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Theories of development: Modernization theory and dependency theory

Theories of development: Modernization theory and dependency
There are many development theories; however, we often compare them like "modernization vs dependency theory" instead of understanding them. If we could understand the basic concept of both of these main theories of development, we'll be able to end the skepticism, and likewise compare as well as differentiate them. Let's understand the concept of modernization and dependency.
Modernization Theory
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Modernization Theory
Modernization theory is a great concept covering a lot of different exercises to describe and explain how our society develops, what factors affect that development or progress, and how people and cultures can respond to this advancement. Advancement is directly proportional to progress, and progress brings social manner as well as technological accomplishments into a new age. Basically, this theory describes the processes of transformation (positive and some negative shifts) from underdeveloped (not developed) to developed (modern) societies. When you talk about or explain how a society evolved, you are actually talking about modernization theory.
The Foundation of Modernization Theory: I don't know when this theory was founded, but from my internet research I've got to know that it was the age of enlightenment when the fundamentals of this concept raised by a few philosophers who started to think about how their society transformed, and how they changed and progressed. The basic assumption of this phase was that people could change their society within an era. This change in society was often encouraged by technological advancement, progress in production, and improvement in consumption.
The Foundation of Modernization Theory
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Global Modernization: Nowadays, the modernization theory studies how new innovations and technologies are resulting in a homogenized world. This theory involves the globalization (we'll talk about the pros and cons of globalization later), where concept and technologies, as well as the ideas and social mores are easily spread around the globe, causing a global culture that functions as a pattern for all cultures and societies.
Global Modernization
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Communication Technologies: Communication technologies are crucial from the modernization point of view. Even advance transport technologies are regarded as a pivotal advancement of modernization, such as air travel. It is a well known fact that due to communication technologies, we are succeeding, and this also caused globalization. Communication technologies keep on advancing, and development in communications has allowed people and companies to target potential clients around the globe. For instance: Today, a Seattle based company knows what their Indian or global consumer want.
Communication Technologies
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Modernization Theory: Negative Outcomes of Globalization
As mentioned above that global modernization is a critical topic of modernization theory; however, this theory is breaking down the negative outcomes of globalization. For instance, globalization seems to be creating differences between the rich and the poor, with millions of people being left behind in the states of vagrancy and starvation. As we, or a society modernize, we leave behind the traditional lifestyles for modern lifestyle; which results in economic downturns. The modernization points out all these things. We can clearly observe that modernizing countries are in a poor condition, causing to poverty.
Modernization: Positive Aspects
Modernization theory also points out the positive aspects of countries modernizing. New technology usually incorporates medical advancement, education improvements, disaster protection, and better food production. Modern communications help spread social values of freedom and liberty. Modern societies, today, are more open and free, they move towards gender equality, as well as race and religions equality.

Conclusion: Modernization as a Theory of Development

It is important to understand that modernization theory itself talk about both positive and negative changes of modernization. This clearly states that it takes no stance in favoring developed nations only. The concept of modernization theory is to explain as well as to look at the advantages and disadvantages of globalization and modernization; looking at the global migration and transformation from agricultural societies to developing societies. However, modernization is restricted to how developed societies operate and grow, while the dependency theory explains opposite of this.
Modernization as a Theory of Development
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Let's discuss dependency theory in detail to understand the difference between modernization theory and dependency theory.
Dependency Theory
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Dependency Theory

There are a few similarities between dependency theory and modernization theory (I'll explain it in the bottom line), but their difference are more. We can even say that the dependency theory is an antagonist of modernization theory because it deals with how developing as well as developed nations interact. Modernization and dependency theories are opposite due to their views on international relationships and how nations are developing. Dependency theory is a resistance concept of the well known free market theory of interaction.
Dependency Theory on the Free Market: The ideology of free market tells us that free trade and open markets are advantageous for developing countries, because this result in the strong global economy. The free market belief holds that market liberalization as well as the opening might help to strongly set up the economic system and make the country competitive at the international level; obviously, in the long run. On the flip side, dependency theory holds that there are some developed countries that are constantly encouraged by developing countries, at the cost of the developing country's own wealth. This states that developing countries are basically colonial dependencies as they are delivering their wealth to the developed countries with little or minimal compensation. This theory states that the developed nations are keeping developing countries in a supportive and subservient position; generally by banishing free trade policies that come with loans provided by the International monetary fund or the world bank, or through financial power by establishing sanctions.
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Dependency of Developing Nations: The critiques of this theory can be flattened internationally, and within a nation. Actually, dependency theory holds that the relation between both developing and developed nations is not due to the cooperation between them, but due to the dependency of developing nations on developed ones. In the US, for instance, over time the industrial northeast is seen taking wealth from the agricultural south. It is the perfect example of how dependency theory is applied to regions within a nation.
The Development of Underdevelopment: Developing Nations
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Conclusion: Dependency of Developing Nations

Dependency theory also states that the level of dependency increments by the time; Wealthy nations are using their wealth to force and influence developing countries to implement certain policies that maximize or at least increase the wealth of the developed countries. Additionally, wealthy countries are able to protect and secure their system against developing countries. Capital keeps on moving from the developing countries to the wealthy countries, which means the wealth of developing countries is gradually decreasing, causing them to take out larger loans from these wealthy countries, in short, indebting them.
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Bottom Line

Both modernization theory and dependency theory share the same views in a few points. Both theories accept that Western countries are leading the modern world and they are likewise in a dominant position. Both likewise admit that the collaboration between developed nations and developing nations is growing swiftly, leading to their integration. However, according to the modernization theory, this integration and cooperation is a voluntary act from the developing nations. On the other hand, dependency theory states that this integration and cooperation is imposed to undeveloped nations by developed western nations. So yes, there are major differences in both theories, nevertheless, both are theories of development and they raise a very crucial issue of relationships between establishing and developed nations, as well as the western civilization and western dominance in the modern world.
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Comments

  1. That's a lot of information to take in. I have nothing to add because I'm actually still processing it. I am bookmarking this so I can come back and read it over again, though. Very interesting.

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  2. Very interesting. I hadn't ever even thought about any of this, but after this post... it's something to think about. - Jeanine

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  3. As with everything, there is good and bad involved. Hopefully the good outweighs the bad though.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, but we need both of these theories for the betterment of the globe. Same rule applies to the globalization; we need both Globalists and Anti-globalists to see proper outcomes.

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  4. Interesting! Either way, growth and progress are essential to all cultures, no matter the theory!

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  5. It's true that the under developed countries are dependent on the developed ones. And the more they become dependent, the more they become indebted.

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  6. I agree with others in that this is an in-depth topic. It is great for an economics course.

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  7. I very much agree that Western countries are leading the modern world & they in a dominant position for sure. And as a result the under developing nations are depending on them to get better.

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  8. This is so very interesting a lot of information to take in over. A very indepth topic of thought. x

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  9. Finding a healthy balance seems to be the challenge for most things. That's true on a small scale, a large scale, and most everything in between.

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  10. Gosh this is such an indepth topic to try and take in, a very interesting read however.

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  11. Wow! That was a ton of information at one time. I must admit, a lot of it went way over my head. Sorry!

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  12. This is a really interesting topic. I studied sociology for a while in college and I remember reading about theories like this! It can be hard to take in all at once, but this is a good overview for people wanting to learn more.

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  13. Technology has definitely altered global culture, in my opinion. I believe that it has its pros and cons in the grand scheme of things.

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  14. You laid out a lot of information here! We lived in a 3rd world country for almost 12 years and I can see the difference in how different the US is.

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  15. It is amazing how far technology has come in a relatively short amount of time.
    And, not to mention, its effects on globalization.
    This is a great article and sure to be valuable conversation in an economics type course.

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    Replies
    1. Well, I am currently writing about the pros and cons of globalization. I'll post it soon :)

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  16. This is the sort of writing that really gets you thinking. This is very well written.

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  17. I agree makes you wonder about life and makes you think. I never been to a 3rd world country but I have had no income for a year while we were living with the pastor and life is clearly much better when we progress forward and keep working towards goals. Nice article. I would suggest bullet points or breaks in paragraphs to make it easier to read other then that great article.

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    Replies
    1. It is incorporated with subtitles as well as subheading, but I will surely consider your suggestion :)

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  18. I am bookmarking this so that I can come back and read it through again. I think you explained your thoughts well and it was very well written.

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  19. Wow A full on lesson on Development Vs Globalization, quite in-depth and insightful, yet also quite deep so needs some thought...Good and bad exists in us all and as co-creators on this planet, whatever we create has both good and bad.
    Yet whatever we focus on is hat flourishes in our personal lives and those it impacts!

    Julie Syl~

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  20. That's a lot of great information regarding modernization. It's amazing how all of it intertwines with a lot of different aspects of modernization and how it can truly affect the global economy.

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  21. I was not aware of the difference, but countries definitely benefit from both. It's important to consider their advantages and see what works. I think it depends on the country's current state.

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  22. Oooo of course I read this while
    Laying in bed! Now I'm going to be up all night thinking!

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  23. It's an interesting insight on civilization, and I agree for the most part. The similarities and contrasts are also spot on. Good job.

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  24. So much information. It is true that using your own resources is a great way to expand your country's wealth and influence especially to developing countries

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