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130 Examples of Culture Change

Culture change is a shift in the norms, values, behavior and way of life of a people. This is greatly influenced by technology, world events and modes of communication such as media. Culture change isn't planned or managed but rather emerges with the shared experiences of groups. However, culture change often occurs in response to things that are planned and managed such as wars. The following are illustrative examples of culture changes throughout history.
Agricultural Revolution
The Invent of the Wheel
Emergence of Writing
The Bronze Age
Emergence of Cities
Rise of Empires
Silk Road Trade
Codification of Laws
The Iron Age
Spread of Christianity
Middle Ages
Rise of Feudalism
The Crusades
Improved Navigation
Guild System – associations of craftsmen and merchants
Scholasticism – Christian academia
Black Death - the bubonic plague
Rise of Universities
Magna Carta – constitutional law
Rise of the Merchant Class
Windmills and Watermills
Mechanical Clocks
Invention of the Printing Press
Invention of Cannons and Firearms
Secularism – a shift away from religious influence
Artistic Revolution – realism and perspective
Mass Production of Books
Protestant Reformation
Revival of Classical Thinking
Rising Merchant Class
18th Century
Rise of Colonialism
The Enlightenment
Romanticism – emphasis on individualism
American Revolution
French Revolution
Newtonian Physics
Start of Industrial Revolution
19th Century
Height of Imperialism and Colonialism
Rising European Nationalism
Steam Engine
Increased Literacy Rates
Popular Fiction
Growth of Newspapers
Large International Exhibitions
Theater and Music Halls
Freudian Psychology
Women’s Rights Movement
Rise of Mass Culture
20th Century
Increased Life Expectancy
Popular Music
Emergence of Youth Culture
Rapid Fashion Trends
Music and Dance Trends
Dominance of Mass Media
Women’s Suffrage Movement
19th Amendment – Women’s Right to Vote
Nuclear Weapons
Shorter Working Hours
Nuclear Power
LP Records
Global Pop Culture
Fast Food
Civil Rights Movement
More Women Enter Workforce
Equal Pay Act of 1963
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Rock and Roll
Pollution at Scale
Environmental Movement
Beat Generation
Vietnam War
Anti-war Movement
Hippie Movement
Punk Culture
War on Drugs
Alternative Culture Movements
Video Games
Convenience Food
Increase in Obesity Rates
Gay Rights Movement
Nuclear Family
Self-help Movement
Portable Cassette Players
Gulf War
The Internet
Digital Media
21st Century
War on Terror
War in Afghanistan
Iraq War
Social Media
Mass Participation in Media
Filter Bubbles
Political Polarization
Rise of Subcultures
Rising Prevalence of Mental Health Disorders
Cloud Technologies
Mass Surveillance
Streaming Media
Legalization of Same-sex Marriage
Diy Movement
Rise of Relativism
Digital Currencies
LGBTQ+ Rights and Identities
Dietary Movements Such as Veganism
Climate Change
Social Justice in Social Media
Social and Environmental Activism
Legalization and Drug Policy Reforms
Cancel Culture
Corporate Social Activism
COVID-19 Pandemic – lockdowns, mandates & social distancing
AI Advancements
The list above is non-exhaustive. We are no doubt missing something important but the list was getting long. The order of the list is somewhat but not completely chronological.
Next read: Detailed Examples of Culture Change
More about culture change:
Cultural Concepts
Cultural Influence
Cultural Transmission
Culture Analysis
Culture Change
Culture Change II
Culture Shift
Experience Age
Filter Bubble
Night Economy
Pizza Effect
Super Culture
Urban Design
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Culture Change

An overview of culture change with examples.

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An overview of cultural context with a list of examples.

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The definition of culture system with examples.

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An list of common social norms.

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A list of common social outcomes.

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