What is social adaptation?
In the last decade there has been much debate on what is social adaptation. Adaptation is the process by which we change in response to changing conditions. Humans are extremely adaptable creatures. Just look around you. All kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds are living in the same neighborhoods, schools, offices, etc. They just have different approaches to adapting.
The concept of what is social adaptation theory was first described by Jean Piaget in his famous thesis “ontogeny le Temps des diffuseness.” This thesis suggested that the way we adapt can be traced back to our earliest form of culture, before language was invented. Piaget hypothesized that individuals living in very similar cultural circumstances will tend to adjust to each other’s behavioral traits. Through analysis of a series of illustrations from different countries in Europe and Asia, he explained how these individual differences could be manipulated to create a highly stable and prosperous society.
Today, the debate about what is social adaptation has been reinvigorated with the surge of recent global warming and climate change. This global catastrophe has caused many to adjust their behaviors and lifestyles to survive and thrive in a difficult new environment. Some have chosen to relocate to more remote areas, while others have turned to extreme methods to attempt to survive in the face of natural calamities like hurricanes and tornadoes. The goal of this book is to explore the factors that lead people to make such adjustments, and how we can evaluate if we are adapting correctly or if we are doomed to remain a generation from today’s standards.
This book begins by unpacking the current definition of adaptation. The phrase was first used in the Oxford Dictionary in 1992, where it defined the behavior as being “appropriate to a particular culture” and “suitable to a particular geographical location.” The meaning behind this definition is important in delving into what is social adaptation. An individual who values their cultural background to the point that they would not change it for someone else’s values is considered to be a high-level adaptor, and they would be considered “high-level” in the eyes of the definition. These types of individuals would then be regarded as “low-level” adaptors who would be seen as needing to adapt, even if it is only slightly.
By examining the definition further, we see that the main factor that drives individuals to adapt is a sense of self worth. Those who value themselves enough to live according to these values would feel a strong sense of urgency in making changes to their lives. In turn, changes in a person’s behavior is also motivated by the need for self-worth. These individuals would find it difficult to make changes if their self-worth was not supported by a positive social network or a sense of community. Social adaptation theory therefore postulates that individuals will adjust more readily to a new way of life if the environment they live in offers a sense of security, safety, and a sense of worth. However, many individuals who have been exposed to a foreign culture, by the nature of their environment, will find it quite hard to adjust to this new way of life.
Because of the nature of an individual’s behavior, their ability to adapt can be affected by the environment in which they live. This is most common in cases where an individual has been subjected to a life of captivity. In these settings, changes in the environment are usually more drastic than in a home environment. In a prison, for instance, an individual who is used to being in a prison system will find it difficult to adapt to being in a residential setting. If they had been raised in their current environment, however, it may have been easier for them to adjust to a new social setting due to the influence of family members and friends.
High-level change in environments can also lead to individuals adapting to the new environment in question by changing their personality. A good example would be with those who are working in a different field from the one that they originally studied in high school or college. If these individuals were to move into the field that they are employed in, they may find that it is not as enjoyable or interesting as it was before. Some will simply decide to change their entire personality to become more compatible with their work. What is social adaptation in this case?
When an individual is faced with changing environments, they may find themselves changing themselves just to be able to fit in. This can be very dangerous and can be especially evident in cases such as rape or abuse. However, when an individual faces a change in their environment, they can still use what is social adaptation to successfully adjust and thrive. This can be a great benefit, especially to those who are already successful in life