Social Change and Social Order In Rural and Urban Society

Social Change and Social Order In Rural and Urban Society

Question

How can social change be distinguished from other kinds of change ?

Answer
Distinguish between social change and other types of changes : ‘Social change’ is such a general term that it can be, and often is used to refer to almost any kind of change not qualified by some other term, such as economic or political change.

Under the following way we can mention difference between social changes and other types of changes.

(i) Scope : Social change does not include any and all changes, but only big ones. Changes which transform things fundamentally. The ‘bigness’ of change is measured not only by how much change it brings about, but also by the scale of the change, that is by how large a section of society it affects. In other words, changes have to be both intensive and extensive - have a big impact spread over a large sector of society - in order to qualify as social change.

(ii) A broiad term : Even after this kind of specification, social change still remains a very broad term. Attempts to further qualify it usually try to classify it by its sources or causes; by its nature, or the kind of impact it has on society; and by its pace or speed.

Example : For instance, evolution is the name given to a kind of change that takes place slowly over a long period of time. This term was made famous by the natural scientist Charles Darwin, who proposed a theory of how living organisms evolve – or change slowly over several centuries or even millenia, by adopting themselves to natural circumstances. Darwin's theory emphasized the idea of the survival of the fittest - only those life forms manage to survive who are best adapted to their environment; those that are unable to adapt or are too slow to do so die out in the long-run.

(iii) Biological changes : Charles Darwin suggested that human beings evolved from sea-borne life forms (or verities offish) to land-based mammals, passing through various stages the highest of which were the various varieties of monkeys and chimpanzees until finally the homo sapiens or human form was evolved. Although Darwin's theory referred to natural processes, it was soon adapted to the social world and was termed social Darwinism a theory that emphasised the importance of adaptive change in contrast to evolutionary change, change that occurs comparatively quickly, even suddenly, is sometimes called ‘revolutionary change’.

(iv) Political Context : It is used mainly in the political context, when the power structure of society changes very rapidly through the overthrow of a former ruling class or groups by its challengers.

Examples : For instances we can include the French revolution (1789-93) and the Russian revolution of 1917. But the term has also been used more generally to refer to sharp, sudden and total transformation of other kinds as well, such as in the phrase ‘industrial revolution’ or telecommunication revolution and so on.

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