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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Social Change

Social Change


The term social change is used to indicate the changes that take place in human interactions and interrelations. Society is a web of social relationships and hence social change means change in the system of social relationships. These are understood in terms of social processes and social interactions and social organization.Auguste Comte the father of Sociology has posed two problems- the question of social statics and the question of social dynamics, what is and how it changes. The sociologists not only outline the structure of the society but also seek to know its causes also. According to Morris Ginsberg social change is a change in the social structure.

  • Evolutionary Theories
  • Factors of Change
  • Impact of Technological Change
  • Social Movements Types
  • Books and Author
  • Points to Remember

Evolutionary Theories


Evolutionary theories are based on the assumption that societies gradually change from simple beginnings into even more complex forms. Early sociologists beginning with Auguste Comte believed that human societies evolve in a unilinear way- that is in one line of development. According to them social change meant progress toward something better. They saw change as positive and beneficial. To them the evolutionary process implied that societies would necessarily reach new and higher levels of civilization.L.H Morgan believed that there were three basic stages in the process: savagery, barbarism and civilization.Auguste Comte's ideas relating to the three stages in the development of human thought and also of society namely-the theological, the metaphysical and the positive in a way represent the three basic stages of social change. This evolutionary view of social change was highly influenced by Charles Darwin's theory of Organic Evolution.

Those who were fascinated by this theory applied it to the human society and argued that societies must have evolved from the simple and primitive to that of too complex and advanced such as the western society. Herbert Spencer a British sociologist carried this analogy to its extremity. He argued that society itself is an organism. He even applied Darwin's principle of the survival of the fittest to human societies. He said that society has been gradually progressing towards a better state. He argued that it has evolved from military society to the industrial society. He claimed that western races, classes or societies had survived and evolved because they were better adapted to face the conditions of life. This view known as social Darwinism got widespread popularity in the late 19th century. It survived even during the first phase of the 20th century. Emile Durkheim identified the cause of societal evolution as a society's increasing moral density.Durkheim viewed societies as changing in the direction of greater differentiation, interdependence and formal control under the pressure of increasing moral density. He advocated that societies have evolved from a relatively undifferentiated social structure with minimum of division of labor and with a kind of solidarity called mechanical solidarity to a more differentiated social structure with maximum division of labor giving rise to a kind of solidarity called organic solidarity.

Cyclical theories:
Cyclical theories of social change focus on the rise and fall of civilizations attempting to discover and account for these patterns of growth and decay.Spengler, Toynbee and Sorokin can be regarded as the champions of this theory.Spengler pointed out that the fate of civilizations was a matter of destiny. Each civilization is like a biological organism and has a similar life-cycle, birth, maturity, old-age and death. After making a study of eight major civilizations including the west he said that the modern western society is in the last stage i.e. old age. He concluded that the western societies were entering a period of decay as evidenced by wars, conflicts and social breakdown that heralded their doom.

Toynbee:
Arnold Toynbee's famous book 'A study of History' (1946) focus on the key concepts of challenge and response. Every society faces challenges at first, challenges posed by the environment and later challenges from internal and external enemies. The nature of responses determines the society's fate. The achievements of a civilization consist of its successful responses to the challenges; if cannot mount an effective response it dies. He does not believe that all civilizations will inevitably decay. He has pointed out that history is a series of cycles of decay and growth. But each new civilization is able to learn from the mistakes and to borrow from cultures of others. It is therefore possible for each new cycle to offer higher level of achievement.
Sorokin:
Pitirin Sorokin in his book Social and Culture Dynamics - 1938 has offered another explanation of social change. Instead of viewing civilization into the terms of development and decline he proposed that they alternate of fluctuate between two cultural extremes: the sensate and the ideational. The sensate culture stresses those things which can be perceived directly by the senses. It is practical, hedonistic, sensual and materialistic. Ideational culture emphasizes those things which can be perceived only by the mind. It is abstract, religious concerned with faith and ultimate truth. It is the opposite of the sensate culture. Both represent pure types of culture. Hence no society ever fully conforms to either type. As the culture of a society develops towards one pure type, it is countered by the opposing cultural force. Cultural development is then reversed moving towards the opposite type of culture. Too much emphasis on one type of culture leads to a reaction towards the other. Societies contain both these impulses in varying degrees and the tension between them creates long-term instability. Between these types lies a third type 'idealistic' culture. This is a desirable blend of other two but no society ever seems to have achieved it as a stable condition.
Functionalist or Dynamic theories:
In the middle decades of the 20th century a number of American sociologists shifted their attention from social dynamics to social static or from social change to social stability.Talcott Parsons stressed the importance of cultural patterns in controlling the stability of a society. According to him society has the ability to absorb disruptive forces while maintaining overall stability. Change is not as something that disturbs the social equilibrium but as something that alters the state of equilibrium so that a qualitatively new equilibrium results. He has stated that changes may arise from two sources. They may come from outside the society through contact with other societies. They may also come from inside the society through adjustment that must be made to resolve strains within the system. Parsons speaks of two processes that are at work in social change. In simple societies institutions are undifferentiated that is a single institution serves many functions. The family performs reproductive, educational, socializing, economic, recreational and other functions. A process of differentiation takes place when the society becomes more and more complex. Different institutions such as school, factory may take over some of the functions of a family. The new institutions must be linked together in a proper way by the process of integration. New norms must be established in order to govern the relationship between the school and the home. Further bridging institutions such as law courts must resolve conflicts between other components in the system.

Conflict theories:
Whereas the equilibrium theories emphasize the stabilizing processes at work in social systems the so-called conflict theories highlight the forces producing instability, struggle and social disorganization. According to Ralf Dahrendorf the conflict theories assume that - every society is subjected at every moment to change, hence social change is ubiquitous. Every society experiences at every moment social conflict, hence social conflict is ubiquitous. Every element in society contributes to change. Every society rests on constraint of some of its members by others. The most famous and influential of the conflict theories is the one put forward by Karl Marx who along with Engel wrote in Communist Manifesto 'all history is the history of class conflict.' Individuals and groups with opposing interests are bound to be at conflict. Since the two major social classes the rich and poor or capitalists and the proletariat have mutually hostile interests they are at conflict. History is the story of conflict between the exploiter and the exploited. This conflict repeats itself off and on until capitalism is overthrown by the workers and a socialist state is created. What is to be stressed here is that Marx and other conflict theorists deem society as basically dynamic and not static. They consider conflict as a normal process. They also believe that the existing conditions in any society contain the seeds of future social changes. Like Karl Marx George Simmel too stressed the importance of conflict in social change. According to him conflict is a permanent feature of society and not just a temporary event. It is a process that binds people together in interaction. Further conflict encourages people of similar interests to unite together to achieve their objectives. Continuous conflict in this way keeps society dynamic and ever changing.


Factors of Change


PhysicalEnvironment:
Major changes in the physical environment are very compelling when they happen. The desert wastes of North Africa were once green and well populated. Climates change, soil erodes and lakes gradually turn into swamps and finally plains. A culture is greatly affected by such changes although sometimes they come about so slowly that they are largely unnoticed. Human misuse can bring very rapid changes in physical environment which in turn change the social and cultural life of a people. Deforestation brings land erosion and reduces rainfall. Much of the wasteland and desert land of the world is a testament to human ignorance and misuse. Environmental destruction has been at least a contributing factor in the fall of most great civilization. Many human groups throughout history have changed their physical environment through migration. In the primitive societies whose members are very directly dependent upon their physical environment migration to a different environment brings major changes in the culture. Civilization makes it easy to transport a culture and practice it in a new and different environment.


Population changes:
A population change is itself a social change but also becomes a casual factor in further social and cultural changes. When a thinly settled frontier fills up with people the hospitality pattern fades away, secondary group relations multiply, institutional structures grow more elaborate and many other changes follow. A stable population may be able to resist change but a rapidly growing population must migrate, improve its productivity or starve. Great historic migrations and conquests of the Huns, Vikings and many others have arisen from the pressure of a growing population upon limited resources. Migration encourages further change for it brings a group into a new environment subjects it to new social contacts and confronts it with new problems. No major population change leaves the culture unchanged.

Isolation and Contact:
Societies located at world crossroads have always been centers of change. Since most new traits come through diffusion, those societies in closest contact with other societies are likely to change most rapidly. In ancient times of overland transport, the land bridge connecting Asia, Africa and Europe was the centre of civilizing change. Later sailing vessels shifted the centre to the fringes of the Mediterranean Sea and still later to the north- west coast of Europe. Areas of greatest intercultural contact are the centers of change. War and trade have always brought intercultural contact and today tourism is adding to the contacts between cultures says Greenwood. Conversely isolated areas are centers of stability, conservatism and resistance to change. The most primitive tribes have been those who were the most isolated like the polar Eskimos or the Aranda of Central Australia.

Social Structure:
The structure of a society affects its rate of change in subtle and not immediately apparent ways. A society which vests great authority in the very old people as classical China did for centuries is likely to be conservative and stable. According to Ottenberg a society which stresses conformity and trains the individual to be highly responsive to the group such as the Zunis is less receptive to the change than a society like the Ileo who are highly individualistic and tolerate considerable cultural variability. A highly centralized bureaucracy is very favorable to the promotion and diffusion of change although bureaucracy has sometimes been used in an attempt to suppress change usually with no more than temporary success. When a culture is very highly integrated so that each element is rightly interwoven with all the others in a mutually interdependent system change is difficult and costly. But when the culture is less highly integrated so that work, play, family, religion and other activities are less dependent upon one another change is easier and more frequent. A tightly structured society wherein every person's roles, duties, privileges and obligations are precisely and rigidly defined is less given to changes than a more loosely structured society wherein roles, lines of authority, privileges and obligations are more open to individual rearrangement.

Attitudes and Values:
To people in developed nations and societies change is normal. Children there are socialized to anticipate and appreciate change. By contrast the Trobriand Islanders off the coast of New Guinea had no concept of change and did not even have any words in their language to express or describe change. Societies differ greatly in their general attitude toward change. People who revere the past and preoccupied with traditions and rituals will change slowly and unwillingly. When a culture has been relatively static for a long time the people are likely to assume that it should remain so indefinitely. They are intensely and unconsciously ethnocentric; they assume that their customs and techniques are correct and everlasting. A possible change is unlikely even to be seriously considered. Any change in such a society is likely to be too gradual to be noticed. A rapidly changing society has a different attitude toward change and this attitude is both cause and effect of the changes already taking place. Rapidly changing societies are aware of the social change. They are somewhat skeptical and critical of some parts of their traditional culture and will consider and experiment with innovations. Such attitudes powerfully stimulate the proposal and acceptance of changes by individuals within the society. Different groups within a locality or a society may show differing receptivity to change. Every changing society has its liberals and its conservatives. Literate and educated people tend to accept changes more readily than the illiterate and uneducated. Attitudes and values affect both the amount and the direction of social change. The ancient Greeks made great contributions to art and learning but contributed little to technology. No society has been equally dynamic in all aspects and its values determine in which area-art, music, warfare, technology, philosophy or religion it will be innovative.

Cultural Factor influences the direction and character of technological change Culture not only influences our social relationships, it also influences the direction and character of technological change. It is not only our beliefs and social institutions must correspond to the changes in technology but our beliefs and social institutions determine the use to which the technological inventions will be put. The tools and techniques of technology are indifferent to the use we make of them. For example the atomic energy can be used for the production of deadly war weapons or for the production of economic goods that satisfy the basic needs of man. The factories can produce the armaments or necessaries of life. Steel and iron can be used for building warships or tractors. It is a culture that decides the purpose to which a technical invention must be put. Although technology has advanced geometrically in the recent past, technology alone does not cause social change. It does not by itself even cause further advances in technology. Social values play a dominant role here. It is the complex combination of technology and social values which produces conditions that encourage further technological change. For example the belief or the idea that human life must not be sacrificed for wants of medical treatment, contributed to the advancement in medical technology.Max Weber in his The Protestant Ethic and the spirit of Capitalism has made a classical attempt to establish a correlation between the changes in the religious outlook, beliefs and practices of the people on the one hand and their economic behavior on the other. He has observed capitalism could grow in the western societies to very great extent and not in the eastern countries like India and China. He has concluded that Protestantism with its practical ethics encouraged capitalism to grow in the west and hence industrial and economic advancement took place there. In the East, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and Islam on the other hand did not encourage capitalism. Thus cultural factors play a positive as well as negative role in bringing about technological change. Cultural factors such as habits, customs, traditions, conservatism, traditional values etc may resist the technological inventions. On the other hand factors such as breakdown in the unity of social values, the diversification of social institutions craving for the new thoughts, values etc may contribute to technological inventions. Technological changes do not take place on their own. They are engineered by men only. Technology is the creation of man. Men are always moved by ideas, thoughts, values, beliefs, morals and philosophies etc.These are the elements of culture. These sometimes decide or influence the direction in which technology undergoes change. Men are becoming more and more materialistic in their attitude. This change in the attitude and outlook is reflected in the technological field. Thus in order to lead a comfortable life and to minimize the manual labor man started inventing new techniques, machines, instruments and devices.

Technological Factors:
The technological factors represent the conditions created by man which have a profound influence on his life. In the attempt to satisfy his wants, fulfill his needs and to make his life more comfortable man creates civilization. Technology is a byproduct of civilization .When the scientific knowledge is applied to the problems in life it becomes technology. Technology is a systematic knowledge which is put into practice that is to use tools and run machines to serve human purpose. Science and technology go together. In utilizing the products of technology man brings social change. The social effects of technology are far-reaching. According to Karl Marx even the formation of social relations and mental conceptions and attitudes are dependent upon technology. He has regarded technology as a sole explanation of social change.W.F Ogburn says technology changes society by changing our environment to which we in turn adapt. These changes are usually in the material environment and the adjustment that we make with these changes often modifies customs and social institutions. A single invention may have innumerable social effects. Radio for example has One of the most extreme expressions of the concern over the independence of technology is found in Jacques Ellul's 'the technological society'. Ellul claims that in modern industrial societies technologism has engulfed every aspect of social existence in much the same way Catholicism did in the middle ages. The loss of human freedom and the large-scale destruction of human beings are due to the increasing use of certain types of technology which has begun to threaten the life support systems of the earth as a whole.



Impact of Technology Change


Industrialization:
Technology has contributed to the growth of industries or to the process of industrialization. Industrialization is a term covering in general terms the growth in a society hitherto mainly agrarian of modern industry with all its circumstances and problems, economic and social. It describes in general term the growth of a society in which a major role is played by manufacturing industry. The industry is characterized by heavy, fixed capital investment in plant and building by the application of science to industrial techniques and by mainly large-scale standardized production. The Industrial Revolution of 18th century led to the unprecedented growth of industries. Industrialization is associated with the factory system of production. The family has lost its economic importance. The factories have brought down the prices of commodities, improved their quality and maximized their output. The whole process of production is mechanized. Consequently the traditional skills have declined and good number of artisans has lost their work. Huge factories could provide employment opportunities to thousands of people. Hence men have become workers in a very large number. The process of industrialization has affected the nature, character and the growth of economy. It has contributed to the growth of cities or to the process of urbanization.


Urbanization:
In many countries the growth of industries has contributed to the growth of cities. Urbanization denotes a diffusion of the influence of urban centers to a rural hinterland. Urbanization can be described as a process of becoming urban moving to cities changing from agriculture to other pursuits common to cities and corresponding change of behaviour patterns. Hence only when a large proportion of inhabitants in an area come to cities urbanization is said to occur. Urbanization has become a world phenomenon today. An unprecedented growth has taken place not only in the number of great cities but also in their size. As a result of industrialization people have started moving towards the industrial areas in search of employment. Due to this the industrial areas developed into towns and cities.

Modernization:
Modernization is a process which indicates the adoption of the modern ways of life and values. It refers to an attempt on the part of the people particularly those who are custom-bound to adapt themselves to the present-time, conditions, needs, styles and ways in general. It indicates a change in people's food habits, dress habits, speaking styles, tastes, choices, preferences, ideas, values, recreational activities and so on. People in the process of getting themselves modernized give more importance to science and technology. The scientific and technological inventions have modernized societies in various countries. They have brought about remarkable changes in the whole system of social relationship and installed new ideologies in the place of traditional ones.

Development of the means of transport and communication:
Development of transport and communication has led to the national and international trade on a large scale. The road transport, the train service, the ships and the aero planes have eased the movement of men and material goods. Post and telegraph, radio and television, newspapers and magazines, telephone and wireless and the like have developed a great deal. The space research and the launching of the satellites for communication purposes have further added to these developments. They have helped the people belonging to different corners of the nation or the world to have regular contacts.

Transformation in the economy and the evolution of the new social classes:
The introduction of the factory system of production has turned the agricultural economy into industrial economy. The industrial or the capitalist economy has divided the social organization into two predominant classes-the capitalist class and the working class. These two classes are always at conflict due to mutually opposite interest. In the course of time an intermediary class called the middle class has evolved.

Unemployment:
The problem of unemployment is a concomitant feature of the rapid technological advancement. Machines not only provide employment opportunities for men but they also take away the jobs of men through labor- saving devices. This results in technological unemployment.

Technology and war:
The dangerous effect of technology is evident through the modern mode of warfare. The weaponry has brought fears and anxieties to the mankind. They can easily destroy the entire human race reveal how technology could be misused. Thus greater the technological advancement the more risk for the mankind.

Changes in social institutions:
Technology has profoundly altered our modes of life. Technology has not spared the social institutions of its effects. The institutions of family, religion, morality, marriage, state, property have been altered. Modern technology in taking away industry from the household has radically changed the family organization. Many functions of the family have been taken away by other agencies. Marriage is losing its sanctity. It is treated as a civil contract than a sacred bond. Marriages a re becoming more and more unstable. Instances of divorce, desertion and separation are increasing. Technology has elevated the status of women but it has also contributed to the stresses and strains in the relations between men and women at home. Religion is losing hold over the members. People are becoming more secular, rational and scientific but less religious in their outlook. Inventions and discoveries in science have shaken the foundations of religion. The function of the state or the field of state activity has been widened. Modern technology have made the states to perform such functions as -the protection of the aged, the weaker section and the minorities making provision for education, health care etc.Transportation and communication inventions are leading to a shift of functions from local government to the central government of the whole state. The modern inventions have also strengthened nationalism. The modern governments which rule through the bureaucracy have further impersonalized the human relations.

Cultural Lag:
To provide a law of social change comparable to the laws of physics and biology that William F. Ogburn in 1922 advanced his theory of social lag.Ogburn pointed out that social changes always originate in the invention by some individual of a new way of doing something new to do. So far he was following in the tradition established by Gabriel Tarde; but Ogburn then began to wander in the tracks of Marx, Historically, he argued, inventions occur most often in the field of material technology, if only because the advantages of an improvement in technology are self-evident. With each development in technology there comes, however, some disturbance to the effective working of the existing social order. A strain or stress is set up between the new technique and various organizational aspects of the social system, changes in which come slowly if at all; the result, disequilibrium between new technology and old social organization, is social lag. The core of Ogburn's theory is the idea that change first occurs in the material technology.

Social Movements:
Social Movement is one of the major forms of collective behaviour.We hear of various kinds of social movements launched for one or the other purpose. A social movement can be defined as collectively acing with some continuity to promote or resist change in the society or group of which it is a part. Horton and Hunt have defined it as a collective effort to promote or resist change.Smelser defines it as organized group effort to generate or resist social change. According to M.S.A Rao social movement includes two characteristics.

Collective Action:
Social Movement involves collective action. However it takes the form of a movement only when it is sustained for a long time. This collective action need not be formally organized. But it should be able to create an interest and awakening in relatively large number of people.

Oriented towards social change:
A social movement is generally oriented towards bringing social change. This change could either be partial or total. Though the movement is aimed at bringing about a change in the values, norms, ideologies of the existing system, efforts are also made by some other forces to resist the changes and to maintain the status quo.The counter attempts are normally defensive and restorative rather than innovative and initiating change. They are normally the organized efforts of an already established order to maintain itself.
According to Yogendra Singh social movement is a collective mobilization of people in a society in an organized manner under an individual or collective leadership in order to realize an ideologically defined social purpose. Social movements are characterized by a specific goal which has a collective significance ideological interpretation of the collective goal a rank of committed worker and strong leadership.Social movements have a life-cycle of their own origin, maturity and culmination.T.K Oomen observe that a study of social movements implies a study of social structure as movements originate from the contradictions which in turn emanate from social structure. He states that all social movements centre around three factors- Locality, Issues and social categories. Anthony Wallace view social movement as an attempt by local population to change the image or models they have of how their culture operates.
An important component of social movement that distinguishes it from the general category of collective mobilization is the presence of an ideology. A student strike involves collective mobilization and is oriented towards change. But in the absence of an ideology a student strike becomes an isolated event and not a movement. A social movement requires a minimum of organizational framework to achieve success or at least to maintain the tempo of the movement. To make the distinction clear between the leaders and followers to make clear the purposes of the movement to persuade people to take part in it or to support it, to adopt different techniques to achieve the goals - a social movement must have some amount of organizational frame-work. A social movement may adopt its own technique or method to achieve its goal. It may follow peaceful or conflicting, violent or non-violent, compulsive or persuasive, democratic or undemocratic means or methods to reach its goal.

social movements types


Reform Movements:
Reform movements are organized to carry out reforms in some specific areas. The reformers endeavor to change elements of the system for better. For example: Civil Rights Movement, Women's Liberation Movement, Arya Samaj Movement, Brahmo Samaj Movement etc.

Revolutionary Movements:
The revolutionary movements deny that the system will even work. These movements are deeply dissatisfied with the social order and work for radical change. They advocate replacing the entire existing structure. Their objective is the reorganization of society in accordance with their own ideological blueprint. Revolutionary movements generally become violent as they progress. Example: The Protestant Reformation Movement, the Socialist Movement, the Communist Revolution of China.


Reactionary or Revivalist Movement:
Some movements are known as reactionary or regressive movements. These aims to reverse the social change .They highlight the importance and greatness of traditional values, ideologies and institutional arrangements. They strongly criticize the fast moving changes of the present.

Resistance Movement:
These movements are formed to resist a change that is already taking place in society. These can be directed against social and cultural changes which are already happening in the country.

Utopian Movement:
These are attempts to take the society or a section of it towards a state of perfection. These are loosely structured collectivities that envision a radically changed and blissful state, either on a large scale at some time in the future or on a smaller scale in the present. The Utopian ideal and the means of it are often vague, but many utopian movements have quite specific programmes for social change. The Hare Krishna Movement of the seventies, the movement towards the establishment of Ram Rajya and the Sangh Parivar, the Communists and Socialists pronouncement of a movement towards the classless, casteless society free from all kinds of exploitation etc.

Peasant Movement:
Peasant movement is defined by Kathleen Gough as an attempt of a group to effect change in the face of resistance and the peasant are people who are engaged in an agricultural or related production with primitive means who surrender part of their or its equivalent to landlords or to agents of change. The history of peasant movements can be traced to colonial period when repressive economic policies, the new land revenue system, the colonial administrative and judicial system and the ruin of handicrafts leading to the overcrowding of land transformed the agrarian structure and impoverished the peasantry. In the zamindari system peasants were left to the mercies of the Zamindars who exploited them in form of illegal dues. The British government levied heavy land revenue in the Ryotwari areas. Peasants were forced to borrow money from the moneylenders and they were reduced to the status of tenants at will, share croppers and landless laborers while their lands, crops and cattle passed into the hands to landlords, trader moneylenders and such peasants. When the peasants could take it no longer they resisted against the oppression and exploitation through uprisings. Peasant Movements occupy an important place in the history of social unrest in India though the aims and objectives of these movements differ in nature and degree from region to region. It is in this sense that these movements also aimed at the unification of the peasants of a region, development of leadership, ideology and a peasant elite. Through these movements emerged a new power structure and peasant alliance. The genesis of peasant movements rest in the relationship patterns of different social categories existing within the framework of feudal and semi feudal structure of our society. In the post Independence period the nature and objectives of the peasant movement have changed to getting remunerative prices for agricultural produce, to increase agricultural production, to establish parity between prices of agricultural produce and industrial goods and to get minimum wages for the agricultural laborers.

Some of the important peasant uprising:
1770- Sanyasi rebellion
1831- Wahabi uprising
1855- Santhal uprising
1859- Indigo revolt
1890-1900- Punjab Kisan struggle
1917-18- Champaran satyagraha
1921- Moplah rebellion
1928- Bardoli satyagarya
1946- Telangana movement
1957- Naxalbai movement

Women's Movement:
The women's movement in India is a rich and vibrant movement which has taken different forms in different parts of the country. Fifty years ago when India became independent, it was widely acknowledged that the battle for freedom had been fought as much by women as by men. One of the methods M K Gandhi chose to undermine the authority of the British was for Indians to defy the law which made it illegal for them to make salt. At the time, salt-making was a monopoly and earned considerable revenues for the British. Gandhi began his campaign by going on a march - the salt march - through many villages, leading finally to the sea, where he and others broke the law by making salt. No woman had been included by Gandhi in his chosen number of marchers. But nationalist women protested, and they forced him to allow them to participate. The first to join was Sarojini Naidu, who went on to become the first woman President of the Indian National Congress in 1925. Her presence was a signal for hundreds of other women to join, and eventually the salt protest was made successful by the many women who not only made salt, but also sat openly in marketplaces selling, and indeed, buying it. The trajectory of this movement is usually traced from the social reform movements of the 19th century when campaigns for the betterment of the conditions of women's lives were taken up, initially by men. By the end of the century women had begun to organize themselves and gradually they took up a number of causes such as education, the conditions of women's work and so on. It was in the early part of the 20th century that women's organizations were set up, and many of the women who were active in these later became involved in the freedom movement. Independence brought many promises and dreams for women in India - the dream of an egalitarian, just, democratic society in which both men and women would have a voice. The reality was, however, somewhat different. For all that had happened was that, despite some improvements in the status of women, patriarchy had simply taken on new and different forms. By the 1960s it was clear that many of the promises of Independence were still unfulfilled. It was thus that the 1960s and 1970s saw a spate of movements in which women took part: campaigns against rising prices, movements for land rights, peasant movements. Women from different parts of the country came together to form groups both inside and outside political parties. Everywhere, in the different movements that were sweeping the country, women participated in large numbers. Everywhere, their participation resulted in transforming the movements from within. One of the first issues to receive countrywide attention from women's groups was violence against women, specifically in the form of rape, and 'dowry deaths'. This was also the beginning of a process of learning for women: most protests were directed at the State. Because women were able to mobilize support, the State responded, seemingly positively, by changing the law on rape and dowry, making both more stringent. In the early campaigns, groups learnt from day to day that targeting the State was not enough and that victims also needed support. So a further level of work was needed: awareness raising so that violence against women could be prevented, rather than only dealt with after it had happened. Legal aid and counseling centres were set up, and attempts were made to establish women's shelters. Knowledge was also recognized as an important need. The women's activity was geared towards improving the conditions of women's lives. In recent years, the euphoria of the 1970s and early 1980s, symbolized by street-level protests, campaigns in which groups mobilized at a national level, has been replaced by a more considered and complex response to issues. In many parts of India, women are no longer to be seen out on the streets protesting about this or that form of injustice. This apparent lack of a visible movement has led to the accusation that the women's movement is dead or dying. While the participation of urban, middle class women is undeniable, it is not they who make up the backbone of the movement, or of the many, different campaigns that are generally seen as comprising the movement. The anti-alcohol agitation in Andhra Pradesh and similar campaigns in other parts of India were started and sustained by poor, low-caste, often working-class women. The movement to protect the environment was begun by poor women in a village called Reni in the northern hill regions of India, and only after that did it spread to other parts of the country. One of the biggest challenges women have had to face in recent years is the growing influence of the religious right in India. Right-wing groups have built much of their support on the involvement of women: offering to help them with domestic problems, enabling them to enter the public space in a limited way, and all the while ensuring that the overall ideology within which they operate remains firmly patriarchal. For activists too, this has posed major problems. It has forced them to confront the fact that they cannot assume solidarity as women that cuts across class, religion, caste, ethnic difference. It is important to recognize that for a country of India's magnitude, change in male-female relations and the kinds of issues the women's movement is focusing on will not come easy. For every step the movement takes forward, there will be a possible backlash, a possible regression. And it is this that makes for the contradictions, this that makes it possible for there to be women who can aspire to, and attain, the highest political office in the country, and for women to continue to have to confront patriarchy within the home, in the workplace, throughout their lives.

Backward Caste Movement:
The Backward castes have been deprived of many social, economic, political and religious privileges. These people provided manual labor and the untouchables occupied the lowest position among the caste hierarchy. They were subjected to extreme form of exploitation. The colonial power accentuated the disparities in the distribution of economic power. The atrocities united the lower castes against the upper castes. Some of the important backward caste movement which came up was Satyashodak Samaj and Nadar Movement which consolidated the masses along the castelines.E.V Ramaswamy started Self-Respect movement against the Brahmins in South India. The SNDP movement in Kerala was more of a reformist movement. In 1950s there was a widespread desire among the non-Brahmin castes to be categorized as Backward .Subsequently Backward Class commission was set up to look into the conditions and requirements of these classes. Mandal Commission submitted its report in 1980 recommending reservations for backward castes in educational institutions and government offices. However this move resulted in anti- Mandal Commission movement which resulted in large scale violence and many students lost their lives.

Dalit Movement:
Dalits are the suppressed people at the lost rung of the cast-based hierarchy. Their inferior occupations and low levels of ascriptive status make them vulnerable for attacks at the hands of upper-caste people. The organizational efforts made by Dalit leadership for uplifting their status are known as Dalit movement. It is a protest against untouchability ,casteism and discrimination faced by the dalits.Dalit movement indicates some trends of protest ideologies which entail the following -withdrawal and self organization, high varna status and extolling of non-Aryan culture's virtues, abandoning of Hinduism and embracing other religions like Buddhism and Islam. Mahatma Gandhi in 1923 founded the All India Harijan Sevak Sangh to start education and schools for the dalits.Another most important dalit leader Dr.Ambedkar struggled to secure the basic human dignity to the dalits.The Mahad Satyagarh for the right of water led by him was one of the outstanding movements of the dalits to win equal social rights. The role of All India Depressed Classes Association and All India Depressed Classes Federation were the principal organizations which initiated a movement to improve the conditions of the dalits.These organizations aimed at improving their miserable conditions and to spread education among them. They worked to secure rights of admission to school, drawing water from the public wells, entering the temples and to use the roads.

Books and Author


Books and Authors

The Evolution of culture - Leslie White
1. The third wave- Alvin Tofflar
2. Social change- W.F Ogburn
3. The coming of post industrial society- Daniel Bell
4. Modernization : Protest and Change- Eisenstadat
5. Social change- Wilbert Moore
6. Social Movements and social transformations- MSA Rao
7. Social aspects of development - M.S Gore
8. Protest and change : Studies in social movements- T.K Oommen
9. Structure and change in Indian society- Milton Singer and Bernard Cohn

10. Inequality and social change- Andre Beteille
11. Politics and social change- Bailey
12. Modernization and Development- S.C Dube
13. Social change in Modern India- M.N Srinivas
14. Society in India: Continuity and Change- David Mandelbaum
15. Tradition and Development- S.C Dube
16. The passing of traditional society- Daniel Cerner

Points to Remember


Important points to remember
1.Social change that occurs without being noticed by most members is called latent change.
2.Walter Cannon coined the term Homeostasis.
3.David Glass conducted the first study of inter-generational mobility in England and Wales.
4.To Pitrim Sorokin societies pass through three stages each dominated by a system of truth. The stages are ideational, sensate, idealistic .This theory is the example of cyclical theory.
5.To Herbert Spencer mankind had progressed from small groups to large and from simple to compound and doubly compound or in more general terms from the homogenous to the heterogeneous. This conception is an example of linear theory.
6.Giddings formulated a law of social change .He founded neo-positivist school.
7.Marx and Engels put forward a materialist variant of the evolutionary theory.
8.Herbert Spencer propounded the theory of social evolution.
9.M.N Srinivas wrote the famous book social change in modern India.

11.Goffmann regards total institutions as forcing houses for changing persons.
12.Sorokin has written social and cultural dynamics.
13.The notion of order, change and progress are inherent in the concept of evolution.
14.Maine argued that societies developed from organizational forms where relationships were based on status to those based upon contract.
15.Saint Simon distinguished between three stages of mental activity- The conjectural, unconjectural and positive.
16.Cities and towns came into existence due to development of commerce.
17.Ogburn introduced the concept of cultural lag in his book Social Change.
18.According to Lester F Ward social change can be bought about by means of conscious and systematic effort.
19.David Aberle has classified social movements as transformative, reformative, redemptive and alternative.
120.Stouffer is associated wit h the theory of relative deprivation.
21.According to Toffler technology would bring about a reversal of trend towards mass culture distributed by television.
22.Clark Kerr is the author of convergence theory.
23.Everett Rogers categorized people as innovators, early adopter and larggerds on basis of their response to an innovation.
24.Tonnies proposed that human societies evolve from communities bound together by tradition to those characterized by nonemotional objectivity.
25.Sorokin is associated with the theory of variable recurrence.
26.Dalit Panther Movement emerged among Mahars.
27.Dalit Panther Movement is transformative movement.





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