Essay Title: 

Critically assess the works of Durkheim, Marx and Meade in terms of how they believe social change can influence societal development in terms of technology and public middle school education.

April 3, 2016 | Author: | Posted in science, technology

Social Change


One way of explaining social change is to show causal connections between two or more processes . This may take the form of determinism or reductionism , both of which tend to explain social change by reducing it to one supposed autonomous and all-determining causal process . A more cautious assumption is that one process has relative causal priority without implying that this process is completely autonomous and all-determining . What follows are some of the processes thought to contribute to social change

Natural environment

Changes in the natural environment [banner_entry_middle]

may result from climatic variations natural disasters , or the spread of disease . For example , both worsening of climatic conditions and the Black Death epidemics are thought to have contributed to the crisis of feudalism in 14th-century Europe . Changes in the natural environment may be either independent of human social activities or caused by them . Deforestation , erosion , and air pollution belong to the latter category , and they in turn may have far-reaching social consequences

Demographic processes

Population growth and increasing population density represent demographic forms of social change . Population growth may lead to geographic expansion of a society , military conflicts , and the intermingling of cultures . Increasing population density may stimulate technological innovations , which in turn may increase the division of labor , social differentiation , commercialization , and urbanization . This sort of process occurred in Western Europe from the 11th to the 13th century and in England in the 18th century , where population growth spurred the Industrial Revolution . On the other hand , population growth may contribute to economic stagnation and increasing poverty , as may be witnessed in several Third World countries today Economic processes

Technological changes are often considered in conjunction with economic processes . These include the formation and extension of markets modifications of property relations (such as the change from feudal lord-peasant relations to contractual proprietor-tenant relations , and changes in the organization of labor (such as the change from independent craftsmen to factories . Historical materialism , as developed by Marx and Engels , is one of the more prominent theories that give priority to economic processes , but it is not the only one . Indeed materialist theories have even been developed in opposition to Marxism One of these theories , the logic of industrialization ‘ thesis by American scholar Clark Kerr and his colleagues , states that industrialization everywhere has similar consequences , whether the property relations are called capitalist or communist


Other theories have stressed the significance of ideas as causes of social change . Comte ‘s law of three stages is such a theory . Weber regarded religious ideas as important contributors to economic development or stagnation according to his controversial thesis , the individualistic ethic of Christianity , and in particular Calvinism partially explains the rise of the capitalist spirit , which led to economic dynamism in the West

Social movements

A change in collective ideas is not merely an intellectual process it is often connected to the formation of new social movements . This in itself might be regarded as a potential cause of social change . Weber called attention to this factor… [banner_entry_footer]


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