Social scientists tend to interpret social change as the result of collective action. However, all collective action is at some level and time initiated and carried out by individuals, who, of course, are rooted in particular social contexts. A theory of social change needs to derive, therefore, not only from the study of collective action, but also from the study of individual initiation of, and involvement in, social change oriented practice.
The following observations on individual involvement in social change practice are based on personal experience and study over several decades. They are not a theory of social change but merely subjective contributions to the development of such a theory. I will first summarize a set of assumptions I have come to accept concerning societal evolution, continuity and change. Next, I will sketch one particular approach derived from these assumptions, which social change oriented individuals may want to pursue in everyday life. Finally, instead of listing references throughout the text, I will suggest a selection of sources which I found helpful in studying societal evolution and change, for readers interested to explore these issues further.
Gil, David G.
"Individual Experience and Critical Consciousness: Sources of Social Change in Everyday Life,"
The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare: Vol. 14
, Article 3.
Available at: http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/jssw/vol14/iss1/3