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Sociology | Class 11 | Social Change & Social Order in Rural & Urban Society

Social change

Any society's greatest enduring characteristic is change. Social change is characterised as a shift in people's ways of thinking and acting.

Physical, social, demographic, cultural, and technical variables all contribute to social change. These are the changes that, through time, cause disparities between various social structures and, in turn, alter the structure of human institutions, relationships, patterns, processes, and systems, etc.

Internal Changes:

When a period's ideals and values differ significantly from those of the previous age, this is referred to as an internal change.

External change or structural change:

  • It is referred to as an external change when the structures and foundations of any aspect of society, such as family, marriage, kinship, class, caste transfer, or groupings, change.

  • A more general term is social change. It covers every aspect of society, such as the political, cultural, economic, and physical spheres. Environmental, technical, economic, political, and cultural change are generally considered to be the five main causes of societal change.

  • Structure-related changes can be used to understand social change. Structural change refers to a change in the institutions that make up a society or in the regulations that govern these institutions, for example. The introduction of paper currency caused a significant shift in how financial markets and transactions were set up.

Endogenous and Exogenous change

A distinction between endogenous change and exogenous change has been made by certain sociologists.

One may argue that conflicts and conquests (of exogenous origin) have actively contributed to the significant societal changes that have occurred in communities all across the world.

But societal change has always been largely dependent on the actions of different social groupings within a society, even in situations where the original push came from outside.

the nature of the social change process

Evolutionary Change

Evolution is the progressive transition from a simple to a complex state.

Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution

  • Every living thing starts out simply, according to Darwin.

  • Humans have changed gradually through many years, and perhaps millennia, by adjusting to their surroundings.

  • In Darwin's theory, the concept of "survival of the fittest" was highlighted. Only organisms that can adapt to their environment can survive; organisms that are unable to adapt or who adapt slowly eventually die.

  • The theory of Darwin demonstrates natural processes.

Radical change

Change that occurs quickly or abruptly. It mostly has political applications. where the previous governing class has been ousted. Eggs include the French Revolution, Industrial Revolution, and Communication Revolution.

Values and beliefs have changed: At the end of the 19th century, it was believed that children should start working as soon as possible (child labour, as an example).

Children used to begin working at the age of five or six, and the early manufacturing system depended on their labour. In the 20th century, child labour was officially prohibited in numerous nations.

Even though there are still some enterprises in our nation that depend at least somewhat on labour, such as carpet weaving, tiny tea shops, restaurants, and matchmaking, child labour is banned and owners can be held accountable as offenders.

Sources or causes of various social change kinds include: politics, economics, the environment, and culture.

Environmental Change and Social Change

  • The environment has an impact on social change. The physical surroundings stimulate societal change. The influences of nature could not be stopped or withstood by the man.

  • There are two ways that environmental changes might affect society. Natural disasters result in destructive effects that are frequently irreversible. Environmental discoveries may lead to new employment opportunities and social change.

  • Geographical conditions of the natural world fundamentally alter society. These modifications are permanent and cannot be undone, meaning they cannot return to their prior state.


Technology is the term used to describe cutting-edge technology that is applied to the accomplishment of material goals.

Technology also has an impact on relationships and nature. It enables us to adjust to the challenges that nature presents. For instance, Japan, a predominantly hilly and chilly nation, became a specialist in electrical and technological devices.

Nearly all of the societies in the globe saw significant societal changes as a result of the industrial revolution.

Gunpowder, paper, transportation, railroads, and aviation have all greatly altered society.

The slave trade began in the 17th century and continued until the 19th century, and sometimes changes in the economic system that are not directly technological can also transform society.

Social and political change

ocial change has been a result of political power. Power shifts resulting from political changes cause social transformation in society.

In numerous instances throughout world history, after a country had won a war, its first responsibility was to rebuild its social structure.

Social change is frequently a direct result of political changes brought on by conflict between nations or kingdoms.

Political changes within a society, such as the rejection of the monarchy, can result in societal transformation.

Along with Japan's industrialization and land reforms, America undertook a great deal of change during ITS rule.

Politics are changing not only on a global scale but also right here at home.

For instance, the end of British control in India and the rejection of Nepal's "monarchy" government system in 2006 were both significant social changes.

The biggest political shift in history has been the introduction of universal adult suffrage, which grants voting rights to anybody who is at least 18 years old.

Cultural and Religious Change

When there is a change in the behaviour or actions of a person, then there is a cultural change in life.

Religion has a particularly noticeable impact on socio-cultural institutions, and as religious norms and beliefs played a role in building society, it is hardly surprising that a shift in these norms contributed to the transformation of society.

Similar to how the bhakti movement impacted the social structure of mediaeval India, religious ideas and norms play a role in society's organisation.

Social change can result through the development of novel concepts. The role of women in society can be considered as a cultural example, as the thought of their place in society changed from ancient to modern times, changing the social structure.

Rural areas and social change: New communication technologies have changed, therefore there has been little cultural backwardness.

Dominant castes are powerful in economic, social, and political society. Changes in the technological system of agriculture and the employment of new machinery expanded the gap between the landlord and the labourers. Changes in land ownership.

Farmers were driven to suicide by fluctuating agricultural prices, droughts, and floods, so the government launched the National Rural Employment Scheme Act initiative in 2005 to help needy villagers.

Urban areas and social change

Ancient cities supported the economy.

Example: From a trade perspective, cities that were located along the banks of ports were in a position to prosper.

More well-known religious locations included Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and Ajmer in Rajasthan.

Problems brought on by high population density include those related to immigration, unemployment, crime, public health, slums, filth (lack of sanitation, water, and power), and pollution.

Separation is a process in which people are divided based on their group membership, race, ethnicity, religion, and other characteristics.

Settlement: Generally, this word is used for the settlement of Jews in Central European cities. Living alongside individuals of a particular religion, ethnicity, caste, or other identity is referred to as such in today's context.

The transition from a neighbourhood with mixed characteristics to a communal neighbourhood is part of the ghettoization process.

Mass transit refers to transportation options in cities where many people must travel, like the metro.

Customs Duty, Tariff: Taxes levied on goods entering or departing a country raise their price and reduce their competitiveness in comparison to those made domestically.

Social order

  • The systematic organisation of the social structure is referred to as social order.

  • It aids in the proactive preservation and propagation of social relationship patterns.

  • It aids society in preventing, regulating, and controlling societal change.

  • In order for society to operate in a structured manner, social order is required.

  • Social order typically surrounds the dominant groups. Thus, they will reject any changes that could undermine their social stability.

To bring about social order:

People should be forced to follow these rules and values in various ways. - Every society utilises a combination of these two types to maintain the social order. - Members of society should work according to the rules and values of their own free choice.

The oppressed group is motivated in making changes that will benefit them and change how the dominant groups are positioned. In order to avoid, control, and govern social developments that challenge the norms and values that are deemed acceptable by them, the dominant group uses social order.

Both forced obedience and voluntary consent are methods for establishing social order.

Social control

Social control is the deliberate preservation and propagation of a specific set of social interactions, values, and standards.

All societies proactively encourage their members. They adhere to a system of laws and norms, or individuals are under various forms of pressure to follow these laws and norms.


There are some regular members and some such members who have the power and responsibility in an organised group. Power is another word for sovereignty.

The ability to influence someone to act in your favour, despite their preferences, is known as power.

While not the primary reasons in the development of power, according to Max Weber, power in society is solely dependent on economic considerations. similar to the powerful castes in North India.

In society, there are various types of power, including dominance, authority, and legality.

Domination is a power dynamic in which the parties have grown accustomed to their respective roles and the relationship is one of stability and settled power.

In times normal, the dominating group has a significant impact on society. People do things they don't want to do without causing confrontation, which is somewhat similar to forced cooperation.

Max Weber defined authority as the legal form of power that denotes adherence to accepted standards of justice, appropriateness, and right.

The power that is deemed to be legitimate or appropriate is called authority. For instance, as part of their duties, police officers, judges, and educators all exert various forms of power.

Their authority and what they may and may not do are laid down in written documents.

It's a type of authority that is connected to a person's official position rather than to the person themselves.

Because they are in a position of power, it follows that everyone else in the community has consented to follow its laws.


A law is an expressly written standard or guideline. The formal laws that regulate society are often in writing and are applicable to all citizens.

Some laws contain detailed instructions on how they should be created, amended, or applied when they are broken.

Non-conformity to social order

Conflict and competitiveness in society make it possible for behaviour that is not in accordance with social norms to occur.

Society's social order can be violated in a variety of ways, including very general non-conformity and serious types of non-conformity.

Crime is defined as an act committed against societal standards and values. A person who violates social norms is considered to be a criminal. For instance, the British administration considered it a criminal to violate Gandhi's salt prohibition.

The legal system alone is where the idea of crime originates. Any action that disobeys the law is considered a crime.

It crosses the line between legal and legitimate protest.

Because crime is an act committed against society and the established social order, it causes societal disintegration.


A violent type of protest that breaches not just the law but also significant societal standards, violence is the adversary of the social order. Social tension produces violence in society, which indicates the existence of significant issues. It also calls into question the power of the government.

An act of violence may cause harm to one's body, mind, or emotions.

It can be categorised as both legal and unlawful. The state exclusively has the right to employ force within its borders. Other than when used in rare circumstances like self-defense, all other actions are regarded as criminal.

Due to societal upheaval in rural and urban culture, as well as an uptick in adolescent crime and violence, there is an increase in crime and violence.

rising prices, unemployment, the desire for retribution, and the effect of films

Intoxication can make people fearful.

Important terms

  • Authority: It describes a person or organisation with the innate ability to reward or punish. It might be the authority that comes from tradition, law, or charisma. Weber claims that it is legitimate power.

  • Social change: Modificatiohow society is organised or r how its institutions work.

  • Internal social change: Modifications to values and norms. Changes in family structures, marital customs, caste, class, kinship, and other external social factors.

  • Change: The term "change" refers to a transformation of any condition or existence from its prior state. Cultural lag is the discrepancy in the rate of change between two different types of cultures.

  • Law: A body of regulations that are acknowledged, interpreted, and applied to specific circumstances by state courts.

  • The contestation: The various, adamant expressions of opposition. a circumstance where people frequently object to adhering to accepted social norms.

  • One form of social influence is conformity. It is conduct that adheres to established social norms.

  • One form of social influence is obedience. It is conduct that complies with any authority's directions or commands.

  • One form of social influence is compliance. It is behaviour that is done in response to a request from someone, possibly an authority.

  • Rewards and penalties used to govern social behaviour are referred to as social sanctions.

  • Crime: Any action taken by a person that violates the law is regarded as a crime.

  • Diffusion: The transfer of certain characteristics from one culture to another that results in change is referred to as diffusion.

  • Social evolution: A type of social development that takes place slowly and gradually in institutions

  • Revolution: A revolution is a sudden or unintentional shift in the social structure.

  • Charismatic authority: A leader who has a strong psychological impact on others is referred to as charismatic authority.

  • Rural society: An uncomplicated, agriculturally-based community.

  • Urban society: A sizable group of people living in a small area who are highly interconnected and have a high population density.

  • Village: An area inside a rural community where daily activities are maintained and carried out.


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