Flashcards in The role of social influence processes in social change Deck (11)
What is social change?
The process by which society changes beliefs, attitudes and behaviour to create new social norms
Give an example of positive social change
The Women's Rights Movement, and the Civil Rights Movement
Give an example of negative social change
The rise of eugenic beliefs which saw people of different ethnicities as genetically inferior, leading to the mass extermination of social groups
What is the main role of majority influence?
To maintain social order and keep things the way they are, as a sort of "police officer" overseeing society
Why is minority influence able to break majority influence over time?
Majority influence is an immediate, unthinking process, and minority influences challenge people's thought processes and belief systems to bring about social change
How does innovation occur?
As individuals start to look at the issue the same way as the minority, and conversion takes place, new ideas and behaviours become adopted as mainstream practices
What is critical mass?
The point where the minority viewpoint becomes the majority/mainstream viewpoint and the majority begin to conform through compliance to this new viewpoint
Why is social change often very slow?
It allows change to occur without causing too much disruption to social order, as this would create conflict within society which would be harmful in the short-term
What does the slowness of social change allow society to do?
"Road-test" new ideas to check their suitability for mainstream society
How does conformity play a part in social change?
Conformity serves to consolidate and maintain the new beliefs and behaviour, as a new social order