Modernization Synonymous With Westernization Cultural Studies Essay

Initially, I would wish to clear up the usage of the footings “ Modernization ” and “ Westernization ” but it is hard to easy gestate and explicate precise definitions that all can hold. For this essay Modernization, at least in minimalist conceptualisation, involves what S.P. Huntington ( 1996:68 ) described as “ industrialisation, urbanisation, increasing degree of literacy, instruction, wealth and societal mobility, and more complex and diversified occupational constructions ” . Westernization, on the other manus, is seen as the “ transition to the ways of western civilisation ” . Westernization is the societal procedure in which non-western peoples are assimilated into the western civilization or “ assimilated into European civilization ” . Westernization and Europeanization can be used interchangeably from this point.

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There is no denying the fact that ‘modernization procedure foremost occurred in the West through the duplicate procedures of industrialisation and commercialisation ‘ ( Emerson, 1960:43 ) It was the industrial revolution that warmed the whole motion of alteration from a traditional agricultural society to modern industrialized and commercialized one. Vishnevsky ( 2006:9 ) stated that “ modernisation forms a great axis around which history ‘s chief events have turned since the terminal of the eighteenth century, the clip of the industrial revolution in England and the Great Gallic Revolution, and bit by bit distribute to of all time more new states and parts, particularly in the twentieth century ” . This drives us to the inquiry at manus: Is Modernization synonymous with Westernization? Can non-western societies modernize along different way or must go occidentalize to accomplish modernisation? In this essay, I will reason that Modernization is non synonymous, indistinguishable and interchangeable with Westernization. To show my statement, the essay will predate within the model of disputing theories and premise that equated modernisation with Westernization peculiarly the modernisation theory.

Modernization theory focuses on a type of modernisation believed to hold originated in Europe during the eighteenth century, which brought different societal values and technological promotion into a new epoch. It describes the manner emerging engineerings and systems of production and ingestion could convey about a more progressively homogenised universe. It is simple logic that this theory asserts the thought that modernisation as a homogenizing procedure ( Black, 1966 ) . In the sense all modernizing states are become altering in to western civilization, and developing states should get features which are common to developed western states to overhaul. The cardinal inquiry is ; are all modernizing states are traveling to accomplish the same concluding aim and values, or the distinguishable values and traditions of different societies mean that they will stay separate and alone. The current modernisation pattern shows that important differences exist between overhauling states. It is worthy of adverting the illustration of China which is progressively overhauling but without losing its alone cultural values and political variables. Huntington ( 1996:20 ) described that “ non-western civilisations ” by and large are reaffirming the values of their ain, instead than absorbing with the West. He besides stated that even after accomplishing modernisation position it is less likely to detect cultural similarity, instead communities can differ from one another. Take the instance of Japan although ab initio adopted Westernization as a theoretical account but now retaining its ain civilization and tradition. Many non-Western states are bit by bit raising up to par with the United States, Great Britain and other modernised European states therefore doing it hard to keep the West ‘s cultural influence internationally. Thus one ca n’t but hold with Huntington ‘s thought that modernisation is far from bring forthing a cosmopolitan civilisation throughout the universe and Westernization of other non-western states ( 1996:20 )

It is still said that to go modern is to move and work like western. Westernization has been considered as yardstick for modernisation. I strongly believe that modernisation is a complex set of procedures that ca n’t be easy conceptualized to a individual factor and a uni-dimension position. But modernisation theoreticians make the claim that western capitalist values and patterns are the footing for overhauling other societies. It is all about non-western societies to follow the footfalls of western states to be modern. Here it is evidently hard to give a full consent to this thought. Surely, Westernization is one manner of economic development and it “ remains an of import theoretical account for accomplishment of modernizationaˆ¦ . ” ( Liu, 1997:43 ) But, it is non and will be the lone cosmopolitan theoretical account. It is hard to state that western theoretical account of modernisation as a theoretical account of planetary pertinence.

This premise of looking modernisation as uni-linear procedure is far from being criticized and challenged, non merely in non-western states but besides by western politicians and bookmans. Apart from unfavorable judgment, Mohammed M. Ali ( 1997: 14- 15 ) puts frontward the thought of Islamic modernisation which means the promotion of cognition and scientific discipline based on Islamic epistemology, as the first requirement for Islamic modernisation. Presumably the development of new premise by some African and Latin American bookmans and politicians like “ neo-liberalism is a dead terminal ” might bespeak the battle to happen alternate theoretical account of modernisation. Beyond premises, taking in to consideration the current modernisation procedure in China is a clear index for the being of alternate manner of economic development and modernisation which is something different from western manner of development. The manner Chinese societies modernize, leaves no uncertainty that homogenizing and hegemonic premises of western plan of modernness and modernisation theory were non realized. What we see alternatively, harmonizing to Dubley ( 2008: 16 ) , in many non-western states, all on their way to overhaul, there is really small temperament to copy the western theoretical account.

All these points make us to subscribe to the thought of Eisenstadt ( 2002: 2-3 ) who stated that there are multiple modernnesss, and western form of modernisation is non the lone “ reliable ” modernness, though it bask historical precedency and go on to be a basic reframing point for others. So, the non-western societies have to look for their ain theoretical account of modernisation, alternatively of seeking to do themselves transcripts of the West ( Darmaputera, 1988: 2002 ) .

The premise of comparing modernisation with Westernization non merely provides small room for alternate manner of modernisation but besides provides a monopoly of wisdom to the western societies. The non-western societies have to follow their engineerings, theoretical accounts and values to overhaul. I agree that western engineerings and values are important, although non all. But the implicit in premise undermines others ability to introduce. It is clearly a top-down attack of modernisation. Islamic civilisations lead the universe one clip in history. Africa had its ain manner of modernisation and development before its contact with European. Is current technological invention a western merchandise merely? Today, Japan has become the universe taking in assorted facets of modernness more significantly in electronics. No 1 has a monopoly of power over wisdom, creativeness and invention. Non-western societies have the possible to make new things but the overall structural relationship with the West has to be rearranged in such a manner that they can recognize and implement it.

In decision, in visible radiation with the current modernisation patterns and historical experiences modernisation is non synonymous, indistinguishable or interchangeable with Westernization. The experience shows that it is the enlargement of the West and globalisation which has promoted both the modernisation and Westernization of non-western societies. Modernization in itself has no premiss of occidentalizing other societies and making a more homogeneous universe. Of class, modernisation ca n’t except Westernization in certain facets. But there is nil unambiguously western about engineering and industrialisation. Using western engineering for efficient production and service bringing is non being westernized.

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