“Social change can take a variety of forms in my life. One social change that I distinctly remember was the anti-bullying and conflict/resolution training that began occurring in my elementary school. This was part of a state-wide campaign to end bullying and they had posters made, talks about it integrated into the curriculum, and speakers come in. I think that social change will hopefully continue to make itself present in my life, especially should I be helping to create positive social change.”
~ Kathleen Sinatra
“Everyday interactions fuel social change, whether it be actively participating in school/workforce/local governing bodies or simply having conversations on serious topics with your closest friends. These small actions that occur during a period of opportunity create a ripple effect, ultimately creating the powerful movements that solidify social change.”
~ Emily Adams
“I think of Social Change the way that Daoism tries to explain it, using a metaphor of water and stone. Chinese philosophers explain social change as water, although soft and yielding, will eventually wield away stone. Change in this model is to be natural, harmonious and steady. While this may not seem like many of the modern social changes we see today, for much of ancient history, this was the nature of social change, things changed very slowly. Now in 2018, with the power of technology of which has never been seen before in history, social change can be facilitated much faster and quicker.”
~ Andres Marmelo
“Social change, in sociology, is the alteration of mechanisms within the social structure, characterized by changes in cultural symbols, rules of behavior, social organizations, or value systems. I think it is nearly impossible to achieve such a change in a community that isn’t our own, but it is just as hard in our own demographic group. There are so many backgrounds and different schools of thought that we can’t expect to change the way other people think. That is why social change is about identifying a problem, and working towards a solution that improves the lifestyle of those who were originally affected by it. If a more privileged group wants to help someone in need, I think it would be beneficial for the two parties to agree on a problem that is plaguing one community. Once they both agree that it actually is a problem worth solving, then the well-off can share their resources to help out their fellow-humans. The result of this process, to me, is social change.”
~ Giuseppe de Spuches
“Social change refers to any modification of a structure, symbol, ritual or behavior that results in an immense shift in society (in any area). To me social change means taking a prevalent social issue, such as homelessness, and solving the problem. This will result in a greater good for a community, area, group, or country etc.”
~ Phoebe Hallahan
"To me, Social Change means that a person or group is making a constant and consistent effort to make a situation better; whether it be a more localized issue within a community or on a broader scope throughout the world. I believe that Social Change can be achieved if there is a common understanding of the topic at hand. Social Change, to me, requires persistence, passion, empathy and determination."
~ Caitlin Buchanan
"Change to me is listening, learning, questioning, and seeing a problem I think is not right and is not fair, and collaborating with others to work hard to make good change, so that everyone is well."
~ Emmanuella Oppong
"To me, social change is making a positive impact on someone else in their life. There are a lot of different ways to promote social change, like though volunteering to make meals for the homeless, at a Special Olympics event, or even just raising awareness for a cause that is important to you. I don't think social change has to necessarily be going out somewhere and doing something active. Talking about an issue you are passionate about and telling others how they can become passionate and raise awareness is also considered social change in my opinion. You are impacting someones life by talking about an important cause, and even just doing that can be enough. Also, volunteering at events should not just be about getting something good on your resume. To truly promote social change, the person must actually care about the issue."
~ Hana Young
"Social change to me, means uniting as a large group and standing up for something everyone consistently believes in. Social change requires power, determination and passion. I also believe that a big aspect of social change is being able to make your voice heard and being able to sway the behavior and opinions of others. "
"Social change to me is much about individuals making small steps towards social reformation, encouraging societal re-evaluation and alteration. It is about an individual exhibiting bravery and containing empathy. It requires people who are comfortable with being uncomfortable. "
~ Sophia Gebara
“When I think of social change, I think of progress and evolution. Just as in Darwin’s theory of evolution/natural selection, societies adapt over time and struggle for survival. If we look back through the decades and centuries, we can see obvious social changes in fashion trends alone. On a less superficial level, we can see social changes thorugh political shifts, social movements...etc. For me, I mostly think of social change as change on the institutional level. Our society has so many deeply rooted foundations that are honestly out of date. But while this is true, I think it is important to realize that change does not mean the same thing to everyone. Also, change eventually becomes the norm so it is not a static thing.”
~ Ademilola Oyetuga
“Ideas can be anything, from people, to movements, and even things like the internet and cellphones. People make up a movement, and they are the creators of the technological advancements, that all stem back to that initial idea. Ideas for a bigger and better future, that hopefully will make a difference in not just one person’s life, but an entire community. I also think that direct action isn’t really necessary for it to be a social change. Sometimes even just the change in mindset is enough to be considered a social change. “
~ Hana Brown
“Social change is the process of altering culture, world views, and prevailing understanding of different issues within a society. From my perspective, it appears that in general language, this term is typically used to describe the outcome of movements for national-scale social change such as the Civil Rights Movement or the Feminist Movement rather than the ways in which everyday people make social change in their communities in order to encourage these same changes in their broader societies. It is my belief that social change is the goal of social movements and the steps to get there are important even on the smaller scale.
~ Taylor Allen
“Social change is a concept many of us take for granted or don't really even understand. No society has ever remained the same. Social change can occur over a long time, or in the blink of an eye. We may accept that change is constant, but I think social change is remembering that we are not powerless in its wake. We decide the degree and magnitude we want the change to affect our lives and the lives of those who come after us. I think there has been this idea that social change movements have to be grand and profound but in reality most social change occurs in minute bits, like cogs in a machine that ultimately lead to a better society. “
~ Kate Osterholtz
“Social Change to me is being able to change the community, small or large (small town to global scale) in a way where a problem is identified and coming up with a solution on how to approach the problem in order to solve the issue in the community. There are several ways to tackle this such as: charity, non-profit organization, social entrepreneurship, marches/movements, etc.”
~ Randi Broadwell
"Social change is the ability to understand what needs to be changed in our social society and changing it for the better."
~ Catherine Nakato
"Broadly, social change means collaboration towards positive systematic change. There are many more elements that contribute to social change. For instance, collaboration incorporates the changemaker(s), those experiencing a disadvantage or less favorable scenario, and people who have the abilities and resources to put ideas into motion. In order to make social change reality it is critical to have a strong and structured idea. From the readings, I have learned that there are many approaches to social change but ultimately it is solving worldly problems by taking action."
~ Ellizabeth Cilia
"To me, social change is a big overarching change that often happens gradually overtime that pertains to a shift in society's dominant perspective on issues.Whether it be on race, mental health, women's rights or climate change. I also view social change as acting on that perspective- or trying to see that perspective come to fruition. Like, if you believe all women deserve the right to safe and accessible abortions and then you do something to try and enact a more direct or physical change. So, to me there's the indirect social change- a change in perspective and then a direct social change that has a concrete effect on the world."
~ Kate Blow
"To me social change means standing up for something you believe in with the intention of changing a community for the better. Social change can start with an individual bringing together a group of people to stand up for shared passions and interests to evolve a community for the better."
~ Marika Contompasis
“I think it is important for people to be involved in social change when they are passionate about an issue. The more people that get involved, the more likely change will actually happen. One way people (especially young people) have become more active in social movements is through participating in marches. Personally, I want to be more involved in movements like these relating to issues I care a lot about. “
~ Anna Mahony
One of my favorite, most recent social change stories is that of Michaela DePrince, African American ballerina who was born in Sierra Leone during the civil war. She uses her story to support the civil rights movement and teach people that no matter what you look like, you can follow your dreams. Between having her parents killed, struggling with vitiligo, and getting stabbed in the stomach, she never thought she’d get out of Sierra Leone. Eventually she was adopted with another girl in the orphanage, and worked everyday to make it as a professional dancer. She uses ballet to prove to young girls that no matter your race, sex, condition, or anything you feel is holding you back, you are bigger than what you look like. This may not seem like the social change that most people think of, but it certainly fits my definition. She used her experiences growing up to inspire others, and that is an act social change in itself. She wants to “encourage young people to aspire to dream,” and by doing this, she is inspiring women, African Americans, and people everywhere.”
Her story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fh5kiTn0P4Y
~ Megan Brown
“The natural instinct of human nature is to adapt and transform into something better suited for the constantly changing environment. So why not apply this to social situations as well? In society, things are changing everyday, and the social consensus needs to be able to keep up. As social climates change, things that at one point may have been acceptable are no longer viewed the same way, or there is a better way of dealing with conflict. This prompts a societal need for a change and pushes many individuals or groups into taking action to make a difference in their society. In my opinion from what I've seen many of these social change reforms often go along with human rights, woman' rights, racial equality, environmental issues, poverty reform, among many others.”
~ Kaitlyn Connors
“Social Change to me means having a burning desire to change something in my world for the betterment of it. It also means not giving up, no matter the obstacles or how far away I am from my goal.”
~ Hayden Paneth
"For me, social change is a very broad term, simply meaning evolution of a social concept, construct, or conflict. Social change can have negative connotations, however when I first hear the term “social change,” I immediately think social improvement. Social change is the result of one using their own personal experiences, resources, and/or whatever platform they might have to influence change in something they are passionate about. Social change can be as small as getting out there to vote, or as large as attending, or even assembling a march in your community. The long term effects of these actions, big or small, is what ignites social innovation."
~ Sashi Currie
"To me, social change begins with fully diving into the cultures around you to understand what people experience in the lives outside your own. Once doing so, you are able to truly experience to the best of your ability what the people, who may be less fortunate in some regards, go through in their every day life. Then, the social change aspect comes in when you are able to recognize what issues exist in our societies and additionally, why they exist. Once this has been done, it is about working together with your peers from varying societies and cultures to brainstorm how we are going to make a difference in our generation and leave a legacy for the generations to come, so that we can resolve the issues that are experienced now, in an effort to further prevent issues in the future."
~ Grace Huebschmann
"In my eyes, social change is any adjustment made to better society. This can be a small change in someone’s daily activities that has a positive impact on the world, or can be as large as a global movement to promote peace. I think the important part of social change shouldn’t focus on where it is happening or the extent of it, but that it gets put into motion. Sharing ideas and passions to fix injustice, inequality or any aspect of society that could be positively changed is a great step towards social change. "
~ Kelsey Cox
"Social change for me is the ability to see and recognize that there is an issue and being able and willing to work towards a solution."
~ Nancy Lopez Ramirez
"To me, social change means making an impact in any form for the betterment of others. This bettering can be on the micro or macro-level and does not have to personally affect me."
~ Suleydi Betancourt