Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo

Social Change

  • Kevin Durrheim
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_286


Social change is ubiquitous. It is often taken for granted as it happens around us all the time as new events and issues gain attention and as people find themselves in new circumstances, make decisions, and act differently from day to day. It is influenced by and manifest in political, economic, technological, environmental, and other changes that shape the way people think about and live their lives. It unfolds slowly, almost imperceptibly, but it can also happen suddenly and with great force, e.g., end of cold war, the Arab spring.

The concept of social change has less central to the discipline of psychology than other social sciences. Mainstream psychology has often ignored the social context as it sought to identify universal laws of individual mental functioning (Sampson, 1989). Psychological interest in social change emerged as members of the Frankfurt School attempted to develop Marxist theories personhood (Jay, 1973). More recently, community and social...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Psychology, University of KwaZulu-NatalScottsvilleSouth Africa