Overview of Elements of the Dynamics of Social Change

Dear students

As I laid out in the first class, my cases have the following elements.

  • 1) History
  • 2) The moment of social change and
  • 3) The aftermath. 

I also include some interludes to tie the cases together.

Again, any of these cases could be studied for an entire year, or, indeed, for an entire career.

The elements you should expect to consider, or think about in each case are

  • Economy
  • Culture
  • System of Oppression/Colonialism/Dictatorship
  • Religious Structure
  • Administrative Apparatus

These elements will present aspects of the historical period, preceding social change and another in the moment of social change, finally, we will look at the aftermath. Each case will be unique.

There is no algorithm. There is no formula.

There is no right answer.

You have to look to see what changed. Each of us will see different things. Each of us will look at the painting, or read the prayer, and glean different meanings. It is your task to find order in chaos, to see patterns in the jumble, to wander through the streets of Old Cairo, and Old Delhi, and find the original logic, to ruminate over what caused the change, to discuss the way forward.

If you feel frustrated, that probably means you are learning something.

My task is to guide you on this journey, and provide you signposts on the way. You are doing great. You just need to believe in your ability to accomplish this task. I will guide you, but I am training you to walk alone, as you must do during your IPSP.

I have walked my journey, now you must walk yours.

Warmly and supportively, WMB


About warigiabowman

Mom. Professor. Coyote.
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