Social Change and Social Order In Rural and Urban Society

Social Change and Social Order In Rural and Urban Society

Question

What are some kinds of changes brought about by technology and the economy ?

Answer
Kinds of changes brought about by technology and Economy :

1. The combination of technological and economic : Change has been responsible for immense social changes, specially in the modern period. Technology affects society in a wide variety of ways. As seen above, it can help us to resist, control, adapt to or harness nature in different ways. In combination with the very powerful institution of the market, technological change can be as impressive in its social impact as natural factors like a tsunami or the discovery of oil.

2. Industrial Revolution : The most famous instance of massive and immediately visible social change brought about by technological change in the Industrial Revolution itself.

3. Discover of new source of Energy : The discovery of steam power allowed emerging form of large scale industry to use of a source of energy that was not only for stronger than animals or human beings, but was also capable of continuous operation without rest. When harnessed to modes of transport like the stream ship and the railway, it transformed the economy and social geography of the world.

4. Beginning of Railways : The railroad enabled the westward expansion of industry and trade on the American continent and in Asia. In India too, the railway have played a very important role in shaping the economy, specially in the first century after their introduction in 1853. Steamships made ocean voyages much faster and much more reliable, thereby changing the dynamics of international trade and migration. Both these developments created gigantic ripples of change which affected not only the econony but also the social, cultural and demographic dimensions of world society.

5. Impact and Role of new sources of energy : The importance and impact of steam power became visible relatively quick; however, sometimes, the social impact of technological invention or discovery may produce limited immediate effects, as though it were lying dormant. Some later change in the economic context may suddenly change the social significance of the same invention and give it recognition as a historic event.

Example : Example of this are the discovery of gunpower and writing paper in china which had only limited impact for centuries until they were inserted into the conext of modernising Western Europe.

6. Use of gunpower and paper : From the vantage point, given the advantage of enabling circumstances, gunpowder helped to transform the technology of warfare and the paper-print revolution changed society forever. Another example closer home is the case of technological innovations in the textile industry in Britain. In combination with market forces and imperial power, the new spinning and weaving machines destroyed the handloom industry of the Indian subcontinent which was, until then, the largest and most advanced in the world.

7. Changes in economic organisation (Agriculture) : Sometimes changes in economic organisation that are not directly technological can also change society. In a well- known historical example, plantation agriculture — that is, the growing of single cash crops like sugarcane, tea or cotton on a large scale — created a heavy demand for labour. This demand helped to established the institution of slavery and the slave trade among Africa, Europe and the Americas between the 17th and 19th centuries.

8. Plantation Industry in India : In India, too, the tea plantation of Assam involved the forced migration of labour from Eastern India (specially the Adivasi areas of Jharkhand and Chattisgarh). Today, in many parts of the world, changes in custom duties or tariffs brought about by international agreements and institutions like the World Trade Organisation (WTO) can lead to entire industries and occupations being wiped out or (less often) sudden booms or periods of prosperity for other industries or occuaptions.

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