CHANGE and the DIMENSIONS
by Phil Bartle, PhD
Change in one ultimately results in changes in all
To make changes in any one dimension has repercussions in each of the other dimensions. To introduce a new method of obtaining water in a community, for example, requires the introduction of new social institutions, or reorganising of existing ones, to maintain the new water system.
To change something in one cultural dimension not only requires changes in other dimensions, it causes changes in other dimensions.
Learning any new ways of doing things will require the learning of both new values and new perceptions. Changes in any dimension will start changes, like the ripples of water on a calm lake when you throw a stone into it, and ultimately all six dimensions will change.
Since all resulting changes do not immediately appear simultaneously, we use the term “culture lag” to describe elements that delay.
Here is a diagram that can be used as a framework for discussion of social change and the inter relationships between cultural dimensions.
Marx saw changes in the foundation (bottom two), technology and economic, as causing changes in the other four.
Weber saw changes in the top two, values and beliefs, as causing changes in the other four.
Functionalism can not explain causes of change, but if there is change in one dimension, functionalism would predict compensatory change in all six dimensions.
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