Lecturer, PhD., University of Craiova, Faculty of Social Sciences;
In this article we have presented the most important theories about social change from the perspective of comparative analysis (XIXth and XXth century). Thus, in the first part of the article, we have presented the classical perspectives on social change, which belong to some famous sociologists from the XIXth century, who have approached this issue: Auguste Comte, Emile Durkheim, Alexis de Tocqueville, Max Weber, or Karl Marx. The common point of these theories is that they all understand social change as a social progress. This idea is no longer found in the twentieth century, where the theoretical approaches to social change are equally varied. Thus, the second part of the article presents the theories of change from four sources: the ‘Chicago School’ (William Ogburn and William I. Thomas); the neo-evolutionary theory of Robert Nisbet; the French Sociology perspective (Pierre Bourdieu and Raymond Boudon) and, finally, a more actual perspective, that of Anthony Giddens.
social change; evolution; social progress; conflict perspective; contemporary perspectives