Resistance to Social Change
Social change occurs with 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. But whenever a change is due to occur, many show resistance, for one reason or the other. Why does this resistance occur? Do people not want change with the evolution of time? Apparently, not all have the same objectives. Resistance to social change occurs due to the influence of many factors, two of which are cultural and economic factors.
When we talk about the economic factors that take their toil in resisting the social change, the conflict theories provide a solid background to them. According to the conflict theorists, the industrialists and the businessmen want to generate as much profit as they can at the expense of the employees or the workers. To them, their assets are the key to success and they protect them at any cost. When the government intervention takes place to ensure safety and justice of the employees, the employers resist, as looking after the safeguard of the employees means disrupting their profitability and increasing their production (Schaefer 133). Hence, resistance occurs, due to economic factors. In return, they force and pressurize the government to decrease the regulations and allow business to prevail on the terms of the industrialists, and not the social system. The social change that the society or the government wants to implement that safeguards the benefits of the employees that as much part of the social system as the industrialists, is hindered by the economic objectives of the business world, which employs a cost and benefit analysis and lets the cost factor win. Thus, the economic factor of cost and profit results in a major resistance to the social change of the benefit of the workers.
Apart from the economic factors that pave way for resistance and conflict, there are also cultural influences that are a central part of the society. Culture has two parts: material culture and non-material culture. Material culture refers to all the technology, business, houses, food and factories ect. 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).
Whenever there is social change, it is hindered with resistance. But change has to occur and it does, in one way or 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.