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Notes of Engineering Professional Practice [CE 752]

History of Engineering Practices


Man and Society


- The term ‘society’ is derived from the Latin word ‘socus’ which means companionship or friendship.
- Society is the group of individuals who are related to each other united by certain relation, mode of behavior, geographic territory and cultural expectations.
- Society reflects the complex interaction among group of people.
- Every society is unique because it has its own way of life.

Characteristics of Society

1. Society is composed of a group of people.
2. Society involves relationship between a group of people that binds them together. Such interaction is possible due to mutual awareness. Social awareness implies reciprocal awareness.
3. The members of the society should possess both likeness and difference among each other. People have likeness with regards to their needs, works, aims, values, and so on. Similarly, they should differ in terms of their ability, potentiality, attitude and so on.
4. The members of the society are dependent to each other to satisfy their needs and aims. Without dependency, the member of the society will have no value.
5. The work done in collaboration is efficient than by the individual. In society, work is performed with co-operation among different members and the task is divided to all based on ability and qualities. This way is efficient as it collects ideas of all and acted upon the best one.
6. Society exhibits changes. So, society is dynamic.
7. Society is the abstract concept as it involves relationships and interactions among the group of people. Society can be realized but not seen.
8. Society exhibits social control to control the behavior of its members through social norms, traditions, customs, culture and so on.
9. Every society has its own way of life. Such way is known as culture.

Theories of Origin of Society

1. Divine origin theory (Made by god)
2. Social Contract theory (Planned by people for certain goals)
3. Evolution theory (Result of gradual evolution from unorganized to organized; from less perfect to more perfect)


- The group of people living together in a certain geographical location sharing the basic condition of life but not the particular interest is called community.
- Community sentiment is present within a community. It is the sense of feeling of unity.
- The members of a community must have common interests and common objectives.
- There should be more likeness within the community.

Elements of Community

1. A community is a group of people who shares the basic conditions of a common life.
2. All the members of a single community must reside in a definite geographical location.
3. Each community possess community sentiments which is the feeling of belonging together.
4. Community must be stable.
5. Community is formed naturally not according to laws and regulations.
6. Each community has a particular name.
7. There should be likeness in language, custom, religion, culture and so on.

Differences between Society and Community


Society Community
  1. Society is the complex interaction and network of the social relationships.
  2. Society do not need a definite geographical area.
  3. Feeling of belongingness is not necessary.
  4. Society is the bigger group.
  5. Society is abstract which can not be seen.
  6. Society involves both likeness and differences.
  1. Community is just the group of individuals sharing the basic conditions of life.
  2. Community require a definite geographical area.
  3. Community can not exist without sentiments.
  4. Community is smaller than society.
  5. Community is concrete which can be located.
  6. Community involves more likeness than difference.


Social Change

- Changes are universal. Change should always reflects towards progress.
- Social change is defined as the modification in the social behavior such as ways of acting and thinking of members of the society which reflects more and more positivity towards culture, social structure and behavior over time.
- Social change is the progressive transformation of the society.

Factors Affecting Social Change

1. Social change is affected by change in culture. Culture is just a system adopted by the people which changes due to invention, discovery and diffusion. Such cultural changes adds some prospects to the society leading to social changes.

2. Demograhic changes means the change in society and its members due to high birth rate, low death rate and migration factors.

3. Ideas and opinions of people changes over time. With evolution of new ideas and the modification of old ideas, there is great impact on social change.

4. Social conflict and social division based on class, religion, gender, caste and so on also causes social changes.

5. Social movements are the organized efforts of a group of people about changes in values, norms, culture and traditions of the society. It brings about progressive social changes.

6. Environment is never constant. Environmental changes occurs over time because of various factors like climate, natural calamities and so on. It directly affects the social life and brings social changes.

Theories of Social Change

1. Socio-Cultural Evolution Theory
- It is based on the assumption that society gradually develop from simple beginnings into more complex forms.
- Social changes occur due to the necessity of new and higher level of civilization for progress and betterment.

2. Functionalist Theory
- It is based on the assumption that society consists of inter-dependent parts, which tends to maintain stability.
- Social changes is the result of imbalance in internal or external system and necessary adjustments to bring back the equilibrium state.

3. Class Conflict Theory
- It is based on the assumption that the society consists of people of different classes, and conflicts between these classes is inevitable over time.
- Such class conflict results in dissolution of current society and results in new societies leading to social change.

4. Cyclical Theory
- It is based on the assumption that each civilization is like a biological life cycle of an organism, which has birth, maturity, old age and finally death.
- The society faces challenges from environment, internal and external factors which determines the fate of the society.
- If the society cope with the challenges, it moves towards progress; otherwise it dies.

Role of Engineers in Development Activities

1. Creating vision
2. Preparing mission
3. Execution of the plan
4. Monitor and Evaluate
5. Train

Technology and Society


- Technology is defined as the proper knowledge and use of the tools and techniques that facilitates transfer of inputs into outputs in an efficient manner.
- Technology is generally evolved for accomplishment of certain objectives.
- Technological change is defined as the modification and alteration of the current tools and techniques so as to bring improvement in the society and thus improve productivity.

Technology and Social Change

- Technology and social change are connected to each other.
- Change in technology has great impact in the society.
- Technological change affects all the social entities and forces changes in values, norms and attitudes.
- It brings impact in the society.
- With the advancement in society, new social conceptions and movements arises so as to improve the condition of life.
- All these factors lead to the social changes.

Impacts of Computer on Society

1. Impact on problem solution
- Computers are used to solve various complex problems very efficiently and in short time, which would be impossible to solve for humans.
- With the use of computers, today the world have felt the power in it which was thought to be impossible in past.
- Such development include medical diagnosis, quality control, and so on.

2. Impact on employment and production
- With use of computer, productivity increases as it is able to perform the task in very short period of time.
- But the problem is that it is overtaking the job of people creating a lot of employment problems.

3. Impact on Individual
- Due to the use of computers, the world has become a global village.
- The interaction among people become virtual just with the help of online systems like facebook.
- It reduces in the human relationships.

4. Impact on Life Quality
- It provides the better quality of services at low costs and effort. This improves the quality of life.
- It helps to focus on only the necessary works eliminating loss of time considering for the unnecessary tasks.

Computer Crime

- Computer crime is defined as the use of computers to perform criminal activities.
- The various computer crimes are shown below:
1. Unauthorized use, access and modification of hardware and data.
2. Unauthorized access of information and revealing the sensitive data to others.
3. Illegal use of copyright materials.
4. Destruction of others resource with the help of computer viruses.

- Cyber law is defined as the law that is established and enforced so as to maintain the proper use of computers and minimize the cyber crime.

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