Heather Fisher University of Phoenix Social Change and Modernization Social change is when culture and social institutions transform over time. There are four major characteristics in this complex process. The first characteristic is that it happens all the time. There are changes all around us. Two examples would be taxes and death. Taxes have changed dramatically since the 1900’s from little to no taxes to high taxes. Deaths have gone from a lot to a lot less due to higher life expectancy.
The second characteristic is that social change is often unplanned but sometimes intentional. Changes in society are nonstop but knowing the consequences from these changes is nearly impossible. One example would be the making of the automobile to get an individual from point A to point B in less time it would take by horse. The consequences that were not predicted were Pollution, reshaping of cities and suburbs, and family members moving to different locations all over the world instead of staying close to one another.
The third characteristic is controversy. This means that there will always be arguments on what is right and what is wrong. One such matter would be about the industries and that even though it increases productivity and raised profits workers feared they would lose their jobs to machines. The fourth characteristic would be that changes matter more than others. This means that new technology seems to be more important than the welfare of human beings. Modernization is the same as social change but through industrialization.
There are for characteristics in this as well. The first characteristic is the decline of small traditional communities. This means that communities that were limited offered a closeness with the community such as belonging, purpose, and a strong sense of identity now days people rely on technology to plug them into the larger society and connect them to the entire world by using such things as computers, televisions, and telephones to name a few. The second characteristic is the expansion of personal choice.
This means that in earlier times people viewed their lives as being put together by forces such as fate, god, and spirits but now days there are a wide range of options for an individual to choose from. An example would be that when growing up in earlier times you pretty much followed in parent’s footsteps as to what they did for a living, now that there are tons of jobs to choose from due to industrialization there are unlimited possibilities for what people can do. The third characteristic is the increase of social diversity which is the loss of family ties and powerful religious beliefs.
An example of this would be the growth of impersonal bureaucracy, social mixture of individuals from varieties of different backgrounds, and the growth of cities. The fourth characteristic is the orientation toward the future and a growing awareness of time. This means that while people from pre-modern societies think about the past while modern societies focus on the future and what new things will benefit them and improve their lives. An example would be the use of watches that took over the use of seasons and the location of the sun.