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Modernizationtheory

IntroductiontoModernisationtheory
Foracountrytobeseenasmodern,
modernisationtheoristssayithastoundergo
anevolutionaryadvanceinscienceand
technologywhichinturnwouldleadtoan
increasedstandardoflivingforall

Causesoflackofdevelopmentorprogress
towardsmodernisation?
Thatsomecountrieshavenotmodernisedis
seentobetheresultofinternalfactorssuch
as(a)povertyand(b)inadequateculture

Historicalbackgroundtomodernisationtheory

1. Postworldwartwosdeepeningpovertyin
somecountries
2. Ideologicalcompetitionfromcommunism

3 Increasingunrestinsomecountries
4 Theaboveposedathreattocapitalism,and
especiallytheUSA
5 Thisledtothedevelopmentof
modernisationtheory(mainlybyUS
economistsandpolicymakers)

Modernisationtheoristsaimedto:
a) explainwhypoorercountriesfailedtoevolveinto
modernsocieties
b) Reducethespreadofcommunismbypresenting
capitalistvaluesasthesolutiontopoverty
Modernisationtheoryhasbecome
increasinglyinfluential,especiallysincepost
collapseofUSSR

Rostowsevolutionaryladderofdevelopment
(economicfactors)
5 The age of high
Mass consumption
4 The drive to maturity: economic
and cultural factors lead to
increasing prosperity for all
2 Pre-conditions for takeoff: the West assists
development through aid
and industrial investment

3 Take-off: high economic


growth and investment in
infrastructure begins

1 Traditional society:
poverty, primary production
and traditional values

Huntington:Modernizationand
politicaldecay
Socialmobilization
Economic
development
Modernizationand
violence
Gaphypothesis

Political
modernization
Rationalauthority
Differentiated
structure
Massparticipation

Parsons(culturalfactorsblockdevelopment)

Traditionalvaluesblockacountryfrom
developinge.g.valuingtheextendedfamily,
blocksgeographicalmobility
Traditionalvalues
Ascription
Particularism
Collectivism

Modernvalues
Achievement
Universalism
Individualism

Modernisationtheory roleoftheWestin
developingcountries
i.

Westerninvestmentin
factories,expertiseand
equipment useloans
fromWorldBank(Trickle
down)

ii.

Westernfundingto
introducemeritocratic
education(valuesof
universalism,
individualismand
competition(Hoselitz)

Modernisationtheory theWestandthe
developingcountries(continued)
iii

Massmediato
disseminatemodern
idease.g.nuclear
families
(Inkles)

iv

Urbanisationtobe
encouraged
(Hoselitz)

Withsuchhelpfromthewestpoorcountrieswould
develop

a. capitalistentrepreneurialmiddleclassto
developbusinessopportunities
b. Highmassconsumption
c. Anurbanpopulation
d. Lifestylesofconspicuousconsumption

Criticismofmodernisationtheory
1. Itisethnocentric because
(a)itdevaluestraditionalvaluesandsocial
institutionse.g.extendedfamilies
(b)itignoresincreasinginequalitywithinand
betweencountries
(c)itisnotaneutraltheoryasitsuggests(it
promoteswesterncapitalistvalues)

Educationindeveloping
worldmainlybenefits
small,localelites(those
atthetop)

Itassumesunlimited
naturalresourcesfor
industrialexpansion.
(ignoresecological
issues)

4 Thereisno,onesinglewaytoadvancementand
historicalcontextisalsoimportant.
5 Theculturesofdevelopingcountriese.gthe
importanceofthefamily,maybearesponse to
economicinsecurityandlowlevelsofmaterial
wellbeingnotthecauseofit.(Inglehartand
Baker2000)

Influenceofmodernisationtheory
today
1. PaternalismofNGOs peoplefirstpolicies
arebasedonwesternhelpasitisdeemed
thatpoorcountriescannothelpthemselves
2. Neoliberalswantafreemarketand
advocatehelpingpoorcountries.(Arguably
theywantitbothwaysdependingonwhat
suitsthem.)

Neomodernisationtheoristsstressimportance
ofculturalvalues
Huntington arguesthereareeightcultural
zones
Christiantraditionsandvaluesledto
economicprosperityfortheWesternzone
Nonwesternzonesresentthisprosperity

Somemayrespondbyrejectingmodernisation
andreturntofundamentalismEgtheArab
Worldandfosteringofinternationalterrorism
(Sept11th)
Marxistssayitisnotculturalbuteconomic
factorswhichmattermost,andwesternideas
aboutmodernisationareladenwithcapitalist
values