Theories of Social Change – Raymond Boudon


The book I am reading is Theories Of Social Change by Raymond Boudon. There are a few sections in this book that is really helpful for my project.

‘This ‘functional’ need of society is easy to meet, since at the same time complex factors ensure that the ‘demand’ for education grows. A higher standard of living plays a part of this, but universal competition is also important (as soon as certain people increase their demand in higher education, others have to do the same if they are not to be left behind. Finally, the belief that in the future in the jobs will call for higher levels of technical competence than they do at present has taken root. As a result of these varied factors, the number of intellectuals per qualification is inevitably bound to increase.’

From this quote from the book, I got that everyone has the same level of living. Everyone should. It gives the word ‘functional’. Functional in my view is the view that society should be in order. Everyone should obey by the same rules and regulations to create social order. According to the functionalist perspective of sociology, each aspect of society allows the country to become stable. For example, the government provides education for children. Which in turn allows children to earn money when they are through childhood. Then this will develop into people of society to pays taxes, which the state depend on to keep itself running. That is, the family is dependent upon the school to help children grow up to have good jobs so that they can raise and support their own families. School also allows parents to go to work, as school ‘takes care’ of children while their parents go to work. In conclusion, this quote shows that the people of the world have their own way of living. This is one theory of society. There are many different theories like, Marxism or Postmodernist who believe differently.

‘There is a little doubt that an individual in a crowd is under the immediate control of other people and that his or her autonomy is temporarily limited. Being in a crowd and being in a drawing room are certainly two different situations, and the same individual is likely to behave differently in each.’

From this quote, it tells me that, depending on the surroundings you’re in, people change to fit the surroundings. For example, a teenager isn’t going to act the same with their friends when in front of a grandparent. I certainly wouldn’t. Is this the same with different cultures in society? I believe that people who may be an easy target to discriminate in a different country, will act differently to what they would normally be like. This helps me with my project as I can use this theory to come to a conclusion that, people are scared to mix with different people of different cultures.