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Causes Of Societal Change In The United States

1106 words - 4 pages

The structure of American society is highly conducive to social change and predictions relating to trends of social change have proven difficult to make. Generally one will see that several different factors affect social change, which are generally complex and varied. An examination will be made as to the effects of population, urbanization, bureaucracy, technology, and ecology on American society.Major growth or decline in population is likely to generate social change. The population total depends on the birth rate, death rate, and immigration patterns. In the United States the birth rate is considered low at 14.14 per thousand (Central IntelligenceAgency). The death rate is also comparatively low at 8.44 per thousand (Central Intelligence Agency). The United States is considered as having a relatively low growth rate at.7%. By using the current growth rate and assuming it will remain steady the United States will double its population in approximately 90 years. The National Commission of Population Growth and the American Future (1972) reported that population growth threatens severe problems for American society and recommended a national policy of zero population growth. A rise in population puts new demands on societies economic and political institutions. More of everything is needed such as food, clothing, housing, schools, hospitals, and governmental agencies. Farmers must farm for technology to increase the productivity of the land. Cities become crowded and rural land becomes urban and pollution increases. With the estimated increase in population, it has been speculated that the quality of life will suffer and there will possibly be serious social problems.Large-scale urbanization is a characteristic of American society today. Commercial and industrial development has provided an urban "pull" and cities have grown. Nearly all problems that effect modern society have their origin in the cities. A small number of wealthy people and a large number of very poor people often inhabit a central city. There are several models explaining the distribution patterns of people in a modern city. All show the low class residential area as being close to the central city. The low class district gives rise to all social problems associated with this group such as crime, drug use, drug traffic, slum areas, etc. Land resources are used wastefully and the region is locked into a permanent pattern of dependence on the automobile. The existing structure of township, city, and country government are quite inadequate to organize this developing urban monstrosity. Some observers believe that the problems of the metropolitan areas are so immense that they will not be solved. Other believe that bold planning can solve the problems of the urban sprawl.The effect of bureaucracy on American society is the imposition of rules and regulations on the American people and a constant problem with red tape. Discontentment with bureaucratic rules appears among members of...

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