Changes in society occur over a long period. Social change is a regular and continual process of transformation (Goodwin, 2009). While the process is gradual, it has profound and long-term implications for members of a given community. It is a phenomenon that makes up one of the constant aspects of the human environment. Societies have experienced changes that have impacted peoples’ way of life. Muhammad Dhawadi’s article “The Concept of Change in the Thought of IbnKhaldun and Western Classical Sociologists,” explores the change phenomenon in human societies. It compares Khaldun’s perspective to that of other contemporary Western classical sociologists. While they hold different beliefs on social change, they share some similar ideas about the concept.
The author argues that both Ibn Khaldun and evolutionist Western sociologists perceive change as a shift from simple to complex state. Despite their differences, they both hold the view that a feature such as material scarcity characterizes a simple society. However, upon transformation, material affluence signifies a complicated community. Based on this perspective, social changes occur across factors such as religiosity, bravery and the influence of economic factors(Dhaouadi, 2006). The article posits that shifts to complex environments result in a socio-cultural breakdown. Thus, studying changes that occur in society offers an opportunity for understanding social ills such as crime. The author also claims that social scientists must interact with social realities without bias or neglecting some factors. Thus, by considering the impact of cultural and economic factors, sociologists can understand social change.
Change occurs throughout human history. It is an unstoppable force. The article claims that the processes involved in transforming communities have far-reaching consequences(Dhaouadi, 2006). The statement is true given the impact of change across all societies and civilizations. Besides, the author states that change results in two primary outcomes. It can alter an organization into a superior group. Alternatively, a shift can create a decaying and undesirable community. An action such as war or invasion can devastate human collectives. Such acts of aggression create fear in society and room for inhumanity to thrive. Hence, it can alter a community and even cause it to breakdown. However, significant changes such as the collapse of a faulty political system can enable people to enjoy autonomy and prosper. Thus, changes can make or break society.
Sedentary environmental conditions characterize complex societies that have transformed. The article claims that in such a setting, religiosity and bravery do not thrive. Therefore, economic factors have more influence on the character and lifestyle that society adopts(Dhaouadi, 2006). The claim does not take into account other factors that impact human interactions, relationships, and personalities. For instance, it fails to consider the role of differences in cultural backgrounds and levels of education. The author associates a decline in civilization with a rise in preference for affluence and luxury in society. While such changes may contribute to character formation and unique lifestyle choices, they are not the only primary factors.
Overall, change is always happening. Social change determines human interactions and relationships in society. Social transformation takes place gradually, over a long time. Besides, no community remains static without undergoing some shifts. Given that the concept of change in society is complex, sociologists have to study process involved to comprehend it. The analysis, as presented in Dhawadi’s article, examines varying perspectives about the phenomenon. Thus, by reviewing social realities and different theories, sociologists can understand social change.
Dhaouadi, M. (2006). The concept of change in the thought of Ibn Khaldun and Western classical sociologists. Turkish Journal of Islamic Studies, 16, 43-87.
Goodwin, R. (2009). Changing relations: Achieving intimacy in a time of social transition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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