Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Social change can occur throughout an entire society or within parts of a society like groups, communities, or regions. It can have a variety of causes, including the efforts of individuals and groups to address social problems. For analytic purposes, social change may be considered as any fundamental alteration in (a) the structure of existing relationships of a society or parts of a society, (b) the processes or common practices used in everyday life, (c) population composition (for instance, the size of a society or ethnic groups within a community), and (d) the basic values, ideas, and ways of thinking that prevail in a society or its parts. In actuality, when significant alteration takes place in one of these aspects, it is accompanied by change in one or more other aspects. For example, structural changes in U.S. race relationships during the 20th century were accompanied by alterations in discriminatory practices ...