Social change is defined as any socially significant alteration, transformation, or modification in the organization of social activities that are behavioral patterns, cultural patterns and, norms. A significant alteration means any changes that would lead to profound social consequences (Gladwell, 32) Significant social changes include the abolition of slavery, the feminist movement and, the industrial revolution.
Social change bears four main characteristics including; it happens everywhere the rate of change, however, varies in different places. For instance, the United States experiences faster change than third world countries due to their limited access to technology. Social change is often unplanned but sometimes it is intentional. Social change generates controversy for instance; the move to accept homosexuality rights causes controversy involving religion, the military, and society in general. Some of the social changes are more critical than others. The invention of personal computers, for example, was more important in comparison to the creation of cabbage patch dolls (Gladwell, 50)
Social change is caused by culture, invention and, discovery and diffusion of new cultures., conflict, the need for adoption, environmental impacts, social movements and change, demographic change, consumerism and the role of ethics and values and religion..
In sociology, tipping point is used to describe a mechanism that leads to complete changes within society. When sociologists study change, the first step is to identify the social activity that is changing or that has changed. Sociologists are interested in tipping points, a situation in which a seemingly rare event, opinion or response dramatically becomes more common. Sociologists are aware of the power of betterment or decline of culture that eventually ‘tips’ humans irreversibly into the next level of societal development. There have been three major tipping points in human Cultural Revolution (Gladwell, 72) The first was the creation of language including the cognitive capabilities that accompanied it. The second was the storage of information outside the brain, which later took the form of writing, the internet, and mass media. The third tipping point was the introduction of technology capable of accumulating large amounts of information outside man.
The society has experienced many changes since 1750, which marked the beginning of the Revolution Industry. They include changes in gender and social structures slave systems diminished, but the gap between the rich and the poor increased in industrialized countries. Demographic and environmental changes; the demand for fuel came about causing a huge impact on the environment and cities dominated the landscapes in industrialized countries. Political revolutions and independence movements; nations arose as political entities inspired movements of political movements. Changes in global commerce; the pace of trade increased dramatically as well as communication and technology collectively known as the industrial revolution (Wyatt, 100)
When we think about a particular social change, we usually cannot pinpoint the single trigger of that change because change often results from a complex series of connected events. The forces resulting to change are complex. The tipping points are triggered by innovation, the pursuit of profit, social movements, and revolutionary ideas. The Industrial Revolution in 1750, for example, was a tipping point caused by innovation and the pursuit of profit. The biggest change in social activities that started after 1750 was the extent to which the activity depended on fossil fuel. It goes without saying that fossil fuel use facilitated globalization (Wyatt, 121) The rationalization force driving the profit-making industry strategy depends on fossil fuels to make them operate, manufacture products, and deliver them to retailers.
Gladwell, Malcolm. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. Boston: Little, Brown, 2000. Print.
Wyatt, Lee T. The Industrial Revolution. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2009. Print