Social change


The word change has its origin in the Latin term cambium and is translated as giving one thing for another or exchange , as for the word social it is derived from socialis that is distinguished by belonging to a community of people therefore by mixing both terminologies we can focus on the meaning of both words used together, summarizing that a social change is a trend or ideal that manifests itself in more than one member of a society or an ethnic group.

What is a social change?

It is a relevant transformation or modification in a social structure , these changes are usually manifested in the values, traditions, ideals and norms of a group of people, that is, it directly attacks and impacts the roots of a social structure , dismantling any previously instilled ideas, rebuilding everything absolutely from scratch.

  • Definition
  • Characteristics of social change
  • Story
  • Types
  • Factors influencing social change
  • Causes
  • Consequences
  • Theories about social change
  • Social change by country
  • Importance


Social changes include transformations and variations , based on values, guidelines, precepts and norms, which help to build better living conditions for members of society, through social phenomena that allow them to improve and advance. To this end, the community must evolve in different ways its established patterns, its behavior and those already instituted schemes, which all have as a model to follow.


Characteristics of social change

The characteristics of social change are:

  • Vary or modify social structures.
  • Capacity and flexibility of the population.
  • Influence
  • Adaptation and ideology.
  • It can be socio-economic or socio-political.
  • Change traditions and cultures from the ground up.
  • Variation in the systems of customs and habits.
  • Opposition to established norms and standards of conduct.


The pioneer of the theory and the one who used it for the first time was Isidore Marie Auguste François Xavier Comte , who is considered the creator of positivism and sociology , led this theory for most of his life and was supported by various sociologists of which the name is not known.

However, as social change is a factor that has always occurred and occurs depending on the culture and society in which it is, for which Auguste explained that in social dynamics there are two parts, the social structure and the grouping of its elements, be they values, norms, laws, among others; forming a single body called society and the changes that impact this body will have to affect social classes , the principalities of power; Added to this, the theme of change, its leaders and its rhythm will lead this period of time, taking advantage of the weakness of the social structure to gradually include its ideology. in the roots of this social group.


Derived social change

This change occurs slowly, so gradual is its process that it is relatively imperceptible for the participants of the society; instead, to put it another way, they are minute and almost insignificant changes and transformations, however, when evaluating the final product they generate great changes.

Social change by evolution

This type of change develops over time, over the years the needs of a society evolve, for the same reason there are these changes that are not radical, but seek to organize and control the masses again through the opinion of these ; This type of change often occurs in flexible and democratic nations.

Social change by revolution

In this type, the dynamic is no longer passive and becomes aggressive, it proposes the rupture and violation of everything instituted by the affected society, abruptly impacting all existing organizations and replacing them with others; This type of change is characterized by its duality, on the one hand they destroy every foundation previously imposed and on the other they rebuild what was destroyed based on their ideology and style of thought.

Factors influencing social change

  • Demographic factor.
  • Cultural factor.
  • Technological factor.
  • Ideology and thought.


Social change can be originated by many factors that have already been exposed in this article, however, if we take scientists and sociologists at their word, we have that for Marx social change originates from a constant struggle between a dominant social class and a society. submissive in search of equality.

However, Max Weber affirms that this change is not only derived from economic positions or needs, he states that it depends on the ideas, values, morals and ethics that each individual possesses.

Therefore, it does not only depend on a particular variable, there are factors that cause the individuals of a society to feel dissatisfied with their lifestyle , which causes this type of changes and revelations.


Here are some consequences of social change :

  • Freedom of thought.
  • Satisfaction of the needs of a certain social group.
  • Social phenomena.
  • Revolutions

Theories about social change

  • Evolutionary theory: Society develops from the simplest to the most complex forms.
  • Cyclicity theory: Society goes through various stages or phases that constitute repetitive and progressive cycles.
  • Theory of equilibrium: Society is constituted by a diversity of interdependent fragments and the effectiveness of the entire society depends on each one of them, so if a social change destabilizes or removes order from one of these parts, an imbalance will be triggered and it will make way for changes.
  • Conflict theory: Society is a set of groups that remains in conflict over time and changes are caused by harmful competition between one group and another for the goods and resources available in the country or region.

Social change by country

Everything is part of a cycle and all change begins with a movement that later becomes a phenomenon.In all countries, one of the most relevant changes that occurred was that of the industrial revolution , a change that not only affected part of the world. world, but all, causing not only migration , but a cultural change and a manifestation on the part of each citizen, changing not only the foundations of society , but also its ideology, traditions and values.

In Panama for example, there has been a derived social change, from those that are gradual, over the years the country full of courtesy and love for others, stopped being so, the population has slowly lost values ​​and values. norms that should be essential for a coexistence, becoming apathetic and disinterested ; behaviors that have transformed the culture and traditions of that country.

In Argentina what has been changed and mutated in a great way have been the study methods, that is, schools and universities have been transformed from their origins, completely changing the concept they had, making the citizens of the country have a more knowledge broad and less limited.

In Ecuador the changes have been more relevant, beginning with the right to freedom of expression demanded by the population, generating a large amount of population resistance to the laws and mandates of the current government .

And just like these small demonstrations, there are others of greater or lesser density in other countries.


The importance of a  social change  derives from the message that is reflected in it, if the influence it will have on others will be good or bad and the ability of the leaders of said change to re- order and structure what they themselves disorganized and destroyed. If you have an optimal structure for this change, the evolution of humanity can be elevated and efficient.

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