Modernization Theory, Strengths and Weaknesses

In: Social Issues

Submitted By mshollah
Words 2167
Pages 9
Development is an elusive concept to define. It is not simply an increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is rather multidimensional and there are no universally accepted approaches which can work as a utility and panacea for development. Development encompasses the advancement of agriculture, village and cottage industries, the socio-economic infrastructure, human resources, community services, human rights and the political environment.

Phenomenally, development is the end result of the interactions between various physical, technological, economic, social, cultural and political institutional factors (Singh, 1999). The thrust of this paper is however, not on definition of terms but a chronicle of the modernization theory, its basic tenants and its critical appreciation in the development context of the third world countries. In development discourse the modernization movement of the 1950s and 1960s is an economic theory that is rooted in capitalism. The concept of modernization incorporates the full spectrum of the transition and drastic transformation that a traditional society has to undergo in order to become modern (Hussain et al., 1981). Modernization is about Africa following the developmental footsteps of Europe. According to modernity, policies intended to raise the standard of living of the poor often consist of disseminating knowledge and information about more efficient techniques of production. The modernization theory assumes a total change of policies intended to raise the standard of living of the poor often consist of disseminating knowledge and information about more efficient techniques of production. For instance , the agriculture modernization process involves encouraging farmers to try new crops, new production methods and new marketing skills (Ellis and Biggs, 2001). In general, modernization led to the…...

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