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Questions about Social Change

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Nalini Graham

on 28 August 2016

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Transcript of Questions about Social Change

The Anthropological Questions - please take notes on this presentation
Social Organization
: Anthropologists investigate how the members of the culture gather or form. How is the culture organized? How is the labour divided? Are social rules flexible or tightly regulated? Example: People who engage in religious custom might gather in a church where as others might organize at someone's home or in a field to carry out this ritual ceremony.
Culture is made up of 4 interrelated parts continued...
The Anthropological Questions
The Psychological Questions
The Sociological Questions
Questions about Social Change
Anthropologists focus on the constant change within cultures
this change is gradual and rarely happens suddenly unless they are destroyed by another culture
Anthropologists ask questions such as these:
What are the known basic mechanisms of social change?
What ideas or explanations can we use to describe what causes cultures to change?
How adequate are these ideas or explanations when we apply them to the modern world?
What are the implications for anthropology? Are the findings for one period valid in another.
(Based on oliver, 1981, p. 364 taken from Bain et al, 2002)
Anthropologists see cultural change as limited by certain factors
They try to identify which factor is most significant

Was a cultural change caused by a change in society's leadership?
Is technological change a factor in an observed cultural change?
Sources of Cultural Change
Anthropologists have concluded that there are 3 major sources of cultural change:

: new products, ideas and social patterns that affect the way people live. Example: The PSP changed the way young kids play video games and they can now travel with it versus staying at home.
: Finding something what was previously unknown to a culture. Think of an example and write it in your notes.
: The spreading of ideas, methods, tools from one culture to another. Think of an example and write it in your notes
Anthropological Sources of change continued...
Physical Environment
: This influences the way a culture operates.
: If the land people hunt on runs out of food, then the people who use the land are forced to move where the food goes.

Level of Technology
: The level of technology determines how receptive a culture will be to the need for change.
: A culture that possesses crowded multi-lane highways can improve light rail transit systems in cities. A culture that travels by foot would see no need for this type of improvement because it's of no use to them.
Culture is made up of 4 interrelated parts continued...
Systems of Symbols
: All cultures have symbols. Brand name clothing, pop music, technology might be symbols of teen culture
symbols not only include physical objects but gestures such as the two-finger V symbol for peace, dance trends, hairstyles or anything else that links them to a particular culture.
Culture is made up of 4 interrelated parts
The Psychological Questions
Psychologists focus on people's behaviours and attitudes. Example: They might look specifically people who have been caught for drinking & driving at least 3 times and investigate whether or not social programs can actually be designed to help change behaviours such as drinking and driving.
Psychologists would ask the following questions:
What must people do to successfully change their behaviours?
What factors make behaviour-modification programs successful?
Do most people need help changing behaviour, or can they be self-changers?
A lot of research looks at the connections between people's attitudes (what they think) & their behaviours (what they do)
Psychologists wonder if the attitude needs to change before the behaviour can change.
Example: To stop drinking & driving, would you have to change someone's attitude about drinking before he or she stops drinking and driving?
Psychologists know it's hard to change peoples' attitudes and behaviours and often investigate the question of persuasion? Are friends more effective than strangers in changing a person's attitude? If society considers a behaviour unacceptable, are they more likely to stop it?
Take a look at the following clip and think about what makes this ad so effective. Make at least 3 observations in your notes:
Most psychologists work for advertising companies to design marketing campaigns that work. From a psychologist's point of view what makes this PSA effective?
Changing our Minds
Why do we change our minds?

Individuals desire cognitive consistency in their beliefs
we want to avoid attitudes that conflict with each other
we change attitudes when we experience discomfort between 2 attitudes that conflict
Our desire to regain cognitive consistency forces us to change one of the 2 conflicting attitudes
one theory of attitude change is called: Cognitive dissonance theory
This theory says that people try to avoid conflicts between what they think and what they do
Example: Turn to page 16 of the text and read the Cognitive Dissonance Theory Case study. Take notes on the experiment using the same subheadings as the text and on the results and answer questions #2 and 3 on page 17.
to reduce dissonance, you might do one of two things:
1. Change your behaviour to make it consistent with your attitudes - stop smoking
2. Continue to reinforce your attitudes: believe that you will not get Cancer and keep doing it
you will probably experience anxiety and be uncomfortable and even hostile if someone criticizes your behaviour
Using page 17 of your text define
cognitive consistency
The Sociological Questions
Sociologists focus on the shifts in behaviours and attitudes of groups and whole societies
change is an inevitable process
for sociologists the issue is whether social change is patterned and predictable or random and irregular
Early Approaches
sociologists ask "How does change come about"? There are 3 ways to explain this:
1. From Decay
as society became more concerned with material objects and less spiritual, it declined becoming less stable and not able to provide for its citizens, hence the society broke down and decayed away
2. From Cycles of growth and decay
Sociologists believe that societies don't just decay and wither away, instead they go through cycles of growth and decay - hence the change that occurs over time

#3: From Progress
3: From Progress
Sociologists believe that change occurred due to continuous progress
Society continues to build on the experience of those before them hence the social institutions and society itself changes
Question: What factors do you think influences change in your life and country? Please write your ideas in your notes.
when a theorist believes that a
single factor
is the reason for change they are known as a
is similar to a reductionist in that they believe that a specific factor will determine the
entire outcome
social change that takes place.
There are 4 aspects of social change in Sociological Studies
1. Direction of Change
2. Rate of Change
3. Sources of change
4. Controllability
#1: Direction of Change
consider if the direction is positive or negative
You must consider whose opinions are being sought in the measurement of change
Example: if you ask are your country's pollution laws enough to protect the environment you might get different answers from members of the government, the CEO of an oil and gas company and environmentalist
#2: Rate of Change
consider if the change is slow, moderate or fast
Is it a radical change that will last for decades?
Sociologists consider what factors are affecting the rate of change
once they figure out what these factors are they have to think about the forces that facilitate change and that oppose change
#3: Sources of Change
Sociologists consider what factors are behind the change in society
if it's an EXOGENOUS influence the source of change is coming from another society
if it's an ENDOGENOUS influence the source of change is coming from within the society itself
Examples of the parts of our society that experience change are: the population, technological innovation, the physical environment

#4: Controllability
Sociologists investigate whether or not change can be controlled and if so, to what degree?
Can you think of an example of a community or a part of society that's changed as a result of controlled change?
As you watch the clip, how do you see each of the 4 aspects of social change happening in the Amish community? Please take notes in your note book.
Recall Activity
In your notes quickly summarize the following by answering these questions:

1. Identify 1 type of question an anthropologist, psychologist and sociologist might ask when studying change in society?

2. What are the sources of cultural change for Anthropologists?
3. What are the two factors that psychologists try to find a link between when studying change?
4 . What are the 3 main ways of explaining social change for Sociologists?
5. Sociologists identify 4 aspects of change, what are they?
What aspects of our society have or are changing? Where do you see this change going within the next 20 years.
Dating & Technology
Make a "T" chart to outline some of the differences in dating for now vs. then
Now, you teach us!!
Develop a way of teaching the class each of the sources of cultural change & the 4 interrelated parts of culture and see if your classmates ca guess them. Be sure to write down the answers in your notes so that you can debrief each of them. BE CREATIVE!! HAVE FUN WITH THIS!
In your notes, create a "T chart and write down the inventions you see in one column. After the clip, write down the ways in which it's created change for our society.
In what ways did society change or progress as a result of these inventions? What do you predict will come next? Discuss in your groups and present your answer
In groups brainstorm 5 questions you have about changes in Canadian society?
Define social change
What changes do you expect to see in your life time (identify at least 5)
Social Change
: Refers to changes in the way society is organized and in the beliefs and practices of the people who live in it

A change in societal structure and institutions

The following clip is a song about Cognitive Dissonance...ENJOY!!
What would cause someone to see this commercial and still want to smoke?
Now you try it...
Do one of the following with a partner or alone:
find lyrics to a song, an article, poster, commercial, clip from a movie or another form of media of your choice that illustrates cognative dissonance
come up with 3 examples of a time you experienced cognative dissonance
In your pair, be ready to present your findings. You can't do the same as another group.
Watch the following coca cola clips and explain what could cause someone to purchase this product
Think of an exogenous and endogenous factors that have lead to changes in technology, the environment, the population and innovation. Make a chart and record your answers in your notes. Where do you see this happening or HAS happened in our society?
Social Media, Social Change & the impact
Watch the documentary "Facebook Follies" and fill in the worksheet provided for you. Consider the following as you watch the documentary: What are the negative and positive implications of social change?
Society and our Ageing population
What are the challenges our ageing population face?
Read and take notes on theD2L content provided for you
Read and summarize the 3 articles provied for you
in your groups, complete the planning activity and present your findings to the class
Film: We Were Children
Watch the movie and identify where you see the sourcesof change happening from an anthropological, psychological and sociological point of view. Consider the following: Is social change always good? Who seems to benefit from this change?
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