Delta State University
SOC 101: Principles of Sociology
Spring Semester 2005

Study Questions
Week 15

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Topic for the Week:  Social Change: Processes and Products

Readings for the Week:

Society: The Basics, Chapter 16

Sociological Footprints, Chapters 60 (Bell) and 61 (Ervin)


(1)  What is meant by social change?  Identify and describe four general characteristics of social change.

(2)  What causes social change?  Identify and explain five general causes of social change.

(3)  What is a social movement?  Identify, explain and provide an example of four general types of social movements.  Identify and explain five theories of how social movements form and operate.

(4)  What characterizes modern society, and distinguishes modern society from traditional society?  Distinguish the explanations of modernization provided by Ferdinand Tönnies, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber and Karl Marx.

(5)  Modernization fundamentally redefines our relationship to each other and our institutions, but it also changes our identity, or the way we see ourselves.  In what ways are our identities shaped by mass society?  What are some social problems that arise from this process?

(6)  Modern society embodies an inherent tension between personal freedom and social responsibility.  In what ways is this tension manifested? 

(7)  What characterizes post-modern (or post-industrial) society?  Is post-modern the same thing as globalization?  Explain.

(8)  Explain how post-modern (or post-industrial) society changes:  personal identity, the nature of knowledge, and social institutions.

(9)  The U.S. society is aging rapidly.  What are some changes that we might see as the average age in the U.S. increases?