Social Change and Modernization
An example of this can be seen with the unforeseen impact certain inventions had on society such as cars and airplanes. Social change is controversial. Some inventions are celebrated by some while condemned by others. Some social changes are more significant than others, such as cars and planes as opposed to hair and clothing styles. Mothers Against Drunk Driving is an Alternative Social Movement because they target a small group of people displaying a specific behavior. Alcoholic Anonymous is a Redemptive Social Movement because they help certain people redeem their lives.
The Civil Rights Movement is a Reformative Social Movement because they seek limited change in society yet target all of society as participants in their movement. The Communist Party is a Revolutionary Social Movement because their aim is to transform all of society and gain exclusive control of a government. Modernization is the process of social change begun by industrialization. The key features of Modernization are a decline in small, cohesive communities where each person had a defined place, usually identified by kinship.
Modernization caused people to see their lives as an unending series of options where they were able to take control of their lives instead of feeling that their lives were shaped by forces beyond their control (Britannica, 2012). Modernization changed societies where strong family ties and religious beliefs emphasized conformity and discouraged diversity into societies promoting rational thought and a scientific view of the world. Modernization changed societies where people focused on the past to people who are forward-looking and optimistic that technology will changed their lives for the better.
An example of modernization was seen with the invention of the telephone where people no longer had wait weeks for mail to arrive at a destination and could have instant exchanges of information between small communities the rest of the world. The migration of people from small towns to cities where people were forced to be more accepting of different cultures, religions and ethnicities. The television brought the world into people’s living rooms.
People were exposed to different examples of people who had nothing but then took charge of their lives to make something of themselves. The invention of the computer allowed people who did not have immediate access to information and schooling a resource to take charge of their life, obtain education that could change a career of lifestyle.