1.6.2.Factors of Social change
The major causes for social change are cultural factors, technological factors, biological factors, population factors, environmental factors and psychological factors.
These factors are discussed below
1. Cultural factors :
The social and cultural factors are so interwoven. All cultural changes involve social changes. Culture gives speed and direction to social change. The field of social change is limited in comparison to the field of cultural change.
2. Technological factors :
Technology affects society greatly. Technology changes society by changing our environment to which we intern adapt. This change is usually in the material environment and the adjustment we make to the changes often modifies customs and social institutions. In this way, the increased usage of new machines, methods, new sources of energy due to discoveries have made far-reaching consequences in the society. Similarly the development of communication technology in the modern era has greator inpact on the society. The explicit effects of technological advances are labour organizations, division of labour, specializations, improved production and productivity, value addition to products, fast nature of life etc. In the modern era technological factors are one of the predominant causes for social change.
3. Biological factors
Biological factors have some indirect influence upon social change. By biological factors the mean the factors that determine the number, composition, the selection and the hereditary quality of the successive generation. The changes in population in both number and composition have effect on society. In addition to this biological principles of natural selections and struggle for survival are constantly producing alterations in the society.
4. Populations factors
Changes in quality and size of the population affect the social organisations as well as the customs and traditions, institutions, associations etc., in a society. Increase/decrease in population, a change in the ratio of men and women, young and old have an effect upon social relationships. Decrease or increase in the population has an immediate effect upon economic institutions and associations. The ratio of men to women affects marriage, family and the condition of women in society.
5. Environmental factors
The geographists have emphasizet that the impact of geographical environment upon human society. It is belived that alternation in the climate is the sole cause of evolution of civilisation and cultures. Floods, earth, quakes, excessive rain, drought, change of season etc. have significant effect upon social relationships and these are modified by such natural occurrences.
6. Psychological factors
The cause of social change is the psychology of man himself. Man, in general, is a lover of change, is always trying to discover new things and is always anxious for novel experiences. As a result of this tendency, the traditions, customs, etc. of every human society is perpetually undergoing change. New customs and methods which replace the old traditional customs are being formed. However, the old customs are respected but time demands change and adaptation to changing conditions.
In addition to this, appearance of new opinions, thoughts etc. also cause social change. For example changes in the attitude towards dowry, caste system, female education etc. have resulted in widespread social change. Similarly social changes are introduced by the advent of great thinkers as M.K. Gandhi, Karl Marx etc.