Essay on Modernization Theory: The Development Ladder
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Modernisation theory has been a dominant theory since post-World War II (McMichael 2012:5) to describe development and social change. It is structured and outlined through five different stages of 'development ladder' proposed by Walt Whitman Rostow in The Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto. (1961:4) The first premise of modernisation theory reflected by 'development ladder' is that development happened in a sequential process through stage by stage while the second premise underpinned by ‘development ladder’ is conformity towards West's values and norms. However, these two premises are found to be problematic as they are neglecting the differences in societies and assuming that the 'development ladder' system is…show more content…
This is the part where obstructions to achieve development are overcome whether in social, political or in technological aspects. The drive to maturity stage happens approximately 40 years after the take-off stage ends. The society should be able to employ the newly improvised techniques on variety of its resources compared to the previous original methods in several industries of production. This section is where the society has the capability to just create anything and everything with polished skill and advanced technology according to Rostow.(1961:4) When the society reaches the age of high mass-consumption stage, it denotes the final stage in 'development ladder'. The focus of the production has been changed towards sturdy consumer goods and services as the increased resources are able to be allocated for social benefits and security. In the meantime, the income and productivity are increased as well as the number of conversions to high skilled jobs. This last stage is the main goal of development and modernisation that must be realised by surpassing all the former stages. 'Development ladder' carves the fixed path for all societies regardless of the background. Development depicted through 'development ladder' is progressed linearly throughout the process. Rostow suggested that the development is shaped stage by stage towards modernisation. This tenet is not credible as these stages are centralised on Western and highly ethnocentrism. It is
Modernization has become an integral part of society because it is necessary for the economic development of the people. As a result, we can see lots of cities proliferating across the countries located in different continents. They are connected by broad roads crisscrossing the land, however, increased modernization or in other words, urbanization entails own advantages and disadvantages. They are as follows:
Positive effects of modernization:
Enhanced medical facilities: The immediate impact of modernization is felt on the general health of the population. Due to the presence of hospitals and qualified doctors, medical help is away at an arm’s length for the people. Surgery and medicines available at the local hospital can treat patients suffering from varieties of diseases.
Smart cities: Modernization is responsible for creating smart cities wherein close circuit TV cameras are installed at every road intersection to monitor the traffic. They house educational institutions of higher learning that impart rational and scientific thinking. Students graduating from the universities and colleges participate in research and business to improve the quality of life of the people. Smart cities are equipped with modern transport system such as Metro trains carrying millions of passengers from one place to another. Efficiency is the concept used in enhancing the quality of the life of the citizens.
Quality of communication: Modernization has played an important role in the invention of the internet. People can communicate with each other through smartphones and tablets. They are able to access the website and gain information about the distant countries and tourist spots. Aviation technology has led to an increase in air travel with tourists flying from one continent to another. People engaged in manufacturing and services get employed in huge numbers.
Negative effects of modernization:
Change in culture: Increased modernization has led to the creation of new technologies that go a long way in changing the socio-economic structure of the society. People by nature tend to maintain the status quo which is challenged by the new generation. New ideas lead to a novel outlook on life however they are opposed by the traditionalists leading to conflict in the society.
Deforestation: Increased urbanization has led to the cutting of trees and forests resulting in the disappearance of the greenery. Wild animals are losing their habitats due to modernization as they attack humans encroaching into their areas. Balanced approach is the need of the hour or else the whole planet will become uninhabitable in the future
Pollution: Clearing of the forest has resulted in the loss of trees which in turn increased pollution level of the environment. Moreover, the setting up of manufacturing industries has worsened the problem. Countries have introduced legislations but they are not effectively implemented because of corruption and economic problems.
Income disparity: Modernization has led to a huge gap between haves and the have not’s. As a result, a certain section of the population is agitated with the economic policy of the governments leading to a rise in crime and the political movements.
Conclusion: It is important for people to use the concept of modernization is a constructive manner. Instead of focusing on uneven development, a holistic approach should be carried out to get the desired results.
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- negative effects of modernization on culture
- impact of modernization on society
- bad effects of modernization
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- effects of modernisation on environment