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Chapter 21 social change

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Chapter 21 social change

  1. 1. Social Change What is Social Change? Change is an enduring historical force with noticeable variations through. Change may be hardly discernible or easily observable; it may be constructive or destructive; but whatever its nature it occurs everywhere and every time. Change has been regarded in many ways- as means, process, an end, or even a social movement, a state of affairs involving a program, an ideology, and a problem. The use of new objects or ideas to reach a certain goals.
  2. 2. Levels of Human Action and Change  The first level (individual personality) has historically been the sphere of psychologists whether they pursue a psychoanalytic or a behaviorist framework.  The second level (interaction among individuals) constitutes the area of psychology specifically students group dynamics. It consists of the “behaviorist perspective,” including personality, interaction and self theory.
  3. 3.  The third level (group of social systems) has generally been of interest to sociologist. The group is the unit of analysis, particularly the emergent properties of the group where the social level is felt to reside.  The fourth level (cultural system) is the concern of anthropology. Parsons 1966:5) said that the meanings and intentions of human acts are formed in terms of symbol systems, along with the codes through which they operate in patterns that focus most generally on the universal aspect of human society, language.
  4. 4. Culture change refers to all alterations affecting new traits or trait completes in cultural context and structure. It may involve such elements as (Davis 1949:622-623) 1. The development of oral and written language and other means of communications; 2. Modification in technology; 3. Shifts in economic principles; 4. The historical evolution of religious ritual and dogma, educational philosophy, and political ideology. 5. Variations in musical styles and other art forms; 6. Transitions in scientific theories; and 7. Alterations in the forms and rules of social interaction.
  5. 5. Technological change and social change are but specific parts of cultural change. Technological change denotes revisions that occur in people’s application of their technical knowledge and skills as they adapt themselves to their bio-physical environment. The change is evident in: 1. The increasing differentiation in the forms of tools, instruments, and implements used; 2. The constant addition to and deletions from the range of inventions, 3. The obsolescence of and advancement in scientific knowledge; and 4. The innovations in ability to utilize and exploit the natural environment for human needs.
  6. 6.  Social change refers to variations or modifications in the pattern of social organization, of sub-groups within a society, or the entire society itself. This may be manifested in the rise and fall of group, communities, or institutions structures, and functions, or changes in the statuses and roles of members in the family, work setting, church, school, government, health and welfare, leisure and other sub-systems of the social organization.
  7. 7. A typology of theories of social change may be employed to clarify some of the assumptions regarding the “social” and “change” contained in these theories. They are not mutually exclusive. Major differences are emphasized in underlying assumptions and derivative approaches to social change. Four board categories are distinguished:  Evolutionary theories - characterize primarily by assumption of smooth, cumulative change, often in linear fashion, and always in the direction of increasing complexity and adaptability;  Equilibrium theory - characterized by the concept of homeostasis, and focusing on conditions tending toward stability as a consequence;
  8. 8. Conflict theory – characterized by the assumptions that change is endemic to all social organisms, and focusing on conditions that tend toward instability as a consequence; and “Rise and fall” theories - characterized by the assumption that societies, cultures, or civilization regress as well as grow that all societies do not move in the same direction (Appelbaum 1971:9-10)
  9. 9. There are also the modernization or diachrome theories of unilinear change. Modernization theories are concerned with the correlates of industrialization. Modernization has numerous definitions, all of which relate in some way to the process or characteristics of industrialization. Levy defines modernization directly in terms of technology in that he considers any society the more modernized, the greater the ratio of inanimate to animate power sources, and the greater the extent to which human efforts are multiplied by the use of tools. Smelser (1966:110-111) conceived of modernization as related to economic development in at least four distinct but interrelated processes.
  10. 10. 1. In the realm technology, a developing society is changing from simple and traditionalized techniques toward the application of scientific knowledge. 2. In agriculture, the developing society evolves from subsistence farming toward the commercial production of agricultural foods, which means specialization in cash crops, purchase of non- agricultural products in the market, and often agricultural wage labor. 3. In industry, the developing society undergoes a transition from the use of human and animal power toward industrialization proper, or men working for wages at power-driven machines which produce commodities outside the community of production. 4. In ecological arrangements, the developing society moves from the farm and villages toward urban concentrations
  11. 11. Multiple Factors in Social Changes Social Change is closely intertwined with cultural and technological changes. Multiple factors underlie its broad and complex nature. Like the phenomenon in the physical sciences, social change in the social sciences displays rate, direction, form, type, cause, order, stimulants, and barriers in its emergence, development, and decline (Davis 1949:623-636, Foster 1962:64-146; Appelbium 1971:117-138). The study of the factors necessitates the delineation of the length of time, the geographical area, and the group to be considered.
  12. 12. The Rate of Social Change ` Rate is also referred to as speed or pace. When the balance between opposing forces tilts toward change-preventing ones, the stability of the society predominates; on the other hand, when the balance tilts toward the change promoting forces, a rate of the occurs. The rate of social change and the cultural lag that eventually results are perceive by: 1. Comparing the overall culture or parts of the culture of different societies at a given period; 2. Examining the overall culture or parts of the culture of the same society at different times, or; 3. Viewing the parts of the culture of the same society at a specific period.
  13. 13. The Form of Social Change Social change may or may not be repeated over definite periods of time. This characteristic of social change is indicated by the term form. Kingsley Davis (1949:628-629) suggests two ideal forms of social change: (1) the cyclical, in which whole cultures or their parts are repeated over a considerable period of time and; (2) the linear, in which cultures or their specific aspects change in only one direction and never recur.
  14. 14. Direction of Social Change Closely associated with rate and form is the direction of social change. The three may be measured in relation to the objectives that a person or a group wishes to achieve on a long-range or short-range basis. The rapidity or slowness of social change may be defined in accordance with a tentative schedule set for the attainment of special objectives, which in turn contribute toward the fulfillment of a general goal. The form of social change may be deduced on the basis of repetition or continuity of change in the period of ten years. The direction of social change may be evaluated in thye light of its consistency with past or present conditions.
  15. 15. Causes of Social Change Social change is brought about not by one factor alone. To be considered are interplay of various social and non-social factors like geographical location, topography of the land, climate, soil type, plant and animal life, and other natural resources, the people’s motor skills and other abilities, technology, philosophical, religious, moral and ethical values, beliefs, social organization, and other social norms. It is not only the occurrence and combination of these factors in a given situation at a given time that brings about social change. It is also important to take into account their synchronization harmony, correlation or reciprocity, coordination or unity, and strains, stresses, dysfunctions. The physical environment does not by itself cause social or culture change. It provides conditions that may or may not induce change. History gives innumerable example of the physical environment on change. Natural disaster have periodically disrupted life for large populations – loss of life, destruction of property, migration patterns, reorientation to different life styles.
  16. 16. The Sources of Social Change Culture changes not only by the simple accumulation of elements. Changes are also brought about by the selective acceptance/addiction or rejection/discarding of or the changed emphasis on existing elements. Throughout the history of humanity, gains as well as losses in culture have been the result of a selective rather than a random process. An element of culture is accepted, resisted, or rejected not merely because it is fundamentally useful or useless but because of its relationship with the rest of the culture which may or may not assimilate it.
  17. 17. Changes in culture always involve innovations. An innovation is “any thought, behavior, or thing that is new because it is qualitatively different from existing forms” (Barnet 1953:7-10). It is the development or recognition of ne elements or pattern (either material or non-material) in a culture. It includes both discovery and invention, as well as minor changes too small to be classified as invention. It is always dependent upon a knowledge of the existing culture, for it involves the reinterpretation or new combination of old culture traits or complexes, or selection of elements from old patterns to create new patterns. It is stimulated by the re-examination of knowledge through culture contact, for example. Innovation is itself a stimulus to further innovation (Theodorson and Theodorson 1969:204205). Thus, the most important point about an innovation is the rearrangement of the interrelationships of its elements and not the increase or decrease of these elements.
  18. 18. The Order of Social Change Between or within the societies, as a whole or in parts, there is continuous “strain for consistency” between forces that either promote or prevent change. Those that prevent change struggle to preserve the status quo. Because change is inherent in every culture, the change-promoting forces, in the long run, win over the change-preventing forces. In the development of social change, the order of a series of stages is traceable in various ways. Varying levels of acceptance of innovations by members of a certain society at agiven time have been identified by Lionberger (1960) as:
  19. 19. 1. Awareness of the innovation. Initial awareness of the innovation by a few, usually the elite, is spread to the masses. 2. Interest in the innovation. When people become aware of an innovation, they usually develop an interest to know more about it. 3. Experimentation with the innovation. The testing of the innovation may be limited or extensive, superficial or intensive. A demonstration of how the innovation can be applied is often, if not always, required by the people. 4. Application of the innovation. After it is demonstrated that the innovation is significant and the revisions can be made to fit it to the needs of the people, its application s increased and popularized. 5. Adoption of the innovation. The innovation gradually becomes more a part of the social norms of the people.
  20. 20. On an individual basis, the acceptance of innovations may take the following order: 1. The Innovators – the first to adopt a new practice in a locality they are willing and able to take the risk. 2. The Early Adopters – those who watch the innovators and accept practices that in their judgement, work out successfully. 3. The Early Majority Adopters – those who follow the lead of the early adopters; they must be quite sure the practice will work out well in their venture. 4. The Late Majority Adopters – those who follow the practices and advise of the early majority adopters; they are willing to take risks. 5. Laggards and Non-adopters – those who, because of isolation or negative motivation, are slow to adopt the practices, and those who never adopt them because of age or other circumstances (Polson 1965:73-74)
  21. 21. On an institutional basis, the order of social change is as follows: 1. Changes in technology. People can grasp the significance of a new object more easily than they can grasp a new idea. A new object is tangible and aimed primarily at the satisfaction of a certain immediate, utilitarian, and practical need. A new idea, on the other hand, is abstract, and is often viewed as being in conflict with the current values of society, especially if the idea it aims to replace is deeply ingrained in the value of system of society. 2. Application in Changes in Technology by economic institutions. Since economic institutions exist primarily to produce and distribute goods and service, they usually are the first to feel the effects of changes in technology. 3. The impact of changes in other social institutions. Changes in economic institutions are usually followed by disruptions in the social structures of the family, church, school, government, and other institutions. 4. The penetration of the social values. Social values which are deeply rooted at the base of social institutions and in one and more individual personality structures are the last to be influenced and the hardest to change. People regard attempts to change social values as subversive and destructive of the existing social system and social order. Their attitudes may range from suspicion to active hostility.
  22. 22. Barriers and Stimulants to Social Changes These barriers and stimulants may be cultural, social, or psychological. Among the values and attitudes that impede social change are traditionalism, cultural ethnocentrism, pride and dignity, and norms of society. Traditionalism predisposes the society to believe that anything that happens is the will of some supernatural force and cannot be modified by human effort. The social barriers to change involve (1) patterns of cooperation, (2) patterns of competition or conflict, (3) authority patterns, and (4) characteristics of the social structure. The psychological barriers to change may be (1) differences in perception (2) problems of communication and learning.
  23. 23. The Type of Social Change Social change may be directed (guided, planned, structured) or non- directed (unplanned or unstructured). It takes place through the mass media, trade, war, intermarriage, educational exchange programs, science congresses, conferences, seminars, art exhibits, travel missionary work, beauty contests, athletic meets, and many other means. Social change may be directed (guided, planned, structured) or non- directed (unplanned or unstructured). It takes place through the mass media, trade, war, intermarriage, educational exchange programs, science congresses, conferences, seminars, art exhibits, travel missionary work, beauty contests, athletic meets, and many other means. While efforts along nondirected change are undoubtedly being exerted to facilitate these, there have been more information gathered on the efforts exerted through directed change. For instance, in the Philippines, community agencies in both the public and private sectors have been set up. Each defines its own philosophy, sets its goals and objectives, adopts its own approaches and techniques, initiates its projects and activities, draws up its schedules, and selects its targets of change within a geographical area.
  24. 24. Social Change in Philippine Society Philippine society is in a flux change. A major consequence of change in the Philippines which is also taking place in the other parts of the contemporary world is modernization. This implies a change from the traditional way of life to a more complex, technologically advanced, rapidly changing style of life. The various elements of socio-cultural change are industrialization, urbanization, technology, population, education, bureaucracy, medicine and public health, and recreation.
  25. 25. Randolph S. David (1982:21) cities a significant set of studies for development in the Philippines, as follows: 1. Clarify what kind of society we have become as a function of our colonial experience; 2. Define the salient features of the global and regional environment within which our society is moving, and bring out the basic constraints of these supra-national system: 3. Reveal the precise mechanisms by which the existing system is able to reproduce and perpetuate itself, and bring out ways and techniques of these powers as well as identify its most vulnerable points; 4. Identify and understand how people are able to effectively organize themselves in order to gain control over their lives, or simply o effectively insulate themselves from the instabilities of daily life; 5. Constantly assess the possibilities of real structural change in our society, specifically by defining the basic characteristics of the environment within which people’s movement for change must operate and formulate the conditions under which spontaneous people’s organizations can become part of a larger process of societal revivals; and 6. Conceptualize a version of alternative structures in conformity with our people’s desire for a free, just, dignified and prosperous life for all.

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