1Assignment: Future of Modernization Paper Adreena Lind Sociology 120 Due: April 8th , 2012 Jena Mehrotra
2Future of Modernization Paper Write a 1,050- to 1,750-word paper addressing the following questions:• How does modernization manifest itself in U.S. society? Use one of the modern theoristsintroduced in Ch. 16 of Society as a basis for your response.• Is modernization likely to continue in the U.S.? Explain your answer.• Is modernization a world-wide trend?• What are the consequences of modernization?• Which theorist best reflects your perceptions of modernization?Research the UOPX Library for information to support your answers. Try search terms such as“modernization trends” or “consequences of modernization.”Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines.Cite 3 to 5 sources; at least two must come from the UOPX Library. You may also refer to theRecommended Websites list in the Electronic Resources section at the beginning of this syllabusfor additional sources.Note: Sources other than those from the UOPX Library or the Recommended Websites list needto be approved by the instructor.
3 Modernization is the way culture and society manifestsitself through environmental,social, economic, and political changes for the good of the masses. Modernization is a worldwidemovement;some of these manifestations have been positive, and indeed, progressive while other“advances” have been harmful and destructive. This paper will explore the consequences andtrends of modernization, several different theories of modernization, and what possibilities it hasfor the future.Modernization is characterized by four key elements, which are committeesbecoming smaller in exchange for larger urban developments (cities), and the desire forindividualized choice and the development of diversified societies. Modernization has been transforming society for thousands of years, developing ideas tohelp people with daily task to better that person’s life. This, of course, was the purpose of theindustrial revolution during the late 1700s, (Macionis, p. 485). This industrialization period,which began in England and the United Kingdom, led to the extensive growth of Europe’s abilityto produce. There were significant population growth in urban areas and increased earningpotential for limited and unskilled laborers. This period was also marked with poor livingconditions, limited changes for education, and little regulation for child labor. The highs and lows that coincide with events of the industrial revolution are often seenwhen discussing modernization. The good of the industrial revolution allows Europe to flourishand prosper and guide the way for other courtiers to follow suit, and later the development ofsafe work and living conditions. In current society,there is a constant struggle to find the balancebetween “finding a brighter tomorrow” and “creating a dark future” for the next generations,(Margetts, Perri, Hood,2010). In modernized countries people live longer and have lessoffspring, but consume more and create more pollution than “lesser” developed countries.Liberties and education have propelled these societies into the twenty-first century, leavingbehind the small communities of the past, and outlooks that, often, focus solely on the needs ofone rather than the needs of many, (Macionis, p. 480). The growth of European industry was sparked by inventive concepts and splendidmachinery, while also exploiting the poor and feeble. Most people lived and worked in verycramped and unsanitary conditions. The industrial revolution also eventually leads to asignificant loss of employment for skilled crafts people, who were unable to compete with themodern machinery; often operated by poorly skilled workers. From the plight of the industrial
4revolution arise labor laws to protect child from dangerous working conditions, labor and tradeunions and eventually the improvement of living conditions. It is important to understand that modernization is not the enemy of social cohesivenessor morality in society; it is a further development of the masses that guide the direction ofa(particular) movement. The development of a modern society affects the entire world, as awhole.As one collective of people goes in the direction of modernization and seek technology asa means of social development other groups tend to follow; the socialization theory. Furthermoreif onegroup pollutes, a consequence of modernization, there can be effects seen on the other sideof the world (i.e. waterways, acid rain, and depletion of wild life).This concept basically meansmodernization is in the hands of the society and the individual can affect the masses. Socialchange can alter modernization through small specific objective for change or through radicalmovements such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and communism in East Germany in the 1980s. Presently,societies are able tointeract through media and virtual outlets; often relying onthese resources for cultivated perspectives of the world outside of one’s surroundings. Theinternet and mass media allow individuals to converse with people from around the globe andattain vast amount of knowledge without even opening the front door. Effects of certain culturalchanges occur much more rapidly than in past decades because people are socially linkedthrough technology.In this way modernization has led to the poor or older individual being left inthe past. This bring about the social conflict theory, which essentially eliminates a growingproblem as some group are being more technologically capable and advanced other are sadly,unable to contend. While modernization has,essentially, worn away the severe class systems of the past thereis still a division of the majority of working class and lower class individuals and the elitecapitalists groups in our society based on technological advancement.From the growth ofindustrialization came the development and strength of bureaucracy in society; the evolution ofcapitalism (Chase-Dunn, 2010).This division is a perfect example of the positive and negativeaspects of modernization process. While some are able to move forward other are not.Modernization is unlikely to stop growing and developing. A general perspective of “modern”modernization of western-society is“forward or bust,” forward thinking; moving to past ideasand thinking is often seen as irrational.
5 This way of think can also create conflict amongst people of different age groups. Olderindividuals often look to the way the world was and younger individuals look for how things willbe,(Shaffer, 2011). Traditional views of religion, historical preservation, and cultural is being lostand the gap between older and younger groups is only getting larger. There is almost segregationbetween the generation of “the past” and the generation of the “going to be”. Societal agendasand understandings are generally based on the financial aspects of life rather than theunmaterialistic adhesive association between communities. For older generations it often appearsthat religious values are brushed out of the way for materialistic wealth and power. Youngergenerations feel the limitations of the past are stifling and useless. The truth is the past paved the way for the future and without the past there is not present.The past should be looked at as a guide of how to improve upon the future and not be forgotten,(Li, 2009). There is likely to always be conflict with the wave of change known asmodernization. There are likely to benefits and consequences of those changes for the future, butthe goal is to find a way to develop society while also developing solutions to the consequencesof society; finding the balance between the past and the current societies to build a strongerfuture. Modernization in my opinion depends on the society and is guiding the wave forward.
6References: o Chase-Dunn, C. (1975, December). THE EFFECTS OF INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC DEPENDENCE ON DEVELOPMENT AND INEQUALITY: A CROSS- NATIONAL STUDY. American Sociological Review, Vol. 40 (Issue 6), p720-738. o Li, Y. (2009, Fall). Revival of Tradition or Modernization?. Chinese Studies in History, Vol. 43(Issue 1), p61-71. o Margetts, H., Perri, ., & Hood, C. (2010). Paradoxes of Modernization. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. o Shaffer, M. (2011, June). AGES APART. National Review, Vol. 63(Issue 11), p35-37.