Last updated: June 12, 2019
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Social change is the alteration of mechanisms within the social structure, characterized by changes in cultural symbols, rules of behaviour, social organizations, or value systems. Social change refers to an alteration in the social order of a social group or society; a change in the nature, social institutions, social behaviours or social relations of a society. Social change is a very basic term and must be assigned further context.

It may refer to the notion of social progress or sociocultural evolution; the philosophical idea that society moves forward by dialectical or evolutionary means. It may refer to a paradigmatic change in the socio-economic structure, for instance a shift away from feudalism and towards capitalism. Accordingly it may also refer to social revolution, such as the Communist revolution presented in Marxism, or to other social movements, such as Women’s suffrage or the Civil rights movement. Social change may be driven by cultural, religious, economic, scientific or technological forces.

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In the late 19th century, when evolution became the predominant model for understanding biological change, ideas of social change took on an evolutionary cast, and, though other models have refined modern notions of social change, evolution persists as an underlying principle. Prominent theories of social change Prominent theories of social change can be clearly seen in the following. Various model of change are happened in the mankind for all which intellectual thinking is the main factor. Hegelian: The classic Hegelian dialectic model of change is based on the interaction of opposing forces.

Starting from a point of momentary stasis, Thesis countered by Antithesis first yields conflict, then it subsequently results in a new Synthesis. Marxist: Marxism presents a dialectical and materialist concept of history; Humankind’s history is a fundamental struggle between social classes. Kuhnian: The philosopher of science, Thomas Kuhn argues in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions with respect to the Copernican Revolution that people are unlikely to jettison an unworkable paradigm, despite many indications that the paradigm is not functioning properly, until a better paradigm can be presented.

Heraclitan: The Greek philosopher Heraclitus used the metaphor of a river to speak of change thus, “On those stepping into rivers staying the same other and other waters flow”. What Heraclitus seems to be suggesting here, later interpretations notwithstanding, is that, in order for the river to remain the river, change must constantly be taking place. Thus one may think of the Heraclitan model as parallel to that of a living organism, which, in order to remain alive, must constantly be changing. Daoist: The Chinese philosophical work Dao De Jing, which uses the metaphor of water as the ideal agent of change.

Water, although soft and yielding, will eventually wear away stone. Change in this model is to be natural, harmonious and steady, albeit imperceptible. Resource-based economy: Jacque Fresco’s concept of a resource-based economy that replaces the need for the current monetary economy, which is “scarcity-oriented” or “scarcity-based”. Fresco argues that the world is rich in natural resources and energy and that with modern technology and judicious efficiency the needs of the global population can be met with abundance, while at the same time removing the current limitations of what is deemed possible due to notions of economic viability.

Various sociological models created analogies between social change and the West’s technological progress. In the mid-20th century, anthropologists borrowed from the linguistic theory of structuralism to elaborate an approach to social change called structural functionalism. This theory postulated the existence of certain basic institutions (including kinship relations and division of labour) that determine social behaviour. Because of their interrelated nature, a change in one institution will affect other institutions.

Various theoretical schools emphasize different aspects of change. Marxist theory suggests that changes in modes of production can lead to changes in class systems, which can prompt other new forms of change or incite class conflict. A different view is conflict theory, which operates on a broad base that includes all institutions. The focus is not only on the purely divisive aspects of conflict, because conflict, while inevitable, also brings about changes that promote social integration.

Taking yet another approach, structural-functional theory emphasizes the integrating forces in society that ultimately minimize instability. Sources of social Change Social change can evolve from a number of different sources, including contact with other societies (diffusion), changes in the ecosystem (which can cause the loss of natural resources or widespread disease), technological change (epitomized by the Industrial Revolution, which created a new social group, the urban proletariat), and population growth and other demographic variables.

Social change is also spurred by ideological, economic, and political movements. The changing social order Social change in the broadest sense is any change in social relations. Viewed this way, social change is an ever-present phenomenon in any society. A distinction is sometimes made then between processes of change within the social structure, which serve in part to maintain the structure, and processes that modify the structure (societal change). The specific meaning of social change depends first on the social entity considered.

Changes in a small group may be important on the level of that group itself but negligible on the level of the larger society. Similarly, the observation of social change depends on the time span studied; most short-term changes are negligible when examined in the long run. Small-scale and short-term changes are characteristic of human societies, because customs and norms change, new techniques and technologies are invented, environmental changes spur new adaptations, and conflicts result in redistributions of power. This universal human potential for social change has a biological basis.

It is rooted in the flexibility and adaptability of the human species—the near absence of biologically fixed action patterns (instincts) on the one hand and the enormous capacity for learning, symbolizing, and creating on the other hand. The human constitution makes possible changes that are not biologically (that is to say, genetically) determined. Social change, in other words, is possible only by virtue of biological characteristics of the human species, but the nature of the actual changes cannot be reduced to these species traits. Patterns of social change

Theories of social change, both old and new, commonly assume that the course of social change is not arbitrary but is, to a certain degree, regular or patterned. The three traditional ideas of social change—decline, cyclic change, and progress—have unquestionably influenced modern theories. Yet because these theories are not scientifically determined, they fail to make an explicit distinction between decline and progress. In fact, the qualities of decline and progress cannot be derived scientifically (that is, from empirical observations) alone but are instead identified by normative evaluations and value judgments.

If the study of social change is to be conducted on scientific and nonnormative terms, then, only two basic patterns of social change can be considered: the cyclic, as identified above, and the one-directional. Often the time span of the change determines which pattern is observed. CYCLIC CHANGE Much of ordinary social life is organized in cyclic changes: those of the day, the week, and the year. These short-term cyclic changes may be regarded as conditions necessary for structural stability. Other changes that have a more or less cyclic pattern are less predictable.

One example is the business cycle, a recurrent phenomenon of capitalism, which seems somewhat patterned yet is hard to predict. A prominent theory of the business cycle is that of the Soviet economist Nikolay D. Kondratyev, who tried to show the recurrence of long waves of economic boom and recession on an international scale. He charted the waves from the end of the 18th century, with each complete wave comprising a period of about 50 years. Subsequent research has shown, however, that the patterns in different countries have been far from identical.

Long-term cyclic changes are addressed in theories on the birth, growth, flourishing, decline, and death of civilizations. Toynbee conceived world history in this way in the first volumes of A Study of History (1934–61), as did Spengler in his Decline of the West (1918–22). These theories have been criticized for conceiving of civilizations as natural entities with sharp boundaries, thinking that neglects the interrelations between civilizations. ONE-DIRECTIONAL CHANGE This type of change continues more or less in the same direction.

Such change is usually cumulative and implies growth or increase, such as that of population density, the size of organizations, or the level of production. The direction of the change could, however, be one of decrease or a combination of growth and decrease. An example of this last process is what American cultural anthropologist Clifford Geertz has called “involution,” found in some agrarian societies when population growth is coupled with a decrease in per capita wealth. Yet another change may be a shift from one pole to the other of a continuum—from religious to secular ways of thinking, or example. Such a change may be defined as either growth (of scientific knowledge) or decline (of religion). The simplest type of one-directional change is linear, occurring when the degree of social change is constant over time. Another type of social change is that of exponential growth, in which the percentage of growth is constant over time and the change accelerates correspondingly. Population growth and production growth are known to follow this pattern over certain time frames. A pattern of long-term growth may also conform to a three-stage S curve.

In the first phase the change is slow enough as to be almost imperceptible. Next the change accelerates. In the third phase the rate of change slackens until it approaches a supposed upper limit. The model of the demographic transition in industrializing countries exhibits this pattern. In the first (premodern or preindustrial) stage both the birth rate and the mortality rate are high, and, consequently, the population grows very slowly; then mortality decreases, and the population grows much faster; in the third stage both the birth rate and the mortality rate have become low, and population growth approaches zero.

The same model has been suggested, more hypothetically, for the rates of technological and scientific change. Intellectual Thinking Intellectual thinking is the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or challenging situations. In psychology the term may more specifically denote the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one’s environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria. Intelligence is usually thought of as deriving from a combination of inherited characteristics and environmental (developmental and social) factors.

The subject remains hotly debated, and many have tried to show that either biology (especially genes) or environment (especially conditions reflecting socioeconomic class) are more or less exclusively responsible for producing differences . Intellectual thinking, is a somewhat contested concept in the field of social change due to the multiple philosophical frames in which it is contextualized but it generally refers to higher order thinking that questions assumptions. Descriptions of intellectual thinking

In a narrow sense, intellectual thinking has been described as “the thinking. ” It has also been described popularly and narrowly as “thinking about development. ” It has been described in a much more comprehensive sense as “the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action”.

Within the critical theory philosophical frame, intellectual thinking is commonly understood to involve commitment to the social and political practice of participatory democracy, willingness to imagine or remain open to considering alternative perspectives, willingness to integrate new or revised perspectives into our ways of thinking and acting, and willingness to foster criticality in others. Within a critical Africentric philosophical frame, it has been described as a philosophical model for thinking and acting guided by traditional African philosophical assumptions for the purpose of furthering African American interests.

History and Etymology of intellectual thinking The intellectual thinking philosophical frame traces its roots in analytic philosophy and pragmatist constructivism, as well as the Greek Socratic tradition that dates back over 2,500 years in which probing questions were used to determine whether claims to knowledge based on authority could be rationally justified with clarity and logical consistency. The one sense of the term critical means crucial or related to core criteria and derives from the ancient Greek kriterion, which means standards; a second sense derives etymologically from kriticos, which means discerning judgment.

While John Dewey introduced the term intellectual thinking to American education in the early 1900s, the intellectual thinking movement gained momentum in America only in the 1980s. ” The movement represented a pragmatic response to expectations and demands for the kind of thinking required of the modern workforce. ” The critical theory philosophical frame has its roots to the Frankfurt School of Critical Social Theory that attempted to amend Marxist theory for applicability in 20th century Germany.

Intellectual thinking within this philosophical frame was introduced by Jurgen Habermas in the 1970s, was brought to American adult education theory by Jack Mezirow and Stephen Brookfield in the 1980s. The Africentric philosophical frame has its roots in historical, cultural and philosophical assumptions of African people. Introduction to American adult education of intellectual thinking within this philosophical frame is credited to Na’lm Akbar. Meaning of intellectual thinking Intellectual thinking clarifies goals, examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, accomplishes actions, and assesses conclusions. intellectual” as used in the expression “intellectual thinking” connotes the importance or centrality of the thinking to an issue, question or problem of concern. Intellectual thinking can occur whenever one judges, decides, or solves a problem; in general, whenever one must figure out what to believe or what to do, and do so in a reasonable and reflective way. Reading, writing, speaking, and listening can all be done critically or uncritically. Intellectual thinking is crucial to becoming a close reader and a substantive writer.

Expressed most generally, intellectual thinking is “a way of taking up the problems of life. “Fluid Intelligence” directly correlates with intellectual thinking skills. You are able to determine patterns, make connections and solve new problems. When you improve your intellectual thinking skills you also improve your fluid intelligence which also helps increase your problem solving skills and deep thinking elements. All of these skills relate to one part of the brain, and the more you use them the easier it will be to put your skill to the test. Skills of Intellectual Thinking

The list of core intellectual thinking skills includes observation, interpretation, analysis, inference, evaluation, explanation and meta-cognition. There is a reasonable level of consensus among experts that an individual or group engaged in strong intellectual thinking gives due consideration. In addition to possessing strong intellectual thinking skills, one must be disposed to engage problems and decisions using those skills. Intellectual thinking employs not only logic but broad intellectual criteria such as clarity, credibility, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, significance and fairness.

Intellectual thinking and creativity In many curriculum documents, a distinction is made between ‘intellectual’ and ‘creative’ thinking. Thus teachers are encouraged/required to develop their students’ ‘critical and creative thinking’ as if these are two separate outcomes. However, this distinction fails to acknowledge the central skill of intellectual thinking which is to consider the significance of claims (historical claims, statistical claims, evidential claims, predictions, recommendations, principles, and so on). In doing this, we need to consider questions such as ‘what explanations are there for this? , ‘what else do we need to know? ‘ and ‘what assumptions do we need to make in order to draw inferences? ‘. Such questions involve significant creative thinking. Intellectual thinking calls for the ability to: Recognize problems, to find workable means for meeting those problems Understand the importance of prioritization and order of precedence in problem solving Gather and marshal pertinent (relevant) information Recognize unstated assumptions and values Comprehend and use language with accuracy, clarity, and discernment Interpret data, to appraise evidence and evaluate arguments

Recognize the existence (or non-existence) of logical relationships between propositions Draw warranted conclusions and generalizations Put to test the conclusions and generalizations at which one arrives Reconstruct one’s patterns of beliefs on the basis of wider experience Render accurate judgments about specific things and qualities in everyday life In sum: “A persistent effort to examine any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the evidence that supports it and the further conclusions to which it tends. ” Example thinker

Irrespective of the sphere of thought, “a well cultivated intellectual thinker”: raises important questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely; gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it effectively; comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards; thinks open-mindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing and assessing, as need be, their assumptions, implications, and practical consequences; and communicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems; without being unduly influenced by others’ thinking on the topic. Principles and dispositions Intellectual thinking is about being both willing and able to evaluate one’s thinking.

Thinking might be criticized because one does not have all the relevant information indeed, important information may remain undiscovered, or the information may not even be knowable or because one makes unjustified inferences, uses inappropriate concepts, or fails to notice important implications. One’s thinking may be unclear, inaccurate, imprecise, irrelevant, narrow, shallow, illogical, or trivial, due to ignorance or misapplication of the appropriate learned skills of thinking. On the other hand, one’s thinking might be criticized as being the result of a sub-optimal disposition. The dispositional dimension of intellectual thinking is characterological. Its focus is in learning and developing the habitual intention to be truth-seeking, open-minded, systematic, analytical, inquisitive, confident in reasoning, and prudent in making judgments.

Those who are ambivalent on one or more of these aspects of the disposition toward critical thinking, or who have an opposite disposition (intellectually arrogant, biased, intolerant, emotional, disorganized, lazy, heedless of consequences, indifferent toward new information, mistrustful of reasoning, or imprudent) are more likely to encounter problems in using their intellectual thinking skills. Failure to recognize the importance of correct dispositions can lead to various forms of self-deception and closed-mindedness, both individually and collectively. Reflective thought In reflective problem solving and thoughtful decision making using intellectual thinking one considers evidence (like investigating evidence), the context of judgment, the relevant criteria for making the judgment well, the applicable methods or techniques for forming the judgment, and the applicable theoretical constructs for understanding the problem and the question at hand.

The deliberation characteristic of strong intellectual thinking associates intellectual thinking with the reflective aspect of human reasoning. Those who would seek to improve our individual and collective capacity to engage problems using strong intellectual thinking skills are, therefore, recommending that we bring greater reflection and deliberation to decision making. Intellectual thinking is based on self-corrective concepts and principles, not on hard and fast, or step-by-step, procedures. Competence Intellectual thinking employs not only logic (either formal or, much more often, informal) but broad intellectual criteria such as clarity, credibility, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, significance and fairness. Habits or traits of mind

The positive habits of mind which characterize a person strongly disposed toward intellectual thinking include a courageous desire to follow reason and evidence wherever they may lead, open-mindedness, foresight attention to the possible consequences of choices, a systematic approach to problem solving, inquisitiveness, fair-mindedness and maturity of judgment, and confidence in reasoning. When individuals possess intellectual skills alone, without the intellectual traits of mind, weak sense intellectual thinking results. Fair-minded or strong sense intellectual thinking requires intellectual humility, empathy, integrity, perseverance, courage, autonomy, confidence in reason, and other intellectual traits.

Thus, intellectual thinking without essential intellectual traits often results in clever, but manipulative and often unethical or subjective thought. Importance of Intellectual Thinking Intellectual thinking is an important element of all professional fields and academic disciplines (by referencing their respective sets of permissible questions, evidence sources, criteria, etc. ). Within the framework of scientific skepticism, the process of intellectual thinking involves the careful acquisition and interpretation of information and use of it to reach a well-justified conclusion. The concepts and principles of intellectual thinking can be applied to any context or case but only by reflecting upon the nature of that application.

Intellectual thinking forms, therefore, a system of related, and overlapping, modes of thought such as anthropological thinking, sociological thinking, historical thinking, political thinking, psychological thinking, philosophical thinking, mathematical thinking, chemical thinking, biological thinking, ecological thinking, legal thinking, ethical thinking, musical thinking, thinking like a painter, sculptor, engineer, business person, etc. In other words, though intellectual thinking principles are universal, their application to disciplines requires a process of reflective contextualization. Intellectual thinking is considered important in the academic fields because it enables one to analyze, evaluate, explain, and restructure their thinking, thereby decreasing the risk of adopting, acting on, or thinking with, a false belief. However, even ith knowledge of the methods of logical inquiry and reasoning, mistakes can happen due to a thinker’s inability to apply the methods or because of character traits such as egocentrism. Intellectual thinking includes identification of prejudice, bias, propaganda, self-deception, distortion, misinformation, etc. Given research in cognitive psychology, some educators believe that schools should focus on teaching their students intellectual thinking skills and cultivation of intellectual traits. Therefore social change is the outcome of Intellectual thinking. Research in Intellectual thinking. In a seminal study on intellectual thinking and education in 1941, Edward Glaser writes that the ability to think intellectually involves three things.

An attitude of being disposed (state of mind regarding something) to consider in a thoughtful way the problems and subjects that come within the range of one’s experiences. Educational programs aimed at developing intellectual thinking in children and adult learners, individually or in group problem solving and decision making contexts, continue to address these same three central elements. Contemporary cognitive psychology regards human reasoning as a complex process which is both reactive and reflective. The relationship between intellectual thinking skills and intellectual thinking dispositions is an empirical question. Some people have both in abundance, some have skills but not the disposition to use them, some are disposed but lack strong skills, and some have neither.

Two measures of intellectual thinking dispositions are the California Intellectual thinking Disposition Inventory and the California Measure of Mental Motivation. John Dewey is just one of many educational leaders who recognized that a curriculum aimed at building thinking skills would be a benefit not only to the individual learner, but to the community and to the entire democracy. The key to seeing the significance of intellectual thinking in academics is in understanding the significance of intellectual thinking in learning. There are two meanings to the learning of this content. The first occurs when learners (for the first time) construct in their minds the basic ideas, principles, and theories that are inherent in content. This is a process of internalization.

The second occurs when learners effectively use those ideas, principles, and theories as they become relevant in learners’ lives. This is a process of application. Good teachers cultivate intellectual thinking (intellectually engaged thinking) at every stage of learning, including initial learning. This process of intellectual engagement is at the heart of the Oxford, Durham, Cambridge and London School of Economics tutorials. The tutor questions the students, often in a Socratic manner. The key is that the teacher who fosters intellectual thinking fosters reflectiveness in students by asking questions that stimulate thinking essential to the construction of knowledge.

As emphasized above, each discipline adapts its use of intellectual thinking concepts and principles (principles like in school). The core concepts are always there, but they are embedded in subject-specific content. For students to learn content, intellectual engagement is crucial. All students must do their own thinking, their own construction of knowledge. Good teachers recognize this and therefore focus on the questions, readings, activities that stimulate the mind to take ownership of key concepts and principles underlying the subject. In the UK school system, Intellectual thinking is offered as a subject which 16- to 18-year-olds can take as an A-Level.

Under the OCR exam board, students can sit two exam papers for the AS: “Credibility of Evidence” and “Assessing and Developing Argument”. The full Advanced GCE is now available: in addition to the two AS units, candidates sit the two papers “Resolution of Dilemmas” and “Critical Reasoning”. The A-level tests candidates on their ability to think critically about, and analyze, arguments on their deductive or inductive validity, as well as producing their own arguments. It also tests their ability to analyze certain related topics such as credibility and ethical decision-making. However, due to its comparative lack of subject content, many universities do not accept it as a main A-level for admissions.

Nevertheless, the AS is often useful in developing reasoning skills, and the full advanced GCE is useful for degree courses in politics, philosophy, history or theology, providing the skills required for critical analysis that are useful, for example, in biblical study. There used to also be an Advanced Extension Award offered in Intellectual thinking in the UK, open to any A-level student regardless of whether they have the Intellectual thinking A-level. Cambridge International Examinations have an A-level in Thinking Skills. From 2008, Assessment and Qualifications Alliance has also been offering an A-level Intellectual thinking specification. Many examinations for university entrance set by universities, on top of A-level examinations, also include a intellectual thinking component, such as the LNAT, the UKCAT, the BioMedical Admissions Test and the Thinking Skills Assessment.

For example, in a three year study of 68 public and private colleges in California, though the overwhelming majority (89%) claimed intellectual thinking to be a primary objective of their instruction, only a small minority (19%) could give a clear explanation of what intellectual thinking is. Furthermore, although the overwhelming majority (78%) claimed that their students lacked appropriate intellectual standards (to use in assessing their thinking), and 73% considered that students learning to assess their own work was of primary importance, only a very small minority (8%) could enumerate any intellectual criteria or standards they required of students or could give an intelligible explanation of what those criteria and standards were. This study mirrors a meta-analysis of the literature on teaching effectiveness in higher education.

According to the study, critical reports by authorities on higher education, political leaders and business people have claimed that higher education is failing to respond to the needs of students, and that many of our graduates’ knowledge and skills do not meet society’s requirements for well-educated citizens. “Faculty aspire to develop students’ thinking skills, but research consistently shows that in practice we tend to aim at facts and concepts in the disciplines, at the lowest cognitive levels, rather than development of intellect or values. ” “Faculty agree almost universally that the development of students’ higher-order intellectual or cognitive abilities is the most important educational task of colleges and universities. “

Intellectual virtue. Intellectual virtues are character traits necessary for right action and correct thinking. They include: a sense of justice, perseverance, empathy, integrity, intellectual courage, confidence in reason, and autonomy. Aristotle analyzed virtues into moral and intellectual virtues (or dianoetic virtues, from the Greek aretai dianoetikai). In the Posterior Analytics and Nicomachean Ethics he identified five intellectual virtues as the five ways the soul arrives at truth by affirmation or denial. He grouped them into three classes: Theoretical Sophia – wisdom. Episteme – scientific knowledge, empirical knowledge. Nous – mind. Practical Phronesis – practical wisdom/prudence. Productive Techne – craft knowledge, art, skill.

Conclusion. Social change refers to an alteration in the social order of a social group or society; a change in the nature, social institutions, social behaviours or social relations of a society. Intellectual thinking, is a somewhat contested concept in the field of social change due to the multiple philosophical frames in which it is contextualized but it generally refers to higher order thinking that questions assumptions. Man changes as thinks, this is one of the very old proverb of the mankind. In other words “he who thinks, become as he thinks”. This principle apply for the society as a whole. The society changes as the way the people in the society thinks. The culture, tradition, way of life and everything is the outcome of intellectual thinking. Thinking develops the person.