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Comparative Analysis of Marxian and Parsonian of Social Change and its relevance for social development

Karl Marx theory is dialectical materialism or economic determinism. Human society passes through various stages and the change in the stage arises due to conflict with the previous. This conflict arises because change in social relationships that in turn because of material change i.e. changes in economic factors –modes of production and distribution. This change effects all social institutions. The social order has passed or will pass through several stages –the oriental, ancient, feudal, capitalist and the communist. Every society has two important structures they are economic structure that is mainly considered with the mode of production and distribution. Social, political, ideological comprising state, law and the society. A change in the economic structure brings about a change in other. For Marx, social change does not occur only as the process of social development but in the form of revolution also. The development and change brings an inner conflict between the classes. Tensions and struggles produce significant changes. Class struggle is the dynamic of social change. But Parson considers change as something that alters the state of equilibrium so that anew equilibrium is formed and does not disturb the social equilibrium. Change is the instrument of attaining new equilibrium. Changes can come both from outside the society or from inside the society. Changes in adaptation form a major driving force of social evolution. Parson does not deny that economic changes have a role to play in social change but believes that cultural changes in terms of values determine the broadest pattern of change. Parsonian change is of two types. In one case the equilibrium is disturbed and gives way to new equilibrium without the system itself being changed. The disturbance of equilibrium entails changes within the structure of the system. Parsons has introduced social changes as an integral part of the social system. In his view social change may be a long-term evolution, a change in equilibrium or a structural change. Social change is social evolution and involves process of differentiation. There is sharp difference between the theories of Marx and Parsons – the former talks about economic factor and conflict and the latter stressed non-economic factors. With reference to social change in India, no single factor can be responsible. For Parsons social system responds with a social change to a number of social, political and economic factors. Karl Marx’s theory cannot be applied to Indian society as it has failed to explain the stability of Indian system in spite of several conflicts. A radical social revolution did not take place because of the change in economic relations by abolition of zamindari system.

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