Traditionalism acts as one of the greatest hindrance in the way of social change. Every human being loves his traditions, customs and way of life. He likes to perform his activities according to his habits, customs and conventions. It is difficult for him to adapt to new changes, habits and attitudes. He respects the traditional institutions and distrusts new social inventions.
That is why social change comes slowly into each tradition-bound society.
Ignorance is the second major hindrance in the way of social change. The ignorant and the illiterates always have a deep faith in their blinds beliefs. They cannot fully comprehend the new social inventions and hence tend to oppose these. For example, it took several generations before the people accepted the use of an iron plough and in modern times computers.
The people believed (or wrongly believed) that iron destroys both the land and seeds. The people opposed the new machines and computers because they believed these create unemployment and miseries in society. People oppose these out of fear, ignorance and social conservatism.
People also refuse to accept social innovations due to their indolence and mental inertia in European societies. Man is largely a lazy man.
He wishes to obtain things from others instead of producing them by his effort. He prefers beaten tracks instead of looking for new and unknown ones.
Religion also acts as a hindrance in the way of social change. According to Marx, religion acts as opium for the people. Religion gives birth to blind beliefs, rituals and superstitions. Religion even accepts social inequalities as the will of GOD. Religion tends to make people fatalist, cowardly, indolent and slavish.
It tends to cloud the human logic and scientific view point. All this is not cent percent correct and valid. However no one can deny that religion acts as a source of continued presence of some social conservatism among the people of almost every society.
5. Caste System:
The caste system is another hindrance in the way of social change. Due to caste system the society remains divided into several castes and sub-castes. It generates and maintains a system of social inequality and discrimination. The people belonging to a particular caste tend to look upon themselves as superiors and people belonging to some castes as inferiors.
The higher and lower castes remain involved in a conflict which always hinders the process of orderly social change.
6. Love for Stability and Status quo:
People mostly love stability and status quo. Such an orientation hinders social change. People desire to have a secure future.
They fear to adopt those things which are new and have not been tested. They are prone to maintain status-quo because they believe that in the new circumstances they will be not happier than they are in the existing setup.
7. Vested Interests:
Some vested interests raise hue and cry against social reforms and changes. The fundamentalists always oppose change. They try to live by their religious dictates and traditions and are not prepared to accept the new changes and inventions.
Likewise, the feudal lords, the exploiters and dominant groups of people always oppose social change. The better-placed always try to maintain the status quo. Whenever any vested interest finds that a social change is going to adversely affect his interests, it bitterly opposes the proposed change.
When zamindari system was abolished in India, the vested interests bitterly oppose the measure.
8. Economic Costs:
Sometimes, the cost of the social change also hinders the adoption of change. For example, in order to introduce the scheme of National Compulsory Health Insurance cover, our country needs a lot of money. Similarly, if prohibition is to be introduced in the interest of a healthy, secure and prosperous living, it involves a loss of several crores of revenue for the state exchequer. The government of the state often sets aside the introduction of such socially useful decisions/schemes only due to the perceived loss of revenue. Thus Social Change always faces several hindrances in each society.
It has to come in the face of these. Despite the presence of hindrances social change always takes place in every society. It is a natural and universal feature of every social system of the world.