Modernization and Indigenous Cultures

Essay by wward5College, UndergraduateA, June 2010

download word file, 7 pages 0.0

Modernization and Indigenous � PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT �7�

Modernization and Indigenous Cultures

William Ward

Axia College of University of Phoenix

SOC120 Intro to Sociology

Yvonne Moore

March 23, 2008




Modernization is the process of moving from farming and agricultural society to an industrial society and it mainly deals with societies after the Industrial Revolution of the mid-18th century. Some key features of modernization would be large, formal organizations and division of labor based on specialization of skills and abilities. There is more control over environmental resources such as oil, water, land, and animals. There is also a distinct improvement in the quality of life during this time. Because of a higher per capita income individuals are able to buy more goods and services, have more recreational time, and have better housing and health care. Modernization can have both positive and negative effects on society and can often bring about controversy.

In this paper I will look at examples of how modernization has affected cultures and traditions around the world.


Before we look at the effects of modernization on different cultures we will look at a few specific theories concerning how modernization affects society and community. The German sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies (1855-1937) formed two theories concerning modernization which he called Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft. Ferdinand Tönnies viewed modernization as the progressive loss of human community - Gemeinschaft. He also believed the Industrial Revolution weakened the social bond of families and communities by emphasizing the impersonal business attributes like money, efficiency, and self-interest - Gesellschaft. Tönnies belief was that modernization turns societies inside out so that individuals are essentially separated in spite of uniting factors (Macionis, 2006, page 457).

Peter Berger, whose work was greatly influenced by Ferdinand Tönnies, identified four major characteristics of modernization: the...