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Chapter 18 Social Change, Collective Action, and Social Movements.

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1 Chapter 18 Social Change, Collective Action, and Social Movements

2 Evolutionary social change An evolutionary view of social change implies a gradual transformation through a series of stages of increasing complexity (as distinct from the revolutionary view of social change, which assumes that a revolution is necessary for social change to occur).

3 Social Revolution Social revolution: A revolution that involves a fundamental change in social practices (as distinct from a political revolution, which involves the overthrow of one type of political regime by another).

4 Toffler’s Three Waves of Social Development Agricultural age (began about 10,000 years ago)—Social Significance: people moved away from nomadic wandering/hunting to villages and cultures. Industrial age (began in the eighteenth century)—Social Significance: People began to leave the peasant culture of farming to work in city factories with machinery. Information age (current era)—Social Significance: Wealth is increasingly contingent on the possession of knowledge/information.

5 Standardization Standardization: A characteristic of the industrial age whereby everything was produced en masse, following the same guidelines and design protocol and resulting in identical products.

6 Figure 18.1 Percent of Children Ages 3 to 17 Who Have Access to Computers and Who Make Use of the Internet

7 Figure 18.2 Percent of Children Ages 3 to 17 Who Have Home Computer Access, 1993 & 2003, by Age

8 Figure 18.3 Percent of Children Ages 8 to 18 Who Have Home Computer Access, 2009, by Race and Hispanic Origin

9 Figure 18.4 Percent of Children Ages 8 to 18 Who Have Home Computer Access, 2003, by Race and Hispanic Origin, Householder’s/Parents’ Educational Attainment, & Household Income

10 Figure 18.5 Number of Stations Owned by Top Five Companies, 2004

11 Social Change Social change: The alteration of social structures with respect not only to institutions and actions but also to changes in cultural elements, such as norms, beliefs, and values.

12 Cultural Lag Term coined by William Ogburn Cultural lag: The phenomenon whereby cultural elements (such as religious beliefs) change more slowly than structural elements (such as technological innovations).

13 Attempts to Explain Social Change In the nineteenth century, attempts to explain social change were prompted by increased information and curiosity about so-called “primitive” societies, which raised questions about the nature of “modernity” and the direction of human development

14 Social Evolutionary Theories Viewed social change as advancing gradually through certain basic stages of development, such as from “military society” to “industrial society,” and from simple agrarian forms to more complex industrial-urban ones Developed in the nineteenth century by Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer, and Emile Durkheim

15 Differentiation Differentiation: In the context of development of the modern social system, this process involves the separation of major social functions so that each is the specialized responsibility of an appropriate social institution.

16 Theories of Revolutionary Change Emphasized increasing conflict among different parts of society—particularly different economic groups (classes)—as the fundamental source of social change. Mainly associated with Karl Marx

17 Metanarratives Metanarratives: All-encompassing, macrosocial theories of development. These metanarratives (social evolutionary theories & theories of revolutionary change) began to be criticized in the second half of the twentieth century.

18 Criticism of Early Theories Twentieth century sociologists criticized the early theories for attempting to explain too much—to be claiming to have discovered a kind of universal pattern of development. Max Weber, for example, warned against generalizations of this sort.

19 Modern industrial society Both Karl Marx and Max Weber viewed modern industrial society as a socioeconomic system in which the manufacturing firm was central.

20 Karl Marx For Marx, the factory was important as a prime example of the methods used by capitalists to make a profit out of combining machinery and workers to produce goods for sale. The factory was a means of concentrating and organizing labor.

21 Max Weber For Weber, the manufacturing firm typified the modern form of organization, which was highly rational and bureaucratic.

22 Social Relations of Production Social relations of production: The relationship between the main groups engaged in the production of goods for sale—workers and those who supervise them on behalf of capitalist owners. According to Marx, it is neither the factory nor technology that defines capitalism but rather the emergence of new, problematic social relations of production.

23 Rationalization Rationalization: The process by which traditional institutions and values are replaced by those based on rational calculation regarding the most efficient means to achieve empirical ends. According to Marx, rationalization is the defining characteristic of modernity.

24 Networks Networks: The components of an interconnected system through which social actors are organized toward the attainment of goals. They represent the new social structure and organization replacing the hierarchical form exemplified by the welfare state.

25 Post-industrial Society Daniel Bell popularized this concept in the early 1970s. The term signifies an intermediate stage between industrial society and a future form of society, the precise nature of which was still to be established.

26 Bell’s Three Social Spheres Social (or techno-economic) structure Polity (the state and political institutions) Culture

27 Axial Principles of Each Sphere Social (or techno-economic) structure  efficiency Polity, i.e. the state and political institutions  equality Culture  self-realization

28 Figure 18.6 Map of Decline in U.S. Manufacturing Jobs, 1998-2005

29 Daniel Bell Bell’s main concern is with the conflict between the techno-economic and cultural realms. Bell discerned the emergence of a postmodern culture based on consumerism, “concerned with play, fun, display and pleasure” (Bell 1976: 70).

30 Welfare State Welfare state: A state in which the government takes responsibility for its citizens’ well-being. A welfare state typically devotes a significant portion of its expenditures to programs that provide access for its citizens to resources such as housing, health care, education, and/or employment.

31 Manuel Castells Three types of social movements and identities that can be generated in response to the globalization of information flows: – Legitimizing – Resistance – Project

32 Legitimizing Movements and Identities Legitimizing movements and identities: As described by Castells, social movements that are generated through institutions of civil society that are outside of the state, yet have legitimate access to state power.

33 Resistance Movements and Identities Resistance movements and identities: As described by Castells, social movements that are based on the identity of excluded groups (i.e. racial and ethnic minorities) and are the product of resentment toward dominant institutions and alienation from mainstream ideologies.

34 Project Movements and Identities Project movements and identities: As described by Castells, social movements that use available cultural resources to create new identities that redefine one’s position in society and try to change the overall social structure (e.g. the women’s movement and environmental movement).

35 Key Characteristics of Social Movements An informal network of interactions among activist groups, individuals, and organizations A sense of collective identity Engagement in political or cultural conflict over social change

36 Collective Behavior Term defined by Neil Smelser Collective behavior: Mobilization on the basis of a belief which redefines social action.

37 Resource Mobilization Theory Developed by John D. McCarthy and Mayer N. Zald Assumes that social movements and individuals always operate on a rational basis and make rational choices. Treats social movements as if they were companies in search of investors.

38 New Social Movements Theory New social movements (NSM) theory is interested in the analysis of culture and meaning in social movements. Italian sociologist Alberto Melucci is one of the leading thinkers behind NSM theory.

39 Frame Analysis Frame analysis: A method of determining the ways in which social movements are socially constructed, interpreted, and represented both by actors in the movement itself and by outside influences, such as the mass media.

40 Globalization Globalization: As defined by David Held, “Globalization may be thought of initially as the widening, deepening and speeding up of worldwide interconnectedness in all aspects of contemporary social life, from the cultural to the criminal, the financial to the spiritual” (Held et al. 1999: 2).

41 Study Questions What is the difference between evolutionary and revolutionary social change? Are they mutually exclusive? How is social revolution different from political revolution? What are Alvin Toffler’s three “waves” of social development? Briefly describe each of these stages by identifying its dominant form of economic production, its basis of wealth, and its social significance. Which stage are we in now?

42 Study Questions (cont.) What is Wilbert Moore’s definition of social change? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this definition? Why is social change so difficult to define?

43 Study Questions (cont.) What two types of theories of social change emerged during the nineteenth century? Who are the major theorists associated with each theory? Which one describes development in terms of evolution, and which one in terms of revolution?

44 Study Questions (cont.) What events prompted the first attempts to explain social change in the nineteenth century? How were the first theories of social change criticized by sociologists of the twentieth century?

45 Study Questions (cont.) How did Karl Marx understand the role of the factory in modern capitalism? How did Max Weber understand the role of the manufacturing firm? Does the information society constitute a radical break from the modern society that these two theorists describe?

46 Study Questions (cont.) Name the three social spheres described by Daniel Bell. What is the axial principle of each sphere? According to Bell, what conflict characterized the transition to postmodernism?

47 Study Questions (cont.) Briefly describe Manual Castells’s three types of social movements and the corresponding identities generated in response to the globalization of information flows. Which one is he most optimistic about in terms of its ability to bring about substantial changes in the information society?

48 Study Questions (cont.) What are the key characteristics of a social movement? What is the difference between social movements and collective behavior? What is the central insight of resource mobilization theory? Why is it considered a form of rational choice theory? What is the major problem with resource mobilization theory?

49 Study Questions (cont.) What is David Held’s definition of globalization? What are the main criticisms of this definition ad of globalization in general?

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