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Theories of Social Change

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Theory of Deterioration :-
Some believe that in the olden days men lived in a perfect state
of happiness and such a time was golden time for man. Indian people admire
"Satyug" like anything and always found lamenting that society has
deteriorated in "Kaliyug" a time not so desirable and full of all sorts of
deceit, conceit, cheating and fraud. According to Indian mythology, man
has passed through four ages (1) Sat Yug (2) Treta Yug (3) Dwapar Yug
and (4) Kali Yug. The Sat Yug was the best age in which man was honest,
truthful and perfectly happy. Thereafter degeneration and deterioration
began to take place. The modern age of Kali Yug is the worst period
wherein man is said to be deceitful, treacherous, false, dishonest, selfish
and consequently unhappy. This concept is found in Hindu mythology,
according to which Sat Yug will again start after the period of Kali Yug
is over.
But looking to various wars fought between different Kings and
Emperors in those times, we come across many examples wherein deceit,
treachery, falsehood, dishonesty, selfishness and all vices even from to-
day's point of view were order of the day and even there were no regulatory
mechanism to check the same. There was no room for rights of women,
rights of Dalits and noble principles of Liberty, Equality
and Fraternity
which are noblest cornerstones of to-day's polity. It all depends on how
we view the primitive, the past and the present time. It is very difficult
to arrive at any definite conclusion in absence of empirical and analytical
studies on the subject.
Cyclic Theory :-
Some sociologists like Spengler believe that society has a
predetermined life cycle and has birth, growth, maturity and decline.
Modern society is in the last stage. Indian Saints and many religiously
inclined people too have the similar belief like one Spengler has about
societal changes. As history repeats itself, so also society after passing
through all these stages, returns to the original stage, whence the cycle
again begins. This concept is found in Hindu Mythology according to
which Sat Yug will again start after present Kali Yug is over. Spengler
analysed the history of various civilisations including the Egyptian, Greek
and Roman and concluded that all civilizations pass through a similar
cycle of birth, maturity and death. He felt and observed that Western
civilization is now on its decline which is unavoidable.
According to F.Stuart Chapin,
the different parts of culture go through a cycle of growth,
vigour and decay. Arnold J. Toyanbee,the noted English historian, has
also propounded a cyclical theory of the history of world civilization. He
maintained that civilizations pass through three stages corresponding to
youth, maturity and decline. He was also of the view that our civilisation,
although in the state of final downfall, can still be saved by means of proper
guidance by the "creative minority" by which he meant a select group of
leaders who withdraw from the corrupting influences, commune with
God, become spiritually regenerated and then return to inspire the masses.
Linear Theory :-
Some social thinkers like Comte subscribe to the linear theory
of social change. According to them, society gradually moves to an even
higher state of civilisation and that it advances in a linear fashion and in
the direction of improvement.
Auguste Comtepostulated three stagesof social changes –
(1) The Theological (2) The Metaphysical and (3) The

Law controls and regulates actions of human beings in society and it is. Herbert Spencer 36 maintained that "human society has been gradually progressing towards a better state. The term "Social change" itself suggests nothing as far as its direction is concerned. is interested in law as a social phenomenon. Our chief concern in sociology is not with the law / rules themselves as such but with whether they are observed or not and in what way and what was the necessity to enact them. therefore. Jurisprudence has assumed a new meaning that laws are to be made for men and the law makers and its executors are to take into consideration the human and social aspect while making or executing it. difference of approach of a sociologist and of a lawyer to the subject of law. We try to understand law as a social phenomenon in this study. a subject of great importance for this study. In the third stage man seeks the explanatory facts that can be empirically observed. Introduction of the subject Change is the rule of society. which bring about social change. There is however. A sociologist. on the other hand. Sociology is the study of man in society. In the second stage man tries to explain phenomena by resorting to abstractions. he is not interested in knowing how and to what extent these rules govern the behaviour of ordinary citizens. Society forms its own code of conduct." The causes of social change:- Deterministic Theories of Social Change. its norms to be followed by its members. According to this theory there are certain forces. The deterministic theory of social change is widely accepted theory of social change among contemporary sociologists. Law and sociological issues are intimately related to each other. . In the first stage man believed that supernatural powers controlled and designed the world.Positive. A Sociologist's study of law from this angle has been given title of Sociology of Law or Sociological jurisprudence. It is generic term describing one of the categorical processes. A lawyer is concerned with rules that men ought to obey. social or natural or both.