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Modernisation and Dependency Theories of Development

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Modernization and Dependency Theory

Introduction and background to theories

* Modernization and dependency theories are the dominant explanations for development/underdevelopment

* The end of ww2 changed existing order of world affairs;

* Victory ravaged economies of Europe and Britain and left US as a world super power (economically and militarily)

* But this US status was not unchallenged; The Soviet Union acquired influence of Eastern European socialist regimes

* The collapse of colonial empires gave rise to new states claiming sovereignty and considering the Marxist road to inclusion in modern developed world

* Prompting American scholarly investigations into the underdeveloped nations and the experience of development (obviously valorising/selling the American experience)

The history of modernisation theory

* A new body 9of literature exploring severe contrasts btwn developed and developing worlds

* This inquisition founded and moulded the "modernisation perspective"

* Modernisation theory (MT);

* views social change as being unidirectional and gradual

* Societies moving from a state of primacy to modernity (two opposite ends of a continuum- a process)

* The process is believed to be one of "advancement" and "growth" taking centauries to complete

* MT makes distinctions btwn modern and traditional societies, to provide a framework of 'categorisation'

* Traditional societies;

o Affective relationships (face to face)

o Particularistic relationships (built on familiarity and trust)

o Collective orientation (community above the individual)

o Functionally diffused but highly inefficient roles

* Modern Societies;

o Affective neutral relationships

o Universalistic relationships

o Self orientation

o Achieved status

o Efficient functionally specific roles

The 5 Stages of Modernization Theory

* The growth along the above mentioned continuum is marked by 5 stages in MT

* Stage one: "traditional stage"

o An underdeveloped country is undergoing very little social change

* Stage two: "preconditions for takeoff growth"

o Society begins to show signs of growth; from rising entrepreneurship to the expansion of markets

o Once in this phase a catalyst is needed to propel it into the next stage

o The catalyst can be; revolutions, increased demand for exports and so on

* Stage three: "Take off stage"

o The society needs to recycle 10% of national income into the economy, until economic growth becomes an automatic process

o This needs to be done for this stage to be successful

* Stage four: "the drive to maturity"

o In which employment opportunities, national income and the domestic market are all increasing

o This will lead the society into the 5th and final stage

* Stage five: "high mass consumption society'

Assumptions of Modernization Theory

* The growth towards modernisation is gradual, unidirectional and desirable

* It is also irreversible, homogenising (unifying all sectors of society), systematic, transformative and immanent

* The society must therefore shed all traditional values and traditional structures of their society

* This places the focus of development theory solely on the internal structure of underdeveloped countries

History of Dependency Theory (DT)

* The focus of MT on internal factors was an inadequate exploration into development for many scholars

* External factors were deemed important by many

* The



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