1) Cold War began in earnest in 1950
• the US saw the world as democratic vs. Communist
• saw demoractic countries as automatic allies
• lots of funding for research in graduate work about countries understudied
◦ starting in 1948 with India, most colonies were able to become
3) economic growth
• after WWII, the world economy took off
• rapid ecnomic growth fuelled by and produces (circular process)
urbanization, literacy, political participation, media engagement, mobility
• saw the passing of traditional society
• modernization was the theory everyone looked to prove, see evidence of
Theory of Modernization
• defined development as a process of modernization
• underdeveloped societies are traditional societies; developed societies are
• modernization is the theory that explains the process of development
Lerner – links transition of development to democracy
• small village in Turkey, Balgat
• demonstrates that Balgat is a traditional village, subsistence labour, make
what they consume, not wage labourers, not participants in a market
◦ 1) feature of tradition: isolation
◦ 2) absence of information – 1 radio, Chief invites select ppl to listen to 1
program, the official news program by the government. After the
program is over, the Chief interrprets the program, tells ppl how to
understand it, what parts are important.
◦ 3 feature of tradition: The Chief
▪ chooses who is interviewed, resists giving interviewer access to the
poorest man b/c of status. No social mobility. Social status by
▪ Obedience and loyalty from traditional Turkish values
▪ he thinks and talks only about his own experience. Lerner argues that
a person with a traditional mindset lacks ability to imagine
alternatives to his own life. Callsthis a lack of empathy
◦ 4 : lack of tolerance of different opinions. Chief resists change and
◦ mobile, travels regularly to Ankara
◦ watches movies and reads the paper. Listens to the radio at coffee
houses in Ankara, enjoys listening to the world news. Active participant in
◦ Buys and sells things for a living. Internalizes the profit motive of the market – has desire to make money and be wealthy – trait of modernity.
◦ Wants to travel. Wishes he had a big grocery store in the city
◦ has strong ideas of what he would do if he were President of Turkey. Has
ability to project himself into someone else's shoes. He's physically and
◦ But he's not a popular figure in the village. Lerner says this is because
he's different. His different ideas, style, dissatisfaction is not tolerated by
◦ Lerner says in traditional societies, differences are not tolerated. Wants
to position the Grocer as an agent of change. Ppl ask G what coffee
houses to go to, what movies to see.
• Traditional Turkish peasants had voted (expressed opinions) that were
opposite of the dominant opinon (they voted for the opposition party)
• in 1954, Balgat gone through stunningly fast transformation of
modernization in 4 years.
• 1) it takes less than 0.5hour to get there. Regular bus service to the city.
Most ppl in vllage are now employed in the city.
• Ppl are wage labourers, they buy what they use
• population explosion – 50 houses to 500 houses. Chief doesn't know
everyone in village anymore
• urbanization: Balgat has become part of Ankara
• has electricy and running water.
• Over 100 radios, ppl have access to information.
◦ More information available (radio programming will have increased b/c
more ppl have radios)
◦ can take in information in an unmediated way.
• Political participation – everyone voted for opposition party.
• Why did they vote for the Demokrat party? Lerner says the Grocer is the
• circularity problem: he says it's clear why you have rapid modernization
process in Balgat. But how does it come about? Having a particular lens
through which you're looking through the world affects and transforms what
you think and see
• Lerners theory of the modern personality
◦ positivist spirit
◦ goal ori