Social change refers to an alteration in the social order of a society. Social change may include changes in nature, social institutions, social behaviours, or social relations.
Social change 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 Socialist 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. Developmental psychology can play a role in social change.Social change comes about with tangible/intangible resource inputs as social investment.
Change comes from two sources. One source is random or unique factors such as climate, weather, or the presence of specific groups of people. Another source is systematic factors. For example, successful development has the same general requirements, such as a stable and flexible government, enough free and available resources, and a diverse social organization of society. On the whole, social change is usually a combination of systematic factors along with some random or unique factors.
There are many theories of social change. Generally, a theory of change should include elements such as structural aspects of change (like population shifts), processes and mechanisms of social change, and directions of change.
Global demographic shifts
One of the most obvious changes currently occurring is the change in the relative global population distribution between countries. In the recent decades, developing countries became a larger proportion of world population, increasing from 68% in 1950 to 82% in 2010, while population of the developed countries has declined from 32% of total world population in 1950 to 18% in 2010. China and India continue to be the largest countries, followed by the US as a distant third. However, population growth throughout the world is slowing. Population growth among developed countries has been slowing since the 1950s, and is now at 0.3% annual growth. Population growth among the less developed countries excluding the least developed has also been slowing, since 1960, and is now at 1.3% annual growth. Population growth among the least developed countries has slowed relatively little, and is the highest at 2.7% annual growth.
Gendered patterns of work and care
In much of the developed world, changes from distinct men's and women's work to more gender equal patterns have been economically important since the mid 20th century. Both men and women are to be considered to be great contributor's to social change world wide.