Social change means the transformation of culture and social institutions over time. There is no society that has not changed. Change is always occurring. Before the rise of society, the man was arboreal. They lived in trees and moved from tree to tree and collected fruits and other foods from trees. Then a man came down from the trees to the ground and emerged hunting and gathering societies. Then emerged pastoral and agrarian societies. We now live in post-industrial, capitalist societies. These transformations of society had occurred for the transformation of culture, social interaction, and social institutions.
In recent times, social change has occurred rapidly due to globalization. Social change will occur when change occurs in technology, social institutions, population, and d environment. Globalization has changed all the factors of social change and social change has occurred rapidly in recent times. Due to industrialization and modernization, all the people of the world are involved in two types of culture, which are western culture and indigenous culture. Day by day indigenous cultures are replaced by western cultures.
That’s why our society’s element of culture is changing. During the COVID-19 pandemic situation, social relationships, social interaction, and elements of the culture of our society have been changed. People now avoid close relationships, ceremonies at the various social festivals are now avoided in this pandemic situation. Family, marriage, and kin relations have been changed in this pandemic situation. According to a report in (September 2020) Daily Star, during the pandemic situation, the divorce rate increased in Dhaka and other cities. So, it has changed the marriage and family patterns of our society.
What is social change?
Social change means the transformation of culture and social institutions over time. Social change occurs for many reasons. But globalization has a great impact on social change. The process of globalization has four main characteristics. Social change has been happening all the time. There is a proverb that nothing is constant except death and taxes. Though hunting and gathering societies changed slowly, today our society is changing rapidly. Materials elements of culture change rapidly but non-material elements of culture change slowly.
Causes behind the social change
There are many reasons behind social change. Social change occurs through the change in social factors. Social change also occurs due to non-social actors such as climate, geographic location, the topography of land, animal life and other natural resources, moral and ethical values, social organization, and social institutions.
Reasons for social change
- Culture and social change: Culture refers to norms, values, behavior, beliefs, and materials products of a society. The invention produces an object that changes the remaining culture of a society. Discovery occurs when people observe existing elements of the world. Diffusion makes the change as products, people, and information spread from one society to another society. Social change may occur when people join together in pursuit of a common goal. We now follow western culture, dress, and whole lifestyle. Thus culture is changing and as a result society is changing.
- Conflict and social change: According to Karl Marx, inequality and conflict in society also create social change. According to him, class conflict changed society from the historical era. He argues that the struggle between the working classes and landowners moves society toward the socialist system of production. Bourgeois classes always try to make a profit by using working-class labor. Working classes are exploited by the bourgeoisie class and at the last stage, working classes make a revolt against the bourgeoisie classes. Then they establish a communist mode of production. So, if there remain any conflicts in society, they will be changed as a result of this conflict.
- Ideas and social change: Max Weber also agreed that conflict can create social change. But he argues that most of the social change comes from ideas. For example, people with charisma Martin Luther King delivered a message that changed the world. His speech was for establishing equal treatment for the whole society members. By inspiring this speech, people protest against traditional exploitation. So ideas can change the culture of a society and the whole format of society.
- Modernity and change: Modernization is the process of social change that began with industrialization in Western Europe in the 1750s. Modernization refers to the change in a society that results from industrialization. Due to modernization, the western type of culture, dress, education, politics, and other things is followed by the other countries of the world.
Theoretical overview of social change
Many social scientists explain the change of society and the reason for this change. Now we will discuss the theories of Durkheim, Marx, Max Weber. These theories will provide us with the causes of social change and its outcome.
- Marxist theory of capitalism: According to Karl Marx, modern society is like capitalism. In his view, the industrial revolution is a capitalist revolution. Marx indicates the emergence of the bourgeoisie class in medieval Europe by the expansion of commerce. After the industrial revolution, the bourgeoisie classes were displaced by the feudal aristocracy because the industrial revolution gave feudists a powerful new production system. Marx argues that small communities are weakened by modernity and increased division of labor and an encouraging rational worldview. According to Marx’s view, capitalism brings people from farms and small-towns into an ever-expanding market system centered on cities, specialization is needed for efficient factories, and rationality is exemplified by the capitalist and endless pursuits of profits. By coming out of farms and small towns, it means they are coming out of agricultural and preindustrial societies to industrial and post-industrial societies. By this people’s lifestyle, dressing and way of life are changing.
- Emile Durkheim’s division of labor theory formation of social change: According to Durkheim social change has resulted from the industrial revolution. He defines modernization as the increasing division of labor. So, social change comes from the division of labor. Every member of society performs a specific job. Durkheim launched mechanical solidarity by doing the same work and using the same tools. Organic solidarity is the mutual dependency between people engaged in specialized work. Despite obvious similarities in their thinking, Durkheim and Tönnies viewed modernity somewhat differently. Modern Gesellschaft amounts to the loss of social solidarity, because modern people lose the “natural” and “organic” bonds of the rural village, leaving only the “artificial” and “mechanical” ties of the big, industrial city. Durkheim had a different view of modernity, even reversing Tönnies’s language to bring home the point. Durkheim labeled modern society “organic,” arguing that modern society is no less natural than traditional society.
- Rationalization theory of Max Weber: According to Max Weber, modernity is replacing a traditional worldview with a rational way of thinking. In preindustrial society, traditional acts were a constant brake on change. According to him, in traditional society, the truth was the same as it has always been. In modern society, truth is the result of rational calculation. Now modern people set their goals and they adopt the social pattern to get them there. Durkheim argued that industrialization weakens tradition. He declared modern society to be disenchanted. This cultural pattern of society is changing rapidly. As a result, society is changing rapidly. Preindustrial, unquestionable truth is now challenged by rational thinking. These people think freely and society is changing because of this.
Effects of globalization on social change
Globalization refers to the adoption of a free and restrictions less market, the decreasing of trade barriers, the removal of capital control, and freedom from foreign exchange restrictions. Globalization indicates that today’s world is more interconnected than it was before. The large volume of money movement increased the number of trades. Change in information technology and communication is integral to a global world. In the process of globalization, there is a significant movement of people from one country to another country for trade and work. This increase of movement in goods, labor, and services has weakened national barriers that are imposed on a liberated country. Globalization creates a new idea of a global village that is the driving force behind globalization.
Globalization has a great impact on people’s social and cultural change. Globalization is creating rapid and significant change. The movement of people from rural to urban areas has increased and the growth of cities in developing countries is increasing. For these reasons, family disruption, social and domestic violence are increasing. Due to globalization, the concept of family, job, and tradition is changing. Religion, belief, communication, and leadership have a great impact on social change. Religion may be conservative or innovative standing as an obstacle to change of tradition or promoting change. According to Max Weber, religious convictions play an important role in the transformation of society. Globalization has created a global culture. It has created a belief in the value of equality between men and women, the right to speak freely, democratic participation in government, and the pursuit of pleasure.
Social changes during the COVID-19 pandemic situation
During the COVID-19 pandemic situation, we have seen that many systems of our society have been changed. These are
- Economic change: During the COVID-19VID-19 pandemic situation, the government-enforced strict lockdown. For these reasons, working-class people have lost their jobs and fallen into a difficult situation. They cannot earn their livelihood and they lead their lives through sorrows and suffering. The market system was changed in this situation and many small businesses lost their means of earning. So, non-government employees and working-class people, and day laborers lead their lives in difficulties. Many earning members of a family fail to earn a full square meal and for this many members commit suicide. Online platform business flourished in this pandemic situation.
- Increase of Early marriage: Legal marriage age is at least 18 for a girl in our country. But during this pandemic situation, many girls got married under legal marriage age. In a school in Kurigram, only one girl’s student of class seven was unmarried after opening the school. For this reason, the health risk is increased during this pandemic situation.
- Change in the education system: The education system was stopped when the COVID-19 virus was broken out. After a few days, the online education system was started in our country. This system was fruitful in this pandemic situation because this system again started the education system in our society.
- Change in the political system: During the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the e-government system flourished. The government and other political leaders joined meetings, conferences through online platforms. Public people are also not allowed to join in a meeting, conference physically. EVM system was applied for voting in this pandemic situation.
- Change in the health system: During this pandemic situation, health risk has increased. People with close contact have a risk of the COVID-19 virus. People wear Musk to protect themselves from viruses. Old people and people with other diseases have a high risk of death if he/ she attacked by this virus.