Social revolutions


Social revolutions




Social revolutions


Social revolution is a complete change in the way we live our day to day lives. Throughout history social revolutions have occurred in different countries and in different periods in history. Notable examples are the Cuban revolution, October revolution of 1917 in Paris and the China revolution.

Historically there are four technologies that have been identified to be the accelerators of social change. They have occurred in different periods in history but their impact is felt even today. The four technologies are the radio, television, internet or computer and lastly mobile phone (Arjunan, 2010).


This technology uses electromagnetic waves to transmit information from one place to another. It can only send audio signals. This technology came into play in the early 20th Century. This technology led to social changes in that it made it possible for societies to get information from different and far places of the planet in a flash. This made it possible to inform, educate and entertain different people at different places at the same time. Their portability, affordability and ease of use make them very popular tools of communication.


This gadget was invented in the mid 20th century. It really revolutionized the way we communicate. In addition to sending audio signals it was also capable of sending visual signals. It became possible to inform, educate and entertain the masses from one place. Perhaps the major drawback was the slow speed at which this technology became integrated in low income societies mainly due to high initial costs involved (Arjunan, 2010).

Computer and internet

This is one of the major breakthroughs in mans life. The change at which the computer and internet brought to our lives can only be compared to that of fire invention! It brought greater changes in the way we communicate, work and even play. The major difference of computer and the other technologies is the ability to allow for interaction, storage and programmability. This has made the computer to be an indispensable tool in our lives.

Mobile phone

Loosely said we can call it a mini computer with direct calling and portability capability. Their relative small price, ease to operate and portability has made them a communication tool of choice among many people. It has revolutionalised the way we communicate, reduced distances and created new social networks. You can comfortably talk to any body around the world at the touch of button from the comfort of your living room!

Processes of social change

The idea of processes of social change was put forward by an American sociologist called William F. Ogburn (1886 – 1959). According to Ogburn the processes of social change are invention, diffusion and adjustment. The theory of social change is one of his best known works. It was advanced in 1922.

Invention can be defined as the process through which new forms of technologies are created. It occurs after long periods of research and study in society. To be innovative you must have gained a lot of knowledge and or experience in that particular field (Ogburn, 1952).

Another process of social change is diffusion. In this set up, diffusion can be explained as spread of an idea, knowledge or even technology from one social group to another. It can also be from one field activity to another. More often than not, diffusion tends to bring inventions together which ultimately leads to new inventions.

The final process of social change that was identified by Ogburn is adjustment. This can be taught of as the how, when and why society adapts or adjusts to the new inventions. Whenever there comes a new invention society has to change from the old way of doing things to the new method. It is vital to note that different societies respond to change in different ways. It is not automatic that if one society embraces an invention the other one will also do the same (Ogburn, 1952).

In conclusion, it can be said that technology is part and parcel of our lives. We can’t live a day without it. Therefore there is need for stake holders to seek ways of narrowing down the digital gap between those societies that have totally embraced technology with those that have not. This will not only promote equality but also lead to new inventions.


Ogburn, William Fielding. (1952). Social Change with Respect to Culture and Original Nature. New York: B.W. Huebsch.

Arjunan, N. K. (2010). Technological and Sociological Bases of Change (2nd edition). Palakkad: Yuga Publications.