Discuss the Main Features of Two Theories of Development

Topics: Sociology, Development, Country classifications Pages: 3 (822 words) Published: October 8, 2007
Modernity is defined as the state or quality of being modern and the theories of development have emerged as a result of this concept. Sociology and Modernity developed hand in hand and were based on similar foundations. Rational forms of thought and organisation; a belief in the ability and right of humans to shape and control their own lives; faith that technology and science could fix human problems and reliance upon manufacturing industries to improve living standards are some of the concepts involved in Modernity. Life in the present through improvement and progress is fundamentally different than life in the past. For most of its history, sociological thinking has been dominated by this approach, however, some analysts, including sociologists, believes that the era of Modernity is or has been replaced by the post – modern era. Two of theories I will discuss emerged from Modernity, they are the Modernisation and Dependency theories.

Modernisation Theory
Modernisation is the term used for the transition from traditional societies of the past to modern societies as they are found today in the West. Modernisation theory refers to the perspectives put forward to explain the development or underdevelopment of countries. Modern societies are marked by high production, high consumption, individualism, liberal democracy, specialisation, the model of modernity is the West, in particular the USA.

Modernisation Theory employs a fundamental distinction between traditional and modern society - all societies can be located on an evolutionary scale which runs from traditional feudal type societies to modern industrial societies - a society can be positioned on this scale according to its stage of development. Underdevelopment is located internally within an undeveloped country. Modernisation theory offers an account of the common features of the process of development drawing on the analysis of Durkheim and Weber. Development implies the bridging of these gaps by an...
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