Meaning of Social Change
Discuss about the Social Change for World History.
Social change is a broad aspect and includes several important points in it. World history is the proof of the changes that have occurred over the ages. From "society" comes the word "social." A society comprises of people from different cultural backgrounds, communities and so on and consequently, the change in the society is a continuous process (Ghimire and Pimbert 2013). The essay discusses the several factors contributing towards the social change and cites several examples to make the concept of social change clearer. Social change in today's time is inevitable, and it has some positive and negative sides of it. However, social change and globalization are inter connected and because of social change and transition the world has become a global place for all. In Australia and other countries as well the society has evolved or changed over the years, and it has affected the view, thinking, and ideas of the people. Social change is also a way of interchanging ideas and thoughts among people of different cultures. However, the paper primarily focuses on the meaning of social change and then discusses the inevitability of the change. Some important theory along with several other key factors associated with society is broadly discussed in this paper.
Social change is an alteration or change in the normal pattern of society. To understand this, one should understand the meaning of society. Society is a group of people, generally living in a common place with one or different cultural and religious beliefs. However, in some places, a society comprises of people from same cultural group whereas in some societies people from different cultures can be seen. However, from this, it can be comprehended that change or transition in society is inevitable. Social change can be of various types. It can be economical, cultural, technological, religious and so on. Society in actual is a summation of many people. Therefore the change in a society is also the reflection of the mindsets and ideas of the individual (Ghimire and Pimbert 2013). Cultural change has started many years ago and is a contemporary phenomenon in today’s world that affects all humans. For, example Australia was once a land of aboriginals, but it is now a multicultural country. Aboriginals do exist, but their ways of life have been refined over the ages. Then in U.S once, the black Americans were not given much respect and acknowledgment but now, with the change of people's concept and thinking they are very much a part of mainstream Australia. However, social change is indeed inevitable and does not happen in a day. It takes considerable time for the change to usher in and persist in a society (Adger et al. 2013). Cultural change is a worldwide phenomenon and this change in a way shapes individuals. However, some of the basic social theories can be discussed further.
Factors Contributing towards Social Change
Some simple and basic social theories help to understand the several actions and thoughts of people. The theories explain societies in brief and show how the world changes with a change in society. Some of the major theories of sociology can be discussed hereafter for a clear understanding of the topic. "Structural-functional theory” is one of the important theories in the field of sociology. This theory proposes that society works as a unit through the contribution of several contributing factors. Our body works as a whole, but it is due to the working of several organs (Zhu and Westphal 2015). Similarly, several factors like politics, economy, infrastructure, culture work together to make society work smoothly. This, theory or illustration can be applied in practical life as well. In U.S, the society works smoothly due to the proper working their economical sector, religious norms and so. In Australia, also the society works with the help of various cultural and religious views. If this structural functionality is disturbed, then the society in a whole will suffer greatly. In this structure, change is an inevitable factor and is a continuous process (Barnes 2014).
“Social- conflict theory” states that conflict is inevitable in any social group. Since society is made up of people from different cultural groups variation in views and ideas will persist. This can often lead to racial conflict and anarchy in society (Stroebe et al. 2012). The same happened in America. The black Africans were not treated equally and were looked down upon. This happened for several years and gradually gave birth of social conflict. After that with time, the black Africans became a part of mainstream America, and several rules and laws were made in their favor. In the year, 1960 due to this racial conflict civil rights were given to the black Americans, and now both the white Americans and black Americans have equality of rights. The same social conflict theory applies to the Australian society as well. At the time when the Europeans came and settled in Australia, a huge rift was created between the Europeans and the aborigines of the land. However, with time by staying in the same community, mutual understanding is developed between them, and now a new form of society has emerged out the conflict and antagonism (Lenski 2013). The theories are the guiding principles and lead us to a better understanding of a topic. The theories are not only bookish but also have its practical implications. However, it is, therefore, understandable that social conflict is unavoidable and it is a way to usher in something new.
Major Theories of Sociology
“Feminism theory” is not only about women or about females but it is about men as well. It plays a great role in cultural change and evolution of society. Feminism in the context of social change is all about equality of women and men in society (Stanley 2013). In this prospect, one can go back to early times when women were supposed to be managing household works and men were to work outside. Then there were several other rules for women in society. In some societies, purdha system was in vogue for women. Women had to stay behind a veil and were unable to show her face in public. In fact, in today’s time also there are some places where this system still prevails. With all these, a developing change cannot happen in society. Initially, the inequality between men and women is required to be eradicated. Feminism is an important topic of discussion in this context and is the key of initiating social change. With gradual progress in time, the position of women changed in society. From managing household work, women now manage office works. However, the inequality persists and research shows that in U.S the women are paid less than the men are are. In offices, also, men are most likely to get good and high positions than women. Worldwide, it is seen that in government bodies there are less number of women. This societal norms and ways should be same for all and it is then society can change for good. Social change is a constant process, and the alteration occurs with the change in individual's way of life. Feminism theory teaches to practice equality between men and women in society. For example, in the Middle East, the women are not given much liberty. There are some strict rules for women regarding their dress code, conduct and way of life. This type of society is dominated by men and will eventually not lead to any fruitful change. Cultural change is a global phenomenon and is happening since ages (Pateman and Grosz 2013). Social change also influences the fashion of women. For example, now women wear formal wears in offices, which was once a male attire. An intermixing of fashion also occurs due to social change. Females or women form an important part of any society, and a healthy development or evolution of the society depends hugely on the progress of women.
Examples of Social Change
The social change primarily occurs due to several factors. Due to change in culture or intermixing of culture new, a form of cultural beliefs and thoughts are formed. Due to change in geographical location, cultural change occurs (Eisenstadt 2013). There are many who settle in an all-new location leaving their native place and gradually inherits a new social way of conduct and thinking. An amalgamation of new ideas and views occurs with a change in geographical location. Other factors like a political movement, religious processions and so on also lead to social change. Political parties publicize their principles and ethics. This creates an influence on the people in a community, and they imply the changes in their action, which in turn affects the society. For example, Barack Obama's government has some specific objectives, and it wholly influences the Americans. Obama's government motivates American people to work hard, to possess individuality, to have a peaceful environment and to keep their country first. This induces a change in society and the behaviors of individuals (Grusec and Lytton 2012). The theory of Karl Marx is also related to social change. His theory defines the society and the prevalent worldwide social change. His theory defines economic facility should be equal or all. He was against the oppression of the bourgeoisie class on the working class people (Goldstein 2012). The class conflict between the bourgeoisie and the working people in the 19th century gave way to new social change (Aubert et al. 2013). Marxist theory is the accumulation of wealth among the rich people and propels class conflicts. The theory favors the working class and motivates them to rise in rebellion against the capitalistic market system. This theory is applied in many cases of economics. “The Marxist theory” suggests that class-consciousness is essential for ushering in social change (Mouffe 2014). The great anarchy and chaos in London in the 19th century is an appropriate example of class struggle. In this context, Marx proposed his theory. His theory is applicable in today’s time as well. Unequal distribution of wealth is still in vogue. It is only when the oppressed class is aware that change can be brought. There are many states in recent times where an imbalance in the distribution of wealth prevails. For example, the developing or underdeveloped nations of our world are impoverished and do not have enough money or asset provide their country people a standard living (Fuchs and Mosco 2015). This inequality does not help in a sustainable growth of the world. In fact, in the same society, this inequality prevails that gives birth to mutual distrust, jealousy, and conflict. For example, countries like Somalia, Mongolia, Yugoslavia and so on have a very poor standard of living. They are the least developed countries and lag far behind from the developed nations like America, London and so on. However, from all the theories discussed it is evident that social change is a complex process and happens gradually.
Importance of Feminism Theory in Cultural Change
Social change, therefore, is an unavoidable phenomenon and includes several factors in it. It is a constant process of development and evolution. Social change is associated with some important theories of sociology, and it has its practical implications in our day-to-day life. Social change has started from the ancient ages and is still a continuous process. It is just like a flowing river that undergoes various changes with the course of time. Class-conflict, functional structure, feminism, Marxist theory all are vital points of discussion in this prospect. The examples discussed in the essay also clearly reflect the practicality of the theories. Humans are an important factor in the social change, and they are the units of society. Society is, therefore, a reflection of a group of individuals, their culture, their ideas, their thoughts, their religious belief and so on. Social change in the contemporary world brings about a change in the fashion, food and lifestyle of people as well. People in various part of the world now have a global view and approach. Society is the representative of a group of people, and it is not something static. Due to various cultural influences, ethnic influences, religious influence there is a constant evolution of something new within the society. Social change is also a way of breaking the age-old tradition and ushering in new ideas and concepts. However, this essay provides in-depth knowledge and understanding of the inevitability of the cultural change and how it has become a global process. Social theories and extensive examples further establish the practicality of the change.
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