Social change refers to an alteration in the social order of a group or society such as Social behavior, relation, modification in cultural values and norms, etc. Change is an ever-present Phenomenon everywhere. The term social change is used to indicate the changes that take place in human interactions and interrelations.
Greek Philosopher Heraclitus said, “it is impossible for man to step into the same river twice.” Because of the interval of time between the 1st and 2nd stepping both the river and the man have changed.
It is considered the notion of progress. Nothing social remains the same nothing social abides. Change is ever-present in the world because change is the law of nature. Even society is a dynamic entity and is an ongoing process or it is the subject to constant change.
Definitions of Social Change:
Morris Ginsberg, “Social Change is a change in a social structure.”
Kingsley Davis, “ By social change is meant only such alteration as occur in social organization, that is structure and functions of Society.”
Maciver and Page, “Social Change may be defined as a new fashion or mode, either modifying or replacing the old, in the life of people or in the operation of society.”
Nature of Social Change:
- It is continuous, temporal, and environmental
- It is human change
- It results from the interaction of a Numbers of Factors
- It may create a chain reaction
- It may be planned and unplanned.
It is Continuous:
- From the Ancient period to date Society is undergoing endless change thus we can predict that change is continuous.
It is temporal:
- Change happens through time. It is a process, not a product. Thus, society exists only as time sequences. The innovation of new things, Modification, and renovation of existing behavior and the discarding of the old. The change appears to be very vital today may be nothing tomorrow.
It is environmental:
- It takes place in the geographic and physical context, not in a vacuum.
It is Human Change:
- The fact is people effect change and are themselves affected by that change.
It results from the interaction of a number of factors:
- Such as physical, biological, technological, cultural, and other because of the mutual interdependence of social phenomena.
It is objective:
- It involves no value judgment. It is ethically neutral.
It may be planned and Unplanned:
- plans of projects and programs may be launched any man but some time Natural Calamities like- earthquakes, Volcano, floods, etc may lead to complete change into social Structure.
Short versus long-run change:
- Sometimes it brings immediate change/result but others may take years or decades to produce results.
It may create a chain reaction:
- Change in one aspect of life may lead to a series of changes in its other aspects. Eg- Change in Rights, privileges, education, and status of women has resulted in the series of changes in the home, family relation, economical aspect, political attainment.
Nepal today is different from Nepal yesterday, what is going to be tomorrow is hence, difficult to predict.
Example of Change in Nepali Society:
- The Abolition of Slavery and Sati System,
- Democracy after Dictatorship of Rana rule,
- Feminist Movement,3rd Genders issues,
- Perception towards Caste System,
- Technological Change,
- Change/accessibility of Communication system,
- Educational Attainment and Literacy Rate.
- Women’s participation in official jobs,
- Child/Maternal Mortality rate etc.
- Beliefs on Evil Sprit/Superstation. (dependence on Dhami Jhakri got decrease)
- Aware Of Health issues.
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