Change and Paradigmatic ChangeChange
is innovation, creativity, intuition and fantasy. Changes occur continuously. They can be slow, gradual, almost imperceptible or fast, shocking, upending and unpredictable, unrelenting and ubiquitous.
They can be very broad in range and intensity. They include short-term and long-term, large-scale and small-scale effects, operating at local and global levels. Change may be positive and/or negative, regressive and/or progressive, constructive and/or destructive.
Change is always revolutionary. Every transformation is simultaneously dis-organising and re-organising. It is deviance and rupture of traditional rules and roles. But, at the same time, it is reconstruction of new rules and roles to maintain a fabric, which can nurture further innovation.
Conflicts are not merely accidental and unfortunate. They are inherent, legitimate, and often unavoidable through the combination of conservation and revolution. Conflicts can arise from conservation and from revolution. There can be resistance to revolution and resistance to conservation. Resistance can originate revolution and conservation. There is a concrete number of options, and the struggle, the negotiations and the agreements between values and ethics (as they are perceived and expressed by human beings in a certain situation of time and space) determine alternatives.
Change constitutes the basis of social dynamics. Even though in its beginnings, sociology was influenced by a sort of mechanist concept of progress (e.g. the predictable stages based on the development of human knowledge - Comte), society has always been considered as never static. What it is worth noting is that the nineteenth century correspondence of change with progress has been strongly argued.
It is the change in values, concepts and ways of thinking based on patterns of practices (examples through which they are shown, from the Greek meaning of paradigm) that form a scientific discipline during a particular period of time. As Thomas Kuhn demonstrated, the intensity of this type of change may embrace progressively all scientific and knowledge fields crossing different areas and fields of activity.
Paradigmatic changes happen in several historical periods and characterise the human beings evolution. A recent example is given by the concept of sustainability as a regulative idea aimed at reconciling humanity with nature. Appeared more than thirty years ago, the concept of sustainability is a catalyst for new horizons and perspectives for theories, scientific disciplines, strategies, policies, cultures and a worldwide civilisation.