Future of modernization
Modernization is the continuous process of societal restructuring. Modernization is concerned with structural changes that enable new methods of production of goods and services. Modernization is synonymous with industrialization and development. It results in change of the value system of the society as it evokes changes in the political, social and economic system.
The economic recession facing economies the world over has not been an exception for the United States of America, one of the world’s strongest economies. The economic changes have lead to restructuring of capitalism and social structures to accommodate economic challenges. The United States has become an economy desperate for change. Max Weber contends that modernity is the process of replacing traditional worldview with a rational way of thinking (Wang, 2009). Modern people adopt methods and structures that allow them to achieve their goals. Economic challenges lead to the need to create new methods of doing things in order to survive. Modernization in the United States has lead to cultural diversity and weakening of community ties. The United States society is moving away from the traditional value system, which embraced communalism to a society in which individualism has become a norm. In addition, cultural diversity due globalization and migration the society has become more tolerant of other cultures (Khutiala, 2003). Communication systems have been transforming with the advent of mass media reducing face-to-face communication. Karl Marx contends that modernity is concerned with capitalism. The United States of America has embraced modernization, evidenced by shift from reliance on agriculture to industrialization. Industrial mass production has lead to employment opportunities increasing white-collar jobs (Khutiala, 2003).
Modernization is a process that is continuous. Modernization in the United States began with industrialization. Traditionally the US was highly dependent on agriculture for economic growth. Nowadays, agriculture continues to contribute a significant portion to the economic income of the US in addition to having well-established industrial systems. The rationalization theory of modernity contends that individuals apply rational thinking to come up with new methods of doing things in the society in order to achieve their goals. Individuals are always thriving to enhance the technology in the society that in turn leads to modernization. As the United States thrives to progress through introduction of new technology, the country’s modernization takes place as progress continues.
According to Wang and Li (2009), modernization is like a social process-taking place across time and space. Although modernization is a trend in the world, it the speed with which modernity takes place in countries that varies. Some economies in the world have been modernizing at the same pace since the early ninth century synonymous with the age of revolution. The difference in the rate of modernization in different countries is due to political and economic structures in a country. Some countries have the resources and structure which support transformation of capitalist systems in the country while other do not have such resources. In the advent of globalization, third world countries, which did not embrace modernity from the onset are catching up due to the opportunities available in international markets (Wang, 2009). Companies in developed economies are venturing into the developing countries because their markets are saturated. International investments in third world countries have enabled these countries to progress and with progess come modernization.
Modernization has both positive and negative consequences. Modern societies are moving away from traditional homogeneous societies. Modernization has led to a heterogeneous society, which is secular with many subcultures. In addition, traditionally the United States of America was a monoculture society evidenced by the slavery of African Americans. With modernization, the United States is more tolerant of cultural diversity. Modernization has resulted to transformation of social structures such as the family in the United States of America. Family and communal ties are less important with individualism taking center stage (Khutiala, 2003). Individuals in the society valued their privacy and communal decisions, which were common traditionally, but have now, become increasingly outdated. Modernization has also led to cultural values and norms in the society. In the advent of technology, the mass media is playing a critical role in shaping the value system of individuals especially the young generation in the society. Modernization has also led to an increased number of literate individuals in the society. With modernization, an individual has to have a decent education in order to gain access to meaningful employment opportunities. Without education, an individual can only get blue color jobs, which do not have a competent compensation package to sustain the high cost of living in the modern times. Modernization has facilitated globalization the world over leading to a global culture, which creates numerous opportunities in international markets. Modernization has contributed heavily to the transformation in communication methods the world over. Individuals use the mass media to keep in touch with their families, colleagues and friends reducing physical contact, which was fundamental in traditional methods of communication.
The Classical theory of modernity greatly influences my perception of modernization. Karl Marx contends that modernization is because of industrial reduction (Wang and Li, 2009). With continued progress in industrial revolution, social structure and values are also continually undergoing transformations to match the change in the economy.
Khutiala, S.K. (2003). From Tradition to Modernity. India: Abhinav Publications
Wang, J. (2009). Some Reflections on Modernization Theory and Globalization Theory. Chinese Studies in History, 43(1), 72-98. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Wang, X., & Li J. (2009). Modernization and the Study of Modern Chinese History. Chinese Studies in History, 43(1), 46-60. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.