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Taking A Closer Look At The Modernization Theory

1141 words - 5 pages

MODERNIZATION THEORY

The invention of the concepts of development and underdevelopment is attributable to the former U.S. President Harry Truman, in a speech in January 1949, stressed the need to help the "underdeveloped" countries. In an international context of profound change following the Second World War and the process of decolonization that followed, the United States , then became superpower , proposed to establish a new world order in which the conflicting worldviews stand down mutual development ;

The aim is to enable all countries to achieve a high level of economic well-being and social development. As the Cold War began and the risk of Communist expansion increased, the U.S. decided to study the Third World countries in order to offer solutions to their problems and promote capitalist ideology.

Outcome of evolutionary and functionalist theories [1], school modernization was thus created to theorize the concept of development. According to this school of thought, the "delay" in the Third World, characterized by the gaps between the so-called industrialized countries and the latter is due to their economic, political and social traditional. The goal to achieve an optimal level of development that everyone can potentially suck , then follow a series of steps extending over the long term and to modernize deep cultural values, a prerequisite for the development up able to promote technical and economic progress modern institutions.

Poverty in Third World countries is shown as being the result of their archaic economic structure , focusing on agriculture, and the challenge to ensure their development is therefore to do as the richest countries have done in the past; that is to say, to accelerate the industrialization process , including through capital investment . Walt Rostow , through his book The Stages of Economic Growth (1970 ) shows that about any country, regardless of the international context and the time in which it operates , passes during its development by a number identical stages ranging from traditional society, in which the unproductive economy is predominantly agricultural , the " society of mass consumption " which is characterized by, among other primary needs of the population and the services sector booming.

Thus, according to this theory, underdeveloped countries are perceived as "backward" compared to developed countries as models for having reached the final stage of development presented by Rostow [2]. As highlighted sociologists' modernization Talcott Parsons (1951) and Alex Inkeless (1964), changing values and social structures is a fundamental basis of the process of economic development of a country factor. Indeed, the traditional values of a country need to be replaced by modern Western values , emphasizing individualism and rationality, because without this change of mentality, traditional societies cannot develop modern institutions it are needed to promote progress and economic growth, the ultimate...

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