Talcott Parsons: The Definition Of Social Change

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Sociologists have long attempted to interpret and define what social change is.There are plenty of conceptions that have emerged, and up until now it has been and is still being perceived differently across realities. Looking at varying definitions allows us to look at how social change is perceived differently depending on the social and historical situation, and on how individuals perceive their reality.
Talcott Parsons, being a structural functionalist, associated social change with evolution. His Evolutionary Theory, processes of differentiation, intergration, and value system generalization describe how social change occurs as societies evolve. First, susbsystems are differentiated, then it grows to cope with problems more efficiently.
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In his dialectical-historical materialism, he emphasized the material basis of social change as the struggle between the forces of production, being dynamic, and relations of production, being static and resistant to change; gives birth to an embryo of new forces and relations of production (Ritzer, 2003). In this second definition, social change is triggered by new forces of production and class struggles. Lastly, Anthony Giddens defined social change as a transition characterized by social institutions such as capitalism, industrialism, surveillance capacities, and control of means of violence. How he defines social change can be seen in how he perceives modernity. He stated that, “modernity in the form of a juggernaut is extremely dynamic; it is a “‘runaway world’” with great increases in the pace, scope, and profoundness of change over prior system” (Giddens, 1991, p.16 as cited in…show more content…
Wright Mills’ sociological imagination as we have been recalling it from time to time says that the promise of sociology is to provide individuals with an ability to understand and comprehend their social circumstances so that they become a part of an informed social action towards their lives’ betterment. Understanding social change is understanding their historical, personal, and social developments as individuals and as a whole society, and will definitely constitute one part of that promise of sociology.
One of my biggest interests in studying sociology is understanding the expression of one’s own culture as a possible form of counterhegemony, especially in the Filipino setting. One example that could be seen in here is the indigenization from within of knowledge and also the imposition of an educational system that is culture-based; these movements and how it can change the society and the individuals within it.
Another one of the topics I may be interested in is the role and place of the arts in social change. I tend to inquire about the place of art -- where it is found, from what groups, how it is done, etc. -- in a certain society that is undergoing a significantly greater change. On the other hand, I also tend to ask about arts’ role in jabbing change into the
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