Free Essay

- Wk8 Modernization Assignment

In: Social Issues

Submitted By nepolis
Words 1167
Pages 5
Modernization generally refers to social structures at present, especially that established in an industrialized society where urbanization and specialization as well as technological advancement are only among the indicators. Emile Durkheim's (1997,orig.1893) ideas on modernization, while sharing Tonnies' Gemeinschaft & Gesellschaft (1968,orig.1925)ideas on the nature of modern societies echoes aspect of Karl Weber's Rationalization(1978) theories on modernity while wholly embracing that capitalism is as much a result and a cause of the modern world. Specialization and division of labour for Durkheim has created a post-industrial world of highly skilled societies, expertise becomes particular; enhancing dependence and competition, and while success becomes inevitable as well as failure due to the very nature of competition, interdependence and creation of social structures to facilitate the nature of modern markets has created a much globalized economy. Durkheim's ideas on division of labour & specialization is more apt at explaining the technology enhanced global capitalism that our world is practicing, which he calls 'organic solidarity' (1997, orig.1893); at the same time, his ideas on 'anomie' the possible collapse of moral values due to an increasingly individualized & competitive social situation serves to warn and encourages the creation of check & balances to prevent such collapse.
The United States is a country that is rich in opportunities and culture. It is within this diverse culture, that modernization manifest itself in the United States society. There are four ways that modernization manifests itself within the United States society. These areas are communities, the aging population, personal choices, and the diverseness of the society as a whole. It seems that one thing most do not discuss on modernization is the growing rate of the nuclear family. We are creatures of self-preservation and strive to further ourselves in this day and age.
There is also a theory and a link between modernization and the processes of urbanization and industrialization. In order for urbanization to develop successfully and the industrial world to progress, there must be an element of modernization in order to advance. 1 When modernization increases within any society, the citizens of that society become much more significant. As a result, the individuals replace the family structure and the community as a whole unit. The importance of each and every person being a significant contributor to the modernization of the society in which he or she lives. Another element that is associated with modernization is the effect that this process on religion. Traditionally, religious beliefs and cultural traits usually become less important as modernization takes hold.
One modern theorist that I use as a basis for my responses is Peter Wagner. His work focuses on the issues of social theory and political philosophy of contemporary Europe. According to Peter Wagner, modernization can be seen as a process. In addition, not only is modernization a series of processes, but it may also be viewed as offensive, such as the way that politicians and the media suggest developments of new technology or as a way to update traditional methods of doing things.2 The way in which Peter Wagner describes that process of change that takes place through modernization is the most accurate description of any type of modernization. When discussing how modernization involves the view point from the offensive, it is important to understand that the view of modernization in terms of offensives argues that both the developments and he altered opportunities are made available by developments that are shaped and controlled by human beings. The view of modernization as offensives therefore sees it as a product of human planning and human action.
People in today's culture are busier than ever. As a result, many people are searching for methods to make things quicker and easier to accomplish. Personal choices consist of everything from which computer is the fastest and best to work with to what is the best way to help save the planet. Modernization in this way effects the way individuals try to, "Go Green." Individuals in today's society are making more of an effort to recycle, save energy, and use less toxic materials in their everyday lives. Modernization in this way is most likely to continue in the coming years. The citizens in this country have learned all of the danger that is done by using our natural resources to the extent that we have many plants and animals on the endangered list. Our society has realized that action needs to occur today so that there is a viable planet for the future. It seems that from the philosophical side we are becoming more aware of our surroundings and the social impact on what is needed to make it through to the next stages of life as a whole.
One of the major elements of modernization that is a worldwide trend is cultural modernization. Across the globe, all countries desire the basic elements of a modern society, such as equality, personal freedoms, and self-improvements. One of the basis trends of modernization within the United States that has become a worldwide trend is universal education. Factors such as social progress, civil laws, and general right versus wrong principles that society is able to live by have definitely become worldwide trends.
Just as with any method that brings about change, and progress, there are some undesirable effects. One consequence of modernization is the very tense issue of terrorism. Many people in the United States know that war is happening in other countries, and that Americans are involved in these battles. However, since most of us are far from these battles, we may not be as aware of the negative effects that war creates and how our involvement creates the opportunity for terrorism. Media surveys that were conducted by news media discovered that the average American read less international news now than before the September 11, 2001 attacks. ** People become de-centralized after a period of seemingly non-activity.
Modernization is likely to continue in the United States. Modernization was brought on by the industrial age. Since this time, citizens of the United States have craved better technologies, better medicine, and a better way of life. Our society has grown and progressed forward in so many ways that to not continue would not be an option. It is a fact that progress and modernization go hand in hand with modernization. As a general principle, once modernization begins and continues, it does not stop. The more that a person, and by extension, a society as a whole, knows he more that they want to know. To put this into perspective, a little more than forty years ago, modernization as a worldwide trend did not seem possible. Currently, it is not only possible, is continuing at a rapid rate.

Nature versus Nurture: The Environment's Persistent Influence through the Modernization of American Agriculture.
Hornbeck, Richard1
'An Upthrust Into Barbarism': Coal, Trauma, and Origins of the Modern Self, 1885-1951.
Johnson, Bob1
American Modernities, Past and Present.

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