Characteristics of Social Change




Characteristics of Social Change:

1. Universality:

All human societies change. This could include changes in population, beliefs, tools, attire, customs, roles, music, art, architecture, etc. Social change is universal. It takes place everywhere.

2. Continuous process:

Social change is an endless process. There is a continuity of change in society. Society is in a permanent state of flux! Right from the emergence of human society – from the times of nomadic cave dwellers to the present, every aspect of human life and living has changed. Social change is a continuous process but not an intermittent process. Because the changes are neither stopped nor the societies are kept in the museum to save them from change. It is an on-going process without any break. In the process of change every society grows and decays, where it finds renewal and accommodates itself to various changing conditions. The sources, direction, rate, and forms of change may vary from time to time but it is always continuous.

3. Interactional chain reaction:

A single factor may trigger a particular change, but it is almost always associated with other factors. The physical, biological, technological, cultural, social, economic, and other factors may together bring about social change.

4. Short-term and Long-term change:

Some social changes may bring about, immediate results while some others may take years or decades to produce results. The purchase of new gadgets like Home Theatre for the purpose of entertainment within the home is faster if one has the purchasing capacity when compared to giving up social evils like dowry, early marriage, or domestic violence.

5. Neutrality:

The term ‘social change’ has no value judgment attached to it. As a phenomenon, it is neither moral nor immoral; it is amoral. It is ethically neutral. Social change is an objective term.

6. Change is Social:

Social change means a change in the system of social relationships. The social relationship is understood in terms of social processes, social interactions, and social organizations. So in any variation of social process, social interactions, and social organizations social change-takes place.

In another instance, it is found that society is like an organization, which never dies. New civilizations and societies come up by replacing old societies and thereby retaining some of its elements in its change. Thus social change is different from individual change. Its cause and consequences are always social which makes it social.

7. Change is Inevitable:

Change is inevitable. It is the human nature that desires change and also it is his tendency to bring change and to oppose or accept change. Human wants are unlimited which always keeps on changing. To satisfy these wants social change has become a necessity not only to him but also to society.

8. Temporal:

Social change is temporal. Change in anything or any object or in a situation takes place through time. Time is the most important factor and social change denotes time-sequence. According to Maclver, “It is a becoming, not a being; a process, not a product”. The innovation of new things, modification, and renovations of the existing behaviour take time. So a social change is temporary or permanent on the basis of time. Sometimes some social changes may bring about immediate results while some others may take years to produce results. Similarly, some social changes spread rapidly and also disappear rapidly. Movements, style, fashion, and cults are examples of this type. But in the biological process of aging short time does not cause change.

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