Who Propounded the Immanent Theory of Social Change?


Vincent White

The immanent theory of social change is an important concept in the field of sociology. It refers to the idea that change occurs from within a society rather than externally. This theory was propounded by the French sociologist Emile Durkheim.

Durkheim believed that societies were entities in themselves, with their own set of rules and values. He argued that social change was not brought about by external factors such as technology or economic developments but rather by changes within society itself. Durkheim saw society as a complex web of interrelated parts, each essential for the functioning of the whole.

The Three Types of Social Change

Durkheim identified three types of social change: mechanical, organic, and anomie.

Mechanical solidarity refers to a society where individuals share common beliefs, values, and traditions. In such societies, social change occurs slowly as individuals are bound together by their shared beliefs and traditions.

Organic solidarity refers to a society where individuals are interdependent on each other due to specialization and division of labor. In these societies, social change occurs more rapidly as new technologies and economic developments lead to changes in the way people work and live.

Anomie, on the other hand, refers to a state where individuals feel disconnected from their society due to a lack of shared values or norms. In these situations, social change can be rapid and unpredictable as people seek new ways to connect with each other.

The Importance of Social Solidarity

Durkheim believed that maintaining social solidarity was crucial for the health and stability of a society. He argued that when individuals felt disconnected from their society, they were more likely to engage in deviant behaviors such as crime or drug use. Therefore, he believed that promoting social solidarity was essential for promoting social order.

The Legacy of Emile Durkheim

Emile Durkheim’s immanent theory of social change has had a lasting impact on the field of sociology. His emphasis on the importance of social solidarity and the interconnectedness of society has influenced generations of sociologists. Additionally, his theories on social change continue to be relevant today as we grapple with issues such as globalization, cultural diversity, and technological advancements.

In conclusion, Emile Durkheim’s immanent theory of social change was a groundbreaking contribution to the field of sociology. By emphasizing the importance of social solidarity and identifying the three types of social change, he provided a framework for understanding how societies evolve over time. His legacy continues to influence sociologists today as we strive to understand and address the complex challenges facing our increasingly interconnected world.