Social change In Sociology

Social change is the transformation of society and its way of organization. It stems from habits and customs that they stop doing or that start to be part of people’s daily lives.

Abolition of slavery, rural exodus and evolution of means of transport are just a few examples of events that have transformed society. Therefore, they are occurrences of social changes.

For Canadian sociologist Guy Rocher (1924), social change must be observed under the historical current. Social change is not temporary, it is constant and affects the development of society.

For Classics of Sociology

Social change is one of the main themes of Sociology. Sociologists presented different points of view with regard to this dynamic, without which society would not exist.

According to Auguste Comte

Conservative, Comte – the founder of Sociology – admitted the importance of change as long as order was not affected, so it is against revolution.

According to Max Weber

For Weber, the main cause of the change in society is the origin of capitalism, especially as a result of progress and urbanization.

According to Karl Marx

Transformative, Marx believes that economic conditions and the struggle between classes are the main cause of social change.

According to Émile Durkheim

For Durkheim, social change is the result of labor relations and rules out the need for revolutions.


One of the most important factors for social change is the pace , which varies according to, among others, according to the environment in which it operates. Thus, social change happens more quickly in urban areas.

Because it encompasses several groups, significantly affecting several people, collectivity is another characteristic than the brand.

The changes are not temporary. As they happen, they leave marks that have a character of durability. Thus, its permanence is highlighted .


Social changes are numerous and constant. The means of transport have evolved, the relationship between teacher and student, fashion. Among the social changes, we mention:

  • Women’s Rights:In 1933 women gained permission to vote, as it was after the Industrial Revolution that they began to work abroad, gaining their place in a society that was patriarchal.
  • Family Models:In Brazil, divorce was instituted in 1977. This was one of the reasons for the nuclear family to give place to the single parent. Currently, there is more freedom in the relationship between parents and children, as well as families have fewer children.
  • Work:Nowadays, more time is spent at work, but in return it is possible to work at home.
  • Cultural:The incorporation of customs from other cultures promotes a change in habits and customs. Technology is also an intermediary for the origin of the various changes that have occurred in this area.

Causes and consequences

Currently, technology is identified as the main cause of change. It translates into the way people are able to communicate quickly with the other side of the world, as well as the benefits it has brought in medical advances and many more.

But there are many other elements that compete for this dynamic to occur, factors that develop involuntarily and that make its identification complex. It is worth noting, however, that social change competes with obstacles and resistance.

Geographical, cultural (including religious) and economic factors are on the list of elements that give rise to social change.

Read too:

  • Social Structure
  • Social Mobility
  • Social Organization

Like any change, there are a number of beneficial and other less beneficial consequences for society. Change, often seen as a synonym for progress, can at other times meet the loss of values.


by Abdullah Sam
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