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Cultural Change
Societies continually experience cultural change at both material and non material levels. Changes in technology continue to shape the material culture of society. Although most technological changes are primarily modifications of existing technology, new technologies are changes that make a significant difference in many people’s lives. Examples of new technologies include the introduction of the printing press more than 500 years ago and the advent of computers and electronic communications in the twentieth century. The pace of technological change has increased rapidly in the past 150 years, as contrasted with the 4,000 years prior to that. during which humans advanced from digging sticks and hoes to the plow. All parts of culture do not change III the same pace. When a change occurs in the material culture of a society, non material culture must adapt to that change. Frequently, this rate of change is uneven, resulting in a gap between the two. Sociologist William F. Ogburn (1966/ 1922) referred to this disparity as cultural lag=sx gap between the technical development of a society and Its moral and legal In Institutions. In other words. cultural lug occurs when material culture changes faster than non material culture, thus creating 11 lag between the two cultural components. For example, lit the material curricular level. the personal computer and electronic coding have made it possible to create a unique health identifier for each person in the United States. Based on available technology (material culture), it would be possible to create a national data bank that included everyone’s individual medical records from birth to death. Using this identifier, health providers and insurance companies could rapidly transfer medical records around the globe, and researchers could access unlimited data on people’s diseases. test results. and Treatments. However. the availability of this technology does not mean that it will be accepted by people who believe (non material culture) that such a national data hank would constitute an invasion of privacy and could easily be abused by others. The failure of noncriminal culture to keep pace with crinoline culture is -in liked to social conflict and societal problems. As in the previous example, such changes are often set in motion by discovery. invention, and diffusion.

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