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social change
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the transformation of a culture over time
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terms list

social change
the transformation of a culture over time
collective behavior
behavior that follows from the formation of a group or crowd of people who take action together toward a shared goal
contagion theory
one of the earliest theories of collective action; suggested that individuals who joined a crowd or mob became "infected" by a mob mentality and lost the ability to reason
emergent norm theory
a theory of collective behavior that assumes individual members of a crowd make their own decisions about behavior, and that norms are created through others' acceptance or rejection of these behaviors
a temporary gathering of individuals, whether spontaneous or planned, who share a common focus
continuous disorderly behavior by a group of people that disturbs the peace and is directed toward other people and/or property
mass behavior
large groups of people engaging in similar behaviors without necessarily being in the same place
interests or practices followed enthusiastically for a relatively short period of time
the widespread custom or style of behavior and appearance at a particular time or in a particular place
social dilemma
a situation in which behavior that is rational for the individual can, when practiced by many people, lead to collective disaster
tragedy of the common
a particular type of social dilemma in which many individuals' over-exploitation of a public resource depletes or degrades that resource
public goods dilemma
a type of social dilemma in which individuals must incur a cost to contribute to a collective resource, though they might not benefit from that resource
social movement
any social groups with leadership, organization, and an ideological commitment to promote or resist social change
mass society theory
a theory of social movements that assumes people join social movements not because of the movements' ideals, but to satisfy a psychological need to belong to something larger than themselves
relative deprivation theory
a theory of social movements that focuses on the actions of oppressed groups who seek rights or opportunities already enjoyed by others in the society
resource mobilization theory
a theory of social movements that focuses on the practical constraints that help or hinder social movements' action
any activity intended to bring about social change
term describing resistance to particular social changes, efforts to maintain the status quo, or attempts to re-establish an earlier form of social order
term describing efforts to promote forward-thinking social change
technological determinism
a theory of social change that assumes changes in technology drive changes in society, rather than vice versa
culture lag
the time between changes in material culture or technology and the resulting changes in the broader culture's relevant norms, values, meanings, and laws
virtual community
a community of people linked by a their consumption of the same electronic media
global village
Marshall McLuhan's term describing the way that new communication technologies override barriers of space and time, allowing people all over the globe to interact
cultural diffusion
the spread of material and non-material culture to new cultural groups regardless of the movement of people
the increasing connections between economic, social, and political systems all over the globe
cultural imperialism
cultural influence caused by adopting another culture's products rather than imposed by military force
cultural leveling
the process by which societies lose their uniqueness, becoming increasingly similar
a term encompassing the forms of social organization that characterize industrialized societies, including the decline of tradition, an increase in individualism, and a belief in progress, technology, and science
a term encompassing the forms of social organization characteristic of post-industrial societies, including a focus on the production and management of information, and skepticism of science and technology

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