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4. Modernization and Globalization

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Chapter Summary

The theory of modernization that emerged in the social sciences in the 1950s and 1960s was a child of the Enlightenment project and therefore an extension of earlier theories of the emergence of modern out of traditional societies. The most important prediction made by modernization theory is its convergence proposition. Beginning in the late 1960s, critiques and even outright rejection of modernization theory became the dominant tone in studies of development and the developing nations. Globalization has its roots in the phenomena of modernization and constitutes a continuation of, rather than a break with, modernity. The level of modernization of a society has a positive effect on its integration into the wider world and its openness to the forces of globalization. The conventional view of modernization theory is that its Enlightenment optimism stressed primarily the benefits of modernization for humanity.

Keywords: convergence proposition; globalization; modernization theory; traditional societies



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