Examples of social change include the industrial revolution, the abolition of slavery, the civil rights movement and the women's suffrage movement. Social change is defined as a considerable, lasting change in the way a society behaves and the norms and values to which the society adheres.
The industrial revolution was a social change because the change from man power to machine power that characterized this movement significantly impacted all aspects of every day life. Human populations were able to increase to unprecedented numbers, wealth became easier to accumulate and the speed of transportation increased enormously with the arrival of the steam engine.
The abolition of slavery was another considerable social change that changed the very fabric of society after 1865. Then in the 1950s and 1960s, the civil rights movement surfaced to combat the continuous injustice to which African Americans were still exposed.
Prior to the women's suffrage movement, women were subordinate to men in most aspects of society. However, women began closing the gender inequality gap by fighting for and obtaining the right to vote.
Social change and social movements usually stem from strained relationships between those who have power and those who do not. These movements and changes arise out of portions of society that feel discontented about some element or perceived injustice in their lives.