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VALUE ORIENTATIONS OF LEADERS AND STUDENTS
IN POPAYAN, COLOMBIA
J. SELWYN HOLLINGSWORTH
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Mama and Daddy
The undertaking of a research project usually involves the
advice, the cooperation, and sometimes the consolation of numerous
people. The present one is no exception. This section is included
by the author in an attempt to make public record of his lasting
gratitude to certain people who have assisted him, both in the research
project itself and in the writing of this dissertation.
Dr. Irving L. Webber has directed the research since its
inception and has guided the writing of this report. He has been a
demanding and exacting taskmaster, but all in all one could not ask
for a more pleasant working relationship than that which we had in
this project. Perhaps the greatest of his achievements has been in
helping the author to find a significant reward in writing. His
instruction in scientific precision also has been an invaluable
experience. To Dr. and Mrs. Webber, who have been friends, counselors,
and sources of inspiration, the author expresses profound gratitude.
The other members of the committee, Dr. Joseph S. Vandiver,
Dr. John V. D. Saunders, Dr. E. Wilbur Bock, and Dr. Raymond E. Crist,
have spent long hours with the candidate both in and out of class.
Their teachings and advice were sought out and readily given.
Dr. T. Lynn Smith, former chairman of the committee, has spent many
hours teaching the author about the peoples and institutions of
Latin America, and he continues to be an inspiration.
The Rockefeller Foundation provided a grant to the University
of Florida to be used for teaching and research purposes in Call,
Colombia. The grant was administered by the Center of Latin American
Studies at the University of Florida. Dr. William E. Carter,
Captain R. J. Toner, and Mrs. Vivian Nolen were directly involved in
administering the funds which were so necessary for the completion of
the investigation. Grateful appreciation is expressed to them and
to the Rockefeller Foundation.
The other, as yet unnamed, collaborators in this investigation
were Alfredo Ocampo Z. and David W. Coombs. They were compatible,
efficient, and competent co-workers, and working with them in the
organization and completion of the research project was rewarding.
Eric A. Wagner devoted time in coding the responses, and his efforts
are also valued.
A deep and lasting debt of gratitude is expressed to the
920 respondents who made the research project possible.
Florence R. Kluckhohn and Harry A. Scarr offered theoretical
and statistical advice which was invaluable. The work of Jennie Boring,
Kim Cornelius, Mac Cline, Camile Johnson, and Jean Holzer in obtaining
IBM printouts of the statistical analysis was time-consuming and
boring to them at times, but it was so very necessary to the completion
of the project.
Dr. Edward C. McDonagh has offered much useful advice and
a great deal of encouragement. He also made possible a teaching load
which required only one preparation per semester during the writing
of the dissertation. Without his understanding and assistance, the
work would have been much slower and more difficult.
James Agudelo S. has provided the author with many insights
into Colombian life, much help with Spanish translations, and much
encouragement. Gilberto Aristizabal spent a good many hours assisting
with the preliminary stages of the investigation and also helped
administer the questionnaire to students in Cali.
Seior Gerardo Hurtado, Secretary of the Popayan Chamber of
Commerce, provided much of the information which was used in setting
up the sampling frame. Seior Jorge Valencia, Secretary of the
Palmira Chamber of Commerce, provided similar assistance for the
pretest which was conducted in Palmira.
Secretarial assistance in the preparation of the dissertation
has been extremely necessary, most cooperative, and very efficient.
Sefioritas Ana Cristina Zamorano and Susana Caicedo typed seemingly
endless lists of information for the samples, and they typed the
several versions of the instruments. Miss Naomi L. Christian has
spent many hours--hours which could have been spent much more
pleasantly--in typing preliminary drafts of the manuscript. Mrs. Sue
Freeman assisted in this manner as well. Mrs. Loretta McNutt typed
the final copy, and her advice has been most useful.
The author expresses his appreciation to a number of persons
who are not named in this acknowledgment because they were not directly
associated with the research project; however, indirectly their
cooperation and service greatly helped him complete the dissertation.
Finally, much gratitude goes to Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Hollingsworth,
parents of the author, for their indulgence and understanding in many
matters which often were beyond their comprehension. Their teachings,
and their backing up of a son who was often far away from home, are
sincerely and deeply appreciated.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
DEDICATION. . . ii
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . . ..... iii
LIST OF TABLES. . '.. . xi
ABSTRACT. ..... . . . xii
1 INTRODUCTION. .. . . ... 1
Nature, Scope, and Limitations of the
Investigation . .. .. 3
Questions for Study . .. 5
Organization of the Dissertation. .... 6
2 SOCIAL CHANGE AND DEVELOPMENT . 8
Theories of Social Change . .. 10
The Concept of Social Progress. . .. 10
Evolutionism . ....... .. .. 11
Neo-Evolutionism .. .... .... 13
Socialistic Concepts of Change ......... 17
Anarchism .... ........ 18
Marxism . . 18
Fabian socialism . .. 19
Cyclical Change . .. 20
Particularistic Theories. . 26
Diffusionism . .. 26
Geographic determinism. ......... ..... 27
Biological determinism. . .. 27
Sociological Theories of Social Change. ... 29
Assimilation ..... ..... ..... 29
Social ecology. . .. 30
Social lag and technology . 30
Cultural acceleration .. ......... 33
Elites as a factor in social change .. 34
Other theories of social change ....... 35
Development and Modernization ......... 36
The Development of Underdeveloped Countries .
Social Change and Development in Colombia .
Social Change in Colombia . .
Regional Studies of Social Change
in Colombia . . .
Community Studies of Social Change .
Elements of Social Change . .
3 VARIATIONS IN VALUE ORIENTATIONS . .
Values and Social Change. .
Kluckhohn's Theory of Variations
in Value Orientations .
Variations in Value Orientations
and Social Change . .
The Value Orientations Instrument .
4 THE STUDY COMMUNITY: POPAYAN, COLOMBIA .
History . . .
5 DESIGN OF THE INVESTIGATION . .
Sample Design . .
The Sample of Leaders .
Sampling Plan for Leaders .
Drawing Sample Units of Leaders .
The Sample of Students .
Selecting the Schools .
Field Procedures . .
Pretesting the Instrument .
Interviewing the Leaders .
Interviewing the Students .
Processing the Data . .
Coding the Responses .
Machine Processing . .
Descriptive and Explanatory Material.
The Method of Analysis .
6 CHARACTERISTICS OF THE RESPONDENTS . .
Socioeconomic Status (SES) of the
Leaders' Sample . ... ... ..
Occupational Status of Leaders' Fathers .. ...
Educational Attainment of Leaders
and Their Fathers.. . .
Residential History of Leaders in Popayn .
Characteristics of the Students . .
SES of the Students' Sample . .
Occupations of the Students' Fathers.. .. ..
Educational Attainment of Students' Fathers .
Other Student Characteristics . .
7 VALUE ORIENTATIONS IN POPAYAN . .
Value Profiles of the Respondents
Testing of the Hypotheses ..
Hypotheses Related to
Hypothesis one. .
Hypothesis two. .
Hypothesis three .
Hypothesis four .
Hypothesis five .
Hypotheses Related to
Hypothesis six. .
Hypothesis seven. .
Hypothesis nine .
Hypothesis ten. .
Hypothesis eleven .
Hypothesis twelve .
8 VALUE ORIENTATIONS AND DEVELOPMENT . .
A Glance at the Most-Developed City .
Testing of the Hypotheses . .
Hypothesis Sixteen . .
Hypothesis Seventeen . .
9 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS . .
The Problem of Cross-Cultural Comparisons
Relative Importance of Different Value
Orientations . .
Values vs. Value Orientations .
I ENGLISH-LANGUAGE VERSION OF THE VALUE ORIENTATIONS
INSTRUMENT . . .
II SPANISH-LANGUAGE VERSION OF THE VALUE ORIENTATIONS
III ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF RESPONSE SHEETS FOR
RESPONDENTS' BIOGRAPHICAL DATA .. .
IV TABLES RELATING TO HYPOTHESES . .
BIBLIOGRAPHY ...................... .
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ......................
LIST OF TABLES
1 Value Profiles of Popayin Leaders, Students,
and Students' Parents, by Orientational
Areas, 1967 ................... ... 133
2 A Comparison of Findings in the Present Study
with Others Using the Kluckhohn Theory of
Variations in Value Orientations. .. 159
Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
VALUE ORIENTATIONS OF LEADERS AND STUDENTS
IN POPAYAN, COLOMBIA
J. Selwyn Hollingsworth
Chairman: Irving L. Webber
Major Department: Sociology
The findings reported in this dissertation were taken from a
larger study of value orientations in three Colombian cities at
different stages of social and economic development. A major
hypothesis which has guided the investigation was that a city's rate
and stage of social and economic development are affected by the value
orientations of the people who make the major decisions in that city.
Much speculation has arisen concerning the causes of develop-
ment. Many, if not most, of the explanations of the phenomenon have
dealt primarily with economic factors. However, traditional economic
theory thusfar has been unable to explain satisfactorily why some
societies have developed at very unequal rates although they began at
approximately equal positions.
The suggestion of various theorists that values play a
significant role in the development process has provided a major
basis for the work herein presented. Thus, the investigation was
designed to include an analysis of the value orientations (based on
Florence Kluckhohn's theory) of top leaders. Additionally, the
value orientations of students and of their parents were solicited.
Although the larger study took into account the value
orientations of leaders and students in three Colombian cities, the
present work is limited mainly to a report of the findings in
Popayan, the least-developed of the three cities. Comparisons were
made with the results from Medellin, the most-developed of the three,
in order to gain some insight into the nature of the relationship
between value orientations and stage of development.
The sample of leaders was taken from seven sectors of
leadership--commercial, industrial, banking, government, quasi-
governmental entities, the Church, and the university--which detailed
observation and information from knowledgeable informants suggested
had the most influence on municipal decision-making. Interviews were
conducted with 59 Popayan leaders, who were selected from the sampling
frame by a random method. Biographical data which were used as
independent variables in the testing of hypotheses were obtained from
each respondent, as well as his responses to the 22 items on
Kluckhohn's variations in value orientations instrument ("urban"
Using the same instrument, data were likewise collected from
154 male high school seniors in Popayan in four questionnaire sessions.
Their perceptions of the possible responses of each of their parents
were also obtained. Students were included in the investigation
because this permitted an analysis of value orientations of more
socioeconomic strata than in the case of the leaders. Consequently,
the questionnaire was used to elicit responses from students in both
public and private schools at opposite extremes of socioeconomic
The hypotheses were formulated in terms of modernity, using
the assumed dominant value orientations of middle-class people in the
United States as a "modern" model. The data were analyzed by means
of t-tests, which were calculated by computer.
The data analysis revealed few statistically significant
findings which would support the major hypothesis. A majority of
the results, however, were in the directions which were suggested by
the hypotheses. Yet there was a quantity of findings which were not
in the predicted directions.
A major conclusion of the dissertation is that there may be
other values, not included in Kluckhohn's instrument, which are more
relevant to development. It may be that there is no common set of
values which are conducive to development in all societies. If
certain values are more beneficial to development than others, this
points up the need for more research in order to isolate and identify
them and the role each plays in the development process.
The world in which we live is in a constant state of change.
This phenomenon is not a new one but has been occurring down through
the centuries. However, to our knowledge, the rapid rate at which our
world, its people, and their basic social institutions are presently
changing has never before been equalled on a sustained basis. Phenom-
ena of such magnitude do not go unnoticed by man, who is at once the
creator and the heir of such changes.
One of the many changes with tremendous impetus is the develop-
ment of certain societies that have long been regarded as traditional
into societies which could be called "modern." As a result, a general
preoccupation with the process of development has presently reached
an unprecedented level of consequence. Reasons for the growing concern
over countries which are clearly underdeveloped, and over other
countries which are in various stages along the development continuum,
are many and varied. Many countries now in the early stages of
IThis investigation was made possible through a Rockefeller
Foundation grant to the Center for Latin American Studies at the
University of Florida, as part of an agreement between the Universidad
del Valle, in Cali, Colombia, and the University of Florida, for a
joint project in sociology, history, and political science.
development are manifesting an increased interest in knowing the whys
and wherefores of the process in all its social, economic, political,
educational and other aspects. Countries with greater degrees of
economic development are interested in an increased pace of
To say that there are many factors which are involved in the
emergence of a society with largely traditional overtones into one
which could be called modern would be trite. However, there are those
who agree with the present writer that the human component should not
be overlooked. More specifically, human motivations and basic
systems of values must not, and cannot, be omitted from consideration
in this complex problem.
Latin America, being one of the large land areas of the world
and an area of an ever-increasing rate of growth of human resources,
has constituted a growing concern for scientists whose subject matter
is human behavior, as well as for those whose interests lie in other
fields of scientific endeavor. The region has been regarded as being
generally underdeveloped. It should be noted that the several
countries which comprise Latin America are at different rungs on the
ladder of development. The progress of nations such as Argentina,
Chile, and Mexico is well known. However, other countries are not
making such notable transitions, and some of those which are in rapid
development have received scant attention. For instance, "Although
the economic growth of Colombia during the past 40 years has gone
largely unnoticed by the world at large, one could count on one's
fingers, possibly the fingers of one hand, the countries of the
world whose rate of increase in per capital income during this period
has been greater" (Hagen, 1962:353).
Yet as one looks around at the different regions of Colombia,
he can readily see that the rapid rate of development mentioned by
Hagen has not been uniform in all parts of the country. A visit to
such underdeveloped parts of the country as Nariio, Tolima, and the
Pacific Coast, among others, makes them stand out vividly in contrast
with the more developed cities of Bogota, Cali, and Medellin.
Certainly, there are numerous factors which are useful in explaining
why these changes have been differential. The present writer again
would stress the human factor in eliciting social change, and, more
Among the paramount factors which influence human behavior are
the basic values of the people involved. The possibility that there
exist basic values which are conducive to, or restrictive of, social
change should not be overlooked. This is the basic orientation of
the work presented here.
Nature, Scope, and Limitations
of the Investigation
The study is based on Florence R. Kluckhohn's conceptualiza-
tion of variations in value orientations (see Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck,
1961). It follows the naturalistic approach to the study of values,
which holds that values are accessible to the same methods of inquiry
and criteria of validity which are applicable to all forms of
Kluckhohn has elaborated an instrument designed to reveal a
person's basic value orientations. The instrument has been tested in
various studies and in several very different cultures. Its proper
application and analysis are said to reveal intracultural and cross-
cultural variations in value orientations.
In the process of social change, it is necessary to have some
people who lead the way. Earlier studies have pointed out the power
of community leaders in effecting change. Therefore, Kluckhohn's
instrument was administered to leaders in two Colombian cities at
opposite extremes on the development continuum in order to study
some of the relationships between value orientations and development.
It was also completed by students in order to afford comparisons of
the value orientations of people in the different socioeconomic
Various social and economic indices were utilized in the
selection of the study sites. The cities of Popayan and Medellin
were selected as representing the least-developed and most-
developed departmental (state) capitals, respectively, excluding
Bogota, the national capital.2 The sample of leaders was taken from
various sectors of the cities' leadership groups, because it is
recognized that people in different sections are influential in the
community power structure. The students were defined as high school
seniors in both public and private schools at vastly different levels
of socioeconomic status.
It should be pointed out that the results of this study may
not be generalized to Latin America, nor even necessarily to Colombia
21n this paper, Popayan will receive major emphasis and data
from Medellfn will be used for comparative purposes only.
as a whole. The investigation is limited to Kluckhohn's concept of
variations in value orientations among selected leaders and students
from the cities of Popayan and Medellin.
A major purpose of the study was to discover relationships
between value orientations and the stage of development of each of
the cities involved. Other objectives of the investigation may be
classified as threefold in nature: descriptive, comparative, and
analytical. In regards to the first objective, value profiles in
each group were delineated. Secondly, the value profiles and value
orientations of each group were compared with those of the other
groups, as well as with those which have been discovered in similar
groups in other cultures. Lastly, the analytic aspect included the
testing of the hypotheses and the application of analytical models
to the results.
Questions for Study
In addition to seeking a relationship between value orienta-
tions and level of development for a given place, several individual
biographical factors were considered as being of possible influence
on an individual's value orientations.
Since it has been amply demonstrated that a person's social
characteristics have an influence on what he is, does, and believes,
questions were asked which would permit cross-classifications of
the person's value orientations with factors such as his age, sex,
occupation, education, and marital status. In the case of the
students, the father's occupational and educational levels were
obtained. Similarly, the name of the barrio (neighborhood) in which
the interviewee lived was ascertained. Thus, the occupation,
education, and socioeconomic status (SES) of the barrio permit
classification of a respondent's SES.
Furthermore, a person's environment'-during the various periods
of his socialization was regarded as important in shaping his
value orientations. It was considered useful to know whether a
person came from a rural or an urban background. The age at which
a person lived in a certain place was deemed of consequence to the
formation of basic values.
In addition, for the leaders, whether they had had university
studies in a foreign country was thought to have a possible influence
on their basic system of values. Thus, questions which could obtain
these and other data were included on the face sheet of the instrument.
Organization of the Dissertation
The development of the report which follows begins with a
consideration of social change and development, since this particular
topic is one of the bases of the investigation. Chapter 3, then,
will deal with the other basis--value orientations. A review of
the study community, Popayan, comes next in sequence, followed by a
report of the design of the study.
Next in order comes an exposition of the results of the study
in Chapters 6, 7, and 8. Chapter 6 deals with characteristics of
the samples and is a description of the people who were interviewed.
Chapter 7 specifies the value profiles found in each sector of
each study group and includes internal comparisons of these value
profiles. Perhaps more importantly, it provides a comparison of
value orientations controlled by various biographical factors of the
individual respondents and tests hypotheses related to value orienta-
tions in Popayan. Chapter 8 treats the major hypotheses dealing with
development and compares the findings in Medellin and Popayan, as
well as those of other investigations which have used the Kluckhohn
instrument. Chapter 9 summarizes the findings, explores some of
their implications, and states some conclusions.
SOCIAL CHANGE AND DEVELOPMENT
Throughout most of human history, stability has been the most
usual and preferred condition. This phenomenon exists in part
because the old established ways of doing things require much less
effort and anxiety than do new ones, the outcome of which may be
uncertain. Therefore, there is a tendency to hold on to tried and
proven methods. That this is true is seen in the fact that only
within the past 300 years has change become somewhat sanctioned
(LaPiere, 1965:1-2). Ecclesiastes 1:9 remarks that "There is no new
thing under the sun," and Machiavelli noted that, "There is nothing
more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more
uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction
of a new order of things" (Machiavelli, 1950:21). Another writer
points out the fact that, "Paradoxically, as change has accelerated
in the real world of experience the scientific disciplines dealing
with man's actions and products have tended to emphasize orderly
interdependence and static continuity" (Moore, 1967:3).
The emphasis on stability has carried over from the outside
world into the discipline of sociology. True, sociologists are
interested in how and why change occurs, but most of their time
and efforts in teaching and in research have been concentrated on the
social structure and its parts. Nevertheless, some social scientists
are devoting more of their attention to the phenomenon of social
change, and this chapter will take a brief look at the theories of
Change is a prevalent feature of life in the modern
United States, and is occurring in all societies of the world, although
at greatly differing rates. Furthermore, it is readily evident that
the rate itself is increasing at a fairly rapid pace. In some places,
however, change on a small scale may be desired only in order to
promote stability on a larger scale (Moore, 1967:3). In fact, both
Plato and Marx were of the persuasion that modifications in the social
order were desirable only as they contributed to the attainment of its
continuity (LaPiere, 1965:1).
There has been, and still is, a wide range of viewpoints
concerning the desirability, inevitability, causes and processes of
social change. Recently, much has been written concerning social
change, development, and modernization. Yet at the same time it is
fashionable to say that there is no theory of social change. True,
there is no general, all-encompassing theory which adequately explains
the phenomenon. However, there do exist numerous theories which take
into account some of the specific characteristics of social units
Before we turn to a discussion of some of those theories, let
us first identify the concept, social change. There are various
definitions, ranging from the very simplistic to more complicated
ones (see Nordskog, 1960:1; Fairchild, 1962:277; and Berelson and
For the purpose of this work, social change may be thought of
as those alterations in values, sentiments, social organization,
and/or social processes of a human group that lead to perceptible
variations in the nature and quality of social interaction.
Theories of Social Change
Because of the large number of theories concerning change, this
section will be limited to a discussion of selected theories which
are thought to be representative of the field. The classification
system used herein is based on a synthesis of three others (see
LaPiere, 1965:1-39; Ryan, 1969:21-50; and Himes, 1968:426-433). It
is-taken mainly from the former, with modifications coming from the
other two books and from the present writer.
The Concept of Social Progress
Whatever the conditions of the times, most of the social
thought of the Middle Ages was a justification of things as they were.
Jean Bodin broke this tradition when he offered a cyclical interpreta-
tion of history during the sixteenth century as he wrote of the
decline of Rome. Machiavelli, on the other hand, was interested in
preserving the power of princes. Finally, John Locke came out in
favor of change through revolution as a manner of righting the wrongs
of political tyranny. Marx, after him, held similar ideas toward
revolution. During the latter part of the eighteenth century, the
idea that change in and of itself was to be desired took form.
Condorcet and Saint-Simon both believed that men could improve them-
selves and their lives through their own individual efforts and
through rational thinking and planning.
LaPiere regards the idea of social progress as a major
ideological innovation. It rejected the traditional idea that the
world was inherently bad and probably led eventually to many of
the changes which have produced our modern-day ways of thinking and
doing things (LaPiere, 1965:2-4).
Evolutionism is closely related to social progress, but
features an added dimension, since it attempts to define the course
of social development. One of the most notable thinkers in this area
was Auguste Comte, who added his law of the three stages, a conspicuous
example of the linear conception of social and historical change of the
past century, to progressive thinking.
Briefly, Comte believed that each individual and each society
passes through three stages of mental development. In the first stage,
which Comte calls the Theological, man is terribly curious about his
environment and about other people and his relation to them. Since
the cultural base is so small, then man supposes that all phenomena are
caused by supernatural beings. The Metaphysical stage follows as a
modification of the Theological. Abstractions are looked upon as
being the directing forces of nature. When man learns to stop looking
for ultimate causes and begins to use his and others' observations and
experiences and to accept the interrelations and associate the facts,
then he enters what Comte refers to as the Scientific, or positive,
stage (Comte, 1896:1-2, as cited in Vine, 1959:28-29; Cf. Sorokin,
Comte regarded progress as an inevitable working of human law.
In his concepts of a new positivist world, he thought that man could
hasten progress through the application of sociology by social
engineers. His conception of progress was, for the most part,
intellectual and moral, but it also had its material aspects (Vine,
Herbert Spencer felt that change was inevitable, that it was
a part of a universal design which was beyond the control of man. He
thought that all societies go through a series of stages which are
definite and unchangeable. His Law of the Multiplication of Effects
held that everything changes, and in the process becomes more complex.
There is a very close relationship between cause and effect, to wit:
in a series of causes, the effect of a given cause then becomes a
cause of something else.
Spencer classified the factors involved in social change as
primary and secondary. By primary factors he meant the characteristics
(physical, emotional, and intellectual) of the individuals in the
society and the physical, political, social, religious, and other
conditions under which the society exists. Spencer took into account
the various environmental conditions and realized that the early
stages of social evolution are much more dependent upon local conditions
than the later ones (Spencer, 1899:39, as cited in Vine, 1959:55-56).
He formulated five secondary factors of human change:
(1) Progressive modification of environment by societies.
(2) Size of society. The density of population increases
in direct proportion to the specialization of labor in
(3) Reciprocal influence of society and the individual.
The influence of the whole on its parts, and of the
parts on the whole.
(4) The accumulation of superorganic products, such as
material objects, language, knowledge, myths, and
(5) The struggle between the society and neighboring
societies (Spencer, 1899:10-15, as quoted in Vine,
According to Spencer, all these factors combine in different manners to
bring about the process of social evolution.
For Spencer the terms progress and evolution were synonymous.
He viewed evolution as being natural, automatic, and inherently
progressive. According to him, the cause of social progress was the
modification of man's moral nature as he adapts more and more to
social relations (Spencer, 1899:13-15).
Anthropologists such as Morgan, Maine, and Westermarck proposed
theories which incorporated the ideas of stages of Comte and Spencer.
Gumplowicz and Kidd built on Darwin's survival of the fittest theory,
holding that that which would survive would be the most efficient
system, or part of the system (LaPiere, 1965:6).
Lester F. Ward, influenced by Comte's positivism, and greatly
concerned with the idea of social telesis, divided pure sociology into
genesis and telesis. Genesis is the natural, unconscious, evolutionary
development of man. Telesis, his key concept, is the conscious,
evolutionary development of man, progress intelligently planned and
directed. For him, the central theme of sociology was human
To Ward, social telesis was the more important of the two
factors in social change. He agreed with Spencer's idea of evolution
and expanded upon it through his conceptions of sympodial development
and creative synthesis. However, Ward did not agree with Spencer's
belief that evolution was natural and automatic and that reform had
no value unless it interfered with the evolutionary process. He felt
that man, because of his superior mental powers, is able to improve
society, and using scientific knowledge as a tool, should do so. He
was careful to point out that social telesis followed the laws of
nature, as did natural evolution. Telesis implies merely a conscious
hastening of evolution and is artificial only as it is planned and
deliberate. Education was to be the primary agency of social change.
Ward believed that man's efforts are expended in an effort to
attain happiness and that education (universal, public, compulsory)
was the beginning to an approach to happiness. He viewed the path
toward happiness as consisting of six steps--education, knowledge,
dynamic opinion, dynamic action, progress, and happiness--each one
depending on its immediate predecessor (Vine, 1959:18. Cf. Lichten-
In The Division of Labor in Society, Emile Durkheim agreed with
Spencer's notion that an increase in the division of labor was an
important factor in the development of a primitive society into a
In primitive societies, where the division of labor has not
developed, individuals are relatively similar. They are bound
together by a "mechanical" type of solidarity in which they blindly
obey public opinion and tradition. In civilized societies, on the
other hand, there is a well-developed division of labor. Here,
Individuals are bound together by an organic solidarity because they
need each other's goods and services. Because of this growing
emphasis on specialization, individuals tend to be more differentiated
from each other, and thus more individualistic. As an individual,
each person must contribute his specialization to the betterment of
Durkheim, in searching for the causes of social evolution,
disagreed with Spencer's idea that civilization was created by
happiness or by the desire for happiness. He felt that material
wealth and civilization had not really contributed to man's happiness.
On the contrary, he found that primitive societies appeared to be
happier than richer ones. He encountered lower rates of suicides
and neuroses in primitive societies than in contemporary ones.
Durkheim concluded that increased social density, caused by population
growth and technology, was the primary cause of an increasing division
of labor (Vine, 1959:130-133; 141-142).
Max Weber felt that social change was based on the conflict
among three general principles: traditionalism, rationality, and
charisma. The tension which results from the conflict between
traditionalism and rationalism is responsible for much of the evolu-
tion of social structures. Frequently, both of these principles have
appeared to conflict with the charismatic principle. The single most
important and most general element would have to be rationalization.
The phenomenon of bureaucratization in politics is an example
of a secular rationalization. The trend toward bureaucratization is
balanced by the concept of charisma, which Weber sees as a truly
revolutionary force in history. Thus, change occurs as a result of
the counterbalancing of rationalizing and charismatic forces
Weber's major contribution to the field of social change in
Western civilization, however, lies in his analysis of the development
of capitalism. It was the obverse of Marx's contention that all
social systems and institutions, including religion, are determined
by the economic system. From his analysis of the development of
modern industrial capitalism and Protestantism and his study of their
interrelationships, he concluded that the rise of capitalism was a
by-product of Protestantism. Materialism had no place in traditional
Catholic attitudes toward making a living which were prevalent in the
Middle Ages. With the advent and rise of Protestantism, though, it
was considered acceptable and eventually meritorious to make a just
profit in business transactions. With industrial capitalism, the idea
of an obligation to make an unlimited amount of money developed. This,
together with other related ideas, was Weber's "spirit of capitalism."
His hypothesis was that modern capitalism could not have developed
without the Protestant ethic (see Vine, 1959:223-226).
William Graham Sumner considered progress to be an act of
faith. Thus, scientific knowledge and proof were not applicable in
the study of progress. He agreed strongly with Spencer's theory of
social evolution, but used it to a limited extent only in his theories.
His most important contributions to sociology include
his concepts of folkways and mores, and it is here that he intro-
duces thoughts concerning social change. Sometimes he speaks
of the spontaneous evolution of folkways and mores. At other
times, he observes that people merely stumble upon certain modes
of behavior through trial and error. If a specific manner of
comportment "works," that is, performs a social function, then it
becomes a part of the folkways. If not, it simply ceases to exist,
and alternatives are found. If the folkway in turn persists and
becomes important to group welfare, it becomes a mos. Folkways
and mores, while generally resistant to change, sometimes are
modified by accident or the irrationality of people. He did not
believe that people can criticize fairly their own mores, nor
change them by any predetermined action (Sumner, 1907:97-98, as
cited in Vine, 1959:103).
Socialistic Concepts of Changel
Much of Western social thought was dominated by evolutionism
during the nineteenth and part of the twentieth century. Often, it
was combined with the concept of progress through a deliberately
and rationally planned reform program. Reforms advocated here in
the United States were generally of a particularistic nature, but
the European thinkers advocated broader, more sweeping changes of a
lMost of this section is developed from LaPiere (1965:9-15).
The feeling that government stands in the way of social
progress began with Saint-Simon, was expanded by Rousseau, and was
shared to a limited extent by Adam Smith. Government resists change
because it represents the elite, who reason that it is in their best
interests for things to remain as they are. Revolution is not the
answer, for it is government itself which must be eliminated, thus
permitting man's true nature, altruism, to manifest itself. Thus, in
anarchy it is reasoned that there will be a peaceful, harmonious
spirit of cooperation for the common good. Although some violence
might be necessary, it should be used only as a means of abolishing
the government and thus ultimately attaining a utopian society.
Many people during this period considered government to be a
necessary evil, including the authors of the United States Constitu-
tion. Karl Marx felt that government was essential only in the
transitional period between the revolutionary destruction of capitalism
and the establishment of a communal system.
Karl Marx had evolutionary, as well as revolutionary, ideas.
He, like Comte, saw society as moving through various stages of
development. Movement through these phases was inevitable and was
caused by "historical imperatives." Capitalism, the nineteenth-
century phase, had brought great advances in the production of
material goods but had resulted in the exploitation of the workers
by the capitalists, who could do so because they held the reins of
government. Eventually, the workers would develop a class conscious-
ness and would revolt, then creating a government of, by, and
for the people. Next, they would institute a communistic economic
system. There would be government control during this transitional
period, but once people learned to live together, then the need
for government would disappear and life would become stable.
Marx saw change as a means of creating a utopian stability.
Thus, he was basically an evolutionist, but differed from others
who held this viewpoint only in the particular stages through which
he felt society was moving.
Marxism did not really have the predictive power which
most people attribute to it. It was the Fabian socialists who
came closest in this.respect.2 The name comes from the Roman
general Quintus Fabius Marximus, and George Bernard Shaw and
other British intellectuals of the day were major proponents of
The Fabian socialists were at odds with some aspects of
the capitalist system, yet were in violent opposition to Marx's
suggestion of revolution. They thought that the transition to
socialism would come about gradually on its own. They merely
looked at some of the changes which were then occurring in highly
industrialized societies and projected them into the future.
2For a summary of the arguments in support of this statement,
the reader is referred to LaPiere (1965:12-13).
Historical data were often referred to in order to support
the idea of the constancy and trend toward perfection inherent in
the theory of social evolution. However, authors often carefully
selected historical antecedents in order to support their ideas.
When human culture is surveyed, there appears to be a
progressive refinement, especially of items of material culture,
over the centuries. There are many instances in which development
can be traced step by step through the years. A close look at this
type of analysis leads one to the concept of evolutionary progress.
Leslie White (1959) has attempted to revive evolutionary theory in
this manner (Cf. Child, 1950; Steward, 1955; and Sahlins and Service,
However, such is not the case when one looks at the life of
specific peoples. Many of these peoples and their ways of life
have come and gone. Many civilizations seem to have developed,
progressed, and vanished, and especially is this the case in the
Mediterranean area. The rise and decline of societies is a more or
less "natural" way of perceiving change over the years. Proponents
of this view differ from the evolutionists in that they view change
as cyclical and therefore not always tending toward perfection.
Giovanni Battista Vico was one of the earliest to adopt this
line of thinking. Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
existed for almost two centuries as the major theoretical framework
used by historians. Much of H. G. Wells' Outline of History followed
the same pattern (this paragraph adapted from LaPiere, 1965:15-19).
Oswald Spengler felt that the West, which had been so advanced
and had developed industry, was on the downswing of the cycle. Next
would come the era of the Asians. In his system of cyclical change,
Spengler viewed culture as an organism whose development is more a
matter of destiny than of causation. Cultures pass through the same
stages of growth and decline as do individuals. These stages are
childhood, youth,maturity, and old age. At times, Spengler substitutes
an image of the four seasons--spring, summer, autumn, and winter--for
that of the four life periods.
He also conceives of both a prelude to the life cycle of a
culture and an epilogue. Thus before the awakening, or
the beginning of springtime, people live in a precultural
stage; in fact, most people never emerge from this stage.
Once the culture is launched, however, the four stages
follow in order. The last of these stages, winter, imper-
ceptibly becomes a dying "civilization. ." Civilization
is thus the epilogue of every culture: death following
life, rigidity succeeding intellectual creativeness
(Timasheff, 1957:278. Cf. Spengler, 1939).
Stoddard came to more or less the same conclusion. However,
the cyclical frame of reference does not lead inevitably to this con-
clusion. Sorokin and Toynbee have likewise used the cyclical approach
but have concluded that Western civilization may survive instead of
eventually perishing (LaPiere, 1965:19).
In Sorokin's manner of thinking, social change is the most all-
embracing of the significant processes of society. He considers change
as a characteristic of sociocultural phenomena. Most of his work was
centered in the field of social change.
His first work in English, The Sociology of Revolution (1925),
concerned violent change. In typical revolutions the main course of
internal events follows a cycle of license, reaction, repression, and
eventually a new equilibrium. He believed that no revolution finally
concluded with a fundamental alteration of the state of affairs. He
also dealt with social change in another early work, Social Mobility
(1927). Sorokin's major work, however, according to Timasheff
(1957:235) is Social and Cultural Dynamics (1937-41), in which he
analyzed the patterns and trends of social change over the last
2500 years. In order to study change, he divided cultures into three
types: ideational, idealistic, and sensate. He maintained that the
pattern of change was a fluctuation between ideational and sensate
cultures. The general trend of social change was that of a straight-
line advance up to a certain limit. When it almost reached this
limit, it then reversed the linear trend. (In some cases, this was
caused by cultural stagnation.) The reversed development advanced
toward still another limit, and then was once more reversed.
He showed that this pattern had characterized the whole
history of Western culture since the time of ancient Greece.
Greek culture is described as ideational from the eighth
century until the end of the sixth century B.C.; for the
succeeding century and a half, including the Golden Age of
Athens, it was idealistic. From the later part of the
fourth century B.C. to the fourth century A.D., during
which the Roman Empire emerged and flourished, culture
was sensate. The subsequent two centuries of mixed culture
were followed by a long period of ideational culture. From
the end of the twelfth century to the early fourteenth,
culture was idealistic; this is the age of Gothic cathedrals,
of Dante, and of St. Thomas Aquinas (Timasheff, 1957:282-283).
Culture has become more and more sensate since the end of the
fourteenth century, and may have reached its climax, since there is
some evidence, according to Timasheff (1957:283), that culture may be
changing toward the ideational pole. The conclusion of Sorokin's
analysis was that there had been neither progress nor a linear or
cyclical trend in history. The fluctuation had been within the
three supersystems of integration discussed above.
Sorokin did not believe that changes in cultural mentalities
could be interpreted by certain external factors, except as
secondary factors. The significant factor in change was immanent
self-regulation and direction. Immanent change was the realization
of the built-in potentials of the system (Vine, 1959:278-285).
Arnold Toynbee's theory of social change is based on a study
of 26 civilizations. He attempts to depict uniformities in the
manner in which civilizations grow and decline and to explain the
principles of this pattern. His theory, like that of Spengler, has
four parts--birth, growth, breakdown, and disintegration. At a
certain time and place, there emerges a civilization. Under given
conditions, it grows, if it is not stopped or it is not abortive.
Ultimately this growth causes a breakdown which is in turn followed
by the decline of the civilization.
One of the major theses of Toynbee is that the processes of
origin and growth are dominated by the challenge-response pattern.
A civilization may emerge and grow if the challenge is not too severe
and if there is an elite which finds the adequate response to the
Certain definite characteristics are displayed by growing
civilizations. They each contain a creative minority which is
followed by the majority of the people. The process of growth
includes a progressive integration and self-determination of the
civilization, plus its differentiation from others as it acquires a
unique style (Timasheff, 1957:279-282).
During the final stage of the civilizational cycle, four
types of personalities emerge: the archaic, looking
for salvation in the return to the past (the "savior
with the time machine"); the futurist who appears as the
"savior with the sword"; the indifferent stoic; and the
religious savior. At this stage, the only way of salva-
tion is by means of transfiguration, on the basis of
religion (Timasheff, 1957:281).
F. Stuart Chapin was influenced to a degree by Tarde, Giddings,
and Ross in his notions concerning social change. He viewed cultural
change as "selectively accumulative in time, and cyclical or
oscillatory in nature" (Martindale, 1960:333). He divides the cycles
into those of material culture and nonmaterial culture.
He formulated several types of cycles:
Those of first order relate to material culture and may be
minor, small, and limited in time, like a business cycle
or cycle of dependency in a city; or they may be major,
like the rise and fall of the slave system of Rome, the
manorial system of England, feudalism in France or
capitalism in modern Europe. Cycles of second order relate
to non-material culture and also may be of minor degree
(like the rise of religious sects, or the growth of a type
of governmental structure) or of major degree (illustrated
by ancestor worship, the patriarchal family, or monarchical
government. Cycles of third order refer to larger cultural
compositions such as national culture or civilization, and
vary from minor things like the rise and fall of dynasties
or classes to major types like the rise of Hellenic,
Mycenaean, or Hindu culture (Martindale, 1960:333).
Chapin proposed four basic hypotheses to account for these
Every cultural form has its own law of change; the law of
each cultural form is cyclical and probably periodic; it
is possible to express the law of its life cycle quantita-
tively; and when cycles or periods of a number of cultural
forms are synchronous, there is produced a period of
maturity of the cultural nation or group in which the traits
are located (Martindale, 1960:334).
In every cyclical change, Chapin concluded, there is a period
of equilibrium. Thus there may be present social regulators--devices
which directly implement the equilibrium. On the material culture
level, the social regulators include the stock exchanges, the
Federal Reserve System, etc. On the level of nonmaterial culture are
such social control elements as custom, beliefs, public opinion,
education, and law.
There is a three-phased basic group reaction pattern under-
lying this phenomenon of cyclical change. In the first phase, the
group reacts by an attempt to enforce its mores. However, they soon
feel out of step and shift to the second phase of the pattern, where
they try different alternatives. The third phase ensues with the group
putting into play its trial-and-error efforts (from phase two) into a
stable plan (Chapin, 1928:222).
Alfred L. Kroeber studied the process of change in some more-
developed cultures. His findings do not support a general theory of
cultural change. He states that a given culture may flourish several
times. In studying the growth of different aspects of a culture, he
found no strict correlation among them. Nevertheless, Kroeber does
maintain that periods of a high level of cultural creativity may be
established in which bilateral development of several factors occurs
simultaneously. He tends to be nonparticularistic in his reasons for
the growth or decline of a culture, with the possible exception of the
self-exhaustive tendency of movements (Timasheff, 1957:284-285).
There. are a great many cyclical theories which are too
numerous to mention here. Sorokin has an excellent resume of those
up through the first quarter of this century (Sorokin, 1928:728-741.
Cf. LaPiere, 1965:21-22).
In this section, both deterministic and particularistic
theories are dealt with. These theories are said to be deterministic
in that they assume a direct cause-effect relationship in historic
sequences, and particularistic because they delineate one single
variable or set of interrelated variables as being causal. Most
of the theories herein discussed have been elaborated in this
century and are much narrower in scope than those which have been
discussed previously. The great weakness in these theories is
that they attribute change to a single cause, and it has been
found repeatedly that, in human relationships, seldom is there
a single causal factor.
G. Elliot Smith, an Egyptologist, elaborated the idea of
culturally dominant centers and their role in bringing about change.
Even before, it had been noted that at certain times in history,
there have been certain societies which have taken the lead in
innovations, discoveries, inventions and the like, in both material
and nonmaterial culture. Smith indicated that the inventions
of the Egyptians were diffused to and adopted by a goodly number
of other societies. While this theory probably has some validity,
there presently exists no way of validating it (LaPiere, 1965:
There has long been a folk belief that a people's character
is determined by the climate of the region in which they live. It
is thought that people who live in the northern part of the Northern
Hemisphere (opposite in the Southern Hemisphere) are more reserved,
harder workers, extremely provident, restrained, stern, etc., while
those in the southern portion are easygoing, somewhat lazy, cheerful,
talkative, and open. This dichotomization is readily evident to
people in the United States but also exists in a goodly number of
other, even smaller, countries.
Jean Bodin was among the first to make this differentiation.
Ellsworth Huntington used the geographic factor in an attempt to
explain why societies change. Since the growth of a society rests upon
the energies available and the mental efficiency of the people
involved, then changes in climate (or mass migrations) are the
causal factor in the progress, or lack of it, of a given civilization.
Huntington maintained that, as the climate changed, so did the center
of civilization (Ryan, 1969:22-24. See LaPiere, 1965:24-25;
Huntington, 1924; and Huntington, 1945).
The folk belief that races have markedly different inherent
capacities, both mental and physical, has existed over a long period
of time and in a variety of forms. Count J. A. de Gobineau was the
first known to put a racial interpretation on history. Reasoning
that the French Aristocracy was in a position of power because of
3This section is developed largely from LaPiere (1965:24-26).
racial superiority to "lower" Frenchmen, he also believed that the
French civilization was deteriorating and would soon be replaced by
the more vigorous Germans. Basically, deGobineau felt that all
world civilizations which achieved prominence did so because of a
particular race with a special, inborn capacity for building
His theory came almost a century before the conquest of
France by Germany under the direction of Adolph Hitler, who sincerely
believed in the superiority of one race and who tried to put his
thoughts into action.
Proponents of this theory hold to the belief that an
increased reproduction of those with the superior race and a
decreasing number of the inferior group is necessary in order for
their society to progress.
Another variety of biologically deterministic theory argues
that some men are born with superior mental powers. These geniuses,
through their inventions and innovations, are able to bring about
A still different type of biological determinism discusses
changes in fecundity in an attempt to explain the rise and fall of
civilizations. Corrado Gini theorized that the major cause in the
evolution of civilizations is a change in the fecundity of the people.
Other variants of biological determinism have been formulated, but
most of them are so absurd that they are not discussed here (Ryan,
1969:24-27; and LaPiere, 1965:26-28).
of Social Change
As has been pointed out previously, some of the founding
fathers of sociology, notably Comte, Spencer, and Ward, were interested
in how it is that social development comes about. In order to answer
this question they turned to social evolution, both to trace its
development and to attempt to predict the future. However, they came
up, not with scientific hypotheses, but with some rather grandiose
As the discipline of sociology developed, it became more
scientific. Nevertheless, American sociologists have expended most
of their efforts in other directions, and consequently, theories of
social change have not received an equal share of their attention and
efforts. Yet some more or less scientifically-oriented sociologists
have formulated some hypotheses concerning the phenomenon.
The United States has often been termed "the melting-pot of
the world" because of the large number of immigrants who have come
here and have been absorbed. A number of sociologists have been
interested in their assimilation--the process by which they adopt
U.S. ideas, habits, customs, and the like.
W. I. Thomas was perhaps one of the most outstanding
sociologists to become interested in the assimilation of immigrants.
For him, "the central problem in the general life process is one of
adjustment" (Thomas, 1937:1). This adjustment, as spelled out in
The Polish Peasant in Europe and America (1918-20), involves a
process of disorganization, which is increased by rapid industrializa-
tion and urbanization and conflicting definitions of the situation.
As a consequence, there is a forced reorganization by the group and
by individuals before assimilation may occur (see LaPiere, 1965:29-30).
The Chicago School of sociology dominated American sociology
during the 1920's. One of the areas in which the Chicago sociologists
ventured into social change was that of social ecology (see Park and
Burgess, 1921). They applied the biological concepts of competition,
conflict, and invasion to the investigation of changes in spatial
relationships in urban populations in an effort to ascertain urban
growth and the change that ensues.
This great oversimplification of such a complex phenomenon
has precluded its acceptance by current sociologists. However, many
of the findings in respect to human ecology have been found to be true
and have led to other discoveries (LaPiere, 1965:30-31).
Social lag and technology
William F. Ogburn advanced his theory of social lag in 1922 in
an effort to provide a theory of social change comparable to some of
the laws of the natural sciences. His idea is credited with having
replaced the term social evolution with social change. He also
formulated the concept of cultural lag, which has been used
extensively in recent years. Although it has been widely criticized,
the term remains a favorite of sociologists.
Within a culture there is correlation and interdependence of
parts, so that a rapid change in one part of culture may require
readjustments through other changes in the various correlated parts
of culture. The thesis of cultural lag is that the various parts of
a culture change at different rates (see Ogburn, 1950:200-207; 210-213.
Cf. Ogburn, 1957).
Specifically, Ogburn maintains that it is changes in the
material culture that occur first and thus require changes in the
nonmaterial culture. He pointed out that social changes have their
origin in the invention of a new way of doing something. It is the
material technology where inventions most frequently occur and where
improvements are most readily apparent. However, as these new develop-
ments occur in the technological field, a strain develops between
the two aspects. This strain can be eased by a change in the social
organization, which comes about slowly, if at all. Meanwhile, the lack
of equilibrium which exists is called social lag (LaPiere, 1965:31).
Edward A. Ross was profoundly interested in social change.
Because of this deep interest, he personally witnessed the Russian
Revolution, the Boxer Rebellion, and the 1917 Mexican revolution. He
wrote a number of books on social reform in the United States and
strongly advocated population planning through controlled immigration
and birth control. Implicit in his writing was a belief in progress
and the assumption that sociologists should strive toward that end.
As processes of social change, he listed decadence, transforma-
tion, reconstruction, and revolution. He defined transformation as
unconscious, unplanned change, and reconstruction as being both
conscious and planned. He noted that changes in population numbers
and characteristics, inventions, culture contacts, and the accumulation
of wealth are the causes of transformations and have been the causes
of great social changes within our society.
He listed the primary factors of contemporary social change,
most of which were either advances in technology or were dependent
thereon, the exceptions being education and the widespread adoption
of the scientific method. It is interesting to note that he considered
the machine to be the most important contemporary factor. The
secondary factors of present-day social change are derived from the
primary factors mainly and, to a lesser degree, from other, antecedent
secondary factors (Ross, 1940:395. See also Vine, 1959:184-186).
In his Social Psychology (1908), he discussed the change from a
tradition- and custom-oriented society to one in which fashion becomes
important. In a democratic society, the appeal of the new causes a
shift of interest from custom to new kinds of apparel, ideas, material
inventions, etc. "The wide sweep of development in fashion seems to
overshadow the role of the stable elements in society. Instability
supplants a portion of the stability represented by custom and
convention" (Bogardus, 1960:527).
Among factors causing social change Ross listed discussion,4
the advent of the machine, economic and social deprivation, democracy,
education, the falling birth rate in developed countries, imagination,
4First mentioned by Bagehot. See Bagehot, 1873:Chapter 5. See
also Lasker, 1949:part III. Lasker defined discussion as a "social
dynamic" and analyzed the discussion procedure thusly: (1) concern
with a situation, (2) clarification of issues, (3) defining elements of
conflict, (4) presentation of larger values and additional facts, and
(5) dynamic agreement. This is his basis for rational social change
Through Spencer's influence, Thorstein Veblen developed a
theory of social change along evolutionary lines. He noted four
stages in the development of human society: (1) a peaceful savage
economy; (2) a predatory barbarian economy; (3) the handicraft
economy of the premodern period; and (4) machine technology.
However, for him, the major force in social change is
technology. Change occurs first within the technology of a society
and then the new technology is adopted by the other social institu-
tions. Thus social change is a slow process. He considered it to be
self-generated by the instinct of workmanship with possible aid from
the instinct of idle curiosity. He probably would have subscribed to
Ogburn's theory of social lag (Vine, 1959:199-201; 207-210).
Gabriel Tarde made the observation that, other things being
equal, the larger the cultural base of a society, then the more likely
it is that two or more elements will be brought together in the form
of an invention, which is the most important process in effecting
The importance of the invention rests on its social acceptance
through imitation. He noted that there are two ways in which social
progress is accomplished. There are two possible solutions when two
waves of contradictory imitations meet. One imitation may become
suppressed and the other substituted for it. Another possibility
is a combination of the two to form a new invention. Both results
could lead to social progress (Vine, 1959:117-18).
Hornell Hart, expanding on Tarde's idea of inventions, noted
that the more inventions there are, the greater is the likelihood
that still more inventions will occur. Thus there should be a
general tendency of geometrical multiplication of inventions. How-
ever, he is aware that setbacks in cultural change do occur, and he
interprets them as survivals of poorly integrated elements in the
whole culture (Hart, 1945:350). His general conclusion is that
social change is linear, accelerative, and that it tends toward
Elites as a factor in social change
Vilfredo Pareto noted that there are some people in any
society who have different capabilities for economics, governing,
etc. Therefore, in any given society there are always upper and
lower classes. Among the upper class, he denoted governing and
nongoverning elites. Political leaders, sometimes the aristocracy,
and sometimes business leaders comprise the former, depending on the
nature of the society, while the latter consists of industrial
leaders, sometimes scientists, artists, and professionals.
His theory of the circulation of elites is a cyclical
conception of change in economics and politics. The upper class,
if it is to remain in power, must consist predominantly of speculators
(chance-takers; people with intelligence, character, skill, and
capacity), while the lower classes should be the conservative masses.
He noted that a society was continually both in a state of
change and, at the same time, in a state of equilibrium. That is
to say, whenever there is a change in society, there must be a
balancing force to return it to an equilibrium. During every few
generations, there is a turnover in the governing elite. When it
first comes into power, the governing elite consists mainly of
speculators, but they are unable to replace themselves. Thus if
they wish to remain in power, they must recruit some speculators
from the lower classes. If this is done, the upper class can remain
in power indefinitely. Otherwise, it must resort to force, Never-
theless, Pareto maintains that without some circulation of the elite,
the speculators of the lower class, unable to rise in the two-class
system, will grow in numbers and eventually take control (Vine,
Wendell Bell attempts to understand some of the changes in
the social composition of elites during a country's transition from
colonial status to political independence. His thesis is "that
social change can be understood as a long-term trend toward an
increase in the scale of society, that is, an increase in the range
of relations, an increase in the scope of social interaction and
dependency" (Bell, 1965:157). He found that, over the years, the
circulation of elites in Jamaica, where he carried out his fieldwork,
has increased as elites have become less exclusive.
Other theories of social change
There are a number of other theories which are not taken up in
this work. Some of these include the conflict theories of Coser and
Dahrendorf; functional theories of Loomis and Bertrand; catastrophic
theories of Park, Bucher, Gumplowicz, and Oppenheimer; socio-
psychological theories of Becker, Barnett, Merton, and Hagen; and
Smelser's social causation theory.5
Development and Modernization
In this section the writer attempts to review selected theories
of development and modernization, both of which may be considered as
social change. It is realized that there are many theories not
represented, but a full review is beyond the scope of this.paper.
Development and modernization are terms which tend to be used
more or less interchangeably. Modernization has been defined as:
the change process by means of which a traditional non-
Western system acquires characteristics usually associated
with more developed and less traditional societies. These
characteristics include "a comparatively high degree of
urbanization, widespread literacy, comparatively high per
capital income, extensive geographical and social mobility,
a relatively high degree of commercialization and industriali-
zation of the economy, an extensive and penetrative network
of mass communication media, and, in general, .widespread
participation and involvement by members of the society in
modern social and economic processes" (Blanksten, 1965:225-226;
quoted section from Almond and Coleman, 1960:532).
Development, as used in this report, refers to both social and
.economic development. However, since some may read "socioeconomic"
and think "economic," it will be used without the modifier.
Karl Marx asserted that the economic factor is the fundamental
determinant of the structure and development of society (economic
determinism). He postulates three phases which are always a part
of social change in a scheme which was originated by George Hegel
5For a short discussion of each, see Ryan, (1969:31-50).
Berelson and Steiner have an excellent resume of findings concerning
the conditions, results, and characteristics of leaders in social
(see Wallace, 1931; Hegel, 1929; Hegel, 1956) but applied to matter
by Marx. According to this theory, everything passes by a kind of
dialectical necessity through three stages: affirmation or thesis,
negation or antithesis, and reconciliation of opposites or synthesis.
As a society reaches the synthesis level, the process continues. Marx
believed that every economic system begins by being the best which is
possible at that time. Once a system has become socially entrenched,
it becomes an obstacle to the use of new technology. Likewise, it
obstructs the usage of new markets and new supplies of raw material.
The only way to overcome the new order, which is now confirmed, is
through social revolution, which in turn creates a new order of
production which is a combination of the old and the new.
Every society has two basic classes, one representing the old
and often obsolescent system of production, the other which is in the
process of coming into existence. The struggle between these two
classes results in the evolution of society from one stage to another.
The new order wins, but within it are the forces which will in turn
eventually destroy it. This is the dialectical process again
Economic analysts in recent years have been attracted by the
failure of economic growth to begin in some low-income societies and
have formulated a number of theories concerning the barriers that have
prevented growth. The initial approach was to assume that all barriers
were economic ones. The economists reason that almost everyone is
striving for higher income and that, therefore, they should seek
improved means of production. Information about better means is
fairly generally and readily available, so production techniques should
be rapidly improving. But they are not. Thus, reason Hagen and other
economists (Hagen, 1962:36-52), there must be some other formidable
barriers which prevent them from doing so.
Some of the barriers frequently noted by economists are listed
1. The vicious circle of low income and inadequate saving
(see Singer, 1949; Nurske, 1953:5; Kindleburger, 1958:8; and
2. The demonstration effect. In some low-income societies,
some members of the upper class have sufficient incomes to save if
they wished to do so. However, theysee the consumption levels of'
the West and are psychologically unable to save because they feel that
they must imitate the Westerners (see Nurske, 1953:Chap. 3; and
3. The vicious circle of inadequate markets, or inadequate
demand to justify investment in improved methods (see Kindleberger,
4. The lump of capital argument, that economic growth can
occur only when there is sufficient social overhead capital available.
Economic growth cannot occur in more low-income countries because they
do not have extra capital available to invest in the development of
projects which are expensive, but which, nevertheless, serve as a
base for the establishment of other industries (see Singer, 1949:6;
and Rosenstein-Roldan, 1961).6
6Note: this listing and reference to works cited may be
found in Hagen (1962:37-47).
Some people have argued that high rates of population growth
have swamped the technological progress which might have raised the
level of income in underdeveloped nations. Hagen disputes this theory
and points out that, of the low-income countries outside Latin America,
two which give the most marked signs of beginning economic growth
are very densely populated. They are China and India (Hagen, 1959).
However, it should be noted that economists usually acknowledge
the influence of noneconomic factors on growth:
In my view the greatly accelerated economic development of
the last 200 years--the rise of modern capitalism--can only
be explained in terms of changing human attitudes to risk-
taking and profit-making. The emergence of the
"business enterprise" characteristic of modern capitalism was
thus the cause rather than the result of changes in the
modes of production; and it was the product of social forces
that cannot in turn be accounted for by economic and technical
factors (Kaldor, 1960:236, as quoted in Hagen, 1962:37).
The ensuing statement follows a declaration that capital
formation is at the heart of the problem of economic development:
We shall do well to keep in mind, however, that this is by
no means the whole story. Economic development has much
to do with human endowments, social attitudes, political
conditions--and historical accidents. Capital is necessary
but not a sufficient condition of progress (Nurske, 1953:1;
as quoted in Hagen, 1962:37).
It should be noted, according to Hagen, that virtually without
exception, economists make such acknowledgments in passing, then go on
to present economic theories of growth as though they were the full
and sufficient explanations.
In the change from a traditional society to a modern one,
W. W. Rostow has pointed out that there are five stages: the
traditional society, developing the preconditions for take-off, the
take-off, the drive to maturity, and high mass-consumption (Hagen,
1962:514-22. Cf. Rostow, 1960).
Schumpeter felt that the economy did not grow on its own
impetus, but that it was pushed forward in sudden leaps by the
activities of key men who wanted to promote new goods and methods of
production, or to exploit a new source of materials or a new market.
The motivation was not merely the profit incentive, but also
included a joy which these entrepreneurs achieve through creation
and through competition. Thus Schumpeter's entrepreneur was not
entirely a rational, profit-oriented individual (see Schumpeter,
Economic theorists seem to feel that sources of change in the
economic sphere lie outside the system itself. They have noted that
important technical inventions have occurred more rapidly in some
periods and have spread more rapidly to some countries than to others.
Max Weber, in his discussion of the Protestant ethic and the rise of
capitalism, "laid the groundwork for efforts to understand the social
and psychological origins of such key economic forces as rapid techno-
logical advances, specialization of labor, population growth, and
energetic entrepreneurship" (McClelland, 1961:11). The modern
economist has become even more insistent in his belief that the
ultimate forces of economic development lie outside the economic
domain (see Meier and Baldwin, 1957:83). Thus, Hagen and the author
of the just-cited work do not appear to be in agreement regarding the
economists' viewpoint in this matter. However, their basic positions
are that the economist realizes that other factors play a role in
development. Since they are economists, it is only natural to look
for economic causes first, and failing to find a significant cause-
effect relationship, some turn to other causes.
As a first step toward recognizing the sociological and
psychological factors that set in force the economic factors which
produce development, Rostow lists six basic "human motives" or
"human propensities" which economic analysis has suggested are
important for development. They are:
1. to develop fundamental science
2. to apply science to economic ends
3. to accept innovations
4. to seek material advance
5. to consume
6. to have children (Rostow, 1952:14-15).
Lewis discusses distinctly psychological variables which he
feels influence economic growth. He mentions the "desire for goods,"
which is decreased by asceticism and by values which place little
emphasis on economic activity. He also discusses the importance of
nonrational psychological variables, such as attitudes toward work
and the spirit of adventure (Lewis, 1955; cited in McClelland, 1961:
Sociologists have dealt much more explicitly with the non-
economic variables of development than have economists, and for a
much longer period of time. Max Weber receives credit for having
started this very important contribution in his The Protestant Ethic
and the Rise of Capitalism. In addition, he made other significant
contributions to the analysis of the social structure of modern
industrial and bureaucratic society. These ideas have been elaborated
and expanded largely by Parsons and his students. They have
concentrated largely on the important structural differences between
modern industrialized societies and traditional societies (see
Parsons, 1951; Parsons, 1958; and Parsons and Smelser, 1956).
Parsons characterizes developed countries by the prevalence
of achievement norms, universalism, and specificity; and under-
developed countries by ascriptive norms, particularism, and diffuseness.
However, McClelland points out that sociological thinking to date has
not attempted to bridge the gap between the idealized pattern
variables as analytical tools and as social norms present in the minds
of men. He attempts this, to a limited degree, in his book,
The Achieving Society, already cited. Florence Kluckhohn (1950; and
Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck, 1961) has likewise taken some steps in this
In contrasting developed and underdeveloped countries,
sociologists have often led one to believe that it is the social
characteristics of the more developed countries which have caused
them to grow more rapidly. Hoselitz (1954:19-42; as cited in
McClelland, 1961:17) says that ethnocentricity leads us to believe
that other countries must develop in the same manner as we ourselves
developed. Earlier sociologists made the same mistake. William
Graham Sumner argued boldly that it was specifically the character-
istics of the contemporary Protestant ideal which produced economic
growth. Hofstadter says he "assumed that the industrious, temperate,
and frugal man of the Protestant ideal was the equivalent of the
'strong' or the 'fittest' in the struggle for existence" (Hofstadter,
The first fact in life is the struggle for existence; the
greatest forward step in this struggle is the production
of capital, which increases the fruitfulness of labor and
provides the necessary means of an advance in civiliza-
tion. Primitive man, who long ago withdrew from the
competitive struggle and ceased to accumulate capital
goods, must pay with a backward and unenlightened way of
life Physical inheritance is a vital part of the
Darwinian theory; the social equivalent of physical
inheritance is the instruction of the children in the
necessary economic virtues (Hofstadter, 1955:58, quote
from Sumner, no reference given).
These and many other sociologists followed the theme of what
is and what ought to be. Modern sociologists have not been so apt
to commit the error, although it is sometimes difficult to avoid. Some
have suggested that the separation of ownership and control in the
American society was a structural change that provided an impetus for
further economic development. This occurred more in the United States
than in France, and the United States developed more rapidly than
France. This could be an accidental, rather than an essential factor
in economic growth (Parsons and Smelser, 1956:252ff.). Hoselitz
says that "we may better begin by developing theoretical models for
different types of societies in different types of transition or
movements from 'traditional' to more 'modern' forms of economic
organization" (Hoselitz, 1955). In other words, more description is
Everett E. Hagen, in his book, On the Theory of Social Change,
weaves an intricate, eclectic web using social, economic, and anthro-
pological theories, in which he attempts to point toward a theory of
social change. His basic interest was "Why have the people of some
societies entered upon technological progress sooner or more
effectively than others?" (Hagen, 1962:ix). He decided that
differences in human behavior were perhaps more important than
economic factors in determining which country would develop faster.
He came to this conclusion only after he noted that some countries
had ideal economic conditions for development, yet did not appear to
be progressing. He says:
In the countries in which the transition to economic
growth has occurred it has been concomitant with far-
reaching change in political organization, social structure,
and attitudes toward life. The relationship is so striking
that to assume that one of these aspects of basic social
change is unrelated to the others is to strain the doctrine
of coincidence beyond all warrant (Hagen, 1962:26).
Hagen states that the relationships between personality and
social structure are such as to make it clear that social change will
not occur without change in personalities. He consequently contrasts
the creative personality and the authoritarian personality. Economic
development demands an individual with a creative personality, which
comes about as a result of small changes in child-rearing by
authoritarian parents, and which may require several generations to
be brought out.
It is the nature of a traditional society to have a stable
structure and functioning. Therefore, any change which is brought
about must have its origin in powerful disruptive sources.
According to Hagen, the basic cause of changed needs, values,
and cognitions is the perception on the part of the members of a
social group that their purposes and values in life are not respected
by groups in the society whom they respect and whose esteem they value
(see Hagen, 1957; and 1958). This phenomenon he calls "withdrawal of
status respect." It comes about through four types of events: change
in the power structure, derogation of institutionalized activity
without change in the power structure, contradiction among status
symbols, and nonacceptance of expected status on migration to a new
It is suggested that withdrawal of status is a powerful
disruptive factor in the dissolving of social ties. Groups whose
members feel that the classes above them no longer have a decent
regard for their purpose in life will lose their contentment with
the traditional society. They will, in Merton's terms, retreat
(Merton, 1957), and in their children and grandchildren will be bred
personality changes that contain the seeds of social change, through
a change to a creative personality.
However, if the social change that occurs is to be a transition
to economic growth, then it is necessary that values conducive to
technological innovation and other activities pertinent to economic
growth appear in the personality. Thus arises an individual from a
family of retreatists with a higher degree of creativity and,
specifically, higher need for achievement and need for autonomy.
His values and life purposes are rejected by the elite. Therefore,
if he can renounce certain elite values, and at the same time accept
others which offer him a greater possibility of achieving a higher
status than his father's, he may find it possible, or even essential,
to break loose.
Thus he may be able to find a group which does not threaten
him, whose values are respected by the group which disparages him,
and whose role in life is not closed to him. If he can adopt their
values and some aspects of their ways of life, then he has a promising
solution to the problem of withdrawal of status respect. If some of
their values which he adopts are conducive to social change, then he
may become an innovator.
McClelland has hypothesized that a particular psychological
factor, the need for achievement, is responsible for economic growth
and decline. He believes that the forces of economic development lie
largely in man himself--in his fundamental motives and in the way he
organizes his relationships to his fellow man (McClelland, 1961:3).
Re interprets Weber's argument for the connection between Protestantism
and the rise of capitalism in terms of a revolution in the family,
which leads to more sons with strong achievement drives. His view-
point is supported in part by a study by Winterbottom (1953:468-472).
There have been a number of "stage theories" of development.
One of them is the theory of demographic transition. The following is
a type of theory based on that of demographic transition. The first
stage is that of social lethargy. It is characterized by exceedingly
low levels of aspirations and achievements of improved styles of life.
Proponents of this view argue that the low degree of aspiration and
achievement results from an extremely low level of economic development
and, therefore, levels of consumption which barely satisfy subsistence
requirements. Lethargy is a result of the lack of both physical and
The second stage, that of aspirations explosion, witnesses a
slight economic development which increases minimally the opportunity
for achievement while maximally stimulating aspirations. The slight
economic development which has occurred in turn stimulates all kinds
of desires. However, the great bulk of these new aspirations cannot
be satisfied because they are disproportionate to the.available oppor-
tunities. The frustration of aspirations often leads to political
instability and violence.
In the last stage, the stage of balance, achievements are
brought into some balance with aspirations, if and when the society
is able to progress to more economic development and satisfy
aspirations. This final stage is characterized by high levels of
both aspiration and achievement, and results in a new form of
political and social stability (Feldman, 1965).
The Development of Underdeveloped Countries
Social and economic development is the aim of practically all
the nations in the world today. However, the development process is
a slow one for many countries--so slow that it can hardly be perceived.
Others are developing only slightly faster, while a few are surging
forward rapidly. This move toward economic development is a part of a
worldwide struggle to escape from poverty, misery, neglect, and the
anonymity which have heretofore been life for a vast majority of the
But economic development is not merely a struggle against
poverty. It is primarily a process through which the social,
political, and economic institutions are being reshaped for the great
majority of mankind (Heilbroner, 1963:9-10).
Heilbroner points out some of the problems to be encountered
on the road to development. (1) He notes first, as have others, that
economic development is not primarily an economic but a political
and social process. Development requires social change as well as
changes in the economic system. (2) The political and social changes
required for economic development are likely to be revolutionary in
nature. The class structure of the nation must necessarily be
changed, sometimes radically. Thus there is a revolutionary potential
in development--revolutionary in the sense that it involves a drastic
redistribution of power and wealth and of their appurtenances.
(3) Economic development is likely to lead to discontent and dis-
organization as people are not able to achieve what they expected to,
especially in the lower and middle classes. The upper classes may be
dissatisfied because of changes in the social and power structures
which divest them of former privileges which they must relinquish
as such changes occur. (4) Success in the quest for development is
not inevitable, and, in fact, only some nations may attain a significant
measure thereof. (5) The price of economic development is apt to be
political and economic authoritarianism (Heilbroner, 1963:16-21). It
should be noted that the economic handicap, although not the ultimate
cause of underdevelopment, is a great one to the world's underdeveloped
Changes in a system are often accompanied by great social
tensions. Agricultural reform in a country where landownership has
long been the foundation of social status represents a profound change
of the economic and power bases. In fact, at times land reform has
.come about only through violent revolution, as in Bolivia and
Guatemala. Land reform is not the only source of friction. The rise
of trade unions and their demands for higher wages likewise create
problems in many countries. Although people in the lower classes may
experience slight increases in their incomes, their relative
position is often damaged. These and other sources of social
friction mean that development is not always welcome.
How about development in Latin America? Population explosion
alarmists point out that economic growth in Latin America must be
at very high rates if it is to outstrip population growth. They say
that a country must save and invest 3 percent of the national income
for each 1 percent population growth per year merely to maintain a
stable income per inhabitant. Furthermore, if their population is
growing by 2 percent per year and they wish to achieve an annual
income growth of 1 percent per year per inhabitant, they must save
and invest at least 9 percent of the national annual income. The
figure jumps to 15 percent savings and investment with a yearly
population growth of 3 percent, which is still slightly less than
the yearly population increase in most of Latin America (Jones, 1962).
To be sure, all of the countries to the south of the
United States are undergoing changes in their social, economic, and
political systems. These changes, some of them desired by some
people and some of them not desired, are creating bewilderment and
confusion. Anomie is often a result of some of these basic changes
and a cause of still other changes. While changes cannot even be
measured in many places, the sweep of basic change cannot be mistaken.
Gillin points out at least four ways in which change is
affecting the lives of Latin Americans. (1) The relations between
primitive tribal groups and the rest of the nation (which is often
urbanizing fairly rapidly) are changing. (2) Indians are changing
their styles of life over to the more sophisticated ways of the
whites. This generally means an upward movement at least in an
economic sense, and often in a social sense'as well. (3) Urbaniza-
tion and industrialization are both occurring rapidly in Latin America.
Although agriculture is still Latin America's chief industry, large
towns and some small places with urban characteristics are growing
rapidly in size, and, in the meantime, they are building more and
more factories. (4) As a result of the aforementioned changes,
changes also are occurring in the attitudes of both governments and
peoples toward the United States (Gillin, 1961).
The traditional class system in Latin America has consisted
of only two classes--a land-owning aristocracy and a lower class
composed mainly of peasants and domestic servants. Lyman Bryson
(1961:7) points out in the introduction to Social Change in Latin
America Today that a middle class (a "middle mass," to use Gillin's
phraseology) has not been needed in most of the poor countries. A
middle class, according to him, is produced by a demand for more
economic and technological activity and is required for the further
progress of the class.
Gillin notes that the members of the emerging middle class
in Latin America are developing effective leadership and power. They
are using modern means of communication and are receptive to the
ideas which are presented therein. However, they face these new
ideas equipped with their own peculiar tradition of values.
Latin American feudalism, with the emotional dependence of the
peones on their patrons and strong personal bonds among persons of
rigidly marked class differences, is a pattern which is deeply
ingrained and will be difficult to change.
Likewise other basic values are deeply seated and slow to
change. Regardless of shifts in urban living, Gillin denotes nine
basic values which will likely be carried over by people as they
ascend from the lower classes into middle-class life. They are:
personal dignity, strength of family ties, social hierarchy,
materialism, transcendentalism, fatalism, a strong sense of propriety
or decency in mode of life, and a scorn for manual labor. Neverthe-
less, dramatic changes in the areas of demography and population,
social structure and economic life, religion, political life, and
international relations are taking place. These turbulent changes are
reshaping some of the older patterns of values and new ones are
emerging (Gillin, 1961).
An example of social change in values which has occurred
through modernization can be drawn from Peru. There is hardly a
place in this traditional society which has not been touched to some
degree by the technological revolution. Political power is shifting
from the landed aristocracy to the commercial hacendado and the
new entrepreneurial class. Industrialization has brought about the
demand for a more mobile changing society.
More and better roads are opening new markets to the Indians
of Peru's sierras, and this likewise means they are more mobile.
Greatly increased geographical mobility leads many of the younger
Indians to move to the coast to better employment opportunities and
higher levels of living. Many of them recast themselves as mestizos,
thus enjoying a subsequent higher social status.
It has been found that when Indians in the sierras can break
the chains which bind them to the latifundid.and live in greater
independence and freedom, then changes in attitudes, values, and
behavior occur more rapidly. The Vicos experiment vividly points out
change of this type. These changes occurred in Vicos, an hacienda
which was known for its conservatism and hostility to the outside
world. In fact, before the Vicos experiment began in 1952, this
hacienda had undergone little change since its establishment over
400 years before. The community has now been completely transformed
through a program of planned social change (Holmberg, 1961).
The Chaco War was a catalyst for rapid social change in
Bolivia, where the Indians had long been serfs in a feudalistic
system. However, when they were drafted as soldiers, they fought
alongside people from a world largely unknown to them, travelled,
and used new technology. The equilibrium was thus disturbed, but
it remained for the revolution of 1952 to destroy the foundations
of the traditional society.
Bolivia is still an extremely underdeveloped country, but many
changes in its social structure have been brought about since
the 1952 revolution. The Bolivian Indians were socially immobile
and uneducated, and they were held back by religious values and
by secular nonstriving values which tended to maintain the status
quo. They were barely able to maintain themselves even at a very
poverty-stricken level. Persons interested in changing the traditional
system had been met with almost insurmountable cultural fatalism,
dependency, and conservatism which prevented planning for future
improvement. However, the 1952 revolution has brought about some
changes in the Indians' way of life. The Indian campesinos have
become a decisive force on the national scene as they slowly free
themselves from the traditional feudalistic, caste-like, system.
It should be noted that the process of social change in
Bolivia has been very gradual, and not a sharp transition. There is
a trend toward the secularization of customs and attitudes. Further-
more, there is evidence of a decline of fatalism among the
campesinos, and a spread of the concept of equality of opportunities.
They are reshaping the value system in such a manner that it is
beginning to point away from the older social system and is being
based more on personal achievement (Patch, 1961).
In Brazil, crisis appears to be the order of the day.
Inflation is rampant, and crises afflict almost every facet of
Brazilian life--transportation, food supply, water, electricity, and
schools. These crises emphasize the shifting alignment of social
classes and the appearance of new social and economic groups as
factors in the process of transformation occurring in Latin America's
largest country. It is somewhere in the process of becoming a modern,
industrial, urban-centered, capitalistic society--markedly different
from the former essentially agrarian, rural, semifeudal, and
Some of the specific changes pointed out by Wagley (1961:189-
208) are: (1) Population growth and new cities--a result of the
"push-pull" factor. (2) Internal migration and immigration from
abroad--since 1900, Brazil has received over four million immi-
grants from abroad. (3) Development of modern means of communication.
(4) Industrialization and agricultural technology. (5) Increasing
purchasing power--despite the rising inflation. (6) A major
revolution in education--at all levels, although more than half
the population was illiterate in 1950. (7) The developing political
In the south of Brazil especially, traditional values are
being left behind, the traditional class system is being changed
as the middle class grows, and social organization is rapidly being
modified. However, a new set of values and a new set of social
institutions have not yet appeared to replace those of traditional
Brazil (Wagley, 1961).
Genuine social revolutions.are rare in Latin America. Leaders
of most uprisings, when they come into power, do not effect real
structural changes. However, the Bolivian example mentioned above
qualifies as a real revolution, as does the Guatemalan revolution of
1944. The then newly elected president of Guatemala, Juan Jose Arevalo,
embarked on a vigorous program of social, economic, and political
Today in Guatemala change is occurring at an ever-accelerating
rate. While most theorists assume that changes take place first in
.technology, followed by those in the social, economic and political
spheres, the reverse is true in Guatemala. Change first appeared in
the political sector and afterwards in the other sectors.
Guatemala has traditionally had two major social classes--
the Indians and the Ladinos, the latter having several social
classes, one of which is the emergent middle class. In Guatemala,
there is a process called Ladino-ization through which Indians
gain new statuses by adopting the dress, language, food, and the
like of the Ladinos.
Two aspects of change stand out in the Guatemalan situation.
One is a change-over of the nation from a more or less discontinuous
set of regional cultures to an evolving nationalistic culture.
The second is that this change is being initiated in the political
and social realms rather than through changes in production and
technology. Another important factor is the role played by the
new middle class in propelling the changes.
The Indian culture is being undermined by political and
religious demands on the social organization, technical and
economic demands in agriculture and handicrafts, and public health
and resettlement demands on the individual. The traditional
Ladinos are likewise facing adjustments through the introduction
of new crops and fertilizers, a new religious ferment, new defini-
tions of illness and cure, and new political organizations (Adams,
Since about 1940, rapid social change has been occurring in
Mexico, our neighbor immediately to the south, according to
Oscar Lewis (1961). Industrialization and increased production
began in earnest, and the government encouraged foreign investment.
Rapid rates of population increase and urbanization have also
occurred over the same period of time. The rapid rate of natural
population increase has been offset.to a degree by a tremendous
emigration, while urbanization is more a result of population
pressures on natural resources than the positive aspects of urban
life. Nevertheless, increasing industrialization does provide
better employment opportunities, better educational facilities,
greater conveniences, and a generally higher standard of living.
Influence of the northern neighbor, the United States,
is being felt in Mexico's rural, as well as urban, areas. This is
caused by our proximity, our industrial reputation, improved means
of communication and transportation, and the growth of a Mexican
middle class modeled after ours. Mexican society is becoming
increasingly "Gringo-ized" in many respects.
Industry has improved to a considerable degree since 1940,
but the advances in agriculture are even more impressive. Agri-
culture has managed to hold its own in a rapidly expanding economy
and has outstripped Mexico's population growth. It has gone a long
way toward changing over from a predominantly subsistence agriculture
to a market economy through expansion into land not formerly utilized,
increased use of irrigation in more areas, more use of better
fertilizers and improved varieties of seed, increased mechanization,
and larger holdings on which improved methods of cultivation are
The social structure has evidenced some changes, too. In
fact, the growth of the middle class has been the most important
aspect of the steady modification of the Mexican class structure
Thus, it can be seen that social change and development are
interrelated and that they are occurring in varying degrees in some
of the Latin American countries. Prospects for the future are
difficult to assess, but on the basis of past and present happenings
we might anticipate a future brighter than the past.
Social Change and Development in Colombia
Social change and development likewise have occurred in
Colombia. The present writer knows of no general, overall study of
the development which is occurring. Nevertheless, an attempt will be
made to report on a majority of writings on Colombia which concern
social change and development.
Social Change in Colombia
Modern industry in Colombia began early in this century. In
1901, the Manuelita sugar refinery began operation near the town of
Palmira, in the department of El Valle (Hagen, 1962:354; see Eder,
1959). In 1906 the Compaiia Colombiana de Tejidos (Coltejer) opened
a modern textile factory in Medellfn which has since become one of
the largest manufacturing concerns in Latin America. Industrializa-
tion has occurred fairly rapidly since this relatively late
beginning, although one certainly would not be greatly overwhelmed
by its rate. Nevertheless, Hagen (1962) notes that few countries
of the world have experienced higher rates of increase in per capital
income than has Colombia in the past 40 years. Especially significant
is the fact that the rise of industry came about despite the obstacle
of extremely mountainous terrain, taking place most notably in three
areas separated by great mountain barriers.
Smith (1967) points out that social change is the order
of the day in Colombia, but that only a very small part of the
transformation under way is actually planned and directed. In
fact, most of it is quite haphazard. The Colombian social system
has been, and still is, based upon large estates, but rapid urbaniza-
tion is gradually changing this pattern. Many of the large landowners
are now changing over to large-scale mechanized extensive farming.
Additionally, the emergence of a middle class is, according to
Smith, a very recent alteration in the country's social structure
One possible source of change and development at the national
level is pressure groups. Their roles have been varied, as have their
successes. One notable success was a campaign which led to the ousting
of the dictator Rojas Pinilla. Pressure groups could be influential in
future social and economic developments as well (see Sanclemente
Molina, 1965; and Los Grupos de Presi6n en Colombia, 1964).
Education has been a traditional means of achieving the upward
social mobility and the changes in the class structure which Smith
has pointed out are coming about in Colombia. However, it was noted
in a recent study that the educational system in Colombia is more
oriented toward maintaining than altering the status quo of the
present class system (Rodriguez, 1967).
The tourist trade--the "industry without smokestacks," or
the "landscape industry,"--is now emerging in Colombia. Certain
areas are utilizing internal as well as external tourism in order to
stimulate the local economy. Indeed, many countries have built
their economic prosperity in large part on the tourist trade. The
United States furnishes more than one third of the temporary
visitors to Colombia, while the remainder of Latin America furnishes
slightly more than this number. It is even suggested by some that
the economy might be bolstered through augmenting the tourist
industry (Andrade Martinez, 1967).
Colombia has received much adverse publicity from the
Violencia (violence), robberies and murders which have been occurring
in recent years in certain parts of the country. Sociologists
have noticed the phenomenon and have attempted to analyze it and
the resultant social change. As of 1962, it was estimated that
about 200,000 people had been killed in the Violencia and that
property damage amounted to millions of dollars. Basic changes in
values and institutions have been experienced and have not yet run
their full course. Of course, the Violencia must be recognized
generally as an impediment to development (see Fals Borda, 1962a and
1967; Torres Restrepo, 1963; Williamson, 1969; Daniel, n.d.;
Gaitan Mahecha, 1966; Guzman, et al., 1962; and Caplow, 1963).
Regional Studies of Social
Change in Colombia
A few studies of social change deal with some of the regions
of Colombia. The following is an attempt to summarize the most
important. Antonio and Jeanne Posada report on an attempt to effect
planned socioeconomic change in their book CVC: Un Reto al
Subdesarrollo y al Tradicionalismo (1966). While the book is not
precisely a study of change, it is a report of planned change on
a more or less regional basis. They report that the Corporacion
Auton6ma Regional del Cauca (CVC) is an entity of decentralized and
autonomous administration which was created in 1954 in the departments
of Cauca and El Valle. Designed to promote an integrated development
of the region's resources, the program has three major parts:
(1) supplying electric power to the entire region, which has
accelerated notably the growth of industrialization; (2) land
recuperation--projects such as flood control, irrigation, and
drainage of swamps and other low-lying areas; and (3) raising of
the level of living among the rural peasant population through the
diffusion of proven modern methods of production. The CVC's programs
have produced changes in the political power structure, as well as
in the economic. Furthermore, it has effected changes in the social
structure, inasmuch as it has reduced the almost monopolistic control
of the latifundistas and industrialists. Small farmers and small
industries have been aided, and evaluators of the program say that it
has stimulated more cooperative attitudes among the people (Posada
and Posada, 1966).
Economic growth in Colombia, according to Hagen, did not
begin for the reasons conventionally advanced by economists. It did
not begin because of foreign investments, contacts with foreign
goods and technology, and/or the development of social overhead
capital. Rather, it occurred in spite of many economic barriers.
Hagen credits the enterprise of the Antioquenos (people from
the Department of Antioquia) with having begun economic growth in
Colombia. Their predominance in administrative positions in the
nation's most important industrial enterprises is impressive. Their
original advantage was not an economic one--in fact, other regions
of the country which grew at much slower rates enjoyed greater
economic advantages. Hagen attributes the economic prowess of the
Antioqueios in part to their creative personalities. Entrepreneurs
in Medellfn (capital of Antioquia) were found to be of the
Schumpeterian type. Twenty of them were administered the Thematic
Apperception Test (TAT), in which they projected their own attitudes
in interpreting various pictures. Their responses typically
(a) a perception of a problem to be solved, (b) awareness
that to be solved a problem must be worked at (absence of
any fantasy of magic success), (c) confidence in their own
ability to solve it (though sometimes tension and anxiety
are also present), (d) a tendency to take the viewpoint of
each individual in turn and analyze the situation as he
might see it before suggesting an outcome, rather than to
adopt a formula identification with any one type of
character--with the old versus the young, the young versus
the old, and so on (Hagen, 1962:368).
They manifested high need for achievement and need for order. In
addition they quickly sensed the realities of a situation and saw
the world as manageable with good judgment and hard work.
The test was given to a similar sample of entrepreneurs in
Popayan, reported to be a very traditionalistic city. They gave
responses which were intellectually more complex.
They associated a picture with something in literature or
the arts, philosophized about the ways of youth, were led
into speculation about the course of history--but tended to
see no problems in the situations pictured. Or, if they saw
problems, they had formula solutions for them ("the old know
best; he should listen to his father"), or visualized success
without any suggestion that it would entail effort and pain.
Frequently they gave the impression of running away from the
possibility that they might be facing a problem, as though
it made them uneasy; they veered away to some peripheral
aspect of the picture. They found it easy to turn to
fantasy or reverie not closely connected with reality. They
showed low need autonomy, achievement, and order; saw the
world as not manageable, one's position as given (Hagen, 1962:369).
Other reasons that Hagen pointed out for the Antioquenos'
being more innovative with respect to economic growth were: ethnic
differences--a higher proportion of Basque names than in other regions
of Colombia; mining experiences--mines sometimes failed so they formed
companies of several families to reduce the risks; developments in
trading--while in other regions the people invested their earnings
in land, the Antioqueios, lacking this opportunity, invested in
industry; and social tensions--withdrawal of status respect from the
Antioquenos. No doubt, a combination of these factors explains the
predominance of the Antioquenos in economic entrepreneurship (see
In a study by Father Gustavo Jimenez Cadena (1967a; see also
Jimenez Cadena, 1965 and 1967b) in the departments of Cundinamarca
and Boyaca, it was found that the parish priest is a key figure in
effecting social change in rural areas. However, it was earlier
stated that the Catholic church in Colombia was one of the world's most
conservative (Haddox, 1965). It actually was said to brake educa-
tional programs and the diffusion of agricultural technology. Others
have underlined the importance of the rural parish priest as being a
principal decisive factor in the success or failure in social action
programs (Torres and Corredor, 1961:54). Researchers from the
University of Wisconsin's Land Tenure Center found him important as
a legitimizer in social change programs. Unless the priest backs it,
a project may be considered contrary to community values (Adams and
Havens, n.d.:7). Elsewhere, it was found that besides being a
legitimizer, the priest was sometimes an active change agent
Community Studies of Social Change
Parra (1967) notes that studies on a community level may be
advantageous in attaining better understanding of the process of
social change in Colombia (see also Smith, 1959:14). Lipman, in his
study of entrepreneurs in Bogota, says that the innovators who break
with traditionalism in order to condition social change are the
economic entrepreneurs. He also calls the entrepreneur the central
figure in modern economic development and even in the economy
(Lipman, 1966). Another writer mentions that the process of change
from a traditional society to an industrial society in Columbia is
causing greater social mobility in Bogota. This phenomenon is occur-
ring because the industrialization process is breaking down social
class barriers, thus permitting more upward social mobility. This
process has occurred because personnel in the liberal professions,
and especially those in managerial and administrative jobs, are
having to be recruited from classes lower than those from which
people occupying these positions normally come (Ord6fez, 1967).
Fals Borda, in his well-known study of Saucio, found that
a new dam which was being built nearby was a cause of social change
in the small town. Many people who worked on the dam had the
privilege of using the company doctor, which finally resulted in a
gradual dis-use of folk-cultural remedies by many of the people.
Thus they were healthier and more able to work, and their level of
living rose. The dam construction caused them to be more progres-
sive in their outlook, partly because their work yielded ready
cash. Some people remodeled small taverns and a few houses to
accommodate employees of the construction project who came from
other areas. Meanwhile, their agricultural enterprise, once the
staff of life of the Saucites, suffered neglect because of the time
and energies they expended in working on the dam. The workers
became more familiar with new and advanced social legislation, and
many moved to urban areas when the dam was finished. Those Saucites
who did remain in the community were more prosperous than before
(Fals Borda,1962a and 1955).
Havens studied directed social change in the Antioquian
community of Tamesis. In this community he found conditions
sufficient, if not essential, to realize development: (1) Because
of the manner in which the colonization of lands proceeded in this
zone, latifundismo was never prevalent. (2) Since the region was
colonized as a frontier agricultural zone, those who wanted to enter
it were different from those who stayed behind. The acceptance of
risks and of being geographically mobile was converted into a
desirable norm of conduct for its residents, aiding them to improve
their own positions. (3) Although property values are high, the
economic structure provides alternative opportunities for those
individuals who wish to seek new ways of earning a living.
(4) Sources of information and credit are available for agricultural
production and have been used by the people of the community. (5) The
authority structure as embodied in the church and the family has
reinforced incentives toward change. (6) Voluntary associations
have always been a part of the social structure and, at least to a
certain degree, these associations have been effective in obtaining
instrumental objectives. (7) Those who participate in voluntary
associations have confidence in the government and in their fellow
citizens (Havens, 1966:175-176).
These conditions exist in other regions of Colombia, and
those are the places where social change has occurred. Thus, they
are sufficient, although not necessarily essential, for producing
social change, says Havens (1966).
In another study which included Tamesis and the community of
Contadero, a rural community in the department of Narino, it was
found that people living in the former were more favorable to social
change. Their scores on the Attitudes toward Social Change Scale
were significantly related to: general knowledge, contributions to
community programs, adoption of hygiene items, frequency of radio
listening, frequency of newspaper reading, and inversely with degree
of anomie (Whittenbarger, 1966).
Rionegro, also in Antioquia, typically has been a traditional,
rustic community. However, it is now experiencing the shock of a
relatively rapid industrialization. A by-product of the industrializa-
tion of Rionegro, as in many other parts of the world, has been a
certain degree of anomie. Direct causes of the phenomenon in
Rionegro include underemployment and unemployment and the lack of
adaptation to a new kind of work in-a factory. Furthermore, the
little community has witnessed a changeover from a primary to a
secondary group, complete with secondary controls. Social statuses
have changed as social distances have been altered. Anomie has like-
wise resulted because of loyalty to traditional values (V6lez Arango
and Pelaez Taborda, 1967).
Candelaria is a rural community located near Call in the
department of El Valle. Many changes have followed the establishment
.there of anexperimental health center by the medical school of the
Universidad del Valle in Cali. Mortality rates, especially infant
mortality rates, have plummeted. The general state of health of the
.people has improved since the health center was constructed. Healthier
people mean happier people, people who can spend more days working to
increase their level of living. Aspirations of the Candelarians have
risen, and the tempo of life of the community has been changed through
the influence of the outside entity.
Parra studied the community in 1962 and 1963. He found that
social change in Candelaria follows these general lines: (1) toward
structural differentiation and functional specialization; (2) toward
greater integration of the community with the larger social system;
and (3) toward a growing adaptation to the general environment
(Parra Sandoval, 1966:124).
Guatavita was a very traditional rural community of some
6,500 people dedicated to farming. In 1961, precipitous social change
was initiated with the building of a dam which would require the
flooding of Guatavita, forcing the entire community to be moved by a
specified deadline. Naturally, the people were opposed to the dam's
construction, since they were inconvenienced, while others benefited
from the dam. Most of them had been born there, and naturally were
.not eager to see their home covered by a large lake, even in the name
The construction company had made excellent plans for the
dam, but not so for the people who would be forced to leave their
homes and farms. A new town was built for them, but their
traditional beliefs and sentiments have made it difficult for them
to adapt to new ways of life, and many have consequently moved into
Bogota and other, smaller urban centers (see Betancur, et al., 1965;
and "Guatavita," 1963).
Some of the effects of the Colombian Violencia have already
been mentioned. Its effects on a given community are indicated in a
case study of the community of Libano, in the department of Tolima,
which was hit hard by the disorders. At the time of the study,
approximately 51 percent of the population of the county seat of
Lfbano were rural residents who had been forced to move from their
original homes, because of the Violencia. Economic and social mal-
adjustment have resulted, interpersonal relations which had existed
for many years have been broken, and faith has been shattered. In
short, social disorganization and the resultant anomie have occurred
(Pineda Giraldo, 1963).
Several studies of innovation and adoption of farm
practices have been carried out in Colombia. In Sauclo, it was
found that the basic pattern of diffusion and adoption of new farm
practices was substantially the same as in the United States
(Deutschmann and Fals Borda, 1962). An investigation in some rural
communities in the departments of Cundinamarca, Boyaca, Antioquia,
and Caldas was conducted in order to determine the effects of the
press, the radio, and fliers as communications media in a diffusion
program. The same amounts of material were to be used in each
community. However, in some communities, local expressions and
specific accents were to be used, while in others the language was
to be rather impersonal. After the beginning of the study, in some
communities some local leaders became interested in the campaign
and used loud speakers to begin their own supportive campaigns. This
method was more effective than any of the planned ones, and was more
effective still when coupled with other methods (Garcia, et al.,
1967). In a study of factors affecting the communication process
in the vereda of Jamundi, in the municipio of Girardota, Antioquia,
it was recommended that change agents should bring about an awareness
of the mass media as an information source. The prime source of
information for these people was found to be friends and neighbors
(McNamara, et al., n.d. See Adams and Havens, n.d.; and Willems,
The communities of Pueblo Viejo, San Rafael and Cuatro Esquinas,
in Cundinamarca, and Nazate and La Canada, in Narino, have been the
subjects of many studies. The studies relate opinion leadership to
such factors as: functional literacy, size of landholdings, farm
ownership, farm and home innovativeness, social status, achievement
motivation, mass media exposure, radio listening, newspaper reading,
empathy, knowledgeability of public issues, cosmopolitanism, age,
attitude toward credit, opinionatedness, and fatalism (see Rogers and
van Es, 1964; Stickley, 1964; Rogers and Neill, 1964; Bonilla de Ramos,
1964; van Es, 1964; Portocarrero, 1966; Bonilla de Ramos, 1966; Ramos,
1966; Rogers, 1965-66; Rogers and Herzog, 1966; and Rogers, 1964).
Elements of Social Change
Various theories of social change and development have been
reviewed in this chapter. It has been noted that different writers
have stressed different aspects of the processes involved in the
changeover of a nation from a traditional to a modern society.
Yet no basic agreement has been reached. How does social
change actually begin in a country like Colombia? Hagen attributed
importance to different types of personality systems among people
living in Medellfn and in Popayan; other writers have stressed other
factors. Nevertheless there seems to be a more or less general
consensus among social scientists and economists as well that the
people's basic values and attitudes are important factors in
determining their behavior in the various spheres of their lives.
Chapter 3 of this dissertation focuses on values and
their importance in social change.
VARIATIONS IN VALUE ORIENTATIONS
For more than a century and a half, scholars in the social
sciences and humanities have emphasized the role of values as criteria
in making choices between and among alternative courses of action.
The study of values has occupied the time, energies, and thinking of
many people during this time. Sociologists in particular have gen-
erally accorded a fairly significant role to values in their attempts
to understand and predict human behavior, especially since the 1920's.
At the beginning of this chapter, we should note that it is not the
purpose here to review the tremendous amount of literature related to
values,1 but merely to provide a few indications as to the nature of
Since W. I. Thomas and Florian Znaniecki (1918-20) published
in 1918 the first systematic treatment of the notion of values in the
United States, countless numbers of pages concerning the concept have
been written. These two early theorists saw values as consisting of
lAn excellent bibliography on values is Albert and Kluckhohn's
(1959). Included in the work are more than 2000 entries selected from
a group of more than 6000 possible notations. This should give the
reader some idea as to the abundance of publications related to
" more or less explicit and formal rules of behavior by which
the group tends to maintain, to regulate, and to make more general
and more frequent the corresponding types of actions among its
members" (Kolb, 1957:94).
Later sociologists have used the concept of values extensively
but have modified it down through the years.2 If one reads from the
various fields of study, he finds values considered variously as
attitudes, motivations, objects, measureable
quantities, substantive areas of behavior, affect-laden
customs or traditions, and relationships such as those
between individuals, groups, objects, events. The only
general agreement is that values somehow have to do with
normative as opposed to existential propositions
(Clyde Kluckhohn, 1951:390).3
A more or less current definition of values which is presented
as representative is: "A value is a conception, explicit or implicit,
distinctive of an individual or characteristic of a group, of the
desirable which influences the selection from available modes, means,
and ends of action" (Clyde Kluckhohn, 1951:395). This definition is
presented as a combination of several frames of reference, not as
an attempt to settle the controversy over the ultimate meaning of
2For a discussion of the development of, and different
approaches to, values, see Albert and Kluckhohn (1959:94-131). Dukes
(1955) presents a bibliography of psychological values studies, and
groups them by measurements of values, individual differences in
values, and their development. For a treatment of the origin and
assumptions of contemporary value theory in philosophy, see Kurtz
3Examples of the use of the term values in sociology may be
found in Adler (1956:272-279) and Case (1939:403-430).
4For a detailed description of the development of, and
problems concerned with, the value-concept, see Kolb (1957:93-111).
The great quantity of writings dealing with the concept of
values may be interpreted as a measure of the importance of the
phenomenon in explaining and predicting human behavior. Indeed,
Burgess has said that the essential data for sociological
research are values" (Burgess, 1954:16). As early as 1935,
Talcott Parsons (1935:282-316) argued, from a positivistic viewpoint,
that values do have a place in sociology. Kolb (1957:111-131)
discusses the place of the value concept in sociological theory.
Several social scientists have endeavored to isolate, identify,
and list the central or core values of people in the United States.
Among them have been Robin Williams, Jr. (1970:452-500), John F. Cuber,
et al. (1964:396), Alvin L. Bertrand (1967:82-85), Lee Coleman
(1941:492-499), and Cora DuBois (1955:1232-1239). Although these basic
values have varied in their nomenclature, the lists are more or less
comparable. An example is the listing by Robin Williams, Jr. (1970:
452-500), in which he denotes Americans' major "value orientations"
as: achievement and success, activity and work, a moral orientation,
humanitarian mores, efficiency and practicality, progress, material
comfort, equality, freedom, external conformity, science and secular
rationality, nationalism-patriotism, democracy, individual personality,
and racism and related group superiority themes.
As sociologists, we attempt to measure concepts, and values are
no exception. The measurement of values is a fairly recent phenomenon
but, unfortunately, is beyond'the scope of this report except insofar
as description of the measurement technique employed in the present
research is concerned. The interested reader is referred to
SAdler (1956:272-279), Fallding (1965:223-233), Catton (1956:357-358),
Thurstone (1954, 1959), Albert and Kluckhohn (1959), and Scott (1959).
Values and Social Change
As was pointed out in Chapter 2, economic theorists have long
recognized that there is a human factor which is involved in economic
development. A large quantity of writings exists which indicate the
supposed relation between prevalent societal values and social change
(especially as change is intrinsic in the processes of modernization,
industrialization, and social and economic development). Proponents
of this viewpoint are not arguing the importance of the economic
determinants involved in the process of economic development, but
are merely stating the principle that satisfactory explanations for
differentials in economic behavior are not found in traditional
economic theory. These observers have recognized that there are indeed
some definite economic factors which are prerequisite to economic
growth and development. Yet they have noted societies with apparently
equal opportunities, some of which developed and others which did not.
Thus, they reason, there must be some other explanations) of the
phenomenon. The causal factor most often cited is that of values.
Japan and Thailand are countries which have many common
features and a similar chronological history of exposure to Western
ideas. At one time, it appeared to some that both societies were at
approximately equal stages of development and that, assuming all
things equal, they should change at an equal rate. However, Japan
progressed rapidly, but Thailand did not. In regard to this
observation, Ayal (1963:35) says that changes in political
and social institutions, or investments by foreigners, will not, by
themselves, bring about sustained economic development, unless the
fundamental human values in the society are conducive to development."
Spengler (1961:4) notes that
the state of a people's politico-economic development, together
with its rate and direction, depends largely upon what is in
the minds of its members, and above all upon the content of the
minds of its elites, which reflects in part, as do civilizations,
the conceptions men form of the universe.
He specifically includes values and value orientations as a part of
the "content of men's minds," and says,
Ultimately, the extent to which economic or political
development takes place depends very largely upon the orienta-
tions of the elements situated in the nonrational world of
values and value-orientations--a world existing in the minds
of men; thereupon depend what men seek and how they seek it
Especially important in influencing development are the values and
value orientations of the elite.
In his action theory, Parsons says that the actor's selection
of means to gain the ends is influenced by the value orientations
regnant in a society. Furthermore, "development in general takes
place when an index of that which is deemed desirable and relatively
preferable increases in magnitude" (Spengler, 1961:8).
Other social scientists, such as Neal (1965) and McClelland
(1961), have pointed out that value orientations are important
prerequisites to development. Thus, given physical-environmental and
hereditary conditions, we might say that development would tend to
occur at a more rapid rate where the society has a system of values
conducive to the selection of development-oriented ends, and when the
value orientations of these people are most favorable to the selection
of the optimal means to meet these ends (see Rokeach, 1968).
Some writers imply through their usage and interchange of the
terms values and value orientations that the two concepts are
synonymous. Others use them as distinct entities but do not take
the care to distinguish one from the other. Clyde Kluckhohn's
definition of values has already been noted in this paper. Several
definitions of value orientations will be presented in order to
clarify the meaning of the term, since it is a central concept in
Clyde Kluckhohn (1951:409) uses the term value orientation
" for those value notions which are (a) general, (b) organized,
and (c) include definitely existential judgments. A value-orientation
is a set of linked propositions embracing both value and existential
elements." Later, he says,
More formally, a value-orientation may be defined as a
generalized and organized conception, influencing behavior,
of nature, of man's place in it, of man's relation to man,
and of the desirable and nondesirable as they may relate to
man-environment and interhuman relations (Clyde Kluckhohn,
Schwarzweller (1959:247) defines the term operationally:
the empirically measured tendency to react favorably or
unfavorably to certain generalized conceptions, such as
individualism, familism, security, service to society, and
the like. those threads of the individual's conceptual
consistency which apparently influence his behavior (verbal)
in the situation specified by the measuring instrument.
Similarly, value orientations have been referred to as
"systems of meanings," "unconscious canons of choice," "integrative
themes," "ethos," and "configurations" (Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck,
1961:340). Vogt and O'Dea (1953:645) think of value orientations
as .those views of the world, often implicitly held, which
define the meaning of human life or the 'life situation of man' and
thereby provide the context in which day-to-day problems are solved."
Hoult (1969:344) defined value orientations in terms of action
In that part of action theory which is concerned with an
actor's mental-emotional position relative to a given situa-
tion, those aspects of the position which, where choice is
possible, lead the actor to support certain values and to
observe forms termed modes (of value-orientation): a) the
appreciative mode (use of given standards for judging the
gratification significance of phenomena), b) the cognitive
mode (use of given standards for judging validity of various
ideas, claims, and data), and c) the moral mode (use of given
standards for judging the effects of various choices on the
integration of self and society).
Kluckhohn's Theory of Variations
in Value Orientations
Florence Kluckhohn is the one who, to my knowledge, has
developed the idea of value orientations to its fullest extent, and
in the process she has elaborated an instrument to elicit people's
value profiles. The theory of variations in value orientations was
formulated as she worked toward a systematic ordering of variations
within and across cultures. Her method, furthermore, has a potential
predictive utility for describing changes in value orientations
Specifically, she defines value orientations as:
complex but definitely patterned (rank-ordered) principles
resulting from the transactional interplay of three analyti-
cally distinguishable elements of the evaluative process--
the cognitive, the affective, and the directive elements--
which give order and direction to the ever-flowing stream of
human acts and thoughts as these relate to the solution of
"common human problems" (Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck, 1961:4).
or broadly as .a generalized and organized principle concerning
basic human problems which pervasively and profoundly influences
man's behavior" (Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck, 1961:341).
Kluckhohn's emphasis on the variation within and between the
value orientations of single cultures is an attempt to overcome some
of the weaknesses of previous theories of values which did not consider
the variability of values and the consequences of this variation.
Earlier theories were lax in that they did not permit an analysis of
within-culture variation nor systematic cross-cultural comparisons.
Furthermore, they stressed heavily the dominant values of a culture,
to the neglect of variant values, and thus were static representations
which did not reveal the change in values, which is related to the
development and direction of social change of other types and in
other areas. Thus she emphasizes dealing with the variability which
exists in the highly generalized elements of culture, or value
orientations. These variations must be studied empirically, if we
are in agreement with those (see Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck, 1961:1)
who insist that the interpretation of concrete behavior must be
coupled with a knowledge about assumptions.
Another distinctive characteristic of her theory is an
accentuation of the directive element of the evaluative process,
thus allowing for a dynamic, integrating, and guiding influence.
Previous theories had included only the cognitive and affective
aspects and thus lacked the directive element "which is the most
crucial for the understanding of both the integration of the total
value system and its continuity through time" (Kluckhohn and
There are several basic assumptions"underlying Kluckhohn's
theory of which note should be taken. The first major assumption
is that there is an ordered variation in value orientation systems.
Three other, more specific ones are that:
There is a limited number of common human problems for which
all people at all times must find some solution. While
there is variability in solutions of all the problems, it is
neither limitless nor random but is definitely variable within
a range of possible solutions. All alternatives of all
solutions are present in all societies at all times but are
differentially preferred. Every society has, in addition to
its dominant profile of value orientations, numerous variant
or substitute profiles. Moreover it is postulated that in
both the dominant and the variant profiles there is almost
always a rank ordering of the preferences of the value-
orientation alternatives (Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck, 1961:10;
italics in the original).
Five "common human problems" have been defined by Kluckhohn for
which the people of any society must find solutions. In question form,
these problems are: (1) What is the character of innate human nature?
(2) What is the relation of man to nature (and supernature)? (3) What
is the significant time dimension? (4) What is the modality of human
activity? (In her earlier writings, this problem was stated with
reference to the "valid personality type.") (5) What is the modality
of man's relation to other men? (See Florence Kluckhohn, 1953a:90,
1953b:342, 1951:102, 1967:85, 1963:222, 1950:378; Kluckhohn and
Strodtbeck, 1961:11; and Pelzel and Kluckhohn, 1957:54-55.)
Each of these problem areas is the basis for a value
orientation, the respective problems representing the (1) human nature,
(2) man-nature, (3) time, (4) activity, and (5) relational orienta-
For each of the orientations, Kluckhohn has posited three
alternative means of resolving the "basic human problem" which is
represented. Each alternative, in turn, may- be viewed as a basic,
logical dimension of the larger problematical area. Thus, systematic
comparisons on both the inter- and intra-cultural levels can be made,
both within the context of changes in the larger culture.
The orientations and their variations for each of these
universal problems will be presented in the order corresponding to
that of the questions above.
1. Human Nature Orientation
Kluckhohn was concerned here principally with the question of
whether human nature is innately evil, good, or a mixture of the two,
and whether each of these orientations is in turn mutable or immutable.
Thus there are six possible derivations for this area. She believes
that this variant case of multiple possibility is probably caused by
the interrelationship of this orientation with the others.
2. Man-Nature (-Supernature) Orientation
The three-point range of variation in this orientation, as
Kluckhohn (1950:379) admits, is well known to philosophers and
cultural historians. The first orientation (each alternative may
likewise be referred to as an orientation--Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck,
1961:11), called Subjugation to Nature, refers to the fatalistic
viewpoint--"When it's my time to die, there's nothing that can be
done about it." People with this orientation believe that man can do
little or nothing to control diseases, natural disasters, and the like.
People who hold to the Harmony with Nature orientation see no
real separation between man, nature, and supernature. They feel that
living in harmony with God and with nature will assure their well-
being and that troubles arise from the failure to do so.
The Mastery over Nature position is that of those who believe
that there is something mankind can do to control or modify the forces
of nature, such as floods, diseases, streams, deserts, etc.
3. Time Orientation
This orientation may be seen as: (a) Past, (b), Present, or
(c) Future, which are considered to be self-explanatory.
4. Activity Orientation
The range of variations in this case yields the Being,
Being-in-Becoming, and Doing orientations, derived in part from the
distinction philosophers have often made between Being and Becoming.
The classification is roughly similar to that of Charles Morris (1948)
who labeled the respective personality components as the Dionysian,
the Buddhist, and the Promethean. Kluckhohn, however, deals with
concepts which are much more narrowly defined.
The vital principle of the Being alternative is an inclination
to express the given part of the personality, and it is nondevelop-
mental in comparison with the other two variations.
The Being-in-Becoming orientation involves a person's
motivation to develop himself and his personality to their fullest
extent, and thus incorporates the conception of the developmental
The distinguishing feature of the Doing orientation is its
emphasis on accomplishment, judged on standards which are external
to the individual.
5. Relational Orientation
The relational orientation is concerned with man's relation-
ships with other men. Its three subdivisions are: Lineal, Collateral,
and Individualistic. In a somewhat similar fashion, sociologists have
long differentiated relatively homogeneous folk societies from the more
complex societies by such terms as Gemeinschaft-Gesellschaft, rural-
urban, traditional-rational-legal, and mechanical-organic solidarity.
Lineally-oriented persons prefer a type of organization which
emphasizes a hierarchy of authority and respect. If the Lineal
principle is the dominant one in a society, then group goals have
primacy over individual goals, and continuity through time is strongly
emphasized. An ordered positional succession within the group is
another major consideration.
In the Collateral orientation, group goals again have primacy,
but without the strong emphasis on continuity and lineal relation-
ships. Sports teams with good teamwork are an example of the Collateral
Individualistic means that individual goals have prime
importance with relation to group goals. One is made to think
immediately of the American emphasis on achievement, especially of
the individual type.
Kluckhohn states that man's conception of space and his
place in it is a sixth "common human problem" which belongs in the
theory of variations in value orientations. Unfortunately, the
orientation and its variations have not been developed sufficiently
to include in her presentations of the theory.
The United States middle class is believed by Kluckhohn to have
the following orientations: Future time orientation, Doing activity
orientation, Mastery over Nature man-nature orientation, and
Individual relational orientation. In her study of a Spanish-
American village in New Mexico, she found the dominant profile to be:
Subjugation to nature, Present time, Being as the modality of activity,
and Individual with respect to relationships to other men (Kluckhohn
and Strodtbeck, 1961:12-19).
Some of these combinations tend to be internally consistent,
that is, they represent a greater degree of "goodness of fit" than do
alternative patterns. The dominant profile of the United States
middle class, presented above, is believed to be internally congruent,
while that of the Spanish-Americans is not, since the individual
alternative appears to conflict with those for the other three
orientations. Kluckhohn contends that the value orientations of
societies which are in the process of rapid social change are
likely to denote internal inconsistency.
Furthermore, certain value orientations are indicative of
stronger inducements to the degree of conformity which is required
of an individual than are others. Specifically, Kluckhohn mentions
that each of three "modern" orientations--Future, Doing, and
Individualism--requires more conformity than some others.
Before the advent of Kluckhohn's theory, social scientists
studying value systems were prone to stress only the dominant values.
Thus, they tended to disregard the variant values and the positive
functions which the latter serve. They were assuming that, in order
to protect and maintain the sociocultural system, the dominant values
required a high degree of conformity and that thus the variant value
patterns were unimportant.
In this respect, Kluckhohn stresses two major theoretical
formulations. One is that the variant value orientations of a
society are not only permitted but are actually required for the
integration and maintenance of the system. The other is that the
differences in the value orientations of different societies are not
absolute but are merely divergences of the rank ordering of the same
components of orientations which are found in all cultures at all
The variant patterns of value orientations have, as a primary
function, the maintenance of the system. However, when external
influences are brought into play, then the variant orientations may
be the sources of potential change. Kluckhohn notes that "Variant
individuals playing variant roles are far more susceptible to
external influences than are dominantly oriented individuals who play
dominant roles" (Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck, 1961:366).
The value orientations of campus radicals, I believe, would
probably more nearly resemble the major variant than the dominant
orientations of the United States middle class. While no empirical
verification of this viewpoint is readily available, personal
observation suggests this hypothesis. At any rate, it would be
interesting to see the results of an investigation designed to test
Another aspect of the theory which relates to the permitted and
required variation is the concept of behavior spheres, or, as I have
chosen to call them, role areas. Several different types of activity
which are more or less well differentiated in every society are
necessary if a society is to function properly. These activities are
grouped into various role areas. Usually, Kluckhohn enumerates them
as the: economic-occupational, the religious, the political, the
recreational, the familial, and the intellectual-aesthetic spheres
(Kluckhohn and Stodtbeck, 1961:28).
The relationship between role areas and value orientations is
reciprocal. However, she feels that value orientations are more
durable and more generalized aspects of culture. Consequently, not
much more is said of role areas. In personal correspondence with
Kluckhohn and through reading her various publications, I am unable
to relate specific value orientations to specific role areas. Through
letters, she refers to particular items of her instrument as
representing a given role area. Yet, in her writings I find references
to specific orientations (such as Doing or Present) or some combina-
tion of the orientations as indicating one or the other role area.
Furthermore, two different factor analyses of the responses did not
reveal any logical groupings which might be considered as role
Variations in Value Orientations
and Social Change
The chapter preceding this one reported some selected theories
of social change. This section will present an attempt to explore some
of the relationships between value orientations and social change.
Already we have mentioned that a primary function of the
variant value orientations is the maintenance of the system. It
appears that these variant patterns arise as a result of the strains
which are created by the dominant values and that they arise in order
to mitigate those strains and thus permit the system to continue to
Nevertheless, the variant patterns and the variant individuals
who follow them, Kluckhohn believes, are potential sources of basic
social and cultural changes. Her main thesis in this respect is
that a change of this nature is very rarely the result of either the
evolution of the internal variations or caused by an external force.
"On the contrary, we maintain that basic change is usually, if not
always, the result of the interplay of internal variations and
external forces which are themselves variable" (Kluckhohn and
It is logical to assume that the better integrated the value
orientation system is, i.e., the greater its goodness of fit, then the
greater will be its resistance to change by outside forces. This would
be true mostly in cases of culture contact but would not necessarily be
true in an intracultural situation.
Kluckhohn notes that perfect congruity is rare, and she
offers a corollary proposition: "The part or parts of a social system
which are most susceptible to the development of a basic change in
cultural values will be those in which there has been the greatest
proliferation of variant values for the relief of strain" (Kluckhohn
and Strodtbeck, 1961:45). This points up the fact, indirectly, that
the various parts of the system of value orientations change at
different rates and that it is the variants themselves who motivate
In terms of the magnitude of the change which occurs in
value orientations and the degree of strength of the external
propulsionary force which is necessary there is a step-wise pattern
of change. The change which is smallest and which requires the least
amount of force is a shift between the second- and third-order
orientations, followed next by a shift of the first- and second-order
preferences. The greatest change is a shift of the first- and third-
order variations, since the change is to the opposite pole. It is
the latter which causes the greatest amount of both personal and
social disorganization in the system.
More specifically, Kluckhohn (1961:47) believes that a
too-rapid shift in the relational orientation creates more serious
adjustment problems than if the same degree of change had occurred
in any of the other orientations. The relational orientation is a
support to the others, and therefore, for maximum effectiveness of
the system, should change at approximately the same rate and in the
same direction as the others.
An additional consideration is that in predicting the kinds
and rates of basic changes, one must take into account the degree of
congruity which exists between the external force and the internal
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