modernization theory

Topics: Economics, Capitalism, Developed country Pages: 4 (1292 words) Published: September 28, 2013
POLI 201/211
GROUP A
INDEX NUMBER: 10372455
1.Compare the major arguments of the modernization theory with the major arguments of the dependency theory of development. Which of these major paradigms of development is more compelling to you and why?

Development is the increase in total value of goods and services produced. Development is also improvement in human welfare, quality of life, social wellbeing. There are certain theories and perspectives of development that is humanist perspective, dependency theory, economic perspective and modernity theory. We are only going to talk about dependency theory and modernity theory in our arguments. Modernization theory is a grand theory encompassing many different disciplines as it seeks to explain how society progresses, what variables affect that progress, and how societies can react to that progress. Modernization theory focuses specifically on a type of modernization thought to have originated in Europe during the 17th century, which brought social mores and technological achievements into a new epoch. The foundations of modernization theory go back to the Age of Enlightenment, when a number of philosophers began to look at how society changed and progressed. Theories were laid out as to how technological advancement necessarily led to social advancement, which in turn led to an examination of how different facets of advancement were connected. The basic premise of this phase of modernization theory was that humans were able to change their society within a generation, and that this change was often facilitated by advancements in technology, production, and consumption. It was argued by most modernization theorists that development consisted changing from the limited economic relationships of traditional society to the innovative complex economic association of modernity. Modernization theory in the current day often looks at globalization critically, analysing its negative consequences. For example, some...

References: Technology, Finance and Dependency, op cit., pp 3, 4.
Matias Vernengo, "Technology, Finance and Dependency: Latin American Radical Political Economy in Retrospect"
Jaquette, Jane S. "Women and Modernization Theory." World Politics 34.2 (1982): 267-273.
2. Discuss and critically analyse the definitions of development as given by Bryant and Whyte, Michael Todaro and Dennis Goulet. Compare these with the narrow conception of development, and discuss the differences that exist between them.
The term development is referred to as the progressive change primarily in the economic sphere. If the change is quantitative, they talk about economic growth. In a qualitative change we can talk about the structural changes or changes in content development, or the acquisition of economic system of the new features. Bryant and Whyte defined development as it does not only entail economic growth and industrialization but also capacity, equity, and empowerment. Michael Todaro also defined development as a multi- dimensional process that involves major changes in popular attitudes, social structures and national institution as well as economic growth, reduction of inequality and eradication of absolute poverty. Dennis Goulet defined development as a qualitative improvement in any society’s provision of life sustaining goods, esteem and freedom to all citizens. The following definitions compared with the narrow conception of development will be further explained below.
Firstly, the narrow conception of development basically sees development as involving economic growth and industrialization only. Compared with Bryant and Whyte’s definition of development both involve economic growth and industrialization but Bryant and Whyte’s definition further involves capacity which is being able to do what needs to be done in order to get change and equity which is the need for government to pay attention to different groups in providing the benefits of growth, as well as empowerment where people need to have power in order to receive the benefits of development. All these make Bryant and Whyte’s definition very different from the narrow conception because the narrow conception only talks about the growth of the economy disregarding the welfare of the people.
Also, Michael Todaro’s definition compared with narrow conception can be said to have a little similarities which is economic growth. But Michael Todaro’s definition mainly talks about improving the quality of all human lives with three equally important aspects which are raising peoples’ living levels, i.e. incomes and consumption, levels of food, medical services, education through relevant growth processes creating conditions conducive to the growth of peoples’ self-esteem through the establishment of social, political and economic systems and institutions which promote human dignity and respect and increasing peoples’ freedom to choose by enlarging the range of their choice variables, e.g. varieties of goods and services. All these aspects show that the narrow conception of development and Michael Todaro’s definition are different.
Lastly, Dennis goulet’s definition which is the qualitative improvement in any society’s provision of life sustaining goods, esteem and freedom to all citizens compared to the narrow conception of development is very different because all Dennis Goulet’s definition talks about is the welfare of citizens and how to improve the life of the citizen whereas the narrow conception of development mainly talks about industrialization and economic growth only. The narrow conception does not take into consideration the wellbeing of the citizens as Dennis Goulet’s definition implies. This clearly shows how different the narrow conception is from Dennis Goulet’s definition.
In conclusion all definitions given by the following scholars clearly show the difference between them and narrow conception of development.
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