chapter  8
12 Pages

Evolving Social Structure: Resiliency and Change

It is a known fact that any process of development involves change, in the way things are generally done or in the habits, norms, beliefs and reflections people bring to bear on mundane decisions and everyday activities. There are objective and subjective aspects of change, the objective being more visible and the subjective more internalized and possibly invisible at least in the more overt sense of the term. But from a sociological perspective, it can be argued that the subjective aspect of change can be more enduring and even potent in shaping the outward expressions that are manifested more visibly. On the basis of epistemological considerations alone, we can thus arrive at the conclusion that “our knowledge of social phenomena is to be found in the relational connection between the observable features of social action and those unobservable structures that shape events”;1 hence, in this regard, causality can be construed as the product of the relationality of unobservable structure and the observable human agency at any given time and place.