The forces for change are globalisation, modernisation, Westernisation, or industrialisation. Other forces for change are environmental change, natural disasters or man made catastrophies. Technological change and population movement are other significant factors. Over time change has occurred as traditonal cultures and societies modernise.


Traditional societies are usually hunter gatherer societies or agrarian societies, they have not industrialised. Traditional societies are patriarchal and sectarian. Customs are passed on unchanged from generation to generation through rites of passage. In a traditional society the community is more important than the individual.The social structure is tribal and hierarchical.


Modern societies are industrialised, urban societies. The economy is based on mass production and mass consumerism. Science is applied to everyday life. Social organization is complex and based on large interrelated institutions. Modern societies are dynamic, they adapt to new ideas and new technologies.

As societies industrialise or adapt to new technologies they change from traditional societies to modern societies. Industrialisation refers to the application of machines to methods of production. This allows for mass production and complex administration and has led to a higher material standard of living.

The values of many modern industrialised societies are referred to as Western values or the process of Westernisation. These values include secularism, gender equality and the rights of the individual.

As a result of globalisation the world has become a smaller place. Advances in communication and transportation has led to the emergence of a global culture. Transnational corporations, global sport like World Cup soccor, world tourism and the spread of Western popular culture have influenced global culture.