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Impact of Technology Change

Technology has contributed to the growth of industries or to the process of industrialization. Industrialization is a term covering in general terms the growth in a society hitherto mainly agrarian of modern industry with all its circumstances and problems, economic and social.

It describes in general term the growth of a society in which a major role is played by manufacturing industry. The industry is characterized by heavy, fixed capital investment in plant and building by the application of science to industrial techniques and by mainly large-scale standardized production. The Industrial Revolution of 18th century led to the unprecedented growth of industries. Industrialization is associated with the factory system of production. The family has lost its economic importance. The factories have brought down the prices of commodities, improved their quality and maximized their output. The whole process of production is mechanized. Consequently the traditional skills have declined and good number of artisans has lost their work. Huge factories could provide employment opportunities to thousands of people. Hence men have become workers in a very large number. The process of industrialization has affected the nature, character and the growth of economy. It has contributed to the growth of cities or to the process of urbanization.

In many countries the growth of industries has contributed to the growth of cities. Urbanization denotes a diffusion of the influence of urban centers to a rural hinterland. Urbanization can be described as a process of becoming urban moving to cities changing from agriculture to other pursuits common to cities and corresponding change of behaviour patterns. Hence only when a large proportion of inhabitants in an area come to cities urbanization is said to occur. Urbanization has become a world phenomenon today. An unprecedented growth has taken place not only in the number of great cities but also in their size. As a result of industrialization people have started moving towards the industrial areas in search of employment. Due to this the industrial areas developed into towns and cities.

Modernization is a process which indicates the adoption of the modern ways of life and values. It refers to an attempt on the part of the people particularly those who are custom-bound to adapt themselves to the present-time, conditions, needs, styles and ways in general. It indicates a change in people's food habits, dress habits, speaking styles, tastes, choices, preferences, ideas, values, recreational activities and so on. People in the process of getting themselves modernized give more importance to science and technology. The scientific and technological inventions have modernized societies in various countries. They have brought about remarkable changes in the whole system of social relationship and installed new ideologies in the place of traditional ones.

Development of the means of transport and communication:
Development of transport and communication has led to the national and international trade on a large scale. The road transport, the train service, the ships and the aero planes have eased the movement of men and material goods. Post and telegraph, radio and television, newspapers and magazines, telephone and wireless and the like have developed a great deal. The space research and the launching of the satellites for communication purposes have further added to these developments. They have helped the people belonging to different corners of the nation or the world to have regular contacts.

Transformation in the economy and the evolution of the new social classes:
The introduction of the factory system of production has turned the agricultural economy into industrial economy. The industrial or the capitalist economy has divided the social organization into two predominant classes-the capitalist class and the working class. These two classes are always at conflict due to mutually opposite interest. In the course of time an intermediary class called the middle class has evolved.

The problem of unemployment is a concomitant feature of the rapid technological advancement. Machines not only provide employment opportunities for men but they also take away the jobs of men through labor- saving devices. This results in technological unemployment.

Technology and war:
The dangerous effect of technology is evident through the modern mode of warfare. The weaponry has brought fears and anxieties to the mankind. They can easily destroy the entire human race reveal how technology could be misused. Thus greater the technological advancement the more risk for the mankind.

Changes in social institutions:
Technology has profoundly altered our modes of life. Technology has not spared the social institutions of its effects. The institutions of family, religion, morality, marriage, state, property have been altered. Modern technology in taking away industry from the household has radically changed the family organization. Many functions of the family have been taken away by other agencies. Marriage is losing its sanctity. It is treated as a civil contract than a sacred bond. Marriages a re becoming more and more unstable. Instances of divorce, desertion and separation are increasing. Technology has elevated the status of women but it has also contributed to the stresses and strains in the relations between men and women at home. Religion is losing hold over the members. People are becoming more secular, rational and scientific but less religious in their outlook. Inventions and discoveries in science have shaken the foundations of religion. The function of the state or the field of state activity has been widened. Modern technology have made the states to perform such functions as -the protection of the aged, the weaker section and the minorities making provision for education, health care etc.Transportation and communication inventions are leading to a shift of functions from local government to the central government of the whole state. The modern inventions have also strengthened nationalism. The modern governments which rule through the bureaucracy have further impersonalized the human relations.

Cultural Lag:
To provide a law of social change comparable to the laws of physics and biology that William F. Ogburn in 1922 advanced his theory of social lag.Ogburn pointed out that social changes always originate in the invention by some individual of a new way of doing something new to do. So far he was following in the tradition established by Gabriel Tarde; but Ogburn then began to wander in the tracks of Marx, Historically, he argued, inventions occur most often in the field of material technology, if only because the advantages of an improvement in technology are self-evident. With each development in technology there comes, however, some disturbance to the effective working of the existing social order. A strain or stress is set up between the new technique and various organizational aspects of the social system, changes in which come slowly if at all; the result, disequilibrium between new technology and old social organization, is social lag. The core of Ogburn's theory is the idea that change first occurs in the material technology.

Social Movements:
Social Movement is one of the major forms of collective behaviour.We hear of various kinds of social movements launched for one or the other purpose. A social movement can be defined as collectively acing with some continuity to promote or resist change in the society or group of which it is a part. Horton and Hunt have defined it as a collective effort to promote or resist change.Smelser defines it as organized group effort to generate or resist social change. According to M.S.A Rao social movement includes two characteristics.

Collective Action:
Social Movement involves collective action. However it takes the form of a movement only when it is sustained for a long time. This collective action need not be formally organized. But it should be able to create an interest and awakening in relatively large number of people.

Oriented towards social change:
A social movement is generally oriented towards bringing social change. This change could either be partial or total. Though the movement is aimed at bringing about a change in the values, norms, ideologies of the existing system, efforts are also made by some other forces to resist the changes and to maintain the status quo.The counter attempts are normally defensive and restorative rather than innovative and initiating change. They are normally the organized efforts of an already established order to maintain itself.
According to Yogendra Singh social movement is a collective mobilization of people in a society in an organized manner under an individual or collective leadership in order to realize an ideologically defined social purpose. Social movements are characterized by a specific goal which has a collective significance ideological interpretation of the collective goal a rank of committed worker and strong leadership.Social movements have a life-cycle of their own origin, maturity and culmination.T.K Oomen observe that a study of social movements implies a study of social structure as movements originate from the contradictions which in turn emanate from social structure. He states that all social movements centre around three factors- Locality, Issues and social categories. Anthony Wallace view social movement as an attempt by local population to change the image or models they have of how their culture operates.
An important component of social movement that distinguishes it from the general category of collective mobilization is the presence of an ideology. A student strike involves collective mobilization and is oriented towards change. But in the absence of an ideology a student strike becomes an isolated event and not a movement. A social movement requires a minimum of organizational framework to achieve success or at least to maintain the tempo of the movement. To make the distinction clear between the leaders and followers to make clear the purposes of the movement to persuade people to take part in it or to support it, to adopt different techniques to achieve the goals - a social movement must have some amount of organizational frame-work. A social movement may adopt its own technique or method to achieve its goal. It may follow peaceful or conflicting, violent or non-violent, compulsive or persuasive, democratic or undemocratic means or methods to reach its goal.