Factors of Social Change by Yogendra Singh, Little and Great Tradition and Agents of Social Change

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Factors of Social Change by Yogendra Singh


  • Little and Great tradition
  • Sanskritization


  • Islamization
  • Modernization
  • Westernization

Little and Great Tradition

  • Robert Redfield
  • Yucatan tribe of Mexico

Great Traditions or Universalization

  • universally accepted by elites
  • Source is literature
  • E. g. Ramayana

Little Tradition or Parochializing

  • Local
  • No literature source
  • Passed from one generation to another


  • M. N. Srinivas
  • Rampura, Mysore
  • Lower caste imitates practices of higher caste
  • Upward โ€˜culturalโ€™ mobility


  • 12th Century A. D.
  • Structural and cultural changes
  • Food, purdah, architecture, etc.
  • Ganga- Jamuni Tehzeeb (fusion of Hindu and Muslim cultural and religious elements)


  • Adopting modern ways of living and values
  • Less developed societies acquire characteristics of more developed societies
  • To adapt to the present time, styles and ways of living in general l
  • E. g. food habits, dressing, speaking style, choice, ideas, etc.


  • M. N. Srinivas preferred the term westernization over modernization
  • Changes brought about in Indian society and culture as a result of British rule in India
  • Yogendra Singh defended Modernization
  • It is not confined to one society but is a cultural universal term

Agents of Social Change

  • Mass communication
  • Education
  • Charismatic leadership
  • Industrialization


  • Absolute change
  • Relative change
  • Latent change
  • Manifest change

Problems of Social Change

  • Reactionary institutions are resistant to change e. g. Institutions, traditions, religion, etc.
  • Orthodox and intolerant
  • E. g. Child marriage, dowry
  • Vested interests are lost with change
  • E. g. Educating lower caste children at schools
  • Old habits die hard- conditioning
  • Fear of breakdown of social structure- arranged marriage, joint family, etc.
  • Paradox of modernity and change โ€“ e. g. Industries set up = breaking of families into nuclear families


  • Generation gap
  • Role conflict
  • Alienation
  • Anxiety
  • Most affected - youth


  • Society is in transition. โ€“ Yogendra Singh
  • Clash of traditionalism and modernization
  • Balance and stability required to maintain the structure


Q. 1. A mechanistic view of society would see social change as stemming from:

(a) Exogenous sources

(b) Endogenous sources

(c) Structural sources

(d) Immediate sources

Ans: (a)

Q. 2. Some social change occurs without being noticed by most members of a society is known as:

(a) Manifest change

(b) Latent change

(c) Relative change

(d) Absolute change

Ans: (b)