Modernization.pdf

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Department
Political Science
Course
POL201Y1
Professor
Christian Campbell
Semester
Fall

Description
- explicating modernisation theory and lerners parable of the chief and the grocer (from the readings) in the context of this theory - political scientists are going out into the world in the 50s, exploring theories in areas and environments that they hadnt traveled to before -> there are actually thousands of monographs produced about villages all over the world (this particular turkish case was chosen by the prof because she thought it usefully, and conveniently, highlighted certain problems with modernisation theory, see below) -> so what spearheaded this movement toward external exploration by scientists? in light of the cold war, the US was preoccupied with the question of democracy, what might drive certain governments to lean more toward democracy and others toward communism -> curious, the US government funded a lot of these scientiststravels to other nations/continents - the archetype of tradition -> turkish chief, unwilling to introduce interviewer to those of low status, his themes are obedience, courage, and loyalty and lerner identifies these as core turkish values, classic values of the ottoman empirium -> part of the reason is that his mindset is limited to that which he is personally familiar, he thinks and talks only about his own experience -> lerner argues that people with primitive mindsets lack the ability to project imagined alternatives to their lived realities, unable to contemplate flights of fancy -> lerner sees this as a lack of empathy, a lack of ability to envision yourself in different circumstances -> one other characteristic of tradition that lerner highlights among the villagers is resistance to change, tradition, homogeneity, a suspicion of difference -> in this account that lerner offers, the chief stands in for traditional society and demonstrates many of the important traits of tradition -> ***the ways in which tradition ostensibly stands in the way of development to modernisation -> i.e. rigid status and hierarchy, lack of physical and social mobility, lack of access to information, lack of curiosity about world outside, lack of ability to imagine yourself in a world or future that is different from the one you are present in - the grocer, by contrast, symbolises the future, the world of possibility -> he travels regularly to ankara and is familiar with the city, he is also familiar with movies -> he enjoys listening to the news of the world -> he is also an active participant in the market as opposed to most of his fellow villagers, subsistence farmers involved only in the marker peripherally, neither wage-earners nor spenders -> but the grocer buys and sells things as a living and has internalised the profit motive, has a desire to make more money, a desire unexpressed by any others in the village -> he also has desires and imagination that spread far beyond his village -> he declares actually that he would live in america and visit the gateway produce store, demonstrates the supposedly modern trait of empathy, this ability to imagine or project himself into someone elses shoes, psychically mobile, envisions change and transformation -> however the grocer is not a popular figure in the village due to these different ideas, his dissatisfaction with life in balgat, all markers of difference not tolerated in the village, even the interviewer shuns him - so lerner starts his research in turkey, in the spring of 1950, collects hundreds of interviews which are supposed to demonstrate (and do in fact demonstrate as far as he and his assistants are concerned) that turkish peasants are hopelessly traditional, mired in their traditions -> in the summer of 1950, these same peasants turned out in huge numbersto vote against the party in office, bringing in a democratic opposition party -> turns out they did have opinions to express, and ones in opposition to the dominant party and ideology (ataturk of the halk party), had not behaved deferentially toward the existing power structure and the nation, toward the founding fathers of the nation and toward political tradition -> behaved in ways that are very modern according to lerners own theories -> so lerner is forced to change his whole research agenda in the face of this outcome - so then his question for his book becomes how did this happen, what clues from these interviews were there for this outcome -> lerner imagines now that the grocer was the hero of his story, the harbinger -> really the only reason he goes back to balgat, four years later, is to talk again to this grocer -> in 1954 then, lerner finds that balgat has gone through a suddenly fast process of transformation/modernisation -> so now the point of the second set of interviews is to identify all the characteristics of modernity -> the first is that the 8km trip to balgat is now just a short jaunt, there is now a bus connecting balgat to ankara and it is evident that people now travel back and forth all the time, most villagers are now employed in factories in the village necessitating daily trips, now have disposable incomes, are now wage-earners and purchase almost everything that they use now with these wages -> instead of one grocer, there are now seven grocers there and even the sons of the chief own a store -> there has also been a population explosion, having grown from 50 houses in 1950 to 500 houses in 1954) with not all known to the chief now -> urbanisation is another feature of the village, balgat itself has become part of ankara, the city have
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