Concept of social change

Concept of social change.

Social Change

The term social change is used to indicate the changes that take place in human interactions and interrelations. Society is a web of social relationships and hence social change means change in the system of social relationships. These are understood in terms of social processes and social interactions and social organization.

Education as an instrument of social change.

Social change –

The only thing constant in life is change. Change is for progress, development and prosperity. Man is a social animal. He is an integral part of society which is made up of many individuals. These individuals come in contact with each other and interact. Whenever there is interaction, there is a change and this change is termed as Social Change..


As per Jones – Social change is a term used to describe variation in or movement of social progress, social interaction or social organization..

Factors affecting / influencing social change

1) Action of the exceptional individual – Exceptional people have a long-lasting effect on society. Eg. Gandhiji, Galileo, Hitler, Obama, Phoolan Devi, etc..

2) Impact of ideas and ideology – World famous French revolution was a result of the ideas of liberty, equality, fraternity, socialism, communalism, tyranny, etc..

3) Effect of cultural diffusion – An isolated society is static whereas a mixing society is dynamic and there is cultural flow and movement. Eg. Change in dress, women’s education, purdah system, etc..

4) Impact of change in physical environment – Calamities like earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, bombings, war, can destroy societies or change mindsets to provide for better disaster management facilities..

5) Impact of science and technology – New inventions and discoveries make life easier and more comfortable. They also inculcate scientific temper and eradicate age-old superstitions..

Types of social change

1) Progress (eg. Women education).

2) Revolution (sudden change in process of society).

3) Reform (changing what already exists mostly for the better).

4) Institutional changes (nuclear families, inter-caste marriages.).

Role of education in social change

1) Education is considered the chief and most powerful instrument of social change.

2) It is through education that society can bring in desirable changes and modernize itself.

3) A high degree of correlation is seen between historical events and education.

4) Educating people means eradication of social ills such as poverty, inequality, disharmony, etc. This eradication and improvement in society becomes a social change.

5) Value education brings about realization at unconscious level and then this is translated into conscious change that is seen in society. Eg. Good citizenship, population control, protection of environment, tolerance.

6) Education prepares the individual for social changes. It brings a change in the need-dispositions and creates frustrations with the status quo. Eg. Frustration with corruption leads to sting operations.

7) Education initiates social changes and gives them direction and purpose.

8) Education creates social reformers and leaders who consciously make all out efforts to bring about social change..

9) Education determines the nature of the social change that should be brought about.

10) Education develops the daring to fight for social justice.

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