Social Change and Social Order In Rural and Urban Society

Social Change and Social Order In Rural and Urban Society

Question

What is meant by social order and how is it maintained ?

Answer
1. Meaning of Social events or processes : Social change as a process acquires meaning against the backdrop of continuity or lack of change. It may sound odd, but change makes sense as a concept only if there are also some things are not changing so that they after the possibility of comparison or contrast.

In other words, social change has to be understood together with social order, which is the tendency within established social system that resist and regulates change.

2. Relationship between social change and social order :

(a) Another way of looking at the relationship between social change and social order as to think about the possible reasons only society needs to prevent, discourage, or at least control change.

(b) Stability requires that things continue more or less as they are — that people continue to follow results, and more generally, that individuals and institutions behave in a fairly predictable manner.

3. Need to resist change : There are usually more create and specific reasons why societies do in fact resist change. Most societies most of the time and stratified in unequal ways, that is the different strata are differently positioned with respect to command over economic resources, social status and political power. It is not surprising that those who are favourable placed wish for things to continue as they are, while those who are suffering disadvantages are anxious for change. So the ruling or dominant groups in society generally resist any social changes that may alter their status, because they have a vested interest in stability. On the other hand, the subordinated or oppressed groups have a vested interest in change.

4. Prevailing condition : Normal conditions usually favour the rich and powerful and they are able to resist change. This is another broad reason why societies are generally stable.

5. Pattern of Social Relations : However, the notion of social order is not restricted to the idea of resistance to change, it also has a more positive meaning. It refers to the active maintenance and reproduction of particular pattern of social relations and of values and norms.

6. Main forms of Social Change : Broadly speaking, social order can be achieved in one of two ways — when to abide by a set of rules and norms : or when poeple are compelled in various ways to obey such norms. Every society employs a combination of these methods to sustain social order.

7. Values and Norms : Spontaneous consent to social order derives ultimately from shared values and norms which are internalised by people through the process of socialisation. (Revisit the Discussion of Sociolisation in Introducing Sociology). Socialisation may be more or less efficient in different contexts, but however efficient it is, it can never completely erase the will of the individual.

8. Socialisation : (a) Socialisation cannot turn people into progammed robots — it cannot produce complete and permanent consent for all norms at all times. You may have experienced this in your own lives : rules or beliefs which seem very natural and right at one point of time, don’t seem so obviously correct at other times.

(b) We question things we believe in the past, and change our minds about what we regard as right or wrong.

(c) Sometimes, we may even return to beliefs we once held and then abandoned, only to rediscover them afresh at some later stage of life or in different circumstances. So, while socialisation does takes on much of the burden of producing social order, it is never enough by itself.

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