Sociology Answer Writing Practice 2018 - Week 11 - Question 3
90 Days Sociology Answer Writing Practice Question 1 for 23-Jan-2019
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23-Jan-2019 - Question 1
Is the theory of cultural lag valid in present times ?Discuss.(2018)(150 words)
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The term ‘cultural lag’ is often used to describe the state of disequilibrium between material and non-material aspects of a culture. Ogburn who coined this word, explained that ‘cultural lag’ occurs when parts of a culture that were once in adjustment with each other change at different rates, and become incompatible with each other. Ogburn pointed out how the non-material culture (values, beliefs, norms, family, religion) often lags behind material culture (technology, means of production output of the economic system). For example, family planning technologies (i.e. material culture) have advanced, but people take their time to accept them. Some sections of the population may reject the very idea of ‘family planning’ and believe in having a large family. Again, when an event such as increase in population or a depletion in natural resources cause a strain in society, it takes some time for the society to understand and absorb the strain and alter its values and institutions to adapt to the change. But in order to function smoothly, societies adjust to maintain and restore themselves.
Critics have pointed out that such view neglects revolutionary changes which are profound and sudden. Conflict theorists do not assume that societies smoothly evolve to higher or complex levels. Modern life is full of examples. The feminist movement has stimulated a reaction from men and women. The liberalisation of sexual mores has led to open denunciation.
Values are strongly bound to other aspects of the social system to which they belong; and change in the value system goes hand in hand with changes in the social system as a whole. Whether it is the change in the value system that causes social change, that is, the change of the social system; or it is some other factors which bring about basic social change, including a change in the value systems - is a question on which opinion is sharply divided. Thus, theory of ‘cultural lag’ is relevant to understand social change.