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Sociology Class 11 Notes Chapter 2 Social Change and Social Order in Rural and Urban Society

  • Change is the most permanent feature of any society. Social change can be defined as transformation in the methods of thinking and working of people. It is basically changes in social structures and social relationships of a society.
  • Social change occurs due to physical, social, demographic, cultural and technological factors.
  • Population growth influences adversely on the usage of natural resources which also causes social change.
  • Evolution, progress and revolution are various forms of social change.
  • Sudden or accidental changes are called revolution whereas slow and gradual social changes are called revolutions.
  • Social change is a broader concept. It includes all the areas of society like political, cultural, economic and physical etc. By and large there are five broad sources of social change i.e. environmental, technological, economic, political and cultural change.
  • Social change can be seen in terms of structural changes. Structural change refers to transformation in the structure of society to its institutions or the rules by which these institutions run e.g. Paper money as currency marked a major change in the organisation of financial markets and transactions.
  • Changes in values and belief can also facilitate change.
  • Physical environment and ecology also play a significant role in the structure of society e.g. poor economic conditions are inevitable in the geographical regions where natural calamities are common.
  • Technology also alters nature and relationships. It allows us to adopt to the problems posed by nature. For example, Japan being mostly hilly and cold country developed expertise in electrical and electronic gadgets.
  • Industrial revolution has caused massive social changes in almost all the societies of the world.
  • Use of gun powder, paper, mode of transport, railways and aviation’s have brought tremendous social changes.
  • The social changes due to technological factors are very fast and complex.
  • Social changes occur differently in rural and urban societies.
  • Rural societies are mostly agriculture based and this lacks technology and specialization. People are more comfortable with traditional knowledge and members of their group instead of experts.
  • Joint family system, caste system, superstitions, homogeneity and illiteracy are very common in rural societies. In such societies social change is particularly very slow.
  • Urban societies are mostly industrialized. There is differentiation and stratification not only on the basis of caste but also class.
  • Heterogeneity in occupation is common. There are a variety of people and culture in a high density area.
  • The association and relationship are secondary and time based.
  • People of different castes, religions and regions live together with more tolerance.
  • Urban societies are slightly individualistic and characteristic segregation of groups and functions significantly.
  • Cities are basically commercial hubs.
  • In such urban societies social changes are drastic and quick.
  • As social change is inevitable, similarly all societies need to have a network of social control.
  • Social control means the active maintenance and reproduction of a particular pattern of social relations and of values and norms.
  • All societies encourage members spontaneously. They abide by a set of rules and norms or people are compelled in various ways to obey such norms.
  • For control, society needs authority. Authority is a person who has inherent power to give reward or punishment to maintain social network. According to Weber, authority is a legitimate power. Bureaucracy, police, judiciary etc. exercise their power. The authority is provided to them by the system.
  • Domination and law are another aspects of social control.
  • Domination is a psychological phenomena. Dominance exists as a feeling in the personality of the individual. It is a personal trait which ir.ay also be related to a specific situation e.g. a father has a dominant role in Indian family system.
  • Law refers to an explicitly codified norm or rule which is usually in written form.
  • In social term, legitimacy refers to the degree of acceptance that is involved in power relations.
  • Contestation is a broad form of insistent disagreement. Competition and conflict are more specific than this. Counter cultures among faith is example of this. These are refusal to conform to prevalent social norms.
  • Contestations are manifestation of protest against laws or lawful authorities.
  • A crime is an act that violates an existing law. Basically crime is the breaking of the law.
  • Crime has many features like any behavior prohibited by law, criminal intent. It is directly linked with punishment, positively correlated to behavior and causing harm etc.
  • There are various factors of crime like biological factors, economic factors, geographical factors, socio-cultural and psychological factors.

Important terms:

  • Authority: It refers to a person or institution which has inherent power to give reward or punishment. It may be traditional authority, legal authority or charismatic authority. According to Weber, it is legitimate power.
  • Social change: Changes which occur in the social organisation or social structure and function.
  • Internal social change: Changes in norms and values.
  • External social change: Changes in forms of family, marriage, caste, class, kinship, marriage etc.
  • Change: Difference in the form of any condition or existence from its previous form is called change.
  • Cultural lag: Any imbalance that occurs in the speed of change between two types of culture.
  • Law: Body of rules which are recognized, interpreted and applied to particular situations by the courts of the state.
  • Contestation: The broad forms of insistent disagreement. A situation when people tend to protest against to conform to existing social norms.
  • Conformity: A type of social influence. It is behavior according to pre-existing group norms.
  • Obedience: A type of social influence. It is behavior according to the orders or command of any authority.
  • Compliance: A type of social influence. It is behavior according to request made by some one, may be an authority.
  • Social sanctions: Related to reward and punishments that are used to bring about social control.
  • Crime: Any act of the individual that violates the existing law is considered as crime.
  • Diffusion: Transmission of some traits of a particular culture to another culture, which causes change is known as diffusion.
  • Social evolution: A kind of social change which manifests gradual and slow process of change in institutions.
  • Revolution: Sudden or accidental change in the structure of society is called revolution.
  • Charismatic authority: A leader having great influence on others due to his personality is known as charismatic authority.
  • Rural society: A simple community based on agriculture.
  • Urban society: A large organisation of people living in limited area with high population, density and high degree of intercommunication.
  • Village: A unit of the rural community, where rural life upholds itself and does perform its functions.

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