Determination Of Social Change And Factors That Are Influencing

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Social change

(What is social change?)

Social change may refer to the notion of social progress or sociocultural evolution, the philosophical idea that society moves forward by evolutionary means. It may refer to a drastic change in the socio-economic structure, for instance, the transition from feudalism to capitalism, or a hypothetical future transition to some form of post-capitalism.

(How to predict social change)

Social change is an important factor to predict. It causes a change in personality, and that will lead to social changes. Social change can evolve from a number of different sources, which could include contact with other Societies; the ecosystem could have drastic changes or even technological changes.

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(Factors influencing social change)

When it comes to social change there are factors that influence it greatly. The factors influencing social change include Natural factors, Cultural factors, Science and Technology factors, Biological Factors, Demographic Factors, socio-economic factors, and Geographical Factors.

  • Natural Factors- Natural factors include storms, earthquakes, floods, droughts, and even diseases. All of these events can disrupt any social system. These natural disasters always force changes in society and force people to move.
  • Cultural Factors- Cultural factors play a big role in social change. Social life heavily depends on ideas, views, customs conventions, institutions, and the like. When a change occurs with these topics it will lead to social change. For example, look at the relations between parents and children and how they have undergone a huge change.
  • Science and Technology Factors- In today’s modern world science and technology is the most important factor of social change. Every day new scientific inventions are being developed that greatly influence social change.
  • Biological Factors- Biological factors are factors that also impact social change. They are the type of factors that determine the structure, selection, and heredity qualities of generations.
  • Demographic Factors- The demographic factors are always influencing the process and nature of social change. When the population increases or decreases it always causes social problems. When the birth-rate in a society exceeds death-rate, the population will then begin to rise. When population begins to constantly rise it will start giving birth to poverty, unemployment, disease and several other related problems. But on the other hand, a low birth rate leads to the size of the population decreasing. And whet the population is low, there are fewer skilled hands available and the country cannot make full use of the natural resources.
  • Socio-economic Factors- Another important factor of social change is the economic factors. The entire social structure of a country is determined by economic factors for example the means of production and distribution of material means of production and distribution. If there are any changes in means of production it will affect the changes in social organization.
  • Geographical Factors of Social change- The geographical conditions always affect the social system and acts as a factor of social change. The cultural life of the people always relies upon the physical part of the environment. They heavily depend upon the availability of natural resources, their exploitation. Another challenge that affects the socio-economic activities of the people is climate change.

(Mass hysteria and panics)

A social panic is a state where a social or community group reacts negatively and in an extreme or irrational manner to unexpected or unforeseen changes in their expected social status quo. When a terrorist attack happens or a national leader dies, the solution may not be clear and leaves the society to panic and be scared for what could happen next. In 2001, on September 11, a terrorist attack struck New York City and lead many people to die but the main hysteria around the attack was people didn’t know what was going to happen next. People were hiding in their homes and boarding up their homes, this is social panic. Social panic has also been used as a tactic before in the past. An example of this is when politics in order to get reelected used the issue of drug abuse in the United States to cause social panic. However, even though they wanted to remain in office they still believed that drug use was a problem they wanted to address to the public. Sometimes when too many people start to panic they will from together and riot or protest. They will partake in looting or tearing down political statues or burning cars. This has happened countless times in the past and repeats at the first sign of danger.

(Defining crowds and their type)

A bunch of people together whether they have a long term purpose or a short term purpose is group. A Sociologist by the name of Herbert Blumer came up with the term crowds in (1969). He came up with four names for each type of crowd there are casual crowds, conventional crowds, expressive crowds, and acting crowds. A fifth type, protest crowds, has also been distinguished by other scholars.

  • Casual Crowd- A casual crowd is a group of people who are coincidentally in the same place, maybe at a park in a city, at a car wash, or even a crosswalk. The people in this type of crowd do not have anything in common with each other, it is all by chance.
  • Conventional Crowd- A conventional crowd is a group of people who meet up for a specific reason. These people could be watching a movie together or watching a football game or even in school for a lecture.
  • Expressive Crowd- An expressive crowd is a group of people that want to express excitement or other kind of emotions for example a political rally or a religious revival. These events are people expressing joy or emotion. Sometimes a conventional crowd can turn into an expressive crowd for example, picture a bunch of people are watching a movie and as it starts the projector breaks. These people are now shouting and getting upset. It started as a crowd getting together for the same reason as a crowd showing emotion towards a situation.
  • Acting Crowd- An acting crowd should be understood easily the name is pretty straightforward. When a group of people behave in a violent way such as looting or robbing houses it is under the terms and acting crowd. A mob, which is basically an intensely emotional crowd that is committing violence, is a primary example of an acting crowd.
  • Protest Crowd- The fifth type of crowd is the protest crowd and according to Clark McPhail and Ronald T. Wholstein in 1983, it is a crowd of people who gather around to protest in social, political or cultural issues. The gatherings normally involve people marching down the main street blocking traffic or demonstrations or participate in a sit-in.
  • Riots- A riot is a large group of people who outburst in violence. When you hear the word riot it sounds like a negative thing, so some people tend to use words like urban revolt or urban uprising. Riots have been part of American history since the colonial period when colonists often rioted regarding “taxation without representation” and other issues

(Contagion theory)

The contagion theory was a theory developed by Gustave Le Bon in 1885, where he states that a group of people together in a crowd can somehow cause a hypnotic impact on other people. He released a book about this and named it “The Crowd”. He was a historian and a philosopher so his work reflected more of a political and social opinion. Later on, two sociologists improved his theory, Robert Park and Herbert Blumer.


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