Adopting and converting new ideas into modern ways has often motivated societies to seek change and build on the foundation of their traditions. Many time while implementing changes traditions are lost and industrialization and modernization sets in. Modernization refers to present social structures, especially those established in industrialized societies when urbanization and technological advancements are among the only indicator for survival. While discussing modernization you must look at how it manifests itself within the United States, its continuation and the possibility of a worldwide trend.
One must also look at the consequences of modernization by revealing the positive and negative aspects of modernization. Modernization is the change that happens through the gradual way of industrialization, urbanization and social changes which transform populations (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 2003). Modernization is often described as the transition from conventional society to a contemporary society as it is in Western civilizations.
German sociologist Ferdinand Tonnies’ theory of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft explains that “Industrial Revolution weakened the social fabric of family and tradition by introducing a businesslike emphasis on facts, efficiency, and money” (Macionis, 2006, p. 457). Tonnies viewed modernization as the progressive loss of human community; the Gemeinschaft theory; and describes society as rootless and impersonal and individuals simply associate with other based on self interest; the Gesellschaft theory.
(Macionis, 2006) Modernization has rapidly manifested itself through four distinct categories; the decline of small traditional communities, expansion of personal choice, increasing social diversity, and orientation toward the future and growing awareness. Because of the decline of small traditional communities modernization will continue in the United States. In the past people lives revolved around their family and community where as in modern times people lives revolve around individualism and technology. The increase of cell phones, televisions, and computers has prevented many people from experience a sense of community or family.
With the increasing technology individualism has pulled many people away from their traditions or beliefs. More and more individuals are choosing their own lifestyle rather than settling for what is known. Much of this individualism has help increase social diversity. People are expanding their horizons with modernization which has created a form of social blending which provides a more rational and scientific outlook of different cultures and are embracing other behaviors and beliefs. With people embracing other behavior some people are focused more on the future and their personal growth.
People are optimistic and look forward to new technological advance with will improve their not only their person but social lives. (Macionis, 2006) Modernization has become a world-wide trend which has reached place such as China and Latin America. Ten Years in Latin America states “ten years ago, the possibility of free trade throughout the America was a distant dream” (Westlund, 2003). A wide range of multinational industries has joining the United States in bringing Latin American up to day with modernization and has become a key factor in imports and exports.
With that modernization Latin Americas population climbed over 500 million making it one of the world’s most promising consumer markers. (Westlund, 2003) Modernization has also affected China. China: Looking 50 Years Ahead discusses how in the last two decades China has seen a huge economic grown due to rapid modernization. However it has had a negative effect on the United States. As china continues to modernize, they are developed a nuclear threat. It is because of that nuclear threat the United States and China has a strategic relationship which keep both countries satisfied (China, 2008).
This example of how modernization has become world-wide is one of the consequences of Modernization. Another good example of the consequences of modernization is the transition to urbanization and industrialization. Urbanization is described as the increasing proportion of population in a given concentrated area during a specific period. With many people migrating into bigger cities to gain better life urbanization is beginning to run ramped in bigger cities such as New York, Chicago, or Miami. In an article published by the University of Michigan in 2002 entitled Urbanization and Global Change, it states “ IN 1950, less than 30%
of the world’s population lived in cities. This number grew to 47 % in the year 2000. It is expected to grow to 60% by the year 2025. (University of Michigan, 2002). This rapid growth is responsible for many of the environmental and social changes in the urban environment and its effect are related to global change issues. This rapid change also puts a major strain on the city’s ability to keep its citizens safe. Many citizens do not receive services need to survive. This rapid change also causes severe environmental problems and widespread poverty (University of Michigan, 2002).
This is also an example of Ferdinand Tonnies’ theory of modernization which best reflect my perceptions of modernization. As the population grows in major cities and communities and no longer close, modernization will continue. The need for new technological and industrial advances has created a new society into a vicious circle of constant change. People are continuously seeking ways to improve their life and make it easier. Although modernization does have some benefits the urbanization and industrialization and creating major problems in today’s society.
It is evident that the United States has endured many changes throughout its vast history and will continue to do as the need for modernization increases to grown and has became an important part of society and the effects of modernization will continues to be felt across the world. References China: Looking 50 Years Ahead. (2008, June). Energy Compass. Retrieved from ABI/INFORM Trade & Industry database. (Document ID: 1510128161). Macionis, J. J. (2006). Society: The basics (8th ed. ). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice
Hall. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. (2003). Modernization. Retrieved From http://www. thefreedictionary. com/modernization Univeristy of Michigan. (2002). Urbanization and Global Change. Retrieved from Global Change: http://www. globalchange. umich. edu/globalchange2/current/lectures/urban_gc/ Westlund, R. (Jan-Feb 2003). Ten years in Latin America. (Special Advertising Feature). Latin Trade, 11, 1. p. 63(7). Retrieved from General OneFile via Gale: http://find. galegroup. com/ips/start. do? prodId=IPS