Define the term Modern Society in Sociology
Modern societies are based on using machines to produce goods. Sociologists refer to the period during the 18th century when the production of goods in mechanized factories began as the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution appeared first in Britain, and then quickly spread to the rest of the world. As productivity increased, means of transportation improved to better facilitate the transfer of products from place to place. Great wealth was attained by the few who owned factories, and the “masses” found jobs working in the factories.
Industrialization brought about changes in almost every aspect of society. As factories became the center of work, “home cottages” as the usual workplace became less prevalent, as did the family’s role in providing vocational training and education. Public education via schools and eventually the mass media became the norm.
People’s life expectancy increased as their health improved. Political institutions changed into modern models of governance. Cultural diversity increased, as did social mobility. Large cities emerged as places to find jobs in factories. Social power moved into the hands of business elites and governmental officials, leading to struggles between industrialists and workers.
Labor unions and welfare organizations formed in response to these disputes and concerns over workers’ welfare, including children who toiled in factories. Rapid changes in industrial technology also continued, especially the production of larger machines and faster means of transportation. The Industrial Revolution also saw to the development of bureaucratic forms of organization, complete with written rules, job descriptions, impersonal positions, and hierarchical methods of management.