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Lecture 4

Lecture 4 - Modernization Theory

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University of Ottawa
Political Science
Modeste Mba Talla

Jan. 30, 2014 Modernization Theory Ex: Traditional and modern society – Japan Marx – religion is an obstacle to modernization I – The Origins of the Modernization Theory The Age of Enlightenment o Characteristics – rationalism, science, move away from religion, etc.  The term also more specifically refers to a historical intellectual movement, “The Enlightenment.”  This movement advocated rationality as a means to establish an authoritative system of ethics, aesthetics, and knowledge.  The intellectual leaders of this movement regarded themselves as courageous and elite o Elite usually means people who can create wealth. In this case, there were also philosophers.  Regarded their purpose as leading the world toward progress and out of a long period of doubtful tradition  This movement also provided a framework for theAmerican and French revolutions  The unity of science movement, which includes logical positivism  Prominent Enlightenment – philosophers such as Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and David Hume questioned and attacked the existing institutions of both Church and State. o SaudiArabia, colonizing UK  Application to political economy o Philosophical ideas within the political economy  Led to the rise of capitalism o Modernization and capitalism are intertwined II – The Theoretical Origins of Modernization Theory  Marx, Durkheim, and Weber shared the intellectual concerns of their time in trying to identify the basic features of societies that promote or inhibit their development o Contributors to the modernization theory o Marx – thought capitalism and modernization were about work (important to the theory of modernization). The sum of work. To be modern, you must able to work and you must be able to have capital. Capital for proletariats (working class), not just the elite. More we give access to everyone, more modern we become. Accumulation and sharing of capital. If you don’t share, you’ll never be modern. Communist vs. capitalist. o Durkheim – father of sociology. Darwin theory – to be modern naturally. The weak will die and the strongest will survive. o Weber – The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism – work hard now, reap the rewards in the afterlife. Making lots of money is a good thing. Money makes your modern – increase social status, etc.  Mechanical solidarity o Weber – characteristics of modernization  Segmental society o Society is segmented/specialized – easy to accomplish societal tasks  Modernity as progressive o It takes 60 years to become a modern society  Sought to explain the emergence of industrialization  Why capitalist manufacturing became dominant  Contrast between traditional and modern societies  Values and norms o Values – you can question o Norms – what is formalized in society o Weber – norms in modernization  Move from limited economic relationships of traditional society to the innovative complex economic a) People are oriented to the past b) The kinship system c) Members of the traditional society (emotional superstition, fatalistic approach) o People in modern societies do not do so as much III – Modernization Theory  The proximate origins of modernization theory may be traced to the response of American political elites and intellectuals to the international setting of the post-Second World War era.  In the 1950s and early 1960s, modernization was developed by a number of social scientists, particularlyAmerican scholar Talcott Parsons.  The modernization theory is used to summarize modern transformations of social life  Identify those factors crucial for economic development  The impact of the Cold War and the simultaneous emergence of Third World societies as prominent actors in world politics in the wake of the disintegration of the European colonial empires  Substantial intellectual interest and resources beyond the borders ofAmerican society, and even of Europe, into the study of the societies ofAsia,Africa, and LatinAmerica.  During the two decades after the war,American social scientists and their graduate students, with the generous support of governmental and private agencies  Increasing attention to the problems of economic development, political stability, and social and cultural change in these societies. IV – Rostow and the Modernization Theory  The modernization theory is used to summarize modern transformations of social life  Rostow’s Stages of Economic Growth  Rostow identified five stages of economic growth Stage 1 – Traditional Society • The economy is dominated by subsistence activity • Agriculture is th
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