Causes and Consequences of Social Change

Published October 9, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair


Today we conclude our focus on this week’s topic of social change as we take a closer look at the causes of consequences. To begin our analysis, we must first acknowledge that we reside in a bewilderingly complex world where a large number of the populace seem to think it is impossible to make sense of. In other words, it is easier for people to give up, disconnect, and concede their uniqueness to the tramlines of programmed convention (Icke, 2012). The fact is, that indeed, it is a considerably different place from the world we came to recognize as children, or from even that of ten years ago. As we discussed this week, there are many reasons for these changes, one of which includes the significant incidents that occur, like active shooter events, that continue to help shape our evolution.


To help bring about social change it is important to differentiate between the causes and consequences of an event to better comprehend the impact it may have. For instance, in the social sciences, causes are implications, not things that are self-evident from a given set of observations (Harper & Leicht, 2011). This can make analysis and documentation of significant events a difficult task, whether arbitrarily treated as a cause or consequence. To complicate matters further, a biographer, on the one hand, may view and describe a noteworthy event with a different perspective than that of a social scientist. For example, a social scientist may be interested in how a significant event would impact the culture’s values, problems, fears, as well as the collective hopes and dreams that people share; whereas a biographer on the other hand, would tend to focus their investigative strategy on the story they are covering without the conjecture of outcomes. Meanwhile, a historian may implement both strategies in their attempt to reveal the process, progress, evolution, and development of said event.


One significant event that had great impact on the country was the mortgage and loan crisis. The 2007 mortgage crisis caused panic because the financial turmoil of the US Economy impacted the world. This resulted from too much borrowing and a severely flawed financial modeling that was largely based on greed and fraudulent practices as well as the assumption that home prices would only continue to increase. One noteworthy consequence of the mortgage crisis, in the meantime, was that a shocked public discovered how leveraged the world is. The long term consequence, however, resulted with bankers, lawmakers, consumers, and business people all working diligently to reduce the paramount effects from that crisis.

In reality, the reverence for home ownership was the central theme of that American experience. It emerged from the mindset of making home loans more available to everyone. In their book, Reckless Endangerment, Morgenson and Rosner (2011) state that: “The Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act actually encouraged unsafe and unsound activities at both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by assigning them a new affordable housing mission. Under the law, the companies had to use their mortgage purchases to help provide housing to those across the nation who had previously been unable to afford a home” (p. 25).


The consequences of mortgage and loan crisis affected many cities and communities severely. As a result, many local mortgage and loan organizations suffered bankruptcy and left many individuals unemployed and destitute. Furthermore, thousands of families became homeless and lost their homes to foreclosure. Can an event like this ever occur again? Sadly, Morgenson and Rosner (2011) seem to think so. In fact, they eerily contend it most certainly will, because Congress decided against fixing the problem of too big to fail institutions when it had the opportunity to do so (p. 304). Only time will tell.

Well that’s it for this week. Keep learning and stay organized!


You can only realize change if you live simply. Once people want enormous excess, you can hardly do social change. – Bell Hooks


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Harper, C., & Leicht, K. (2011). Exploring social change American and the world (6th ed.). Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Icke, D. (2012). Remember who you are: Remember where you are and where you come from. Isle of Wight, UK: David Icke Books.

Morgenson, G., & Rosner, J. (2011). Reckless endangerment (1st ed.). New York, NY: Times Books.

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