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- Unit-2 Basic Concepts In SociologyUnit-2
Unit-2 Basic Concepts In Sociology
In this unit we introduce you to basic concepts in sociology. These concepts include that of society itself. The social group is discussed.
What is social change?
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In tracing the origins of sociology, as well as in pointing out the concerns of early sociologists, it had been indicated that the changes brought by the industrial revolution had a major role to play in the birth of modem sociology. Due to this, sociology and sociologists have never lost sight of the study of social change, and this interest has been major concern of the discipline throughout its entire history of about two hundred years. Although, sociologists have been studying the process of social change for a long time, it is difficult to give a brief and precise definition. Social change refers to the process by which alterations occur in society or social relations. Social change is a continuous process. Social change can be caused by many factors.
Increased population can bring about changes. Innovations-i.e., new ideas or an object can bring about new relationships. It is also possible that one society can borrow ideas or objects from other societies, which may cause variation in social relations.
Agents of Change
- An important question is the identity of agents of change.
- As mentioned earlier, any sub-units or institutions are instruments through which social change can be effected.
- Some of the institutions are more important than others-the economic, political and educational institutions are more central in effecting change.
- Religion can act as an agent of change as well as resistance to change.
- Although, the society continuously undergoes change, it must be pointed out that there is usually resistance to change.
- New ideas and new behavior patterns are not easily accepted.
- Even material innovations also take time to be accepted and diffused in any society (trains were considered in England as the work of the devil).
- Resistance is greater, when traditional values and beliefs are involved.
Rate of Change
- Another question is with regard to the rate of change.
- In societies, which are industrialized and use sophisticated technology (which itself has brought about changes), the rate of change is more rapid than in pre-industrial societies.
- Another important fact to be kept in mind is that a great deal of change today is caused by planning.
- This is referred to as guided change, which is being undertaken in many developing countries.
- This would be discussed further in the unit on social development.