Definition of Social Change
M. D. Jenson – “Social change is modification in ways of doing & thinking of people.”
Horton and Hunt- “Social change is a change in the overall societal structure and relationship of a society”.
Maclver and Page- “Social change refers to a process responsive to many types of changes; to changes the man in made condition of life; to changes in the attitudes and beliefs of men, and to the changes that go beyond the human control to the biological and the physical nature of things”.
Mohammad Iqbal Chaudhary – “It is reorganization of society in terms of time and space”.
Kingsley Davis- “By social change is meant only such alternations as occur in social organization i.e. the structure & functions of society”.
Jones- “Social change is a term used to describe variations in or modification of any aspect of social process, social patterns, social interaction or social organization”.
Kuppuswamy – “Social change may be defined as the process in which is discernible significant alternation in the structure and functioning of a particular social system”.
H.M. Johnson- “Social change is either change in the structure or quasi- structural aspects of a system of change in the relative importance of coexisting structural pattern”.
Majumdar- “It is a mode or fashion, either modifying or replacing the previous one in the life of an individual or in society”.
Gillin & Gillin- “Social changes are variations from the accepted mode of life, whether due to alteration in geographical condition, in cultural equipment, composition of the population. Or ideologies & whether brought about by diffusion or inventions within the group”.
Merril & Elbridge- “Social change means, that large number of persons are engaging in activities that differ from those which they or their immediate fore-fathers engaged in some time before”.
Concept of Social Change
Change is a universal phenomena. There is always an ongoing change in nature. Society is a part of nature therefore society also changes. A static society is almost unthinkable. The term social change is used to indicate the changes that had taken place in human interactions and interrelations. According to McIver and Page “Society is a web of social relationships” and hence social change means change in the system of social relationships. These can be understood in terms of social processes and social interactions and social organization. The sociologists not only sketch out the organization of the society but also search for its causes also.
According to Morris Ginsberg social change is a change in the social structure. Social change can be termed as any alteration or amendment that takes place in societal composition or functions, including both material and non material culture. Change means differentiation in observation over sometime. If it is felt that there is some alteration, then we categorize it as change. If this change is in relation to social structure, institution etc, i.e. social context then it is called social change.
According to Fictor, “Change means variations from previous state or mode of existence”. Society is always at the helm of change, which may occur due to various factors. If there is any change in culture, demography, technology etc it results into change in society. The speed of change varies from time to time.
At some places the change is very swift whereas in rest of the places it tends to be slow. Individuals may strive for stability, yet the fact remains that society is an every changing phenomenon; growing, decaying, renewing and accommodating itself to changing conditions. These days due to rapid pace of industrialization and urbanization, change is speedy as compared to earlier times. Its form may possibly be social, economic, political, and religious. Change in any part of society affects all the other parts of society.
Salient Features of Social Change:
The phenomenon of social change is not straightforward but multifarious. It is difficult to understand this in its totality. In order to understand social change, its basic characteristics had to be analyzed which are as follows:
- Social Change is Social in nature.
- Social Change is Universal and Continuous.
- Social Change occurs as an Essential law.
- Definite Prediction of Social Change is Impossible.
- Social Change is Bound by Time Factors.
- Social Change may be Small-scale or Large-scale.
- Social Change Shows Chain-Reaction Sequences.
- Social Change takes place due to Multi-Number of Factors.
- Social Change may be Planned or Unplanned.
- Rate and Tempo of Social Change is Uneven.
- Social Change Involves No-Value Judgment.
- Social Change may be Endogenous or Exogenous.
- Social Change may lead to Short-term and Long-term Change.
- Social Change may be Peaceful or Violent.
- Social Changes are chiefly those of Modifications or of Replacement.