Back to: Sociological Foundation of Education -Unit 3
Describe the Meaning, Nature and Characteristics of Social Change
Social change has various definitions mainly because it can be applied to various situations. Social change refers to any modification, difference, or alteration that occurs in an object or situation in the course of time. Any changes that occur in human interrelations and interactions can also be termed as social change. Since society consists of several relationships, any changes that occur in the social relationship systems can also be labelled as social change.
Meaning of Social Change
Kingsley Davis states,
“By social change is meant only such alterations as occur in social organization, that is, structure and functions of society.”
What are the five theories of social change ?
H.T. Mazumdar adds,
“Social change may be defined as a new fashion or mode, either modifying or replacing the old, in the life of people or in the operation of society.”
According to Lundberg,
“Social change refers to any modifications in the established patterns of inter-human relationship and standard of conduct.”
Gillin and Gillin add,
“Social changes are variations from the accepted modes of life; whether due to alteration in geographical conditions, in cultural equipment, composition of the population or ideologies whether brought about by diffusion or inventions within the group.”
Morris Ginsberg asserts,
“By social change I understand a change in social structure, i.e. the size of a society, the composition or balance of its parts or the type of its organisation.”
M.E. Jones states,
“Social change is a term used to describe variations in, or modifications of, any aspect of social process, social patterns, social interaction or social organisations.”
Nature and Characteristics of Social Change
Social Change is temporal
Since social change is concerned with change occurring in time-sequence and society in itself exists as a time-sequence, it is temporal. It includes renovation and modification of existing behaviour, innovation of new things, and eliminating old behaviour patterns.
Social Change is objective
Social change is a term which is considered to be objective because it is not attached to value-judgements and it describes categorical processes.
Social Change is continuous
Society is always under the influence of some or the other change. As a result, society cannot keep modifications and alterations at bay due to which there is no end to social change.
Social Change involves human change
Social change is also concerned with the human aspects because the society is composed of human beings which is always changing and never constant.
Social Change is environmental
Social change occurs within a physical, cultural, or geographical context. All of these factors impact human behaviours and modifies a man.
Maclver and Page opines, “Social change refers to “a process” responsive to many types of changes; to change in the manmade condition of life; to changes in the attitudes and beliefs of men, and to the changes that go beyond the human control to the biological and the physical nature of things.