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Evolutionary thought also dominated the new field of social and cultural anthropology in the second half of the 19th century. Tylor postulated an evolution of religious ideas from animism through polytheism to monotheism. He assumed that monogamy was preceded by polygamy and patrilineal descent by matrilineal descent. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels too were highly influenced by evolutionary ideas. The Marxian distinctions between primitive communism , the Asiatic mode of production, ancient slavery , feudalism , capitalism , and future socialism may be interpreted as a list of stages in one evolutionary development although the Asiatic mode does not fit well in this scheme.

The originality of the Marxian theory of social development lay in its combination of dialectics and gradualism. Underlying this discontinuous development was the more gradual development of the forces of production technology and organization of labour. Marx was also influenced by the countercurrent of Romanticism , which was opposed to the idea of progress.

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  • Essays on social change and modernization?

He distinguished between the community Gemeinschaft , in which people were bound together by common traditions and ties of affection and solidarity, and the society Gesellschaft , in which social relations had become contractual, rational, and nonemotional. Weber rejected evolutionism by arguing that the development of Western society was quite different from that of other civilizations and therefore historically unique. The work of Durkheim, Weber, and other social theorists around the turn of the century marked a transition from evolutionism toward more static theories.

Evolutionary theories were criticized on empirical grounds—they could be refuted by a growing mass of research findings—and because of their determinism and Western-centred optimism. Theories of cyclic change that denied long-term progress gained popularity in the first half of the 20th century. Although the interest in long-term social change never disappeared, it faded into the background, especially when, from the s until the s, functionalism, emphasizing an interdependent social system, became the dominant paradigm both in anthropology and in sociology.

Neoevolutionist theories were proclaimed by several anthropologists, including Ralph Linton , Leslie A.

Essays on social change and modernization

White , Julian H. Steward , Marshall D. Sahlins, and Elman Rogers Service. These authors held to the idea of social evolution as a long-term development that is both patterned and cumulative. Unlike 19th-century evolutionism, neoevolutionism does not assume that all societies go through the same stages of development. Instead, much attention is paid to variations between societies as well as to relations of influence among them. The latter concept has come to be known by the term acculturation. In addition, social evolution is not regarded as predetermined or inevitable but is understood in terms of probabilities.

Finally, evolutionary development is not equated with progress. Madan, theoretically, denies rationalism as an inherent part of secularism, that is, modernization:. In multi-religious societies such as those of South Asia it should be realized that secularism may not be restricted to rationalism, that it is compatible with faith and that rationalism as understood in the west is not sole force of a modern state.

Another sociologist of great eminence, M. Srinivas believes that India needs a new philosophy to solve the grave cultural and spiritual crisis facing the country and that philosophy cannot be secular humanism. It has to be firmly rooted in God as creator and protector. The point which we want to stress here is that Indian sociologists have not focused much on secularism, that is, separation of state and religion, which is an important aspect of modernization. Science, as an aspect of modernization, has been very scantily studied by Indian sociologists.

Here, in our country, science is broadly looked as an instrument of change in relation to its socio-economic development. Whatever small studies our sociologists have been able to make lead us to infer that in the field of agriculture and industry there has been a general acceptance of science and technology.

Social change

Despite the acceptance, the balance seems in favour of the choice for indigenous technology instead of foreign technology. True, those advocating this approach do plead for a certain flexibility in this regard. In this respect, we have a large number of sociologists who carried studies of industries as a part of modern industrialism. Sheth and Satish Saberwal. Richard D. Lambert has made a successful formulation of modernization in his studies of factories in Poona:.

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It is assumed that the induction of the factory system has certain institutional imperatives that flow from this form of work organization, imperatives which are instrumental in moving a society from one end of the polarity to another, from a static, acquired-status-ridden, tradition-bound, primary-group oriented, particularistic finalistic society into one that is rapidly changing, achieved-status-dominated, progressive secondary- group oriented, universalistic and aspiring. Industrialism and factory system have brought about a new pattern of relationship in the form of modernization in Indian society.

Lambert has thus brought out changes in the structural aspects of society due to processes of modernization. Modernization processes have not only brought changes within the framework of industrialism, but also affected change in the roles of family, position of caste and tribe in the realm of power structure, emergence of new factions, dominant caste in villages, acceptance of bureaucracy at different levels of administration, new social movements, labour movements, urban growth including emergence of slums and industrial demographic changes.

There are, in other words, impacts of modernization on social life. Education is the most powerful pillar of modernization. It is through it that hierarchical social structure is changed and there emerges social mobility and equality. It covered fourteen states, involved several social scientists and aimed at collecting some basic data concerning the situation and the problems of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.

Besides this, there are several individual contributions. All these studies bring out the fact that education has been a major instrument of change on the desired aims of modernity, namely, democracy, rationality and secularism. All the sociologists who have worked on education are not unanimous in this opinion about the impact of education. For instance, A. Desai questions the viability of education as an instrument of modernization. Shukla argues that the gearing of education to development and change as visualized in our constitutional and other declared commitments is largely political and managerial.

Professions emerged as a specialized field of enquiry in India at the turn of the sixties. A systemic study of profession was made by B. Misra for the first time in It remained practically the only work until when S. Dube made the first empirical study on social mobility among the professionals. The early studies of professions in India began as a part of the study of middle class and mobility. It was T. Madan who initiated an era of serious research in It was during seventies that a flood of studies on professions emerged. Oommen and R. Jeffery worked on medical profession.

Legal profession was explored by Mare Galanter, C. Morrison and J. Aurora and Radha Rao took up scientific profession and S. Dubey studied professions in general.

Social Change and Modernity Essay | Social Conflicts |

Sharma, in the Trend Report of ICSSR, makes an elaborate analysis of professionalism which followed the introduction of modernization in post-independent India. His observations are:.

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Foreign Policy. These developments, along with the growing power of China and Russia, have led many observers to argue that democracy has reached its high-water mark and is no longer on the rise That conclusion is mistaken. At the start of the twentieth century, only a handful of democracies existed, and even Loading, please wait Yousef Munayyer. Stay informed. In-depth analysis delivered weekly.