An analysis of the concept behind the modernization and dependency theories

Introduction In a recent discussion of the idea of tradition, R. How much weight should be placed on this characterisation?

An analysis of the concept behind the modernization and dependency theories

Philani H Dhlamini Name: Philani H Dhlamini Reg No: Social Sciences Course Name: Social Administration Course Code: October While the Modernization and Dependency theories identify conflicting causes for the under-development of the Third World, they equally suggest competing solutions for the development of the same.

Both theories contrast in terms of the reasons as to why the countries of Third World status are suffering from a lack of development. Differing solutions are proposed by the opposing theories, giving entirely different strategies for the Third World to embrace.

At the level of the individual, it implies increased skill and capacity, greater freedom, creativity, self-discipline, responsibility and material well-being. A society develops economically as its members increase jointly their capacity for dealing with the environment.

Underdevelopment is usually perceived as being the direct opposite of development itself, however it must be viewed more realistically as an inadequacy rather than a complete deficiency. Underdevelopment makes sense only as a means of comparing levels of development.

The theory identifies the problem as being the existence of counter-productive traditions and social practices which must be eradicated in order for the Third World countries to modernize and develop.

The Third World countries need to catch up with the remainder of the world according to the 5 stages of development outlined by Bill Rostow. The concept of escaping the state of being left behind insists that a move from underdevelopment which is essentially primitive to development which is supposedly modern is necessary.

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In an ideological perception, the lack of Western Capitalism is the centre to the problem of underdevelopment and an ideological conversion in society is key to developing wholly for the Less Economically Developed Countries.

The solutions proposed by this theory can be found in the five stages of development suggested by Bill Rostow. The suggested solution is that The Third World should seek to progress through these particular stages in order to catch up with the fast-paced First World.

This entire path will then lead to a stage where eventually the Third World will be experiencing high life expectancy, education and adequate healthcare. Another solution offered by the Modernization theory is that of a three dimensional change within the Third World countries.

These dimensions include an infrastructural dimension, a social dimension and a political dimension: However, in criticism of the Modernization Theory, it is a theory whose methodology towards the desired objective is based upon conformity.

An analysis of the concept behind the modernization and dependency theories

The theory assumes it is necessary for all Third World countries to conform to the development strategies employed by the Western societies. This makes the theory discriminatory in terms of tradition, because it insists that Third World traditions are irrelevant and incapable compared to Western traditions.

In addition, the Theory assumes that the current state of Western societies is an ideal to be strived for and desired. However, as is common knowledge, the First World countries in present-day are no manner near perfection; often plagued with recurring economic downfalls and financial crises with existing cases of poverty, high accounts of anti-social behaviour and other social discrepancies.

The Dependency Theory however, is opposed to all the assessments and solutions offered by the Modernization Theory.

The Dependency Theory argues that the plight of the Third World is as a result of the rapid economic growth and economic development in the First World countries.

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This means that the wealthy get wealthier at the expense of the already impoverished; in example, embrace a scenario in a home with ten people that are all expected to share all available foodstuff in the household. If the foodstuff is adequate for exactly ten people, the moment any individual possesses enough food to fit two or more people means that another person will go without food and be in a state of hunger or poverty.

From a global perspective development is distorted and dependency theorists argue that development in the First World is not beneficial to the Third World as is commonly suggested.

The main solution offered by the dependency theory is de-linking, a solution consisting of a socialist revolution and strengthening of internal markets.

De-linking means achieving a socialist revolution which is a dramatic break away from Western capitalism which is exploitive, leaving the political power and resources in the hands of the working class.

Delinking also refers to a withdrawal from import and export activity in global trade markets, insisting instead upon seeking to grow the internal markets in Third World countries.

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This is a contrast to the Modernization Theory which encourages external solutions in the form of foreign aid and investment, whereas the Dependency Theory argues that there is a need for internal solutions focusing on growing the country from within, distributing resources until substantial stability is achieved in order to begin developing significantly.

Criticism against the Dependency theory is that it is geographical in its claims, it seeks to undermine the Western First World countries. By urging that the third world can only develop at the expense of the developed nations ceasing to be progressive.

Secondly, the issue of blaming Western exploitation is only relatively true because the reasons for underdevelopment in the Third World are not entirely due to distribution favouring the Western societies.Western people have, over the past three centuries, confidently applied their own understandings and forms of organisation to the rest of the world.

Poverty is the scarcity or the lack of a certain (variant) amount of material possessions or money. Poverty is a multifaceted concept, which may include social, economic, and political elements. Absolute poverty, extreme poverty, or destitution refers to the complete lack of the means necessary to meet basic personal needs such as food, clothing and shelter.

The basic idea behind dependency theories is the explanation of the historically unequal relations between Latin America and the North Atlantic economies (Europe and the United States).

An analysis of the concept behind the modernization and dependency theories

Dependency theories are essentially attempts to justify government policies to acquire control of national development. While the Modernization and Dependency theories identify conflicting causes for the under-development of the Third World, they equally suggest competing solutions for the development of the same.

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A critique of modernization and dependency theories in Africa: Critical assessment J - A critique of modernization and dependency theories in Africa Essay introduction. Matunhu Department of Development Studies, Midlands State University, Zimbabwe.

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