INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY
Changes in Population Change Social Organization
Population change itself is an important cause of social change, and it too contributes to social conflict and further change.
Small towns become big towns, and big towns become cities or metropolitan centers. Urban life alters society’s occupational structure, its class system, and dominant-minority group relations. Urban life alters the relationship between men and women, giving the latter greater opportunity to succeed in the economic and political order. Urban life brings a change in leisure activities, level of education, ideas, and values.
Change in Social Patterns Causes Change in Other Social Patterns
As one institution changes, so do other institutions, because institutions are interrelated.
As television becomes increasingly more important, public schools, political campaigning, and the socialization of children are altered considerably.
As institutions change, so do other aspects of culture, such as norms, values, goals, and truth.
As professional sports becomes more central to society, competition and striving to be number one become more important values in society. Also, the belief that leisure should be directed at watching others perform, becomes more accepted.
As institutions change, so does social structure.
Changes in the institution of marriage alter the relationship between men and women in society; changes in our tax system (such as the end of the estate tax or the establishment of flat tax) will have an important influence on the extent of inequality in our class system.
As institutions change in society, smaller levels of social organization are affected: communities, formal, organizations, groups, dyads.
Bureaucratization in society influences individual formal organizations to become increasingly bureaucratic. Increasing legitimization of divorce in society affects individual familial relationships to change in society.
Changing culture also influences social change: It alters structure, institutions, and other aspects of culture.
A classic analysis of how culture is a source of change was made by Max Weber in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905). Here Weber argued that the development of a Protestant religious philosophy (a set of truths, values, norms, and goals) was instrumental to the development of a capitalist-oriented middle class in Europe (and thus the class structure). The middle class in turn transformed many European societies to develop capitalist economic institutions. Weber showed that a certain kind of Protestantism (represented in the United States by the Puritans) taught a culture that valued hard work, the belief that success in this life was proof of election by God for salvation, and that an important norm that people should follow is to save and reinvest what they earn rather than to spend. This culture, Weber, emphasized, encouraged the development of an economic order that included its own culture,
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