Using Material from Item a and Elsewhere Assess the Usefulness of Modernization Theory as an Explanation for Differences in the Levels of Development of Different Societies.

Topics: Sociology, Western culture, Culture Pages: 2 (757 words) Published: January 6, 2013
Using material from item A and elsewhere assess the usefulness of modernization theory as an explanation for differences in the levels of development of different societies. Modernization theory first arose after world war two, when western countries like the US, Britain and France all believed that capitalism was the only way to modernize countries in Eastern Europe. The different communist and capitalist governments didn’t agree on theories of modernization and so the cold war started. The first aim of modernization theory is to explain why poor countries have failed to develop and the second aim is to provide a non-communist solution to poverty by suggesting particular cultural values, such as capitalism, which can bring modernization. Durkheim believed that society will evolve until it reaches modernity but thinks that sharing traditional values and beliefs won’t lead to a modern state. Along with Tonnies and Huntington, Durkheim believes that in order to evolve, poorer and developing counties have to replace community with individualism. They believe in cultural imperialism and that the only way to modernize these countries is through democracy and capitalism. Rostow, an American sociologist, created the five stages of the development ladder. The first stage of development is, ‘traditional societies’, which is when the country identifies that values such as patriarchy, ascription, particularism, affective-relationship and collectivism all limit their prospect of change and modernity. The second stage, ‘pre-conditions for takeoff’, is when western values and expertise are introduced into the country and the industrialisation process begins. After this ‘Takeoff’ occurs, where economic growth begins, western practices become the norm, entrepreneurial classes begin to emerge and exporting increases. Fourth is the ‘drive to modernity’, where reinvestment guarantees a meritocratic society where living standards, trade power and education all increases. And the...
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