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Social Change and Technology

Our technological inventions and discoveries are very rapidly developing and advancing and as such these are in more than one way influencing and directing the course of our social change.

Each new invention and discovery is just a chain and not an isolated factor. Its influence on social life is effective in bringing many more changes. Industry decides about our social life. Life is an industrially developed and advanced country is bound to be different from social life of a country with an agricultural economy. Technology gave birth to factory system and individual means of production were replaced by factory means of production. Most of the work in the factory was automatic with the result that slowly manpower became surplus which changed the course of our social thinking. At the same time the factories provided employment to millions with the result that the people began to leave their ancestral land and migrated to cities.

The places which were till recently isolated became full with people and people settled down in the areas around factories and in order to meet their demands for daily needs new class of traders began to do brisk business. All this resulted in rapid social changes. But a very effective social change due to machine and industry came because of the emergence of a capitalist class which owned and dominated industry and controlled machine. It began to exploit the people who found employment in factories and thus the capitalist and working classes emerged in the society. The change which was thus injected in the society is continuing.

With industrialization new movements came before the society. In order to champion the cause of the workers union system emerged and new ideologies and philosophies such as socialism and communism began. Thus the introduction of machine in industries brought about many social changes. According to Maclver and Page, 'Attitudes, beliefs and tradition which once were thought to be the very expression of essential human nature have crumbled before its advance. He further says that the swift transitions of our industrial mechanized civilization have not only been followed by far reaching social changes but very many of these changes are such as appear either necessary accommodation or congenial response to the world of machine.

Due to technological advancement means of communication have very quickly and rapidly changed. The quick means of communication change the very course of social life. The newspapers, radio, television and mobile, telephones have changed the very ideology of our very society. Man has conquered time and space.

Technology has equally influenced the means of transportation. It has made the system very fast and rapid and social contracts have become very easy. It has made international trade possible and also countries have come closer. Globalization is the order of the day. Mobility of population has become very easy and fast bringing new social problems and changes the very face of the society. Due to intermixing of the people better understanding grows.

In the agricultural field also technology has its own role to play. It has developed new agricultural tools which have resulted in increased agricultural production. In the words of Macler and Page the achievement of the immediate objective of agricultural technology has led by an inevitable nexus to change of an entirely different order.