Sociology and Modernization

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 757
  • Published : April 2, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
Modernization is a process of social change begun by industrialization. According to Peter Berger, the four major characteristics of modernization are the following. * The decline of traditional communities,

* The expansion of personal choice,
* Increasing social diversity and
* Orientation toward the future and growing awareness of time. When talking about the ways modernization manifest itself in the United States in four different concepts. Communities are becoming smaller, the aging are becoming more aware of the future, Personal choices are becoming more abundant, and society has more diversity than ever before. The theory of Emile Durkheim: The division of labor, seem to be more realistic to me. Durkheim explained that preindustrial societies are held together by mechanical solidarity, or shared moral sentiments . Thus, members of such societies view everyone as basically alike, doing the same work and belonging together. With modernization, the division of labor becomes more and more pronounced. To Durkheim, this change means less mechanical solidarity but more of another kind of tie: organic solidarity, or the mutual dependency between people engaged in specialized work. Put simply, modern societies are held together not by likeness but by difference: All of us must depend on others to meet most of our needs. Durkheim feared that modern societies might become so diverse that they would collapse into anomie, a condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals. Living with weak moral norms, modern people can become egocentric, placing their own needs above those of others and finding little purpose in life. The suicide rate, which Durkheim considered a good index of anomie, did in fact increase in the United States over the course of the twentieth century. The vast majority of U.S. adults report that they see moral questions not in clear terms of right and wrong but as confusing “shades of gray,” also supporting...
tracking img