Explanation in Detail of Modernization Theory and the Importance of Cultural Values essay

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A- Historical background of modernization

According to Handelman (2011), Modernization theory was developed in 1950s and 60s after the demise of European colonization and the creation of independent nations. This move was influenced much by Gabriel Almond and James Coleman. In addition, Samuel Huntington and Lucian Pye including the other proponents played vital roles. Afterwards the western social scientists started to study the third world politics and economics. The interest that drove he study managed to produce a conceptual model and development which was know as the modernization theory (Handelman, 2011).

B- Transforming traditional cultures of modernization

The process of transforming the traditional cultures was given first option and concern by the modernization theoretical approaches. The process much focus was due to the assumption that it was the most critical step in the modernization theory. The initial step was the distinction between the traditional and the modernized values under which it was made factual that both the economic and political values were irrational (Handelman, 2011). The modern values were found to influence judgment based on the universalistic approaches and to create a belief in possibility and the desirability of variation. In addition modern values did value science and technology influenced the thinking outside the family scope and the citizens have the ability and are obliged to influence the political scheme. The depiction of ethno centralism and condescension by the theory led to the questioning of the modernization of the traditional society. It was concluded that the approached was majored on education, urbanization and spread of mass media as the pillars of change (Handelman, 2011). In addition the ideas diffusion from the industrialized nations was critical in the approach.  The speed in achieving the goal was attributed to foreign aid and Peace Corps.

C- Gabriel Almond, Bingham Powell and Samuel Huntington understanding modernization

Gabriel Almond, Bingham Powell and Samuel Huntington did show the modernization approach as a unstoppable force. These social scientists argued that the respective forces of technological change as well as the diffusion of the culture had the ability to drive the political systems in specific directions (Handelman, 2011). The routes that were proposed here they argued were apparent and subject to analysis as far as creating development is concerned. They however argued that the developing nation were in dire need of adopting the specialized and modernized political as well as the economic foundation with the aim of having a platform to complement the changes.

D- The conclusion of modernization process

Finally, it was concluded that the modernized society has the ability to lay the base for a stable and effective as well as responsive opinionated scheme. In addition, the modern societies required bureaucrats who were able to create decision based on uniform and consistent standards and political parties that had the ability to effectively channel the citizen’s demands and aspirations to the national policy makers (Handelman, 2011). Some of the assumptions had to be modified as they were regarded as optimist and simplistic as far as change is concerned and Samuel Huntington pinpointed that the theory assumed all superior things accompanied each other.

E- Historical background of dependency theory

The dependency theory was developed in 1960s and 70s after scientists opposed to modernized theory argued that the modifications mentioned did fail to correct the fundamental modernization theory flaws (Handelman, 2011). Dependency theory was drafted to challenge the modernization theory fundamental assumptions.

F- Modernization and dependency theory compared

When counter checked, the dependency theory did not approve the argument that third world nations were meant to follow similar approaches to realize development. This approach was similar to what the westernized nations had adopted for their development (Handelman, 2011). The theory justified that the developing nation need only to acquire capital and advanced technology from the developed nations and become dependant on their economic forces to realize development. Modernization theory does on the other have viewed the influence by the western nations significant in realization of development.  It argued that influence did spread modern value and technology as well as institutions significant for development. Dependency theory does on the other hand argue that the western colonialism and imperialism resulted to turning of third world states as the providers of cheap labor and raw materials for the western nations (Handelman, 2011).

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