Sequence & Process of Social Change
The following process of change has been observed in various insinuations of society
1. Technology The institutions of technology change first in their various aspects of using implements, tools, weapons, which later change our industries in various fields. Technological advancement is applied in the expansion of industrialization toward transportation (trains, cars, buses, aero planes, cycles and others), medicine (X-Rays, operation tools, certain disease detecting machines like ultrasound) and dental surgery, textiles (all sorts of woven material from fibers and thread) and all other environmental factors to adopt cultural life to the satisfaction of needs.
2. Economic institutions – Economic structure of the society is the first institution to allow changes in technological development. People move on the horizontal and vertical scales due to vast expansion of economic institutions which are directly related to technological advancement.
3. Social institutions Family, school, government and religious institutions are the next to be affected by industrial and economic development of the society. The structure of these and such other social institution to adopt themselves to the existing conditions of material advancement, adopts changes in the last. Specialization which is the resultant of social progress, evolves division of labor on the basis of age, sex, ability and efficiency of the members of society. The evolutionary societies are growing more into individualistic and impersonal ways of life. The family is the first institution to accept change in terms of addressing, division of labor, mutual relations of husband, wife, son and daughter and family roles shifting to other external institutions of the society. Primary group in family declines in degree of intensity and more emphasis now tolls upon associates, friends and playmates, the members of secondary group. More divorces occur in such technical structure of the society. Similarly, religious institutions lose their dogmatic and scholastic effects on the thoughts of the people and accept functional changes in this all changing environment. Sectarian problems lose their importance and people pay little heed to such ideological differences. But this is probably an ideal for the Eastern societies and real for the Western (developed) ones.
4. Social Values — Social values are the last to accept change, if they do. More resistance is found in social values –.and any element disrupting their structure creates social problems. They are the goals of man’s efforts hence their rapid change disorganizes the whole social order. They resist change and are imbedded in the personality of the individual. Some values change more rapidly (material objects) than the social, non-material ones. This disparity in change of values disorganizes value system. These values, when endangered, create social problems.
Social change may be in any direction. According to the existing social norms and values, the social changes are evaluated and if found ‘useful’, ‘good’ or ‘important’, the change is called ‘progress’ and in the reverse case ‘retrogress’ or fall. Progress is a process of change, involving value judgment and planning the direction of change towards goal.
Fashions and styles in dress and other ways of life are the indicators of social change. This is flexibility in attitudes and ideas which enables man invent and discover new things with new ideas of their application. Rapid changes in styles of dress is an indication of ready acceptance of modern ways of life. The following table indicates the evaluation of styles in dress from the point of view of college students.
5. Social Change and Social Problems. The old-established customary ways of life, which had become a part of their nature and a value of the society, do not readily accept change but offer resistance to change. On the other hand, the environmental factors lay pressure upon their breakdown (change) and when these values are violated the people are emotionally disturbed due to dissatisfaction of their needs lying there in the values. This uneasy state– Of mind of the people creates social problems. To deal with such social situation control is made through social planning. As far as reform is concerned, it is “remedial and corrective” and planning, is “preventive and constructive”. Insightful thinking is essential for future planning while the latter is a necessity for a changing society.
6. Social Planning and Control. For the adjustment of man to his society and culture, social planning and control of the issuing problems are the essential elements of a dynamic and democratic society. For building a bridge across a river, a scheme is planned by engineers with careful insight into the matter. The time, money and labor (trained personnel), three most important resources of nation are utilized with skill. Similarly, with the use of these resources, the solution to social problem is planned by the social engineers (Sociologists) and the situation brought under control. For example, population expansion in Pakistan is a problem of the nation. The problem cannot be ameliorated by magic but by relevant information (knowledge) along its modern techniques (scientific method) of understanding the situation creating problem and finally interpreting them toward solution (control) of the problem. This social planning for social control is the social engineering employed by sociologists in the undertaking of social problems. Family planning projects are social planning in action. Rural development projects are social planning for development in Pakistan.