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Cultural Lag


Definition: Cultural lag is a term to describe what happens in a social system when the cultural ideas used to regulate social life do not keep pace with other social changes.
Medical technology is being used to keep people’s bodies functioning long after they would otherwise have been considered dead. This raises cultural questions about when life ends, who has the right to end artificial life support, etc. The development of new cultural beliefs, values, and norms lags behind the dilemmas posed by the technological change.

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