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Cultural change

As the hipster example illustrates, culture is always evolving. Moreover, new things are added to material culture every day, and they affect nonmaterial culture as well. Cultures change when something new (say, railroads or smartphones) opens up new ways of living and when new ideas enter a culture (say, as a result of travel or globalization).

Innovation: discovery and invention

An innovation refers to an object or concept’s initial appearance in society—it’s innovative because it is markedly new. There are two ways to come across an innovative object or idea: discover it or invent it. Discoveries make known previously unknown but existing aspects of reality. In 1610, when Galileo looked through his telescope and discovered Saturn, the planet was already there, but until then, no one had known about it. When Christopher Columbus encountered America, the land was, of course, already well known to its inhabitants. However, Columbus’s discovery was new knowledge for Europeans, and it opened the way to changes in European culture, as well as to the cultures of the discovered lands. For example, new foods such as potatoes and tomatoes transformed the European diet, and horses brought from Europe changed hunting practices of Native American tribes of the Great Plains.

Inventions result when something new is formed from existing objects or concepts—when things are put together in an entirely new manner. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, electric appliances were invented at an astonishing pace. Cars, airplanes, vacuum cleaners, lamps, radios, telephones, and televisions were all new inventions. Inventions may shape a culture when people use them in place of older ways of carrying out activities and relating to others, or as a way to carry out new kinds of activities. Their adoption reflects (and may shape) cultural values, and their use may require new norms for new situations.

Consider the introduction of modern communication technology, such as mobile phones and smartphones. As more and more people began carrying these devices, phone conversations no longer were restricted to homes, offices, and phone booths. People on trains, in restaurants, and in other public places became annoyed by listening to one-sided conversations. Norms were needed for cell phone use. Some people pushed for the idea that those who are out in the world should pay attention to their companions and surroundings. However, technology enabled a workaround: texting, which enables quiet communication and has surpassed phoning as the chief way to meet today’s highly valued ability to stay in touch anywhere, everywhere.

When the pace of innovation increases, it can lead to generation gaps. Technological gadgets that catch on quickly with one generation are sometimes dismissed by a skeptical older generation. A culture’s objects and ideas can cause not just generational but cultural gaps. Material culture tends to diffuse more quickly than nonmaterial culture; technology can spread through society in a matter of months, but it can take generations for the ideas and beliefs of society to change. Sociologist William F. Ogburn coined the term culture lag    to refer to this time that elapses between the introduction of a new item of material culture and its acceptance as part of nonmaterial culture (Ogburn 1957).

Questions & Answers

what are the dichotomous approach and do they affect rural sociological perspective of postmodern society
isah Reply
What is the origin of sociology?
Jeremiah Reply
what is a commuter train
Yunana Reply
a rail transport service which primarily operates within a city or metropolitan area connecting it to suburban areas
Ibrahim
which founded sociology?
Gabriel Reply
who founded sociology
Gifty Reply
I can say Abdulrahman Ibn Khaldum
Emmurana
is sociology a science?
Cyrus
Yes
Polli
how so? @Polli Pol
Cyrus
Auguste Comte
Gabriel
It's because sociology has the same characteristics as that of a science. For instance in sociology:-- testing is possible. In science also testing is also possible. That also makes it a science. Objectivity is possible in both sociology and science. both, use of research methods is possible
Polli
Both are imperical Both are methodological Prediction is possible All of that makes sociology a science. However it is important to note that sociology is not a natural science but a social science. Also Objectivity is not high as in science Also a research cannot predict human behavior
Polli
Yes. Auguste Comte and Durkheim support that sociology is a science
Polli
However Marx Weber, disagrees with the view
Polli
what is the difference between crime and deviance
deborah Reply
who founded sociology
Gifty
what is social change?
Hrittika Reply
Changes with transforms social institutions
Saurabh
Which*
Saurabh
change in society....and change in culture is known social change
Shubham
change denotes any alternation or modification that takes place in any situation or any object change is dynamic process of society remains completely static.
Aman
What's the reference and citation for this information
malama Reply
which information
sumitra
feature of marriage
Sunita
function of marriage
Sunita
types of marriage
Sunita
merits of marriage
Sunita
features of marriage, function of marriage, types of marriage and merits of marriage
alois
functions of marriage
Margaret
types of cultures and it definations
Umar Reply
how has Covid 19 affected sociolization process
Glenn Reply
our communications translated into untouched greets
Cavs
which work can you do in company as a sociologst
Abel Reply
teaching
LAKEM
human resources manager
Shiikaa
can you think of people in your own life who support or defy the premise that access to technology leads to greater opportunities? how have you noticed technology use and opportunity to be linked,or does your experience contradicts this idea?
Swiftix Reply
we are witness positive and negative samples about it. Technology offers a lot of opportunities, however it's pretty possible that we confront a great many opponent in this phenomenology therefore system does always balance itself.
Cavs
point that's interesting us is make us think better than we were before. it's partially illusion
Cavs
guys can anyone please explain a well definition and meaning of gender in 30 to 35 words.... please guys its really urgent for me to find a well definition
Ritu Reply
role of culture in socialization
Malak Reply
what is sociology
YAKUBU Reply
sociology is the study of human behavior
Hashim
sociology is the scientific study of man and society
USMAN
sociology is the study of people behaviours who are interaction in different cultures and groups
Cavs
ethno methodology
USMAN
ethnomethodology and symbolic interaction are good inquiry but it's micro level studying, it's overlook grand theories.
Cavs
cultural diffusion
USMAN
What is social history?
Abir
mean scientific study about society
Ambrish

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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology 2e. OpenStax CNX. Jan 20, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11762/1.6
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