What is Cultural Change, Definition & Sources of Cultural Change

Sun, 11/17/2013 - 06:35 -- Umar Farooq

What is Cultural Change

Society strives its continuity and existence according to the environmental conditions of its surrounding. People have been descending down from generation to generation with the addition of new ideas and objects. This dynamic process of society enhances culture with refreshment and for every generation a new culture than for the previous. A stagnant society is dead but there is none today how so primitive it may be. Technological developments and social changes in the form of 'evolution' and 'progress' of any rate exist there as the adjustment factors change them according to the environmental conditions. Hence the societies and cultures are undergoing changes with a continued process.

Definitions of Cultural Change

Following are the some of the definitions by renowned sociologists

  1. Horton & Hunt: "changes in the culture of society is called cultural change."
  2. Kingsley Davis: "cultural changes embarrasses Occurring in any branch of culture including, art, science, technology, philosophy etc. as well as changes in the forms and rules of social organization."
  3. David Dressler and Donald Caens: "It is the modification or discontinuance of existing 'tried' and 'tested' procedures transmitted to us from the culture of the past, as well as the introduction of new procedures."

The cultural aspect of society which includes norms, while the learning of these norms in groups is 'social'. While entering into life whatever one finds in his environment is 'cultural' and the activities in which he participates become 'social' for him. Ideal or expected roles from individual are cultural and the real ones which he performed are social.

Sources of Cultural Change

  1. Discovery. Discovery is a new perception of an aspect of reality that already exists.
  2. Invention. Invention is the combination or new use of existing knowledge to produce something that did not exist before
  3. Diffusion. Diffusion is the spreading of cultural traits from group to another group.
  4. Acculturation.
  5. Assimilation. Assimilation. It is the process of combination of two cultures in to one culture with comprising cultural traits.