CAMACHO NOTES ON SOCIAL CHANGE

CAMACHO NOTES ON SOCIAL CHANGE - NOTES ARE TAKEN FROM A...

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NOTES ARE TAKEN FROM A VARIETY OF SOURCES Definitions and Classifications of Social Change Charles L. Harper, Exploring Social Change , Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1989 refers to social change as the significant alteration of social structure or culture patterns over time. Within this definition he refers to social structure as the persistent network of social relationships. Theoretical developments on social structure have been the subject of numerous theoretical studies. One of the most prominent is the collection of essays found in Peter M. Blau’s, Approaches to the Study of Social Structure , New York, NY: The Free Press, 1975. According to the material found here, one can parse theories concerning social structure into three sectors. We can speak on the persistent networks of social relations (as Harper notes); we can talk about the persistent (real or normative) social conditions confronting any actor in the social change process; we can refer to the persistence of hierarchical arrangements of institutions, social agendas, or social class arrangements in which people live. If we think of social change as a matter of the unfolding of social processes then we can agree with Harper and identify the following 6 Process Issues: Types of change Levels of change Time frames of change Causes of change Relationships of change to intention Terms associated with change Types of change: Personnel The way parts of a structure relate The functions of structures Changes in relationships between different structures The emergence of new structures Levels : Small group Organizations Institutions Society Global changes In roles, communication, structure, influence, cliques Structure, hierarchy, authority, productivity In economy, religion education In stratification, demography, power In evolution, international relations, modernization and development
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We can consider time frames as windows of opportunity and simply divide them in the most basic three stage model as: Short, medium, long Causes Often it is difficult to distinguish between causes and consequences, or to assess the order of impact Sociologists usually try to frame questions for themselves. They often ask themselves where he sources of change are located, i.e. are they internal or external. They seek to discover where the consequence of change is located, i.e. is it internal or external Change and Human intentions Unintentional Intentional and planned by elites Intentional, although often less planned, by social movement organizations
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Macro social Trends in the work-a-day world Charles Harper points out that change should be thought of in 3 different ways: Significant social events - rarely see an immediate pattern General macro level trends - relatively weak on individual impact for everyday life - technological and economic trends Changing spheres of social life such as work, family, education, etc. - change is compartmentalized - less appropriate for understanding
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This note was uploaded on 05/06/2008 for the course SOCIO 420 taught by Professor Camacho during the Spring '08 term at BC.

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CAMACHO NOTES ON SOCIAL CHANGE - NOTES ARE TAKEN FROM A...

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