1.3.2 Theory of Social Change

Following McClelland's concept that a level of development is correlated with achievement motivation, Hagen tried to explain why this achievement motivation varies between societies and their classes and strata. He argues that in traditional societies the status of individuals is fixed. Children learn to act according to established norms, and deviations (initiative !) are punished. If by external influences a new group gains power, the status of the old elite is challenged and weakened. The insecurity and frustration leads to changed behaviour which has consequences on the family structure. Children tend to become dissatisfied with the society and readily accept new values. In time, they become innovative personalities. If these persons become dominant groups in the society, this causes economic development. Similar phenomena may happen as far as the changing situation of marginal groups or minorities is concerned.