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Social Change; The Internet

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You have been asked to address the importance of social change as it relates to the study of sociology. In 2-3 pages (including references), address the following:

A major social change that has occurred in the last few decades is technological innovations such as online dating and social networking. You have been asked to address the importance of social change as it relates to the study of sociology. Discuss social change, resistance to social change, and how people react to change. Consider the following:

* How has the Internet, technological advances, social networks and other technological forms of communication affected your social interaction with others?
* Provide advantages, disadvantages, and examples to support your position.

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Solution Preview

Dear Student,
Hello & once again thank you for using Brainmass. I have encountered a similar enquiry before, relating social change to technological innovation via the advancements in digital communication hence in this solution I retain similar viewpoints. I believe that this concept is familiar to you being yourself a beneficiary of the advancements of digital communication via your use of Brainmass. I have, however zeroed in on blogging to discuss the effects of information sharing via social networks. In your final paper, it will be important for you to add your own experience of the social change digital communication brought (i.e. chatrooms, online education) as this will exhibit total understanding of the concept. This solution should get you started. Good luck!

Sincerely,
OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

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On Social Change & Theories of Social Change

"Men must be capable of imagining and executing and insisting on social change, if they are to reform or even maintain civilization, and capable too of furnishing the rebellion which is sometimes necessary if society is not to perish of immobility. "
- Jonathan Pezier, 2005

Social Change from a sociological perspective refers to the alteration/transformation of the nature of social institutions, its structures, the way it's' members behave or relate. Social Change is not the equivalent of social development although social development could be argued as an indicator of social change. Social change can also refer to an event or phenomenon that alters/transforms the behaviours/reactions or manner or a social group of shared values/identity; although subjectively it could also be argued to mean acts of advocacy that causes positive transformations/alterations in society.(1)

There are various theories that can explain social change. 6 are always debated or cited when explaining social change. From a religious point of view there is the theory of degeneration or social decline, when man falls from Grace --- a theory used by theologists. Evolutionary theories including Darwinism --- the survival of the fittest, argue that change happens because human evolution dictates it. Historical materialism, proposed by Karl Marx combines a thorough study of history, economics & society; an explanatory system that looks for causes of developments/change. The theory of social progress looking at history as linear and geared towards development, building on the progress of each generation. Social Cycles or Historical cycles, a pattern of growth and decline of societies looking at social change as phases enclosed in cycles. Sociobiology,a neo-darwinistic study that draws from sociology, anthropology, biology & other sociological and evolutionary studies to explain social behaviour across known species.(2)

Technology & the Social Network

Throughout history, as man progressed technologically, from simple inventions (the wheel, the use of papyrus & paper) in antiquity to the complex mechanics of the 21st century, one can discern the relationship of the earlier technology to the other, a progression that builds on the knowledge of the previous generation, using established ideas from the past to arrive at new truths & new knowledge. As it was, technology & invented mechanics was all about making life better for man, to aid in daily activities, to keep the social network & enhance it.

Man is a social animal. Anthropological studies show that the earliest man gathered together in small bands for survival - social ties ensure a sharing of responsibility and better odds of survival. Belonging in a group created relationships from simple to complex according to need, starting from basic (food, shelter, procreation) to that of self-actualization (contentment, confidence, happiness, pride). From the pre-historic world that the first men belonged to the complex burgeoning feudal systems of the Middle Ages, to that of industrialized nations of the 19th Century to the globalized world of ours in the present living in an unprecedented & intricate combination of technology & social networks, one enhancing the other. The ox & cart of the Feudal Ages evolved to the bus & cars of this century; the Spanish galleons evolved to carrier navy ships that seem like floating cities in the world's oceans. Da Vinci's dream contraption of Daedalean flight has given rice to aeronautical engineering that carry masses from metropolises around the globe through air transport, with planes specialized according to purpose - mass carriers, haulage, military applications & vehicles for exploring beyond the earth.

In all this as man travelled, he reached others beyond his former boundaries and they communicated & ...

Solution Summary

The solution is an extensive 2,824 word essay that discusses and explains the notion of social change as displayed in the latest technologies developments and advances like the internet and other technological innovations. references are listed for further research. A word version of the solution is attached for easy printing. A word version of the solution is attached for easy printing.

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In July 2009, a musician named Dave Carroll was traveling with his band from Toronto Canada to Nebraska somewhere, much like many millions of other folks have done. Looking out the window the plane, however, Dave noticed that the United Airlines baggage handlers were, to put it mildly, failing to treat his rather expensive guitar and a number of other musical instruments belonging to the band with suitable care, preferring instead to sort of fling them through the air into the cargo hold. Dave pointed out to the UAL cabin attendants that this was not likely to be of significant benefit to the instruments' health, but was told that nothing could be done and he should simply sit down and be quiet.

Upon arriving in Chicago, Dave determined that in fact he had been right, and his $2400 guitar was now $2400 worth of rather expensive kindling. He pointed this out to the United Airlines staff at the time, and suggested that perhaps some compensation might be in order. United Airlines, in the best bureaucratic tradition, took almost a year to conclude that its folks certainly hadn't done anything wrong, that Dave was probably just being excessively picky, and that they weren't about to pony up anything. After all, weren't they a Fortune 25 company engaged in a conflict with one rather slender young musician? It seemed like a classic application of the business motto once attributed to the old monolithic AT&T: 'We're the phone company. We don't care. We don't have to.'

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