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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

simple definition of sociology
Zeshan Reply
sociology is the study of culture and social structure of society
SANI
it is the study of man and its Environment
Benedicta
sociology is the study of scientific phenomena
Shabawaz
it is the study of the human behaviour and the environment
Omega
how l explane in easy method of socialogy
deep Reply
The development of applied anthropology and social impact assessment are working for the
Mame Reply
sociology definition
Gunjan Reply
scientific and systematic study of society comprising of social Institutions, norms, values, structures and individuals.
SHIVAM
scientific and systematic all means the same. So one can serve
Imrana
what is society
rascal Reply
society is a group of people who live in a particular territory, are subject to a common system of political authority & share a common culture.
Godson
simply society is a group of who share terrirory and common culture
Mohamed
society is aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered communities.
Khuzaifa
society is a group of people with common territory,interaction and culture.
Khuzaifa
What is motion
Fiko Reply
imagining sociologically, describe the current global pandemic?
Yasir Reply
I really want to know about what is " राज्य- राष्ट्र" ...please don't take it as nation state ।t is state- nation... could anyone explain this
Ritu Reply
imagining sociologically describe the current global pandemic
Yasir
what is state- nation not nation- state ... I have learned about nation state and I know very well but about "state-nation" I have learned a name only and there is no definition or clearfication about this in Google or other websites
Ritu
oh sorry I ask a question to you that imagining sociologically describe the current global pandemic?
Yasir
yet I've no enough idea about your question in which I can explain ....
Ritu
who coined the term sociology?
Chano Reply
discuss about the Marxian approaches of development.
Chano
how sociology bring development?
Mwita
i need the answers please
Mwita
auguste com't he who coined the term sociology
AMINU
Development sociology is the study of the causes and consequences of economic change in society. ... Economic sociology consistently turns to economic development as the natural setting for tests of its theories. Development Sociology investigates the practices and processes of social change.
AMINU
The emergence of sociology traces back to the eighteenth century up to present day. Johnson (1998) suggests that in summary, the rise and development of sociology is based on political, economic, demographic, social and scientific changes
AMINU
theories of development in sociology The main objective of this document is to synthesize the main aspects of the four major theories of development: modernization, dependency, world- systems and globalization. These are the principal theoretical explanations to interpret development efforts carried
AMINU
theories of development in sociology The main objective of this document is to synthesize the main aspects of the four major theories of development: modernization, dependency, world- systems and globalization. These are the principal theoretical explanations to interpret development efforts carried
AMINU
basic tenants of islam
Raksha Reply
what are forms of governments
Nyiko Reply
if you kill someone in self defense is it a crime
Clara Reply
no its a self defence if u kill someone in self defense by mistake its a self defense but if you kill someone in self defense and you defense your self then if u kill him its a murdered ..... and murder is a crime... 😊
Hassan
4. Explain in detail the various factors those may affect rural development under local cultural settings. any buddy know this answer plz sent mein
Hassan Reply
hi, is this to get help with exam questions?
Bri Reply
Yap
Mustafa
what is basic structure of culture
Yasir Reply
(1) group of people (2) similar historical experiences (3) consensus on values, rewards and punishments (4) identification of their group as distinct from others
Sourabh
1
Nyiko
The structure of culture follows that of human life in its evolution, activities, and interests. ... It would seem that the forms of communication dictate the structure of culture, language being naturally the most privileged but not exclusive means by which the communication process can work.
Ritu
the social sciences, social structure  is the patterned social arrangements in society that are both emergent  from and determinant of the actions of society .Likewise, society is believed to be grouped into structurally-related groups or sets of role, with different function, meaning and purpose.
Sonam

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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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