The central concept in the study of social change is modernity, where social patterns emerge from the lap of industrialisation. In everyday terms, modernity refers to the present in relation to the past. Sociologists use this gross concept to describe different social patterns, set in motion by the Industrial Revolution of Western Europe during mid-eighteenth century. Modernisation, then, is the process of social change begun by industrialization.
Modernity shelters “the progressive weakening, if not destruction, of the . . . relatively cohesive communities in which human beings have found solidarity and meaning throughout most of history” (Berger, 1977, 72). Small, isolated communities still exist in the United States, but they are sheltering only a tiny percentage of the nation’s population. These days, any physical isolation is only geographic: Cars, telephones, television, and computers give most far-flung and remote families the pulse of the larger society and the accessibility to the entire world. People in traditional, preindustrial societies lived their lives as at mercy of forces that is gods, spirits, or simply fate that is beyond any human control. As the power of tradition weakens, people come to see their lives as an unending series of options, a wide-open cielo of choices. Modernisation introduced a more rational and scientific viewpoint as tradition loses its hold and people adopted more and more individual choice. The growth of cities, the expansion of impersonal bureaucracy, and the socio-cultural mix of people from various backgrounds combine to encourage diverse beliefs and behavior. Modern people are not only forward-looking but also optimistic about new inventions and discoveries, which will improve their lives. Modern people organize daily routines down to the very minute.