It is somewhat difficult to determine where and in what way change originates. Some sociologists have made a distinction between endogenous change (change originating from within) and exogenous change (change entering from outside).

In practice, the origin of change can only rarely be assigned wholly to one or the other category. It can be argued that wars and conquest (exogenous origin) have played an active part in bringing about major social changes in societies across the world.

Again it could be said that in the modern world, the changes taking place in the developing countries have been stimulated to a large extent, by western technology which was introduced in most cases following colonial rule.

But in all societies, including those in which the initial impetus has come from outside, social change has depended to a great extent upon the activities of various social groups within the society.


A major part of sociological studies consists in identifying the spheres and groups, that are principally affected, and the ways in which innovations are diffused from one sphere to another.

Inventions and discovery are rarely accepted totally. The specific attitudes and values of the society in question, the manifest usefulness of the innovations, the compatibility of the innovation with the existing culture, vested interests, and the role of change agents are some of the important factors that affect the degree of acceptance of a resistance to social change.