Social Change and Social Order In Rural and Urban Society

Social Change and Social Order In Rural and Urban Society

Question

Explain in brief the different types of structural change.

Answer
Types of Structural Change : According to Harry M. Johnson, social change on a narrow sense is change in social structure which takes place in five areas :

(i) Change in social valies.

(ii) Change in institutions.

(iii) Change in the distribution of possessions and rewards.

(iv) Change in personnel.

(v) Change in the abilities or attitudes of personnel.

We will explain in brief each of the above referred areas here one by one :

(i) Change in Social Values : The most vital strutueral change is a change in the standard of society, which we call Values'.

(a) The values that we are talking of are those that directly affect the content of social roles and social interaction.

(b) Changes in such ‘Values’ are likely to have far-reaching consequences for the more detailed aspect of social structure and for the overall functioning of social systems.

(c) Example : For instance, when India got independence the framers of India's Constitution decided to promote secularism which came to influence other values of the polity and society of free India.

(ii) Change in Institutions :

(a) Change occuring in the more definite structures, such as focus of organisation, role and role content, refer to institutinal change.

(b) A change can consist in the introduction of something new or in a shift in the relative significance of patterns already existing.

(c) Example : For instance, with urbanisation and increasing mobility the family system which were originally joint became increasingly nuclear. This has also affected interrelationships among members in the nuclear family in the redefinition of roles.

(iii) Change in the Distriubution of Possessions and Rewards :

(a) There is a close connection between possession and rewards. In some particular cases, the distinction between the two is almost analytical.

(b) Wages, for instance, are a reward for services, a symbol of approval and at the same time a possessions.

(c) There are also intangible rewards such as prestige, reputation, love, affection, etc. Such rewards are constantly shifting.

(d) Rewards constitute a form of power and affect processes of decision making and possibly the level of functioning of the social system.

(iv) Change in Personnel :

(a) If any change takes palce in the position of a personnel in the social system, it brings social change. The significance of these changes varies.

(b) At a very concrete level, everyone is unique in so far as one occupies a special social status.

(c) In a subtle way, the expectations with regard to quality and type of role performance is affected by the strange personality of the role occupant.

(d) Changes in personnel way slowly lead to changes in values or in institutional patterns.

(e) As for instance a change in the head of any institution say school lead to a corresponding change in a series of aspects ranging from change in the style of working to changing patterns of relationships to change values.

(f) The overall efficiency obtains a different character with the change in the head of the institution.

(v) Change in the Abilities or Attitudes of personnel :

(a) A change in the attitude of the personnel cannot always constitute structural change but it can sometimes lead to it. For whole behaviour and attitude of people towards time, punctuality, etc, underwent a change.

(b) Similarly the invention of the computer brought about far-reaching changes not only within the family but also in the larger social system.

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