Mod-01 Lec-31 Social change-II: Theories of social change

Mod-01 Lec-31 Social change-II: Theories of social change

We are talking about social change and in
this one hour what I will do, I have already introduced the idea of social change; that
society changes and by change there is a narrow definition we mean change in social structure.
There is a broader definition according to which change in cultural symbols, believes
values, social order and practices. All these types of changes come under social change. Now, regarding theories of social change;
in literature there is a one way of dividing theories into 2 parts – linear and cyclical;
this is one way of dividing theories. Another way of dividing theories would be Functional
and Marxist. Now, you can take up the substantive problem
of how industrialization as a force of change is affecting our society. Now, front there
are some linear theories of change. Most of your evolutionary theories are linear. Means,
all this assume that all societies pass through the same process and same stages of development
that all societies were like this, then this, then this, then this. And finally, advance
modern industrial. So, from a stage of primitive, primitive society
to the advance industrial society; all societies pass through the same process of development
and modernization there are some theories like that. According to this theory this linear
kind of theory you can say that, there is with time, there is a 0 modernization, modernization
on y-axis and time on x-axis. And all societies go from 0 to 100 percent modern, 0 percent
modern to 100 percent modern. What is modernity? There may be differences in views regarding
what is modernity? People have defined modernity in different ways in sociological terms, in
psychological terms, as states. For example, planning, modern people are characterized
by planning orientation for time, postponement of pleasure, control of environment, rational
belief system. And traditional people are characterized by just opposite of all this
fatalism, supernatural beliefs, magic and witchcraft, agriculture and non-rational,
emotional, spiritual framework of relationships. Now, you can identify that different say in
2012 different countries are at different stages of development. You can say that India
is somewhere here, Bangladesh is below this and Ethiopia is much below this, but all the
countries are modernizing this is a linear. Linear theory of development modernization
social change; that all societies begin with the same type of state, same a state of undevelopment
and move toward the same stage of development. If there is a difference it is the difference
of time. So, in terms of modernization and development India may be say 100years behind
France. And Ethiopia may be 200 years behind France something like that, but all of them
moving are towards modernity this is called Linear.
In a way Marxist theory of society is also linear. From primitive stage to slavery, from
slavery to feudalism, from feudalism to guilt, from guilt to industrial capitalism, from
industrial capitalism to socialism, and eventually communism. Karl Marx also believed in the
same theory. So, you can say that even Marx looked at from one perspective; even Marxist
Theory of society, Marxist theory of change is a kind of linear theory, although there
is a difference between Marxist theory of change and this modernistic theory of change.
In modernistic theory of change takes place because of change in perspectives or change
in the technological standards, but in a Marxist theory change occur more because of class
contradictions. There are some cyclical theories, according
to cyclical theories society moves between phases to give you only 2 illustrations of
this. There is one Vilfredo Pareto’s theory which says that society is a circulation of
elite circulation of elite that always some people; who are superior in quality than the
rest of the population they may be called elite and they rule. The difference is that
sometimes they rule by force, they are lions, and sometime by cunning speculators and foxes.
Some societies military dictatorships are rule of lions and democracies are rules of
foxes, but in all societies a small number of people lead society; power is never equally
distributed. What kind of social change takes place in society is circulation of elite.
That at one time lions are ruling, but gradually they are weakened. I am reminded of one theory
of Neeru Chowdhary a very powerful and prolific writer in English.
Neeru chowdhary say that in India whatever good thing happens; it happens because of
external forces. And India’s climate is such that once these external forces come
to India and make India their house. After a certain decades their power they lose their
power, they weak they become weak because the climate is such. He says that whatever
at one time Indian society was made a dynamic and progressive society by Aryan invasions.
Before Aryan invasions India had become static society, unchanged, undifferentiated, traditional,
and it remains so far millennia. When the Aryans came, the Aryans brought a new kind
of dynamics to Indian society. But after Aryans stayed in India in the hot climate of this
country then they also loss their vigor, power, dynamism. And then it was the Mughals or the
Muslim invaders from outside, and whatever good thing happened to India after a certain
centuries of Aryan invasion, then further progress start.
And, there was more progress in India was India was invaded by the Muslim rulers from
outside. And in the subsequent period when the Mughals established in India well, then
again Indian society became stagnant. Then came the British people, and British people
westernized modernized India. It is a different story that gradually after the situation of
Second World War they left India. Perhaps, if they had not left India; then the Indian
society would again become static. After 3 400 years of British rule Indian society would
again become static; as it became static after Aryan rules, after Mughal rules and so on.
So, change occurs because the elite change lions lose their power and when lions lose
their power then foxes pickup. Similarly, when foxes rule for sometime then some lion
comes from the subject class and captures power; again there is a dynamics progress
for sometime then followed by stagnation Pareto. There was a sociologists Sorokin he said that,
society oscillates between ideational stage and sensate stage. Ideational when the reality
is considered to be supersensory, supernatural, ideational, highly religious; the religious
developments take place at this time maximally. Sensate scientific rational when the assumption
is that reality is sensory and rational. He also said that the western society is moving
away from ideational stage to sensate stage. And facing all kinds of problems executed
to talk about Sorokin itself will take several lectures. I am only mentioning in what sense is his
theory cyclical. And he say that the best stage of development this kind of situation
face produces crisis. And this crisis cannot be solved within the framework of sensate
society. The combination of them is called idealistic. Idealistic society is the best
society in which there is a combination of ideational perspective and sensate perspective.
So, they are theories cyclical Pareto, Sorokin many others Indian theory of is also a cyclical
theory we start from from become to what and then. And no first there is from everything
is pure 100 percent pure. All religious there is no sin; from comes.
When lord Krishna was born one-fourth sin and three-fourth religiosity that kind of.
Then a more degraded society; and from we are living in. The worst kind of social order
all sin gradually in or in unadulterated there will be 100 percent sin, 100percent distrust,
disintegration, 100percent loss of morality. And then from it will go back to this is the
meaning of cyclical. Society keeps on change, social change is cyclical. According to modernist
theory social change is unilinear kind; all traditional societies will eventually become
modern, and all class societies will eventually become communist classless society, linear.
Pareto, society keeps on changing; society is always ruled by some powerful people elite
who have superior intelligence. Some qualities which distinguish them from others elite,
but elite are of 2 types lions and foxes and they keep on shifting. So, social change occurs,
but social change does not elite to improvement in the condition of the ordinary people, lion
persons. It does not improve condition of lion persons; it only changes one kind of
elite from another kind of elite. Sorokin ideational society, sensate society ideational
society, sensate society when reality is sensory and rational.
Only that thing which we observed which can be known from experiments, empirical validation.
And it is a body-centered theory reality is all that we can perceive, we can know from
experiments, from empirical data, observations. And this word only is true, this body only
is true, this word only is true. So, what makes us happy in materialistic of bodily
form that is all. There is no God beyond that but this kind of society creates certain problem
of poverty, inequality, disintegration, and the best combination is idealistic society
where a combination of ideational and sensate society. It is like pendulum which keeps on
fluctuating, oscillating between ideational and sensate.
Today, European society is more sensate. Indian society is moving away from ideational stage
and it is going towards sensate, many people at the time of independence external thinkers
as well as internal thinkers. They Toynbee from outside or Ananda kumaraswamy, many outside
intellectual thought that after independence and many Indian intellectuals Gandhi, Nehru,
Sociologists, Economists. They thought that we are going to develop a society which will
combine materialism of the west; and the value system of traditional India. And that will
be the best kind of society, but that is not happened. Anyway the this is these are 2 ways
of looking at social change; Functional and Marxist. Just now I mentioned about Osborn’s
theory of Lag that is a functional theory. According to functional theory social change
occurs because of need for adaptation something changes somewhere technology may change, religious
ideas may change, climate may change, something changes, scientific development take place.
Something somewhere changes and in response to that other things change. So, Osborn says
that different things in society change at different rates and when one thing is changing
faster than other thing which is correlated with it. So, there is period of maladjustment
or stress or the period in which a certain types of social problems exists types of social
problems. Eventually, there is adaptability and the
gap between two or more things is reduced. So, that time society becomes more static.
Now, this lag may be seen as lag between different institutions. If there are fast changes in
religion there is religious convergent, but family has not change or culture has not change.
This happens people became Muslim, but this did not immediately change their culture,
their marriage customs, their festivals, they continued to participate in the same festivals.
And their marriage customs, rituals, birth rights, sometimes even death rights, would
not change. It takes time one thing we changes does not mean that all the things change immediately.
So, if religion has changed, religious institutions have changed, but family political or other
institutions have not changed, cultural system has not changed then that is the period of
mal adjustment. Sometimes there is a difference between a
lag between different facts or social groups or communities. Suppose one group in society
changes at if very fast rate, but other groups do not change, in Tamil Nadu at onetime Brahmins
change at a very fast rate. So, when modernization occurred changeover from Indian system of
political rule to British system. Brahmins were the first to take the benefit of that.
So, in administration, in journalism, in industry, in politics, in all the institutions, Brahmins
captured the positions of power; to some other extend this happened everywhere, but at other
places or in North India, it was necessarily the Brahmins or the same caste.
The most conspicuous case of this type is Tamil Nadu. Brahmins captured all power positions
everywhere industry, bureaucracy, politics, religion, already they were dominant, they
were the priestly class. But the all others all others remain traditional uneducated,
outside bureaucracy, outside political power, either result of that there was tension, inequality
tension, social problem, mal adjustment, social change, Dravidian movement, anti-Brahmin,
movement, violence, conflicts. How is social change ultimately stops or how problems get
resolved that is a different story? But because there was a change 1 community change, 1 group
change other groups did not change. So, there was mal adjustment and so, anti-Brahmin movement.
Since, the gap between Brahmins and others was highest in Tamil Nadu. So, anti-Brahmin
movement also took place first time. There was no anti-Brahmin movement in Punjab or
Haryana because in Punjab and Haryana Brahmins were nowhere. So, there was no need for anti-Brahmin
movement in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh seen that part of India.
Sometime, if one social group progresses other groups remain at the same level there is a
lag. So, lag can be between institutions, between facts, between different parts of
society, urban rural lag urban rural lag. Suppose, urban areas keep on developing fast
there is no corresponding change in rural areas. Then also there is a problem, there
is urban rural conflict. And this urban rural conflict will have political ramifications,
educational ramifications, ramifications for social ideas, similarly, gender.
If there is development, but the major beneficiaries of development are only males and females
remain confined to homemaking, there is a lag. So, lag was defined in a very broad sense.
There may be a lag if difference institutions are changing at different rates. Lag may be
defined between institutions and facts of society; lag may be defined social lag between
different communities or gender or areas, regions. If economic development takes place
at a very fast rate and the cultural system does not change or the religious system does
not change there will be problems. So, according to functionalist theory then social change
occurs for better adaptation, for equilibrium. One thing changes due to advancements in medical
science; life expectancy increase. We were able to control mortality, we were able to
control infectious diseases, smallpox, plague, cholera, tuberculosis, leprosy.
We were able to reduce infant mortality, child mortality, and maternal mortality to some
extend mortality, at older ages also. So, life expectancy increase and when life expectancy
increase then the population started growing at a very, very fast rate. It creates disequilibrium
in society, maladjustment. And eventually by reducing its birth rate or by propagating
family planning program on government basis or private basis, voluntary basis. Family
planning program came to rescue and family planning program was able to make for a better
adaptation to the situation of fall in death rates.
So, we started with 0 population growth, then our population is started raising to 2 percent,
2.5 percent in some countries 4 or 5 percent. And finally when fertility was also controlled
by family planning methods, contraceptives then again a near 0 population growth is attained.
So, equilibrium one thing changes create disequilibrium. And then movement from disequilibrium to the
condition of equilibrium is a process of social change; this is what functional theory says.
Marxist theory you understand very well. Now, let us also see what has something like
development, modernization, industrialization did? What has industrialization done to society
of India? One of the greatest forces of change in all times is industrialization. What kind
of social change it has produced? Industrialization increased income per capita so, welfare. In
industrialization change the economic system. It created more employment, employment in
manufacturing and later in services. Income per capita, income increase, wealth increase,
overall welfare standards increase. Gisbert has makes an interesting point here.
Let me change in income and industrialization in which a small number of persons can produce
for everyone, for large large size of population. Then the distribution of distribution of the
produce agricultural industrial service will not be linked with contribution to production
or employment. And you will create more leisure, leisure is different from unemployment. Unemployment
means involuntary absence from work. You want to work, but you do not have work that is
unemployment, but time at your disposure that is leisure. Leisure time you can use in any
manner you may be working, you may be a teacher, you may a doctor, you may be an engineer,
a bureaucrat, a politician, you are working, but you do not have to work day and night.
You do not have to work as the workers in shipping industry worked 200 years ago 16,18
hours; you work only for 5, 6,7 maximum 8 hours you work for 8 hours. So, there is lot
of time at your disposure that time is called leisure. And on the basis of leisure Gisbert
says that there will be 2 types of persons; Alpha type and Beta type.
Alpha types are those who spend their leisure time in search for knowledge, truth, and goodness.
We are not talking of difference in employment, we are talking of leisure they are free to
do want they want to do. In leisure time they are free to do want they want to do. They
are alpha type they will spend their leisure they do not want to gain anything from that.
When you are free you know the there are some students; when they are free they want to
spend their free time in knowing more of computer sciences or they read more of physics. For
no reason it is not for passing a course in physics it is not for any reason. It is not
that they want to become they want to become a physicist, but just they love to read physics
or mathematics; there are some people who love to do mathematics in leisure time.
There are some people who want to paint, who want to write poetry, there are some people
who read religious literature, they want to know truth; they want to explore Vedanta,
Upanishads, they want to explore history of Christianity. There are some people who are
devoted to truth, knowledge, and beauty in their leisure time. And there are Beta type
who just follow others follow other’s ways. They easily get influenced by others, they
are commoners ordinary people. And most people will be Beta type. And Gisbert says that the
market analysts, or management experts, or those in the field of advertisement, target
basically these beta type of people. Beta type people their behavior is more governed
by media, by advertisements. So, they whatever they learned from media, televisions and newspapers
they want to have that or do that in their life.
Alpha and beta and Gisbert say that finally, it will be the alpha type who will change
the world or who will contribute to the world in a positive sense. Beta people will live
most people will be beta type they are more interested in following the accepted ways.
And their behavior is more governed by the media type; anyway industrialization has change
the economic scene. Industrialization has changed what exactly we do in life. And that
has bearing upon education, industrialization creates need for education. Just one thing
industrialization how does industrialization change society? Industrialization creates
employment in manufacturing services raises income, raises the time available for leisure
produces alpha type and beta type person. Alpha type will change the world because of
work in manufacturing in and service and non-familial mode of production. Industrialization means
non-familial mode of production before industrialization everyone in the family farm or family art.
If you are a cultivator, if you are born in a family of a cultivator then your employer
will be your father or grandfather. You do not have to go anywhere else. If you are born
in a trading community then you will be working in your fathers state. If you are born in
a family of a smith then you will be working for your father. Father is the employer, but
today in industrial society father is not the employer; family members are not the employer.
So, somebody say that there is a change from familial mode of production to non-familial;
this is one change from familial mode of production to non-familial. And, when you have to work
outside you have to look for employment outside your family. Then you will have to have credentials,
certificates, diplomas, education. And training in those things, which is required for employment
outside family. Otherwise why should you waste your time in IIT Kanpur?
If you had to work for your family farm or family industry there was no need to come
to IIT Kanpur, but now you have to work for someone outside the family. And therefore
you must develop those trades or those qualities, credentials, you must have. On the basis of
which you can be employed by someone else non-familial mode of production. So, it leads
to education. Industrialization leads to urbanization. For
economy of scale industries will be located at one place most industries will be clustered
around already existing industries. So, there are some industrial towns; if this leads to
development of industrial towns Bombay, Calcutta, Jamshedpur, Kota, new types of town there
is urbanization. Urbanization people are there is a theory of push and pull factors push-pull
factors. Due to push factors lack of employment, lack of education, lack of facilities, natural
catastrophes, natural disasters. People are pushed away from rural areas and for employment,
education, health facilities, attraction of city life, modernization, jobs, better wages
and better social state status they they are pulled by the emerging centers of industry.
So, push-pull factor there is a theory of push-pull factors of migration; people are
pulled by newly emerging centers of industrial activities.
Now, the all these changes gender roles. In traditional society there was lot of gap between
men and women. Now, if people have to work outside and this work has to be obtained on
the basis of credentials or education. And there is urbanization so and there is humanism
rationalism so many things go together. They believe that there is no difference between
a male and a female, upper caste and lower caste. So, gender relations change, in industrial
society gender relations change more equality, a small family Nucleation of family patrilineal
to matrilineal society. And, Gisbert emphasis most on change from
caste to class. Industrialization has done all this; this is the nature of social change.
In caste your there is one sentence which which is quite revealing that in caste system
your characteristics depended on the fact that you belong to a particular caste. So,
your belongingness to a particular caste was important. And in which caste you are born
that determined everything of your life, your characteristics, your educational characteristics,
your status, power, life chances, health, life expectancy, family time, religious beliefs,
everything depended on your caste. Now, in class when there is a change over from caste
to class, in class you belong to a class because you have certain characteristics. The relationship
between you and the social group is completely reversed. In caste system because you belong to a particular
caste belongingness to a caste your characters in caste system. In class what happens? That
your characteristics
determine your class position, you belong to a particular class upper class, middle
class, lower class, a class of bureaucrats, or a class of professionals, or a class of
social workers, because of your own characteristics; that is the difference between caste and class.
And industrialization has done this. This is how sociologists study the process of change
that something of paramount importance industrialization is taking place.
Industrialization can be defined as proportion of people working in non-agricultural jobs
or by any other means amount of energy consumption per capita. Now, industrialization has changed
the social life; industrialization has changed many aspects of society. Gisbert gives maximum
important to this. The social industrialization had changed the social structure of India.
And social structure of India has changed from caste to class. The major difference
is that in caste system your characteristics derived from your belongingness to a particular
caste. Now, we are moving towards a new system of class in which you belong to a particular
class because you have acquired certain characteristics. So, sociologists use the term ascription.
There are some characteristics which are ascribed to you at the time of birth because you are
born in a particular milieu or in a particular group. And this is achieved in class system
your characteristics are achieved. What you achieve? What you achieve in life? What you
do what you achieve on the front of your health, on the front of knowledge, on the front discipline,
on the front of communication skills? On your achievements, on all these fronts you will
belong to a particular class. Whether 10 years from now youths of your age
will be in upper class or middle class or lower class will depend on your health, your
achievements in knowledge, your certificates, whether you are BA or B sc, MA, MSC, B Tech,
MBA, degree of self, discipline. And control that you have achieved; your control of English
or other languages communication skills and certain attitude towards life planning, efficacy.
And all these things will depend whether you will belong to upper class or lower class.
While in the caste system your characteristics will derived from caste. So, industrialization
for Gisbert this is the most important change that industrialization has produced.
Other changes are changes in the family joint to nuclear, gender, equality differences between
males and females are going. And you can also relate what you have discuss regarding cultural
lag or social lag; Osborn’s theory in this context wherever all the industrialization
is producing all these things. But wherever industrialization is fast and these changes
are not taking place at a fast rate. There will be problems, tension, strains and stresses
in society, social movements, revolutions, protest and so on problems. If industrialization
takes place at a faster rate, but gender rules do not change. It will change industrialization
will produce changes in gender rules. But if industrialization takes place at a fast
rate, but gender rules do not change then this will lead to family’s movement.
If industrialization takes place at a fast rate, but you do not accept the natural naturalness
of nuclear family in industrial society and you still believe in the joint family system.
All those all those of you who will become part of industry? But you who want to identify
still with your large family of your parents, your uncles, aunts, maternal side, paternal
side, your caste and community. You will suffer more, your stresses, your anxieties, your
tensions; your contradictions will be much more. And those who realize the importance
of change of family as a result of industrialization. And who have accepted the fact of nuclear
family husband, wife and children. And who are not so emotionally attached to their larger
family; they will be much more in harmony because industrialization is producing that
kind of family. You cannot meet the traditional expectations
of your parents, uncles, aunts, cousins if you are part of an industrial society you
cannot. Now, you may have say 20 brothers, sisters and cousins and when you are you are
reaching that age 40, 45, 50, when your and their sons and daughters are starting to marry.
If you have that joint family mentality you like to attend marriages of all it will not
be possible for you. You will not get so much leave; you will not have so much money to
spend. So, it is not money it is much more than that. When you want to attend your cousin’s
marriage, your nephew’s marriage, your niece’s marriage, you have to satisfy their traditional
expectations. You have to carry expensive gifts, you have to spend 3, 4 days with them
and satisfy their traditional needs, so for a person living in urban metropolitan area
and working in an industry.

12 thoughts on “Mod-01 Lec-31 Social change-II: Theories of social change

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