Modernization

Modernization

Overview
In the social sciences, modernization or modernisation refers to a model of an evolutionary transition from a 'pre-modern' or 'traditional' to a 'modern' society
Society
A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations...

. The teleology of modernization is described in social evolutionism theories, existing as a template that has been generally followed by societies that have achieved modernity
Modernity
Modernity typically refers to a post-traditional, post-medieval historical period, one marked by the move from feudalism toward capitalism, industrialization, secularization, rationalization, the nation-state and its constituent institutions and forms of surveillance...

. While it may theoretically be possible for some societies to make the transition in entirely different ways, there have been no counterexamples provided by reliable sources.

Historians link modernization to the processes of urbanization
Urbanization
Urbanization, urbanisation or urban drift is the physical growth of urban areas as a result of global change. The United Nations projected that half of the world's population would live in urban areas at the end of 2008....

 and industrialization, as well as to the spread of education.
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Encyclopedia
In the social sciences, modernization or modernisation refers to a model of an evolutionary transition from a 'pre-modern' or 'traditional' to a 'modern' society
Society
A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations...

. The teleology of modernization is described in social evolutionism theories, existing as a template that has been generally followed by societies that have achieved modernity
Modernity
Modernity typically refers to a post-traditional, post-medieval historical period, one marked by the move from feudalism toward capitalism, industrialization, secularization, rationalization, the nation-state and its constituent institutions and forms of surveillance...

. While it may theoretically be possible for some societies to make the transition in entirely different ways, there have been no counterexamples provided by reliable sources.

Historians link modernization to the processes of urbanization
Urbanization
Urbanization, urbanisation or urban drift is the physical growth of urban areas as a result of global change. The United Nations projected that half of the world's population would live in urban areas at the end of 2008....

 and industrialization, as well as to the spread of education. As Kendall (2007) notes, "Urbanization accompanied modernization and the rapid process of industrialization. In sociological critical theory
Critical theory
Critical theory is an examination and critique of society and culture, drawing from knowledge across the social sciences and humanities. The term has two different meanings with different origins and histories: one originating in sociology and the other in literary criticism...

, modernization is linked to an overarching process of rationalisation. When modernization increases within a society, the individual becomes that much more important, eventually replacing the family or community as the fundamental unit of society.

Modernization theory
Modernization theory
Modernization theory is a theory used to explain the process of modernization within societies. The theory looks at the internal factors of a country while assuming that, with assistance, "traditional" countries can be brought to development in the same manner more developed countries have...

 and history have been explicitly used as guides for countries eager to develop rapidly, such as China. Indeed, modernization has been proposed as the most useful framework for World history
World History
World History, Global History or Transnational history is a field of historical study that emerged as a distinct academic field in the 1980s. It examines history from a global perspective...

 in China, because as one of the developing countries that started late, "China's modernization has to be based on the experiences and lessons of other countries.".

Instead of being dominated by tradition, societies undergoing the process of modernization typically arrive at governance dictated by abstract principles. Traditional religious beliefs and cultural traits usually becomes less important as modernization takes hold.

Theory


According to theories of modernization, each society can develop from traditionalism to modernity, and that those that make this transition follow similar paths. More modern states are wealthier and more powerful, and their citizens freer, with a higher standard of living. According to the Social theorist
Social theory
Social theories are theoretical frameworks which are used to study and interpret social phenomena within a particular school of thought. An essential tool used by social scientists, theories relate to historical debates over the most valid and reliable methodologies , as well as the primacy of...

 Peter Wagner
Peter Wagner (Social theorist)
Peter Wagner is a German social philosopher. His research focus is with the issues of social theory and political philosophy of contemporary Europe. He has done comparative research in the history of the social sciences, and has in his publications attempted to formulate and utilize a sociology of...

, modernization can be seen as processes, and as offensives. The former view is commonly projected by politicians and the media, and suggests that it is developments, such as new data technology or need to update traditional methods, which make modernization necessary or preferable. This view makes critique of modernization difficult, since it implies these developments control the limits of human interaction, and not vice versa.

The view of modernization as offensives argues that both the developments and the altered opportunities made available by these developments are shaped and controlled by human agents. The view of modernization as offensives therefore sees it as a product of human planning and action, an active process capable of being both changed and criticized.

Modernization emerged in the late 19th century and was especially popular among scholars in the mid-20th century. One foremost advocate was Harvard sociologist Talcott Parsons
Talcott Parsons
Talcott Parsons was an American sociologist who served on the faculty of Harvard University from 1927 to 1973....

. The theory stressed the importance of societies being open to change and saw reactionary forces as restricting development. Maintaining tradition for tradition's sake was thought to be harmful to progress and development. Proponents of modernization lie in two camps, optimists and pessimist. The former view holds that what a modernizer sees as a setback to the theory (events such as the Iranian Revolution
Iranian Revolution
The Iranian Revolution refers to events involving the overthrow of Iran's monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and its replacement with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the...

 or the troubles in Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

) are invariably temporary setbacks, with the ability to attain "modernism" still existing. Pessimists argue that such non-modern areas are incapable of becoming modern.

United States


The Progressives in the United States in the early 20th century
Progressive Era
The Progressive Era in the United States was a period of social activism and political reform that flourished from the 1890s to the 1920s. One main goal of the Progressive movement was purification of government, as Progressives tried to eliminate corruption by exposing and undercutting political...

 were avid modernizers. They believed in science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

, technology, expertise—and especially education—as the grand solution to society's weaknesses. Characteristics of progressivism included a favorable attitude toward urban-industrial society, belief in mankind's ability to improve the environment and conditions of life, belief in obligation to intervene in economic and social affairs, and a belief in the ability of experts and in efficiency of government intervention.

Paul Monroe, a professor of history at Columbia University, was a member of The Inquiry
The Inquiry
The Inquiry was a study group established in September 1917 by Woodrow Wilson to prepare materials for the peace negotiations following World War I. The group, composed of around 150 academics, was directed by presidential adviser Edward House and supervised directly by philosopher Sidney Mezes...

--a team of American experts at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. He drew on his experience in the Philippines to assess the educational needs of developing areas such as Albania, Turkey and central Africa. Presenting educational development as instrumental to nation-building and socioeconomic development, Monroe recommended the implementation of a progressive curriculum - with an emphasis on practical, adult, and teacher training - in a national system of education, as a basis for self-development, except in Africa. His approach shaped American cooperation with developing countries in the 1920s and modernization efforts during the 1920s-1930s.

Germany's "Sonderweg"



Many historians have emphasized the central importance of a German Sonderweg
Sonderweg
Sonderweg is a controversial theory in German historiography that considers the German-speaking lands, or the country Germany, to have followed a unique course from aristocracy into democracy, distinct from other European countries...

 or "special path" (or "exceptionalism") as the root of Nazism and the German catastrophe in the 20th century. According to the historiography by Kocka (1988), the process of nation-building from above especially during the period of the German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 (1871–1918), in the following Weimar era, had very grievous long-term implications, historians have argued. In terms of parliamentary democracy, Parliament was kept weak, the parties were fragmented, and there was a row file level of mutual distrust. The Nazis built on the illiberal, anti-pluralist elements of Weimar's political culture. The Junker elites (the large landowners in the east) and senior civil servants, used their great power and influence well into the twentieth century to frustrate any movement toward democracy. They played an especially negative role in the crisis of 1930-1933. The emphasis by Otto von Bismarck
Otto von Bismarck
Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg , simply known as Otto von Bismarck, was a Prussian-German statesman whose actions unified Germany, made it a major player in world affairs, and created a balance of power that kept Europe at peace after 1871.As Minister President of...

 on military force amplified the voice of the officer corps, which combined advanced modernization of military technology with reactionary politics. The rising upper-middle-class elites, in the business, financial, and professional worlds, tended to accept the values of the old traditional elites. The German Empire was for Hans-Ulrich Wehler a strange mixture of highly successful capitalist industrialization and socio-economic modernization on the one hand, and of surviving pre-industrial institutions, power relations and traditional cultures on the other. Wehler‎ argues that it produced a high degree of internal tension, which led on the one hand to the suppression of socialists, Catholics, and reformers, and on the other hand to a highly aggressive foreign policy. For these reasons Fritz Fischer
Fritz Fischer
Fritz Fischer was a German historian best known for his analysis of the causes of World War I. Fischer has been described by The Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing as the most important German historian of the 20th century.-Biography:Fischer was born in Ludwigsstadt in Bavaria. His...

 and his students emphasized Germany’s primary guilt for causing World War I.

Hans-Ulrich Wehler‎, a leader of the Bielefeld School
Bielefeld School
The Bielefeld School is a group of German historians based originally at Bielefeld University who promote social history and political history using quantification and the methods of political science and sociology. The leaders include Hans-Ulrich Wehler‎, Jürgen Kocka and Reinhart Koselleck...

 of social history, places the origins of Germany's path to disaster in the 1860s-1870s, when economic modernization took place, but political modernization did not happen and the old Prussian rural elite remained in firm control of the army, diplomacy and the civil service. Traditional, aristocratic, premodern society battled an emerging capitalist, bourgeois, modernizing society. Recognizing the importance of modernizing forces in industry and the economy and in the cultural realm, Wehler argues that reactionary traditionalism dominated the political hierarchy of power in Germany, as well as social mentalities and in class relations (Klassenhabitus). The catastrophic German politics between 1914 and 1945 are interpreted in terms of a delayed modernization of its political structures. At the core of Wehler's interpretation is his treatment of "the middle class" and "revolution," each of which was instrumental in shaping the 20th century. Wehler's examination of Nazi rule is shaped by his concept of "charismatic domination," which focuses heavily on Adolf Hitler.

The historiographical concept of a German Sonderweg has had a turbulent history. Nineteenth century scholars who emphasized a separate German path to modernity saw it as a positive factor that differentiated Germany from the "western path" typified by Great Britain. The stressed the strong bureaucratic state, reforms initiated by Bismarck and other strong leaders, the Prussian service ethos, the high culture of philosophy and music, and Germany's pioneering of a social welfare state. In the 1950s, historians in West German argued that the Sonderweg led Germany to the disaster of 1933-1945. The special circumstances of German historical structures and experiences, were interpreted as preconditions that, while not directly causing National Socialism, did hamper the development of a liberal democracy and facilitate the rise of fascism. The Sonderweg paradigm has provided the impetus for at least three strands of research in German historiography: the "long nineteenth century", the history of the bourgeoisie, and comparisons with the West. After 1990, increased attention to cultural dimensions and to comparative and relational history moved German historiography to different topics, with much less attention paid to the Sonderweg. While some historians have abandoned the Sonderweg thesis, they have not provided a generally accepted alternative interpretation.

19th century France


In his seminal book Peasants Into Frenchmen: The Modernization of Rural France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, 1880–1914
(1976), historian Eugen Weber
Eugen Weber
Eugen Joseph Weber was a Romanian-born American historian with a special focus on Western Civilization and the Western Tradition....

 traced the modernization of French villages and argued that rural France went from backward and isolated to modern and possessing a sense of French nationhood during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He emphasized the roles of railroads, republican schools, and universal military conscription. He based his findings on school records, migration patterns, military service documents and economic trends. Weber argued that until 1900 or so a sense of French nationhood was weak in the provinces. Weber then looked at how the policies of the Third Republic created a sense of French nationality in rural areas. The book was widely praised, but was criticized by some who argued that a sense of Frenchness existed in the provinces before 1870.

Asia


Many studies of modernization have focused on the history of Japan
History of Japan
The history of Japan encompasses the history of the islands of Japan and the Japanese people, spanning the ancient history of the region to the modern history of Japan as a nation state. Following the last ice age, around 12,000 BC, the rich ecosystem of the Japanese Archipelago fostered human...

 in the late 19th century, and China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 and India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 in the late 20th century. For example, the process of borrowing science and technology from the West has been explored.

Korea


Modernizers in Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

 in the late 19th century were torn between the American and the Japanese models. Most of the Koreans involved were educated Christians who saw America as their ideal model of civilization. However, most used Japan as a practical model - as an example of how a fellow East Asian country, which 30 years before was also backward, could succeed in civilizing itself. At the same time, reformists' nationalist reaction against the domineering, colonial behavior of the Japanese in Korea often took the form of an appeal to international (Western) standards of civilization. The Western-oriented worldview of the early Christian nationalist reformers was complex, multilayered, and often self-contradictory - with 'oppressive' features not easily distinguishable from 'liberational' ones. Their idealized image of the West as the only true, ideal civilization relegated much of Korea's traditional culture to a position of 'barbarism'.

The self-image of Koreans was formed through complex relationships with modernity, colonialism, Christianity, and nationalism. This formation was initiated by a change in the notion of 'civilization' due to the transformation of 'international society' and thereafter was affected by the trauma of Japanese colonization. Through the process of transition from a traditional Confucian notion of civilization to a Western notion of acceptance and resistance, Koreans shaped their civilization as well as their notions of the racial, cultural, and individual modern self. Western Orientalism, in particular, accompanied the introduction of the Western notion of civilization, which served as the background for forming the self-identity of Koreans. The fact that the Japanese version of Orientalism
Orientalism
Orientalism is a term used for the imitation or depiction of aspects of Eastern cultures in the West by writers, designers and artists, as well as having other meanings...

 emerged from the domination of Korea by Japan played a critical role in shaping the self-identity of Koreans. Consequently, Korea still maintains an inferiority complex toward Western culture, ambivalent feelings toward Japanese culture, and biased - positive or negative - views of their own cultural traditions. Thus both modernization and colonization have shaped the formation or distortion of self-consciousness of non-Western peoples.

The US launched a decades-long intensive development starting in 1945 to modernize South Korea, with the goal of helping it become a model nation-state and an economic success. Agents of modernization at work in Korea included the US Army, the Economic Cooperation Administration, the UN Korean Reconstruction Agency, and a number of nongovernmental organizations, among them the Presbyterian Church, the YMCA
YMCA
The Young Men's Christian Association is a worldwide organization of more than 45 million members from 125 national federations affiliated through the World Alliance of YMCAs...

, Boy Scouts and the Ford Foundation
Ford Foundation
The Ford Foundation is a private foundation incorporated in Michigan and based in New York City created to fund programs that were chartered in 1936 by Edsel Ford and Henry Ford....

. Many Koreans migrated to California and Hawaii, and brought back firsthand accounts of modern business and governmental practices that they sought to adapt to Korean conditions.

Turkey


Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, under Kemal Atatürk in the 1920s and 1930s, engaged in a systematic modernization program called "Kemalism"
Atatürk's Reforms
Atatürk's Reforms were a series of political, legal, cultural, social and economic reforms that were designed to modernize the new Republic of Turkey into a democratic and secular nation-state...

. Hundreds of European scholars came to help. Together with Turkish intellectuals they developed a successful model of development.

Latin America


Since independence, modernization has been a driving force for Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

's political elites. Ree (2007) analyzes projects of modernization that have been implemented from above since 1964. Despite their ideological differences and very different understandings of what modernity is, these projects shared key characteristics in their construction and implementation, such as the use of developmental theories, their state-orientation, the prominent role of technocrats and state-planning, and the capacity of adaptation in sight of civil unrest. These projects have produced patterns of modernity that have proven to be particularly stable.

Greece



The 60's is a time of liberation and vitality, with doubts and against conformism, the youth was activated in many activities by creating various groups which support new ideologies.And this picture is reflected to the music,art and cinema,the urban landscape was being tansformed and the technology was being developed very quickly. In the Greek
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 reality of 1960 the arts were dominating and many artists influenced by the American culture. Also in the literature the developments were many and more specific. But developments in the literature was rich and multifarious adding colorful touches to the striking range of the decade. The first years of valuation of Greek modernism begins with the award of Elytis' “Axion Esti” (1960).The industrial revolution and the radicalization of society played a key role in the development of a new rationality in relation to the dominant. The zenith of Modernism was in all forms of art as in painting, poetry, literature, architecture, politics and religion, after the second World War.

Africa


Modernization has been attributed with creating positive development around the world, but in Modern times its ability to promote development, specifically in Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, has been less than so. Modernization that has taken place in Africa can be described as something that has yet to benefit most of the African countries.

Modernization through development has led to problems in Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

 by bringing in private, foreign owned oil companies that have been exploiting the natural resource wealth of the country. Because the oil companies are generally owned by a different nation, the profits are mostly being exported from Nigeria with only one fifteenth of the wealth produced in the region returning to it. Shell, the oil company operating in Ogoniland, Nigeria has helped the country develop and industrialize on a small scale, but it has primarily challenged the sovereignty and autonomy of Nigeria.

Modernization can be seen as a sort of westernization where western institutions such as national parks and industries are brought into existing cultures where their use does not make as much sense. Along with modernization comes a loss of culture and society, and the individual is strengthened. An African tribe known as the Ik was forced to change their habits due to modernization and the creation of individual countries caused by colonialism. Nationalization, as a tool of modernization, was imparted on Africa by colonialists who wanted to westernize and modernize tribal Africa. The creation of individual countries made life for the tribal Ik more difficult because they were forced out of their nomadic lifestyle into a settlement based around a newly founded national park that practically destroyed their livelihood by restricting their hunting grounds to specific non-park areas. The creation of national parks have had the affect of increasing cultivation which can be seen as good development because the people are no longer solely dependent on livestock. This creation of a new sort of livelihood has mixed improvements, because the tribal setting is not removed, rather it is put into a single place.

Democracy


Scholars have long argued that democracy follows modernization, perhaps with a time lag. As Seymour Martin Lipset
Seymour Martin Lipset
Seymour Martin Lipset was an American political sociologist, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and the Hazel Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University. His major work was in the fields of political sociology, trade union organization, social stratification, public opinion, and...

 put it, "All the various aspects of economic development--industrialization, urbanization, wealth, and education--are so closely interrelated as to form one major factor which has the political correlate of democracy. In the 1960s some critics said the link each was too much based on European history, neglecting the Third World. Recent demonstrations of the emergence of democracy in South Korea, Taiwan and South Africa have tended to bolster the thesis.

The historical problem case has always been Germany
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

, in which economic modernization in the 19th century came long before the move to democracy after 1918. Berman, however, concludes that a process of democratization was underway in Imperial Germany, for "during these years Germans developed many of the habits and mores that are now thought by political scientists to augur healthy political development.".

Inglehart, and Welzel (2009) contend that the realization of democracy is not based solely on an expressed desire for that form of government, but that democracies are born as a result of the admixture of certain social and cultural factors. They argue the ideal social and cultural conditions for the foundation of a democracy are born of significant modernization and economic development that result in mass political participation.

Peerenboom (2008) explores the relationships among democracy, the rule of law and their relationship to wealth by pointing to
examples of Asian countries, such as Taiwan and South Korea, that have successfully democratized only after economic growth reached relatively high levels and to examples of countries such as the Philippines, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia and India that sought to democratize at lower levels of wealth but have not done as well.

Adam Przeworski
Adam Przeworski
Adam Przeworski is a Polish-American professor of Political Science. One of the main important theorists and analysers of democratic societies, theory of democracy and political economy, he is currently a full professor at the Wilf Family Department of Politics of New York University.Born in 1940...

 and others have challenged Lipset argument. They say political regimes do not transition to democracy as per capita incomes rise. Rather, democratic transitions occur randomly, but once there, countries with higher levels of gross domestic product per capita remain democratic. Epstein et al. (2006) retest the modernization hypothesis using new data, new techniques, and a three-way, rather than dichotomous, classification of regimes. Contrary to Przeworski, this study finds that the modernization hypothesis stands up well. Partial democracies emerge as among the most important and least understood regime types.

Highly contentious is the idea that modernization implies more human rights, with China in the 21st century being a major test case.

Development


Development, like modernization, has become the orienting principle of our time. Countries that are seen as modern are also seen as developed, and that means that they are generally more respected by institutions such as the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 and even as possible trade partners for other countries. The extent to which a country has modernized or developed dictates its power and importance on the international level.

Criticism


Modernization theory has been criticized, mainly because it conflated modernization with Westernization
Westernization
Westernization or Westernisation , also occidentalization or occidentalisation , is a process whereby societies come under or adopt Western culture in such matters as industry, technology, law, politics, economics, lifestyle, diet, language, alphabet,...

. In this model, the modernization of a society required the destruction of the indigenous culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 and its replacement by a more Westernized one. Technically modernity simply refers to the present, and any society still in existence is therefore modern. Proponents of modernization typically view only Western society as being truly modern arguing that others are primitive or unevolved by comparison. This view sees unmodernized societies as inferior even if they have the same standard of living as western societies. Opponents of this view argue that modernity is independent of culture and can be adapted to any society. Japan is cited as an example by both sides. Some see it as proof that a thoroughly modern way of life can exist in a non-western society. Others argue that Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 has become distinctly more western as a result of its modernization. In addition, this view is accused of being Eurocentric
Eurocentrism
Eurocentrism is the practice of viewing the world from a European perspective and with an implied belief, either consciously or subconsciously, in the preeminence of European culture...

, as modernization began in Europe with the industrial revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

, the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 and the Revolutions of 1848
Revolutions of 1848
The European Revolutions of 1848, known in some countries as the Spring of Nations, Springtime of the Peoples or the Year of Revolution, were a series of political upheavals throughout Europe in 1848. It was the first Europe-wide collapse of traditional authority, but within a year reactionary...

, and has long been regarded as reaching its most advanced stage in Europe (by Europeans), and in Europe overseas (USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand etc). Anthropologists typically make their criticism one step further generalized and say that this view is ethnocentric, not being specific to Europe, but Western culture in general.

There is a strong criticism of Modernization in Africa due to a major problem with governmental corruption that has ultimately slowed the development of African countries through wars and shady dealings that keep money out of the hands of the people. Modernization in theory, should lead to wealthier more economically productive countries, however, the corruption that runs rampant through Africa’s nations has not allowed for much of this prosperity and growth to take place. The destruction of the tribal identities of Africans into national identities has also helped lead to problems with development bubbles. These development bubbles occur when cities rise into the position of industrialization, but the areas outside of the city do not develop and therefore a big inequality of wealth distribution becomes apparent. Therefore many of the people who once worked the agricultural areas in Africa, move to cities where they are expecting to find jobs that will sustain them.

See also


  • Bielefeld School
    Bielefeld School
    The Bielefeld School is a group of German historians based originally at Bielefeld University who promote social history and political history using quantification and the methods of political science and sociology. The leaders include Hans-Ulrich Wehler‎, Jürgen Kocka and Reinhart Koselleck...

    , on German history
  • Development criticism
    Development criticism
    Development criticism refers to criticisms of technological development.-Notable development critics:*Edward Abbey*John Africa*Stafford Beer *Charles A...

  • Ecological modernization
    Ecological modernization
    Ecological modernization is an optimistic school of thought in the social sciences that argues that the economy benefits from moves towards environmentalism...

  • Idea of Progress
    Idea of Progress
    In historiography, the Idea of Progress is the theory that advances in technology, science, and social organization inevitably produce an improvement in the human condition. That is, people can become happier in terms of quality of life through economic development , and the application of science...

  • Mass society
    Mass society
    Mass society is a description associated with society in the modern, industrial era. "Guided by the structural-functional approach and drawing on the ideas of Tönnies, Durkheim, and Weber, understands modernity as the emergence of a mass society...

  • Modernization theory
    Modernization theory
    Modernization theory is a theory used to explain the process of modernization within societies. The theory looks at the internal factors of a country while assuming that, with assistance, "traditional" countries can be brought to development in the same manner more developed countries have...

  • Progressive Era
    Progressive Era
    The Progressive Era in the United States was a period of social activism and political reform that flourished from the 1890s to the 1920s. One main goal of the Progressive movement was purification of government, as Progressives tried to eliminate corruption by exposing and undercutting political...

    , on U.S. in early 20th century