arises new ideas and thoughts which results in social changes that take place around the world which results in new type of cultural, architectural.clothing patterns etc and so no society is free from conflicts and strains that take place between these communities of people and so with the changes of patterns of lifestyle of people, there arises social strains and conflicts which results in new cultural and social patterns.

2) Social Problems – With the changes in the society that take place , there arises many problems and social unrests which needs to be addressed by the government officials and other officials which will result in the upliftment of the society and development of the whole community.

Problems such as poverty, illeteracy, lack of resources, societal conflicts, beggary, problems related to women and children etc. These problems leads to the societal degradation and results in the underdevelopment and deprivation from many things in the society. So these problems needs to be addressed as soon as possible because it results in many social problems that takes place in the society and further creates problems that becomes difficult to be addressed. So all the concerned officials should overcome these social problems so to overcome all the social problems that takes place in society.

3) Cultural Change- Cultural change is also an important factor in the contribution of social change. Cultural change means when a new culture overpowers the existing culture over a period time.These cultural changes bring changes in language, food, clothing etc and it also results in the intermixing of old and existing culture . But these cultural change also results in conflicts and tensions between twoi communities.For instance with the coming of Arabs in India , it resulted in the development of Hindu-Islamic Culture in Indian Subcontinent and so many new cultural patterns evolved with it with resulted in social change. But cultural changes also brings the feeling of unity in diversity in the community so it acts as both boon and bane for the society.

IMPACT OF SOCIAL AND NON-SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT

1) Non-social Environment- Changes like soil erosion, deforestation, flooding, earthquakes, tsunami, cyclone, hurricanes, etc, bring social change with them. These natural calamities results in either migration or people leaving their native places because their place of origin has been destroyed due to the calamity and so having no option left, they migrate to different places which results in the intermixing of cultures which results in social change.

2) Social Environment- Change in political parties, milliatary rule, trade shifts etc also are the important factors which contribute in the process of social change. Political instability, trade conflicts, milliatary conflicts etc results in tensions and fear among different sections of people in the society. These changes results in the development of new cultural and social patterns and hence contribute in social development.

THEORIES OF SOCIAL CHANGE

Among the theories of social change there are two types of theories of social changes which are as mentioned below-

(a) direction of social change, and

(b) the causes of social change

(a) Direction Of Social Change- It talks about the directional changes in the societal patterns that takes place over a period of time which brings who brings wholesome changes in the society. The sociologists had different terms and views on the directional patterns of the society. For instance each sociologists viewed the culture of the primitive people as completely static, but this was abandoned with the appearance of scientific studies of preliterate cultures. The scientist viewed the changes that took place within these people very slowly and it took a really took a longer period of time in societal changes taking place in these communities but the changes that took place in recent times is swift and rapid because many incidents which were related to political, cultural, architectural etc took a rapid change and hence many new societal patterns developed or changed. Various theories have been advanced which we will know them in detail

1) Theory of Deterioration- Some thinkers have identified social changes that take place around the society with the term deterioration. We all know the exact meaning of deterioration which means becoming worse. So the societal changes that takes place over a period of time deteriorates with time and environment .Deterioration began to take place with the result that man reached an age of comparative degeneration. It was expressed in the epic poems of India, Persia and Sumeria.

Thus, according to Indian Mythology man has passed through four ages- Satyug, Treta, Dwapar and Kaliyug. The Satyug was the best age in which man was honest, truthful and perfectly happy. Thereafter degeneration began to take place. The modern age is the age of Kaliyug wherein man is deceitful, treacherous, false,dishonest,selfish and consequently unhappy. These were some of the ideas and views which were related to theory of deterioration which talks the societal changes.

2) Cyclic Theory-  Another ancient notion which is related to the societal change that takes place in the society is the cyclic theory. Cyclic theory means the changes that takes place side by side over a period of time. Human life goes around different cycles from time time and with these changes it also results in the changes in patterns of society . These are cyclic in nature and forms an important parts in the lives of the people. Looking with this perspective various sociologists have expressed their views-

Sprengler believes that society has a predetermined life-cycle and has birth, growth, maturity, and decline. Modern society is in the last stage. It is in its old age. But since history repeats itself, society after passing through all the stages, returns to the original stage, where the cycle again begins. This concept is found in Hindu Mythology, according to which Satyug will again start after Kaliyug is over.

3) Speed of social is continuous- While social change occurs in all societies, its speed is not uniform in every society. In most societies it occurs so slowly that it is often not noticed by those who live in them. Even in modern societies there seems to be little or no change in many areas. Social change in urban areas is faster than in rural areas.

4) Social change is continuous- Society is constantly changing. These changes are inevitable. Society cannot be stored and preserved . These changes occurs over a period of time which takes years or even centuries but it is continuous because it is nature of law that changes takes place every time in the society where whole of the community leaves.

5) Social Change is temporal- Change takes place through time. Change is temporal in the sense it denotes time-sequence. In reality, society exists only as a time sequence. Innovation  of new patterns, modification and renovation of the existing behavioural traits, discarding of old styles and acceptance of new behaviour takes time.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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