In developed countries, the modern industrial worker is not merely a factor of production in the industrial system, but a participant in it. In contrast, the industrial worker in newly industrialized countries may fail to gain a comparable place in the social structure; newcomers to industry, divested of their traditional social roles, may be absorbed by the industrial system not as social persons, but largely as a market commodity. Industrialization, under these circumstances, leads to the formation of human aggregates which are no longer kept together by ties of family or community, but have not yet evolved new forms of social organizations fitting them for full participation in urban society.
In many of the less developed countries a major difficulty in such popular participation in social change arises from the fact that members of the pre-industrial society are poorly equipped with the mechanisms that play a major part in social change. For example, modern industrial society is to a considerable extent an 'associational' society; it involves an intricate framework of associations and groups, organized to foster (directly or through the government) special interests and purposes: professional, welfare, economic, political, artistic, religious and so on. Of particular significance in the this context are social reform movements organized for the deliberate purpose of introducing changes. There is a notable absence of such associations in most pre-industrial societies, where organized human relationships are limited largely to those defined by the structure of the family and local community.
Where urban deterioration sets in or improvement is unduly slow, it is often a measure of the disparity between the pace of technological and industrial change and the pace of social change. The lag in social change and the resultant worsening of the problems of transition usually reflect the failure of a community to develop new institutions, organizations, habits and ways of life - in respect of the provision of security, personal status, social acceptance, moral controls of behaviour, leadership, forms of recreation - to replace those associated with the extended family or local community which are no longer appropriate to an industrial society.