Welcome to Sociology for dummies
Society is a complex thing. It can need thousand of years to settle down, and ten minutes to change if the right exogenous event is applied on it. And conversely. So, saying a priori that technological advancement can let a society advacnce culturally (in this case I hypothesize that yoi want a progressive and "good"cultural advancement, so good civil and political rights, but not licentiousness.) it's a gamble.
First of all we must ask ourselves: can technology allows a cultural advancement? This question is not as obvious as. The answer is : yes and no.
In sociology, technology it's considered an integrative force in order to cooperation emerging. Modern technology has in it potentialities of integration.
Raw materials from all over the globe are used in industrial
processes. Of course this situation may, and possibly will,
lead to conflict, but it is also a potential basis for specialization and
co-operation. But also conflict.
Moreover, it is said that the technological advancement don't follow the cultural advancement. As explained by James, the two things do not go hand in hand at the same speed.
Greek civilization was more technologically advanced than medieval in some fields, such as medicine. However, even the medieval States recognized that slavery was not a big deal, while also keeping serfdom. In addition, the same Greek medical knowledge then became dogmas, thus blocking the scientific development. Although scientists valuable developed cutting-edge technologies for its time (see Galileo and his telescope) the society did not react well.
How does a culture change?
Various scholars have proposed different theories of cultural change. Thomas R. Rochon proposed a differentiation between three modes of cultural change:
- value conversion – the replacement of existing cultural values with
new ones (ex. changing views of slavery as an acceptable practice to
an abhorrent one)
- value creation – the development of new ideas to apply to new
situations (ex. emergence of the environmental issues or concepts
such as sexual harassment)
- value connection – the development of a conceptual link between phenomena previously thought unconnected or connected in a different way
And then we come to your question. Technological innovations can enhance, displace or devalue human existence and culture. Advances in medical technology have contributed to demographic changes, including increased longevity and decreasing fertility for example. But the problem is: society accepts technological change? We now come to the essence of the matter.
The diffusion of knowledge.
You can create teleportation. Or create a beam that converts evil thoughts into positive thoughts. You can create interstellar travel. If no one spreads these inventions, the society does not change.
So, you must decide how much the society is willing to spread these technological advances. Two examples:
- The Copernican Revolution: This is a scientific revolution. Say that it is not the Sun goes around the Earth, but the opposite, opening the way for modern astronomy. And yet, to say such a thing meant, at the time, contradict the Holy Scriptures. And to contradict the Holy Scriptures meant going against the Church. The innovation was not spread as fast as an Ipod. But once accepted, however, it had to be spread to the population, which lacked a cultural background suitable to accept such an idea. Society changes after centuries.
- The steam exploitation: but here it has gone very fast, in a relative sense. The industries needed steam. Sure, it was expensive, but the invention gave extraordinary results. It spread quickly. Because there was an interest in spreading it. Society changes radically in 50 years.
So, what is the speed of cultural change?
It depends on the degree of diffusion of technological advancement.It also depends on how ready society is to absorb change.
If an invention can be detrimental to the status quo, waiting cultural changes after centuries. If an invention can improve the status quo, expect changes in a matter of decades. If an invention is created in an already advanced cultural background, expect changes within 10 years or less.