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Factors of Social Change

Factors of Social Change

In every society, social control is exercised with a view to making individual members conform to its standard.
In other words, social values and objectives are laid down by the society. It is through the social process that the individual is made to conform to the ways of social life.

In a society, two opposing forces always operate. They are;

1. Centripetal

  • The centripetal force wants to keep the tradition of the society intact.
  • It moves backward. 

2. Centrifugal

  • On the other hand, the centrifugal force wants radical changes.
  • Because of these opposing forces there is a necessity to maintain balance between the two.
Main Factors of Social Change
The main factors of Social Change include;
  1. Education
  2. Technology
  3. Legislation

1. Education

  • The role of education as an agent or instrument of social change and social development is widely recognized today.
  • Social change may take place:
  1. When human need change,
  2. When the existing social system or network of social institutions fail to meet the existing human needs and
  3. When new materials suggest better ways of meeting human needs.
  • Social change do not take race automatically or by themselves.
  • As Mac Iver says, social charge take place as a response to many type of change that take place on the social and non-social environment.
  • Education can initiate social changes by bring about a change in the outlook and attitude of men.
  • It can bring about a change in the pattern of social relationships and thereby it may cause social changes.
  • There was a time when educational institution and teachers were engaged in transmitting a way of life to the student.
  • During those days, education was more a means of social control than an instrument, of social change.
  • Modern schools and universities do not give much emphasis upon transmitting a way of life to the students.
  • The traditional education why heart for an unchanging, state society.
  • Not marked by rapid changes.
  • But today education aims at imparting empirical knowledge.

  • Education when associated with religion however becomes secular today.
  • It is an instrumental in preparing the way for the development of science and technology.
  • Education has brought about phenomenal charges in every aspect of man's life.
  • It is a process, which enables every individual to effectively participate in the activities of society and to make positive contribution to the process is of society.

2. Technology

  • Technological factors also exercise influence on social change.
  • These factors change us by way of changing our environment.
  • Technology has introduced change in agriculture, medicine, transport and communication.
  • W. F. Ogburn and Karl Marx have supported the role of technological sectors in bringing out social change.
  • Technology has exerted tremendous effects on family, social values, economic life, social life and the state.

Effects on family life:
  • Technology leads to the disintegration of the joint family.
  • Modern women being educated and employed do not like to stay in joint family. Urbanization and industrialization have brought women from home to office and factories.
  • The women have got full liberty.
  • The structure of family has changed from jointness to nuclearisation.
  • Marriage customers are also not free from the effects of the technology. Love marriages, inter-caste marriages, late marriages are increasing day by day.
  • Invention of family planning techniques have enabled people to control birth rate. As a result small family is possible today.
  • Technology has decreased the importance of family as an agency of social control. So other formal agencies are acting as agencies of social control in family life.

Effects on social life:
  • It has changed the old bases of social stratification. Caste has been replaced by wealth and power as the new determinants of social stratification.
  • It has created the problem of housing that have grown largely in cities.
  • It has led to the fall of community life. In the place of 'we-feeling', 'I - feeling' has come up.
  • It has made recreation commercialized. People have opted for cinema, theatre and picnic as means of recreation.
  • It has made social relationship contractual, formal and fragmentary. Each has become a stranger for the other.
  • It has given rise to psychological conflict and mental tensions. The modern industrial man suffers from great mental strain and emotional instability.

Effects on economic life:
  • It has brought division of labour and specialization of work in the economic field.
  • It has raised the standard of living of the people. At the same time heavy consumption and unhealthy competition in the style of living have also come up.
  • It has caused industrial unemployment by introducing more machineries and labour-saving devices in industries.
  • Different types of classes have been emerged in the modern industrial and capitalistic society.
  • The employer-employee relationship has been changed and it has given birth to trade union movement to protect the interest of the labourers.

Effects on the State:
  • It has made the state as a secular state.
  • It has increased the size, function and power of bureaucracy.
  • The old barriers of nationalism have been broken and the idea of the world-state is becoming popular as a result of rapid development in the field of communication and I.T.
  • The idea of welfare state have become popular. The activities of the welfare like maternity and child care, labour welfare, village welfare, better education facilities for weaker sections etc. have been taken up.

Effects on social values:
  • Technology has brought a number of changes in the values of life.
  • The old values have been completely changed.
  • Wealth and money have been given top priority.
  • Religion has lost its importance.
  • Moral values are losing importance.
  • All the matters are being judged from scientific angles.
  • People are becoming more and more self-centered.
  • Man is involved in mad race of competition without knowing the goal.

Effects on agriculture:
  • In the field of agriculture, introduction of new methods of cultivation, new machines, new types of fertilizers, pesticides and new varieties of seeds have increased the quantity and quality of agricultural products.
  • So technology has brought a lot of changes in different aspects of society.
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