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Examine Causes of Social Change

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  • As a reminder of what social change is:

    Encyclopedia Britannica defines it as "changes in cultural symbols, rules of behavior, social organizations, or value systems." Essentially, social change is a change in the things that influence our way of life.

    What is the cause?

    Social change can be caused by a number of things. Taking a look at the past, we can see that social change has occurred due to: technological and economic advancements, urbanization, shifts in ideology, shifts in politics, or due to massive conflicts. These are just a few causes!

    Lets look at an example of a cause for social change. In a previous assignment, you addressed the social change of the banning of alcohol. This social change was caused by a shift in ideology. People had changed their beliefs on alcohol and thus a social change resulted. As we know, the banning of alcohol did not last. This shows the some social changes do not last and can change back to what they were before. The change back from the banning of alcohol shows a shift again in ideology and therefore another social change was needed.

    What to do next:

    For the discussion to follow, I would like us to use the United States to help us examine aspects of social change. To do so, I want you to complete some research on causes of social change in United States history that I have identified. You will look at the pros, cons, and social changes that occurred due to the causes. Then by examining these aspects, I would like you to determine if the social change was a benefit to society or a detriment to society. (Detriment means it caused harm or damage.) You will collect this information on a graphic organizer that you will attach to your discussion response. It is attached below.


    The information you collect will help you complete your response to the question for the discussion: When does social change benefit society, and when does it not? Support your claim with evidence. (HINT: By looking at various causes of social change in U.S. history, your graphic organizer should contain a lot of evidence for you to use in the discussion.)

    Watch the video to the right to see how to fill out the organizer.