A deep-seeded mission of this class is to introduce you to the concept of individual action as a process of social change. What is the Complex Social Change project?A book of essays and artist works from the first two years of Complex Social Change. Join us on March 24th at 3PM in L1050 for a series of talks by the Complex Social Change researchers: Josephine Mills, Lisa Doolittle, Tiffany Muller Mrydahl, Bruce MacKay, Emily Luce, and Louise Barrett. The Service-Learning project is just a beginning to what can be a lifelong process of engaging the issues of our day. Early sociologists viewed the cultures of primitive peoples as completely static.But this view was abandoned with the appearance of scientific studies of pre-literate culture. Anthropologists now agree that primitive cultures always underwent changes, although at a very slow pace, which initially gave the impression of their being static and stationary.All modern sociologists unanimously express their agreement on the naturalness and inevitability of Social change in each human society. Subsequently, however, deterioration began to take place with the result that man reached an age of comparative degeneration. Satyug, Treta, Dwapar and Kaliyug.The Satyug was the best age in which man was honest, truthful and perfectly happy. The modern age is the age of Kaliyug wherein man is deceitful, treacherous, false, dishonest, selfish and consequently unhappy.This view of social change as deterioration dates ancient times.
It stands rejected in contemporary times However, even today some thinkers project such a thinking when they lament and say that in our times there has taken place a deterioration in almost every walk of life.2. Linear Evolutionary Theory or Stage Theory of Social Change:Evolutionary theory is based on the assumption that societies change gradually from simple to complex forms. Morgan gave three stages of social evolution-savagery, barbarism and civilization through which all societies pass.
In the first stage man believed that supernatural forces controlled and designed the World.
He advanced gradually from a belief in fetishes and deities to monotheism.This stage gave way to the Metaphysical stage, during which man tried to explain all phenomena by resorting to abstractions. In the Positivists stage, man considers the search for ultimate cause hopeless and seeks the explanatory facts that can be empirically observed. In its primitive stage, the state of militarism, society was characterised by warring groups involved in a merciless struggle for existence.From this stage of militarism, society moved towards a state of greater differentiation and integration of its parts.
He held the view that societies are changing in the direction of greater differentiation, interdependence and formal control under impact of the presence of increasing moral density.Some Russian sociologists also subscribe to the stage theory of social change.
Soloviev conceived of three stages of social evolution as the tribal stage, the national governmental stage, and the stage of universal brotherhood.The multilinear evolutionary theory holds that change can occur in several ways and that it does not inevitably lead in the same direction. For example, the theory of demographic transition graphically demonstrates that population change has occurred differently in more developed versus developing nations.Medical and public health technology was introduced gradually in the developed nations which gave them time to adjust to falling death rates and resulting rise in populations. However developing nations got this technology in a short span of time and it led to o dramatic population growth and a severe pressure on social services and natural resources including food production.3. Telic Theory of Social Change:A number of sociologists have held that social change can be brought about by means of conscious and systematic efforts. Ward has asserted that progress can be achieved by means of purposive effort or conscious planning.
Through education and knowledge intellect can assert itself over emotions and this can lead to the possibility of effective planning.According to Ward, natural evolution is a very slow process, whereas intelligent planning can and in fact always accelerates the process of natural evolution.

Cyclical Theories of Social Change:Cyclical theories of social change hold that civilizations rise and fall in an endless series of cycles. He saw society moving in continual cycles of growth and decay.He said that each civilisation is like biological organism, taking birth and then going to maturity, old age and ultimately to death. He studied eight major civilisations, including the western civilisation and said that western society is in its old stage and is entering the period of decay. Some sociologists believe that society has a predetermined life cycle and has birth, growth, maturity and decline.Modern society is in its last stage. But since history repeats itself, society after passing through all its stages, returns to the original stage, whence the cycle begins all over again.This concept it’s found in Hindu mythology, according to which Satyug will again start after Kaliyug is over.
This ancient concept of cyclic social change is still held even by some modern thinkers who however give different versions of it.The French anthropologist and biologist Vacher de Lapouge holds that race is the most important determinant of culture.
Lapouge maintains that civilization develops and progresses when a society is composed of individuals belonging to superior races and declines when racially inferior people are absorbed into it.According to him, Western civilization is doomed to extinction because of the constant infiltration of foreign elements and their increasing control over it.
The German anthropologist, Otto Ammon, the Englishman Mouston Stewart Chamberlain and Americans Madison Grant and Lothrop Stoddard also agree with the view of Lapouge which may be called the theory of biological cycle.Spengler developed another version of cyclical theory of social change. He analyzed the history of various civilizations including the Egyptian, Greek and Roman and concluded that all civilizations pass through a similar cycle of birth, maturity and death. The western civilization is now on its decline which is unavoidable.Relying upon data drawn from the history of various civilizations, Sorokin concluded that civilizations fall into three major types, namely, the ideational, the idealistic and the sensate.
In the idealistic type of civilization (culture) reality and values are regarded sensory as well a supersensory. The thought and behaviour of man are partly anchored in the materialistic and partly concerned with the other world.In the sensate type of civilisation (culture) the whole way of life is characterized by a positivists-materialistic outlook. Reality and value are merely what the senses perceive and beyond sense perception there is no reality. Toynbee, the noted English historian, has also propounded a cyclical theory of the history of world civilization.
He maintains that civilizations pass through three stages, corresponding to youth, maturity and decline. Every society has to face challenges from outside environment and also from internal and external enemies.The achievements of a civilisation consist of its successful responses to such challenges and in case it cannot mount any effective response to the challenges, it dies out.
Structural-Functional Theory of Social Change:The Structural-Functional theory of social change has been a very popular theory of our times. It is strongly advocated by several sociologists, particularly by Tallcott Parsons and Morton. According to its advocates, every social system has two aspects, one structural and the other functional. Function is the consequent of the activities of structures.All the structures are closely related to each other and all the functions are interrelated and interdependent.
Each structure serves its own function and at same time helps others to function.In this way the whole social system functions and undergoes social change. A change in the marriage system from an arranged marriage system towards a love marriage system leads to changes in caste system, family system, joint family system, rate of divorce and even religion.Functional theorists are concerned with the role of cultural elements in preserving the social order as a whole. If this does not take place, the society’s equilibrium gets threatened and several strains develop.

As communities grow larger and larger, societal units get divided and subdivided.The functions of the old structures are taken over by several differentiated structures. Just as different structures and agencies specialise in different functions, individuals also tend to specialize in specific occupations.Functionalists assume that social institutions cannot not persist unless they contribute to overall social integration.
As social units multiply and specialised occupations tend to grow, it becomes necessary to coordinate all aspects of society.6. Deterministic Theory of Social Change:The Deterministic theory has been a widely popular theory of social change among several contemporary sociologists. According to this theory there are certain forces, social or natural or both which bring about social change and the circumstances which determines the course of social change.Sumner and Keller insist that social change is automatically determined by economic factors. Karl Marx held a total faith in the theory of Economic Determinism of history and social change.Marx held that human society passes through various stages, each with its own well defined organisational system. Each successive stage comes into existence as a result of conflict with the one preceding it.
Change from one stage to another is due to changes in the economic factors namely the methods of production and distribution of material means of life.A change in the material conditions of life brings changes in all social institutions, properly system, state, religion and family.
All aspects and phases of social life are dependent upon the economic factors and are almost entirely determined by it.According to Marx, the social order has passed through five phases called the oriental, the ancient, the feudal, the capitalistic and the communist.
The resulting social order will not reach its full development at once but will go through two stages. In the first, there will be dictatorship of the proletariat during which the proletariat will rule and crush out all the remnants of capitalism.In the second stage, there will be real communism, in which there will be no state, no class, no conflict and no exploitation. Marx visualized a society in which the social order will have reached a stage of perfection. No one can deny that economic factors always influence social conditions of life and the process of social change.But no can also hold that economic factors are the only activating forces of human history. There is no scientific proof that human society is going through the stage visualized and explained by Marx.
His claim that man is destined to attain an ideal stage of existence is little more than Utopia.A number of social thinkers opposed to the theory of economic determinism do not consider material elements of culture as the basic factors of social change. Some of them reject the deterministic theory of social change while other simply reject the theory of Economic determinism but prefer to hold ideas as the moving force of history. Frazer and some others held hold that religion is the chief initiator of social change.The theory of religious determinism has been criticised by Sorokin. He advocates the view t change is initiated in the material culture and then it spreads to other spheres. Social Change comes under the impact of several factors and not by any single deterministic factor.
Hence the Deterministic Theory of Social Change is not fully valid.Advertisements:How Science and Technology affect all aspects of social life? Our mission is to provide an online platform to help students to discuss anything and everything about Essay.

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