SOC 262 Week 5: Sociology Matters

Week 5 Sociology Matters


Week 5 Sociology Matters


Sociologist William F. Ogburn (1922) introduced the term culture lag. The term culture lag is used “to refer to the period of maladjustment when the nonmaterial culture is struggling to adapt to new material conditions” (Schaefer, 2019). Culture lag can occur at any time and anyone can feel these affects. Technology seems to be the biggest factor when it comes to culture lag. Today, we are going to look at culture lag, what caused that lag, and how different people responded to the change. We will also look at if there was resistance to the change, or if people were open to the change.

Have You Experienced Culture Lag Or Have You Observed It In Others?

When looking at the term culture lag, some people may be confused as to exactly what it means. Essentially, culture lag is when technological advancements or changes in society occur faster than the norms of that culture goes. There are many different ways that technology, especially, have created culture lag in many different aspects. One example of culture lag that really sticks out to me is when the typewriter was created. The typewriter had many advantages over writing my hand, but they were not used routinely in offices until roughly 50 years after the fact (Crossman, 2018). There was a similar resistance when computers that are in businesses today were developed. Many companies refused to use these computers at first, as they felt they were going to undermine the work force, thus causing jobs to be lost.

What Kind Of Change Caused The Lag? A New Technology Or Some Other Type Of Change?

Though computers have been one of the largest culture lags, there are other technological advances that have created culture lag as well. I would say that one of the biggest culture lags today would involve childhood development and the use of video games. Video games really started to become popular in the 1980s, but since then have taken off and in a way taken over the world, especially when it comes to children. The increasing development of video games has made it so that more and more children are playing these games starting at a very young age, as these games can now be played on smartphones and tablets. Many people may feel that it is fine for children to play games nonstop, but in reality, this should be regulated. Many are now starting to realize that development for young children may be stunted from the use of too much technology. Because of this, it is beneficial to limit the “screen time” as it is referred to most often, so that children are able to develop different skills that they are not getting from the video game technology.

Did You See A Generational Difference In How People Respond to Change? Any Open Resistance?

I definitely feel that there is a generational difference to the way that people respond to change. Those that are of the older generations are more likely to resist change, as they have been used to doing certain things, or using certain things for such a long period of time. I feel that the younger generations are more receptive to change as their minds are more open to changes taking place in the world of technology. When I think about resistance to change, it makes me think about how much technology has evolved in the world today. My in-laws are very old school when it comes to technology and they hate how much technology is taking over the world. Recently, they bought tickets to a sporting event and there was not an option to print these tickets, as it was mobile entry only. This really bothered them, as they 1 had never done this before, and 2 they like to have paper tickets to make sure nothing goes wrong. My husband and I had to really go over everything with them and explain how it worked so that they would feel more comfortable with this change. Though they were against it at first, it seems that they are starting to come around to this idea more so, it will just take some more time and getting used to this change.


In conclusion, we can see how culture lag has had an impact on many generations over the years. Much of the culture lag has to do with how technology is changing and just continues to grow over the years. Starting with the typewriter, the computers and processing systems, to video games and young children. There are so many different ways that technology has changed and how there have been culture lags to just about all different types of technology improvements and changes over the centuries.


Schaefer, R. T. (2019). Sociology Matters (7th ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.

Crossman, A. (2018). What Is Cultural Lag?. Retrieved from 

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