THE APPLICABILITY OF THE MODERNIZATION THEORY IN ACHIEVING DEVELOPMENT IN THE LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES LIKE TANZANIA
The term development is very broad and it has therefore brought many scholars in defining it.in economic view, Development can therefore be defined as the increase of level of economic development of a nation. This is looked upon by the economic indicators, for instance; income per capita, gross national product gross domestic product and the inflationary rates. So once these increase in a given country, it is said to have undergone economic development. However, this definition was further criticized by other scholars postulating that the perception on the income per capita is too general due to the fact that there are low class earners and high class earners in a given economy and all the economic indicators may be present but still no economic growth. Other scholars therefore came up other definitions on development. For instance, Walter Rodney who claimed that development can be defined on two ways; development in individual view of which he postulated that development in an individual is the increased skill, capacity, greater freedom, creativity, self-discipline, responsibility and material well-being and a society that is developed is said to have increased capacity to regulate both internal and external relationships. Development can therefore be defined as an economy which has grown and has trickle down effect. That is to say a developed economy should have impact to the people. The modernization theory was developed in 1960. It comes from the capitalist point of view of development and it relates development with modernization. The theory states that a modern society is likely to archive economic development compared to a non-modernized society. A modern society is more productive due to the fact that children receive formal education, there is time consciousness and the needy receive more welfare. This is according to Smelter’s analysis. However, Coleman goes on saying that a modern society can be differentiated from a non-modernized society using three main features which are: differentiation of the political structure where the political components such as the executive, judiciary and the parliament are independent and the decisions made cannot be altered with by either of them. Secondly, secularization of political culture which refers to the freedom given to all the political parties and leaders to practice their political traditions and culture and finally there is the participation of the society in political systems. The theory further argues that development is a linear process and any society must go through some stages for it to develop. This is further supported by an American economist called Walt Whitman Rostow. Rostow was one of the scholars within the modern school of thought, he published his work in the 1960 which was like a modification of what Karl max did. He argues that in order for a society to undergo economic development, it has to undergo through five linear stages which are traditional society stage, pre-condition to take-off, take off stage, drive to maturity and mass consumption.it is therefore from these stages, we can conclude that a developed society is at the fifth stage of mass consumption. Rostow goes on saying that each stage has characteristics which a society in that stage is likely to undergo; For instance, the traditional society stage is the initial stage of development and every society underwent through this stage. It is generally characterized by low production due to poor technology. Agriculture is in existence but it is mainly subsistence, there are no classes since there is low population and people live in families. The economy in this stage is stagnant and there is no individual mobility. Pre-condition to take off is the second stage and Rostow has shown the characteristics of a society that is in this stage. He argued that external demands for raw...
References: 1. Walter Rodney. How Europe Undeveloped Africa
2. Tanzania Bureau of Statistics. (Google.com)
3. World Bank Annual Report. (Google.com)
4. UNICEF Tanzania (Google.com)
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