Theories Of Social Change

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Theories of Social Change In the attempts to investigate the product, process and purpose of change throughout human history, sociologists put forward several theories (i.e. Evolution theory, Cyclical theory, Functional theory, Economic theory, Conflict theory, Technological theory) which operate at micro, meso and macro levels with the categorization under grand, middle-range and substantive consortiums and, they still exist today. Theory can be defined as collection of ideas, concepts, perspectives and models employ to explain, describe and predict social phenomena with the view to understand why, when and how such a phenomenon occur in certain manner or did not occur at all. According to Gelso (2006), theory can be defined using nine constructs…show more content…
Some sociological theorists take change in structure (the establishment of new institutions), composition (inter-group migration) and function (specialization of labour, industrialization, authority relation) as the phenomenon to be explained (Strasser, 1977; Mesure, 2009; Chiribucă, 2004). While other theorists believe that stability or the re-establishment of some stable state (social inequality) are well-intentioned to be examined (Coser, 1957; Boudon, 1984; Vlăsceanu, 2011). These two views were clearly exemplified by Rusu (2008) as the systemic approach and the modern, process-oriented, dynamic – or constructivist– approach. As for Boudon (1984), both approaches are expression of phenomenons of social change when he raised a basic epistemological question on whether there are regular patterns in social change. (p. 8). The likely possible answer one can get is no. This is so for the simple reason that the process of social change is multidimensional. However, the simple truth arising from the polarization of the approaches to understand and investigate social change is that it gives the paradigm of social change the features of Trifunctionality- the tendency to have change theories that have the capacity to describe, explain and…show more content…
To begin with, Auguste Comte, the French sociologist, who described society as starting from theological stage, passing through a metaphysical stage and finally reaching a positivistic stage. In his law of three stages, the theological or fictional stage (subdivided into three stages: fetishism, polytheism and monotheism) is when man accounts for things using the supernatural; the metaphysical or abstract stage; and the scientific or positive stage (explains how man uses reason to formulate laws enabling the conquest of the world) (Mesure, 2009). In the same direction, Hegel noted that evolution proceeds according to a system of three stages which he classified as thesis, antithesis and synthesis. However, each stage composes and recomposes the spiritual harmony and the order of society. To corroborate this view, Bădescu emphasised that each historical type of social unit is “inspired by a polarity between the forces of order (solidarity) and the forces of change (innovation) (Bădescu, 2005). Consequently, social change is therefore viewed as normal and social investigation that sought to ascertain the determining factors of the rate

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