The Industrial Revolution was the result of the development of science and technology. The process of industrialisation brought into being into the factory system of production of goods and the processes of urbanisation and the growth of more and more new cities. This in turn led to the development of new ways of life in the cities. It also led to big changes in the rural areas. All this acted, and still continues to act, as a big source of social change.
Science and Technology affect all aspects of social life. This becomes evident from the following facts:
(i) Technology affects Family Life:
Development of new technologies has brought about several changes in the institution of family. A family is now left with some basic activities like giving birth to children, looking after them and the psychological security. Its other functions have been taken over by outside institutions and agencies. Technology brings industrialisation and the villagers begin to flock the cities.
The joint family suffers a split when some of its members migrate to cities in search of new jobs and occupations. Women start looking for jobs in offices and factories which in turn changes and raises their status and overall position. But all this also affects the normal balance of a family. Working husbands and working wives now get lesser time for interactions and this acts as a source of change in their married life and emotional relationship. Even the relations of children with their parents get affected.
Technology has given rise to women liberation movements. It has helped young men and women to be together, to work together, and to travel together. This new proximity has changed their relations and attitudes towards one another. This has that in turn encouraged love marriages and late marriages and even divorces. The IT revolution of contemporary times has been greatly affecting our culture and life style.
(ii) Effect on Economic Life:
Technology helps bring about industrialisation. Production increases and big factories, banks, stores and such agencies come into existence. Due to division of labour, specialization of jobs takes place.
Industrialisation also gives birth to evils like capitalism, concentration of wealth in fewer hands and the consequent ever-increasing gap between the rich and the poor.
While on one hand, the standard of living of the people goes up, but on the other hand, there also arise problems like stagnation, unemployment, discontentment, accidents, diseases, exploitation and social conflict.
(iii) Effect on Political Life:
Science and Technology also affect the political life of the society. The role of the state under goes a change. Its functions change and this leads to a change of relations between the individual and state. Industrialization gave rise to welfare state.
The world also witnessed the birth of the ideology of socialism as well as the debate between capitalism vs socialism. Each society experienced the birth of a large number of interest group, trade unions and several social movements. In such a situation the functions of the state expanded in a big way and came to be a welfare state working for the promotion of socio-economic-politico-cultural welfare of the people.
The State got involved in the process of finding solutions for multifarious problems. The emergence of the welfare state and a big increase in its functions has been indeed the outcome of the development of science and technology.
E-governance has decidedly affected the functions and role of the state in each society. Political life of each society always changes under impact of science and technology.
(iv) Effect on Religious Life:
Technological development also influences the religious life of the people of each society. Due to the spread of knowledge, blind faith in religion and religious superstitions suffers a decline.
The people tend to become more and more rational and tolerant towards the people belonging to all religions. People belonging to different religious groups can be seen working together, eating together, living together and sharing the ups and downs of life. The principle of secularism starts getting more and more acceptance and respect.
(v) Effect on Social life:
Industrialisation hastens the birth of new cities, but at the same time, it makes it becomes maintaining personal relationships among citizens more problematic.
In turn the group-life suffers. Due to industrialisation there is always experienced the problem of housing sanitation and civic amenties. The technological development, urbanization and several new forces and factors which emerge as the by-products give strength to individualism. Commercialisation of almost all types of social relations becomes the order of the day.