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SOC100H5 Lecture Notes - Gemeinschaft And Gesellschaft, Mechanical And Organic Solidarity, Mass Society

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Suzanne Casimiro

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November 23rd
Social Change: Traditional, Modern, and Postmodern Societies
What is Social Change?
-social change: the transformation of culture and social institutions over time
1. happens all the time, but some societies or elements change faster than others
2. is sometimes intentional, but often unplanned
3. is controversial
4. some changes matter more than others
Causes of Social Change
Culture and Change
-invention: production of new objects, ideas, and social patterns
-discovery: taking note of existing elements of a culture
-diffusion: the spread of products, people, and information from one culture to another
Conflict and Change
-Marx thought that, in industrial-capitalist societies, the struggle between capitalists and
workers pushes society towards a socialist system of production
-this model has proved simplistic, but Marx foresaw correctly that social conflict arising
from inequality creates social change
Ideas and Change
-Max Weber traced the roots of most social change to ideas
-Weber also showed how the religious beliefs of early Protestants set the stage for the
spread of industrial capitalism
-ideas also direct social movements
Demographic Change
-population growth places escalating demands on the natural environment, while altering
cultural patterns
-increases and decreases in migration or birth rates can lead to social change as society
may need to expand and/or contract housing, education, and health
Social Movements and Change
-social movement: an organized activity that encourages or discourages social change
Types of Social Movements
1. Alternative
2. Redemptive
3. Reformative
4. Revolutionary
Explaining Social Movements
1. Deprivation Theory
2. Mass Society Theory
3. Resource Mobilization Theory
4. Culture Theory
-social patterns resulting from industrialization
-in everyday usage, modernity refers to the present in relation to the past
-modernization: the process of social change begun by industrialization
4 Dimensions of Modernization
1. decline of small traditional communities
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