Resistance to Social Change Issues
The history of many civilizations is filled with social changes brought by time, let it be in a drastic form in the face of a revolution that causes a massacre and then ends in bliss for many or in the form a gradual change. Whenever a change is to occur, it is met with resistance from the people, if not from them, then from the tradesmen, the government or any environmental group. The resistance depends upon the stakeholders and the parties being affected from it. The resistance occurs as the parties fear having to bear sever consequences from the social change that would not work to their benefit. People have different objectives, and social change where fulfills the objectives of one party contradicts those of others. Primarily two factors that cause the resistance are economical and cultural.
The Economic factors constitute the business point of view and are met with many conflict theories presented by economists and historians. For businessmen, the objectives revolve around monetary benefits and maximum use of their resources. Humans being part of their biggest assets, fall prey to complete exploitation. The social change that involves better use of the humans and their benefit put first prior to the business’ is met with resistance from the industrialists as giving the workers this due importance calls for increasing production cost. (Schaefer 133). When the government intervenes with laws and regulations regarding employees, the industrialists respond with resistance and pressurize the government to think otherwise. According to the economic perspective, cost is a priority and the industrialists act on to prevent taking costly measures and try for more profitable actions, even if that means gaining them at the expense of the safety of the workforce. Thus, the economic factor of cost and profit results in a major resistance to the social change of the benefit of the workers.
Culture is a big part of the society and apart from the economic factors that pave way for resistance and conflict. Culture creates resistance to change in the form of a cultural lag. Culture has two parts: material culture and non-material culture and the smooth operation of both is required to ensure the sustainability of the cultural rules and values. Material culture refers to all the technology, business, houses, food and factories etc. Non-material culture, on the other hand, reflects beliefs, norms, rules, tradition, religion and the government. Now often, when changes in the material culture occur, the non-material culture responds, and a cultural lag occurs when the non-material culture lags far behind the material culture, and there is a lot of catching up to do. cultural lag occurs when the society does not wish to adopt to the changes, such as the workers in a factor resist to work on the latest technology as they feel they were happy with the old one, or the latest business tactics may not be accepted by the religion and the religious heads of the society may not want to adopt the new ways. These cultural lag consequences all shape up the cultural forces that cause resistance to change (Macionis 124).
Social change occurs because no two parties ever have the same objectives. It is the conflict between the objectives of the part of the societies that produces the resistance to social change.. But change has to occur and it does, in one way or another, to safeguard one party at the expense of another. As much as there are forces of economics and culture that is resisting changing, there as nonetheless similar forces that are causing and creating the change. In order words, similar to the path of resistance, there is a path leading to change as well, which has one or more ways to cope and overcome the resistance.