Example Of Course Work On Social Change And The Urban Environment

Published: 2021-06-22 00:43:49
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Category: City, Urbanization, Town, Sociology, Life, Community

Type of paper: Essay

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There are many theoretical assumptions pertaining to social change form classical, intermediary and contemporary sociological schools of thought. Even physiology; psychology, metaphysics; spiritual physics attempt explanations of social change from their paradigm of existence. As such, social change can first be considered an interdisciplinary concept which is inevitable since it impinges on every aspect of life experiences. In the following pages of this mini exposition the writer will examine social change by making comparisons between traditional and modern urban societies; relating responses to this phenomenon by advancing suggestions on how we as a society can deal with the not so positive impacts of social change to our daily life activities.


In the presence of numerous theoretical perspectives on social change from classical and contemporary theorist alike it is always the writer’s option to select the most compatible one in explaining the phenomenon. As such, specific references will be made to the theorectical assumptions of Max Webber‘s ( 2011) emergence of social change now considered a classical theoretical perspective from twenty-first century developments and George Ritzer ( 2008) McDonaldization. These perspectives will be considered in terms of how people today respond to modernization and social change and its impact on their lives.

Comparison of Social Structure Change (Traditional-Modern: McDonaldization)

Webber’s (2011) theoretical assumption of social change even though interpreted as contradictory through subsequent analyses is consistent with the paradigm that change embraces social stratification which is influenced by social class; status class and party class. As rationalization pertaining to cultural development emerges, the way people interpret aspects of their lives inevitably initiate changes. Precisely, Weber (2011) saw city life or urban culture distinctly different and in some instances contradictory to rural communities perceptions of class. Also, Weber advances the theory of symbolic interactionism when relating these three concepts to be say that they are responsible for many decisions people make daily .(Lawrence, 2011)
Hence, the movement from a traditional psychological attachment to meanings of things, change over time with modernization from which social change is eminent. George Ritzer ( 2008) posits that rationalization is the mechanism through which change occurs since it is choosing the most efficient means to accomplish tasks. This in itself has advantages and disadvantages ( Ritzer,2008).

Response to structural changes in contemporary world (Dehumanization)

The American fast food culture has impacted this generation to the extent that some women do not cook meals for their boy friends or husbands any longer since it is felt that their cooking is not like Mc Donald. Importantly, the meal has to taste like McDonald for it to be considered tasty. The question here is whether this is completing a task with efficiency or the development of a class structure / status, which imposes conformity to a particular taste.
True, McDonald has been offering a great service to urban communities which are moving towards industrialization. But it has destroyed the home food kitchen to the degree that when parents cook food at home their children do not want to eat because the taste of fast food is fed to them from schools. It becomes an issue of symbolic interactionism; reaction to traditional home cooked food in relation to McDonaldization.

Combating Negative effects of Social Change--- Living in the urban environments

Streetwise depicts a typical urban environment and movement of people into that social class is symbolic of being streetwise to survive in such a culture. It implies culture shock and a period of adaptation which could be lengthy or short depending on the street intelligence of people moving from urban into slums.
Slums are evidences of social change. Aspects of rationalization have impacted behavior to the extent that authorities allow once affluent communities to deteriorate for political reasons. However, these societies still are valuable for subculture development and social change to occur. When this happens the affluent impacting such change are suspicious of their safety.
In the case of Village-Northton undergoing its gentrification, Elijah Anderson (1990) interprets the effects of social change as being fear of violence on one hand and misinformation concerning street culture of the environment. This can became a detriment to the change itself. Hence, there is difficulty in combating these unpleasant effects of social change which is needed in this community.

Conclusion--Distrust and the Threat of Violence

For the person moving into this community there are two major threats to safety; the street and neighboring community. There would be areas within the city labeled dangerous. From those warnings it is clear that everyone must avoid those streets and simply be cautious.
Obviously, social change is gradual and elements of a traditional culture cannot be totally eradicated within a single generation. Hence, there is the need to avoid dangerous areas. Being a resident of Northton Village now and then, it would be necessary to take one day at a time because rationalization takes time to be incorporated into a new mind set. This makes it is difficult to spot a mugger.


Anderson Elijah (1990) Streetwise: Race Class and Change in Urban Communities. University
of Chicago: Chicago Press.
Lawrence A. Scaff (2011) Max Weber in America, Princeton University Press, Princeton/Oxford,
Ritzer, George (2008). The McDonaldization of Society. Los Angeles: Pine Forge Press

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