What are the Effects and Consequences of Social Change?

What are the Effects and Consequences of Social Change?

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.”

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.”

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.

The effects and consequences of social change are as follows: 


It helps people to adjust with their environment and master it at the same time through the acquisition of novel skills. Human beings can be kept under control and historical values, kindness, and other such positive qualities can be promoted.

Change in Mindset

Social changes based on westernisation can also affect the mindset of some narrow minded people leading to occurrences of discrimination and harassment. On a positive note, it can enable individuals to enhance their life in various aspects such as political, economical, cultural, and social.

Affects Population Growth

Both the quality of the composition of the demography and the size and density of the human population can be affected by social change as there can be a rise, fall, or decline.

Possible Social Conflict

Since society consists of a large group of people and different cultures reside together, there may be occurrences of conflicts and this can also be a major result of social change.

Cultural Changes

Social changes can also spring forth changes in a society’s cultural practices since Malinowski defines culture,

“as the handiwork of man and as the medium through which he achieves his end.”

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.”

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