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.