NAME: TINOTENDA NECHIBVUTEREG NUMBER: R182700NCOURSE: SOC 218LECTURER: DR R. MATEDUE DATE: 10 APRIL 2019DEGREE PROGRAMME: SOCIOLOGYQUESTION: USING AT LEAST THREE APPROACHES TO/ THEORIES OF DEVELOPMENT, DISCUSS THE PURPORTED STRENGTH AND REALISED WEAKNESSES OF MODERNISATION THEORY.The paper seeks to assess and analyze the supposed or assumed to be the intensity and the vulnerability of the mordenisation theory using three approaches to development which include the dependency theory, the neo-liberal theory and the neo Marxists approach. The mordenisation theory is the the theory that is used to explain the process of modernisation within societies basing on the transition from traditional to a modern society as originated from the ideas of Max Weber later on developed by Parsons.
Therefore the paper will explore more on the above assertion in full detail.According to Reyes, G.E (2001), states that there were main and historical elements which were favorable to the inception of the modernization theory of development after the Second World War. He further notes that according to the modernization theory, modern societies are more productive, children are better educated, and are better educated, and the needy receive more welfare.
The major assumptions of modernization theory of development basically are that modernisation is a phased process, for example Rostow has 5 phases according to his theory of economic development for a particular society. The proponent also say that modernisation is a homogenizing process, it produces tendencies toward convergence among societies , for example Levy(1967), p.207) maintains that as time goes on , they and we will increasingly resemble one another because the patterns of modernization are such that the more highly modernized societies become, the more they resemble one another. They also believed that modernization is an irreversible process , once it has been started in a certain country it cannot be hold or stopped it forever lasts , thus if the third world countries come in to contact with the west , they will not be able to resist the issue towards modernization. Their further assumptions were also that modernisation is a transformative process, in order for a society to move into modernity its traditional structures and values must be totally replaced by a set of modern values, and it is also an imminent process due to its systematic and transformative nature, which builds change into the social system.To start with, one of the approaches to the modernisation theory of development is the Neo-liberal approach. The Neo-liberal approach emerged or came into being during the 20th century as the renewal of the approaches to development which existed during the 19th centuries like the modernisation theory, its aim was to come up with the ideas of economic liberisation in countries, privatization and to make sure that the state governments do reduce a bit in spending for the purpose of increasing the issue of private sectors in the societies .According to Brohman,J(1995), the modernisation theory can be regarded at its best or its strength was that it was a heuristic device meaning to say that it was an approach to problem solving that employs a practical method not guaranteed to be perfect but instead sufficient for reaching an immediate goal , it was a shortcut to development which ignored all the hindrances or load to development.Brohman as a proponent, supporting the neo-liberalism he argues that although modernisation theory has its strength of being a shortcut to development he notes that it has also its weaknesses in the sense that it was too vague to be taken seriously as a comprehensive theory of development. In the end, it could not establish its relevance to the developing world because it was really a celebration of the achievements of the advanced industrial countries. He further notes that the framework of the modernisation theory lacked both a satisfactory historical input from the south itself and an adequate analysis of social relations and structures in specific countries. In particular, patterns of discrimination and inequalities based on social class, ethnicity, gender and other social relations were virtually ignored. The weakness of the modernisation by the neo-liberalists according to Brohman was that little attention was given to the views, wishes and values of the people that were supposedly being developed, the values that differed from those that were thought to characterize the industrialized were invariably portrayed as obstacles to development that should be eradicated as modernization proceeds. This weakness of ignoring the peoples culture as done by the modernisation theorists is also talked about by Munk(2008) who says that culture, ethnicity should not be undermined because a nation is defined by ethnicity so it should not be ignored as done by the modernisation which was a shift or transition from the tradition to the modern ways.In addition, the other approach to the modernisation theory of development is the dependency theory. The dependency theory by Rauh Prebish was a theory which believed that resources flow from a poor state or country to wealth y state or country enriching the latter at the expense of the former. According to Matunhu.J (2011) the dependency theory came out as a discontentment with the modernisation theory in the 1950s precipitated new strands of thinking which resulted in the dependency theory. He further notes that the theory came as a critical reaction to the conventional approaches to economic development that emerged in the aftermath of World War. As noted by Matunhu he mentions that Andre Gunder Frank (1967) in his analysis of the post-colonial state, has argued that classical development theories such as modernity are misleading in that they fail to articulate the true relationship between the developed world and the poor regions of the world. The dependency theory also mentions the weakness of the modernisation theory in the sense that their hope that faster economic growth modernisation in developing countries by itself world benefit the broad masses of poor people has not been fulfilled and no concept of development can be accepted which continues to condemn hundreds of millions of people to starvation and despair. Another weakness which was realized was that the modernization theory could ignore the socio-historical context and the dependency theory came up with the idea of being pessimistic and structural in the sense that it understood for example processes and problems of Africa by considering the wider socio- historical context of Western European expansion and the colonization of these places by western economies.Adding on to the above, according to Reyes,G.E(2001) , modernisation theory can be applauded basing on the facts that it was a homogenizing process, in this sense we can say that modernisation produces tendencies toward convergence among societies , he also further notes that modernisation was a progressive process which is not evitable but desirable. Although the modernisation school and the dependency school conflict in many ways the dependency gave credit to the modernisation saying that it had strength because it was a research focus on Third World development circumstances, it was also a methodology which has a high level of abstraction and is focused on the development process , using nations-state as a unit of analysis Coleman as cited by Reyes also further notes that modernised political systems have a higher capacity to deal with the function of national identity , legitimacy, penetration, participation and distribution that traditional political systems. Reyes further argues that although modernisation could be applauded, as a dependency theorist he notes that modernisation has a lot of weaknesses which some of them were later rectified by the dependency theory of development. These weaknesses are that as time progresses many of the things mentioned by the modernisation theory had not happened it did not fulfill everything that it mentioned for example it did not promote a more effective governmental role in terms of national development, it did not also create a a platform of investments , giving a preferential role to national capitals. The modernisation theory of development did not also promoted a more effective international demand in terms of domestic markets as a base to reinforce the industrialization process in Latin America for example. Furthermore, the other approach to modernization theory is the theory of world systems. A central element from which the theory of world-systems emerged was the different form that capitalism was taking around the world, especially since the decade of the 1960s. Reyes notes that in the decade of 1960s the Third World countries had new conditions to elevate their standards of living and improve social conditions .These new conditions were related to the fact that the international financial and trade systems began to have a more flexible character, in which the national government actions were having less and less influence .Basically these new international economic circumstances made it possible for a group of radical researchers led by Immanuel Wallerstein to conclude that there were new activities in the capitalist world-economy which could not be explained within the confines of the dependency perspectives, Wallerstein and his followers recognized that there are worldwide conditions that operate as determinant forces especially for small and underdeveloped nations, and that the nation state level of analysis is no longer the only useful category for studying development conditions particularly in Third World countries like what the previous theories like the modernization theory stated or believed. The goal of Wallestein was to come up with an idea of the world system whereby it will be a social system, one that has boundaries, structures, member groups, rules of legitimation, and coherence, he was against the idea whereby polities to end up being a single center forever but he opted for an interdependence with respect to necessities like food, fuel and some protection, which was an idea of an ideal world economy According to Martinez-Vela C.A (2001), notes that Wallerstein (2000) s work developed at a time when the dominant approach to understanding development , modernisation theory, was under attack from many fronts, and he followed suit. He also aimed at achieving a clear conceptual break with theories of modernization and thus provide a new theoretical paradigm to guide our investigations of the emergence and development of capitalism, industrialism and national states. Wallenstein’s criticisms or realized weaknesses on modernisation theory according to Martinez-Vela,C.A(2001) was the reification of the nation-state as the sole unit of analysis, the other weakness was the assumption that all countries can follow only a single path of evolutionary development, also the other weakness realized by the world systems theory was the the disregard of of the world-historical development of transnational structures that Constrain local and national development, the other weakness realized is also explaining in terms of a historical ideal types of tradition versus modernity, which are elaborated and applied to national cases . These were the critics of the modernisation theory by the world systems theory which was brought up by Wallestein although he applauds the modernisation theory to a lesser extent saying that modernisation was a shortcut to development and it also looks at the internal factors of a country at the same time believing that traditional countries thus the third world countries can develop with the help from the modern or western developed countries to the extent of reaching the level of the modern countries because of the assistance that will be given for example aid from donor countries acting as the catalyst to development meaning to say that in increases the rate of reaction to development as a country or in a society.In conclusion of the above essay, it has emerged that there are many approaches which goes on to dig into the issue of modernisation theory, coming up with their different notable conclusions, all of them giving out their assumptions of the powers or strength of the modernisation theory and the realized weaknesses or coming up with some critics of the modernisation. In case of point is the neoliberal approach which starts by applauding the modernisation theory stressing out its strength then further denotes its weaknesses leading to the other approach that is known as the dependency theory which also stresses out its purported strength and then its realized weaknesses of the modernisation theory of development. The World systems theory is also another approach which gone on to stress the little strength and then weaknesses of the modernisation as an approach to development. In the paper it has also emerged to a greater extent that the modernisation theory has little strength and many weaknesses using the neo-liberal approach, dependency theory and the world systems theory mainly the reason being that development had not happened after a long time since it was implemented as a theory.REFERENCEBrohman, J (1995) Universalism, Eurocentrism, and Ideological Bias in Development Studies: From Modernisation to Neoliberalism. Third World Quarterly, Vol. 16, No.1 (Mar. 1995), pp 121-140 Taylor and Francis.Martinez-Vela, C.A (2001) The World System Theory “ESD.83-Fall 2001.Matunhu.J (2011) A critique of modernization and dependency theories in Africa: Critical assessment. African Journal of History and Culture Vol. 3 (5), pp. 65-72, June 2011 Munk.R (2009) Globalisation, Governance and Migration: an Introduction, Third World quarterly 29:7, 1227-1246, Reyes G.E (2001) Introduction theory of Modernisation Theory of Dependency Theory Of World-Systems Theory University of Pittsburgh, USA.
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