CHAPTER 14 SOCIAL CHANGE AND THE FUTURE
Social Change – The set of adjustments or adaptations made by a group of people in
response to a dramatics change experienced in at least one aspect of their lives.
Five Interpretations of Social Change
a. Change equals progress
b. What is modern or new is automatically better than the older thing it is
i. Georg Hegel (17701831)
1. Had a modernist view that history represented a steady
progress in the freeing of the spirit, from freedom for
the few to freedom for all, and that this reflected
geographical movement, over time, from East to West.
ii. Auguste Comte (17981857)
1. Positivism, an aspect of modernism, involves a belief
that the rules, methods, and presumed objectivity of the
natural sciences can be applied to the social sciences
with no accommodation made for the biases, or
subjectivity, or personality of the social scientist.
iii. Lewis Henry Morgan (18181881)
1. Identified the three stages of savagery, barbarianism,
and civilization. These he felt could be established by
looking at seven different aspects of any society:
subsistence, government, language, the family, religion,
house life, architecture, and property.
c. A key aspect of modernism was that science and technology would
create a better world.
d. Noam Chomsky argues that modernism has a narrow vision
i. ‘Whatever innovation benefits the dominant class is justifiable
a. Social change is potentially more destructive than constructive.
i. Case Study in Social Change and Conservatism: The Luddites
b. Change is not always for the best i. Important to make sure some things, such as values, stay the
same – family, gender, sexuality.
c. Cycle of Civilizations – the belief that civilizations rise and fall in a
somewhat predictable cycle.
d. Slippery Slope – occurs when they cite one instance of social changes
as evidence of the imminent collapse of the entire social order.
a. Change can benefit some while harming others.
b. But progress/decline for whom?
i. Digital Divide only those who can afford the technology are
going to benefit from it.
ii. Arthur Kroker
1. Virtual Class – A class of visionary capitalists.
a. This class is responsible for the loss of jobs by
those who do not belongs to the class. This
group supports the goal of neoliberalism that
promotes the interests of big bus