Factors Causing Social Change: Internal and External Factors

Social change occurs because of a mismatch between social elements in society, which are different. Because of social changes, people will create a new pattern of life that is different from the previous one.

Social change is unavoidable in social life and will continue to occur throughout time. This is because humans are intelligent, social creatures and always dissatisfied with the existing conditions, so they make changes.

From the point of view of sociological studies, the nature of social change is understood as the desire of each individual to always change so that the situation becomes better according to his needs.

Therefore, the scope of social change is also vast, so it is necessary to observe this phenomenon. Observations were made by comparing the community’s living conditions after social changes occurred and before.

Selo Seomarjan formulated the notion of social change as a change in social institutions in a society, which can affect the social system, including values, attitudes, and behavior patterns among groups in that society.

Based on the above definition, social change can occur in the social system, structure, and function of society within it.

Meanwhile, according to Kingsley Davis, one of the most prominent 20th-century American sociologists, the notion of social change is the changes that occur in the structure and function of society.

For example, the emergence of labor organizations in capitalist society has triggered changes in the relationship between workers and employers and, in turn, led to changes in economic and political organization..


Examples of Socio-Cultural Changes in Society

All humans and community groups will definitely experience changes in their daily lives, including static community groups where environmental changes run more slowly than in dynamic societies.

This change can occur in all aspects, both narrow aspects such as individual behavior and thinking. As well as in broader aspects such as structures that affect developments in social life.

Social changes in society are also inseparable from cultural changes. William F. Ogburn stated that the scope of social change includes elements of culture, both material and non-material.

However, the emphasis is on the significant influence of material elements of culture on non-material elements.

Cultural change occurs in the elements of human culture, either in the form of artifacts, objects, or ideas. This cultural change is heavily influenced by modernization or technology, which causes symptoms of social change in society.

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For example, the sociocultural changes that occurred after the presence of smartphone and internet technology. Various aspects of human life are made easier by this new technology.

One of the impacts of changes seen due to the emergence of smartphone and internet technology is in the trade sector.

In the past, when you wanted to buy goods, transactions would be made at the shop where the goods were sold. As for now, only with a smartphone and internet access people can buy and sell goods online without the need to move from their seats. Ordered goods can also arrive at your home by courier delivery services.

In conclusion, the presence of Internet and smartphone technology causes major changes in the trade sector, one of which results in cost and time efficiency.

Another example of sociocultural change occurs in financial transactions. Changes in the electronic field as a symptom of modernization have had an impact on remittance activities.

In the past, money was sent via money orders; now, people can send money via ATM, internet banking, or sms banking. The current money transfer process can be done quickly and easily so that there is efficiency, at least in terms of time.


Factors Causing Internal and External Social Change

Sociocultural changes in society can occur if triggered by certain factors. The factors that cause sociocultural change can be grouped into two categories: internal and external.

A. Internal Factors Triggering Socio-Cultural Change

Sociocultural changes in society can occur if triggered by certain factors. The factors that cause sociocultural change can be grouped into two categories: internal and external.

1. Changes in Population (Population)

Increasing or decreasing population in an area causes social changes both in the destination and abandoned areas.

For example, when the inhabitants of the island of Java moved to the island of Borneo. So, on the island of Kalimantan, there will be changes in the structure of society, especially its social institutions, in the form of rules and norms. Meanwhile, in Java, there will be a reduction in population which affects the division of labor and social stratification of social institutions.

2. New Inventions or Innovations

The birth of new discoveries and innovations greatly affects the changes that occur in society. For example, the invention of the Internet made it easier for people to access information.

3. Social Conflict

The social conflict between community groups can encourage social change. For example, conflicts that occur between local residents and residents outside the area make it difficult for local residents to accept the presence of residents from other areas in their territory.

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4. Rebellion and Revolution in Society

The rebellion occurred because of the people’s dissatisfaction with the government’s power system. This can trigger the emergence of a revolutionary movement that will bring about major changes in society.

B. External Factors Triggering Socio-Cultural Change

External factors are factors that cause social change that come from outside the community. The external factors consist of three.

1. Changes in the Natural Environment

Environmental changes occur due to natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and so on. In this category, including environmental changes due to natural destruction by humans, it is one of the factors causing social change.

This condition forces people to evacuate and move places. There will be social changes in the new place, both from social institutions and the surrounding environment.

2. War

The war won by the opposing side can cause social changes in the region that was defeated. The new policies of a victorious government enacted could be the cause of this change.

3. The Influence of Other Community Cultures

The entry of foreign cultural influences into an area through the process of cultural exchange and mass media can affect the indigenous culture of the region.

the influence of foreign cultures can trigger cultural assimilation and acculturation that give birth to social changes in society.


Pushing & Inhibiting Factors of Socio-Cultural Change

Like what happens in a process, there are several driving and inhibiting factors for social change in society. These factors can trigger a process of social change to be faster or vice versa.

A. Factors Driving Socio-Cultural Change

1. Contact with other cultures
2. Respect for the work of others
3. Advanced education system
4. Desire to progress
5. Heterogeneous population
6. Dissatisfaction with certain areas of life
7. Open layering system
8. Orientation to the future

B. Inhibiting Factors for Socio-Cultural Change

1. Lack of relationship with other communities
2. Traditional society
3. Low education
4. Strongly entrenched interests
5. Fear of unsteady integration
6. Bad prejudice against foreign cultural elements
7. Ideological barriers.