Planned Social Change, Resistance to Planned Change

Sat, 08/13/2011 - 05:42 -- Umar Farooq

What is Planned Social Change

The term planned social change refers to the change in social setup; such change is already prepared, to bring positive change. For bringing planned social change positively, in any social setup or cultural trait change agent keeps different things in mind, such as: Community's social and cultural values, cultural traits, environment, human ecology, social set up and anthropological knowledge to study, custom and traditions, norms and values, folk ways and mores etc.

Planned social change can be brought in any field of institution or social life, such as health, education, food, population, drug addiction, attitude, behavior, politics and other social activities.

Change agent can play a significant role in bringing a change in some spheres of life. The first problem faced by change agents is that how to decide whether .or not some proposed changes would be beneficial for the target population. Surprisingly, this decision is not always easy to make. In certain cases, such as, where improved medical care is involved the benefits afford to the target group would seen to be unquestioned. We all feel sure that health is better than illness but even this may not always be true For instance, consider a public health innovation such as inoculation against disease Although, it would undoubtedly have a beneficial effect upon tree survival rate of a population, a reduction in the mortality rate, might be unforeseen consequences that would, in turn, produce new problems. Once, the inoculation program were begun the number of children surviving would probably increase. But if, the rate of food production could rot be proportionately increased, given the level of technology, capital and land resources possessed by the target population, then the death rate this time from starvation might rise to its previous level and perhaps even exceed it. In such a case the inoculation program would merely be changing the cause of death at least in long run. The point of this example is that even if a program of planned social change has beneficial, consequences in the short run a great deal of thought and investigation had been given to its effects over a long period of time.

A population's health can actually be harmed when foreign health car is introduced in to a culture with provision for other related customs. For instance:                        

In W. African rural community women traditionally continued to work in the fields during pregnancy. Then in an attempt to improve paralleled care, pregnant women were kept away from their work, but no substitute program of proper physical activities was introduced, the women actually suffered increased chances of all health and infant mortality rate.

Where the long-range consequences of a proposed cultural change are obviously detrimental, high chances of damages, change agents may determine that the change is not favorable to the community even if the people desire it. Accordingly, they would advise that the program be dropped.

To determine overall benefits of planned social changes: we must also understand the basic aspects of a society's culture, which will probably be influenced by such programs.

Resistance to Planned Change

It is clear that if even a target population is aware of the possible benefits and consequences of the proposed change, it is not always a simple task to get ready and convince the local people to accept an innovation or to change their behavior. Thus the local people reject the innovation, which become useless. Because of the uncertainty of acceptance and rejection, the future success or failure of a project of planned change is often difficult to ascertain. In other words, the mere physical installation of any kind of facilities is not sufficient to call the project successful. To be completely successful, the people for whom they were intended must actually use those new facilities.

The Difficulties of Instituting Planned Change

Before an attempt can be made at cultural innovation, the innovators must determine whether or not the target population is aware of the proposed planned changes benefits and consequences. In many situations where significant health problems exist, target population is not always aware of these problems. Their lack of awareness can become a major barrier to solving the problems.

For instance, Health workers face lot foe problems in convincing simply people that your illness was because of something wrong with your water's supply. Many people don't understand the nature of diseases and don't understand how can it be transmitted through an agent such as water supply.