Monday, August 5, 2019
Modernization Concept Meaning And Relevance Sociology Essay
Modernization Concept Meaning And Relevance Sociology Essay ABSTRACT We live in a changing world and change is inevitable. The use of new technology, tools, adoption of new values and practices in organizations are all aspects of change and modernization. There is, however, a paradox in the attitudes of various generations towards change. The generally urban-ward movement, particularly among the young, has spelled greater independence for them with diminishing parental control and influence on their lives which may pose many undesirable consequences on their behavior. Such changes along with the rapid development in information technology and the spread of mass media play an important role in shaping their behavior. This paper is an attempt to uncover the attitudes of the management students towards change and the various facets of modernization. The sample consists of 120 management students studying in a business school located in the national capital region in India. Attitude towards modernization was measured by using Dr. B.M Mathur Modernization attitude scale which consists of 35 items measuring the five dimensions: Social Mobility; Position of Women; Family Planning; Marriage; and Religion and Superstition. Mean, SD, t-test and correlation were used to analyze the data and conclusions were drawn on the basis of the results. Statistical analysis showed a positive attitude of management students towards different facets of modernization. However, a significant difference was found between female and male students on two dimensions of modernization i.e. social mobility and position of women with female students scoring higher on both the dimensions. Dr. Sombala Ningthoujam is a faculty Member at IBS Gurgaon and can be reached at [emailprotected] Dr. Shalini Khandelwal is a faculty member at IBS Gurgaon and can be reached at [emailprotected] Modernization: Concept, Meaning and Relevance Human society has changed much over the last centuries and this process of modernization has profoundly affected our lives. Modernization is the process of changing the conditions of a society, an organization or a group of people in ways that change the privileges of that group according to modern technology or modern knowledge. There are differences of emphasis with respect to the meaning of modernization due to its relationship with the most contentious concept of development. The transition from the traditional to the modern society can be treated with a primarily negative emphasis in terms of removing institutional obstacles to development, or with a positive emphasis in terms of creating the cultural environment necessary for development (Bernstein, 1971). Acc to Lerner (1964), modernization is the social process of which development is the economic component. Development or modernization denotes a particular kind of social change. Thus, the participation of social science disc iplines in the discussion of development is recognized as necessary and is often being expressed in the social conditions of economic growth or non-economic barriers to economic growth types of formula (Bernstein, 1971). Modernization means the appearance of modes of social life or organization which emerged in Europe from about the seventeenth century onwards and which subsequently became more or less worldwide in their influence (Giddens, 1991). The goals of higher standard of life, freedom, security, social justice are more of the accepted goals of modernism (Srivastava et.al, 1976). Modernization theory states that the economy, social conditions and cultural values of a society are to a large extent structurally and functionally linked and change in relatively predictable ways (Rostow, 1971; Inglehart, 1997; Inglehart and Baker, 2000). Modernity is the attitude to adjusts from ones inner being to the rapidly changing condition of socio-cultural and economic milieu. This attitude implies a scientific and rational world view and inculcates universalistic and secular values. Modernity also implies flexibility of attitude, while traditionalism implies rigidity. Basic belief in the idea of modernity i s that everything is destined to be speeded up, dissolved, displaced, transformed and reshaped. Globalization, the end of the Cold War, ethnic conflicts, and the proliferation of information technologies are some reasons to adopt a new vision to navigate social development. The development towards fully consolidated modernity implies a simultaneous transformation of linked social conditions and values. All societies eventually pass through the same stages of development, moving from traditional agrarian to modern industrial society and from there further to post-industrial or postmodern forms (Kragh and Djusaa, 2006). The goals of higher standard of life, freedom security, social justice are more of the accepted goals of modernism (Srivastava et.al, 1976). Socioeconomic modernization is an underlying factor influencing civic culture and democracy at the level of society, and commitment and classroom egalitarianism at the level of business schools. Peoples general attitudes to change as such are extended to modernism and new technologies in general- the electronic mail, television, in vitro fertilization, new learning and teaching methods, female ordination, males plaiting their hair and wearing earrings or agitation for gay rights. Within the basic assumptions of modernization theory, there is a considerable variety of emphasis on different levels- according to whether conceptual p riority is assigned to personality factors, institutions, cultural orientations or social processes (Bernstein, 1971). It has been seen that in societies with relatively more rural population than urban, there is a lower level of tolerance of modernization and that urban and city dwellers accept modernization more easily. Attitudinal changes favorable to socio-economic modernization can contribute significantly to the development of a national leadership dedicated to removing institutional blocks to economic growth. Basic to the entire process of a countrys development from a traditional agrarian society into a modern market-oriented society, is a striking transformation of outlook and values. The influence of western civilization on china can be seen not only in material, substantive areas such as technology, but also at the conceptual levels, in philosophy and basic values (Yang, 1986). Zabin et al (2009), in their study on adolescent sexual behavior in three Asian cities viz. Hanoi, Sanghai and Taipei found that each of these three cities is undergoing rapid economic development, profound social change and increasing contact with the outside world. These changes may have profound effects on adolescents as they undergo the transition to adulthood and the effects may differ in case of urban and rural population and males and females. It was also reported that traditional Asian values-whether transmitted within the family or by the larger community-could mediate young peoples departure from earlier behaviors. Rindfuss (1991) suggested that many of the transitions to adulthood such as those from single life to marriage, from school to work, and from living in the parental home to independent living-tend to become more varied and also less sharp , or crisp with increased modernization. As modernization consolidates, the notions of citizenship and loyalty with the modern institutions of society grow stronger, creating the foundations for democracy. An important aspect of this change lies in the weakening of the family and in-group loyalties. As the strong ties of the family break down, the weak ties between out-group members gain strength, and relationships of solidarity and trust increasingly begin to develop among non-family and out-group members (Granovetter, 1973; Fukuyama,1999). In an advanced modern society, former strangers have learned to trust each other and commit themselves to cooperation as members of the same individualized culture (Scruton, 2003). The family and in-group values lose importance, citizen values gain in importance, and authoritarianism declines because of the growth of universalistic civic values, making coercion and control obsolete. Therefore, the extension of organic organizations dependes on the civic culture of society, which again d epends on the stage of modernization. In less advanced modern countries, we should thus expect to find a lower ratio of organic to mechanistic organizations due to the influence of a weaker civic culture and the underlying stage of modernization (Kragh and Djursaa, 2006). The Dark Side of Modernization Modernization brought a series of undisputable benefits to people. Lower infant mortality rate, decreased death from starvation, eradication of some of the fatal diseases, equal treatment of people with different backgrounds and incomes, and so on. However, there are a number of dark sides of modernity pointed out by sociologists. Many critics point out psychological and moral hazards of modern life like alienation, feeling of rootlessness, loss of strong bonds and hedonism. Individuals in modern society have become isolated. With the growth of the media and the consumer society, people have become passive conformists, filled with egoistic, solitary obsessions rather than obsessions with solidarity and they dont accept the old, possessive family values. The only bonds in the modern society are the bonds of immediate interest and immediate worth and not of enduring value. Modernization and Social Mobility The long term development of patterns of social mobility has been a major research issue for a long time both in sociology and economics. The main questions have been to what extent social mobility differs between countries at different levels of development or with a different institutional structure, and whether mobility changed during and after industrialization (see, e.g., Ganzeboom, Treiman and Ultee 1991; Erikson and Goldthorpe 1992; Ferrie 2005; Long and Ferrie 2007; Bourdieu, Ferrie and Kesztenbaum 2009; Van Leeuwen and Maas 2010; Hout and DiPrete 2006). These questions are also related to issues of social stratification more generally, and the extent to which these patterns are dependent on economic development (see, e.g., Treiman 1976). Mobility chances depend on the opportunity structure, i.e. the social structure of society, and if industrialization changes the occupational structure it will also affect total mobility. The new economy did not only change mobility patterns via changes of the class structure, but also through changing mechanisms of socioeconomic attainment. The social bottlenecks which act as impediments to development are insufficient attitudinal modernization and a markedly dualistic structure of society. The absence of a sizeable indigeneous middle class, low levels of secondary education and literacy, and inadequate social mobility also constitute important obstacles to raising capacity for long term growth (Adelman and Morris, 2001). Modernization and Religion Attitudes to change may be intimately linked with religious beliefs. The more religious a people are the more conservative they may tend to be and consequently the less favorable may be their attitude towards change, especially towards modernity. Modernity is seen as an iconoclastic and corrupting intrusion upon well-established, age-old values, while it fosters values and practices that tend to incite upheavals and disequilibrium in society. Industrial development follows a coherent pattern of growth, and would in time produce certain uniform social and political structures across different countries and cultures (Fukuyama, 1992). Modernization brings in its wake the diminution of the social significance of religion (Wallis and Bruce, 1992). Studies on Indian population have revealed that changes are taking place in the area of social as well as cultural life and the urban population of Hindus is modernizing its attitudes toward marriage and caste (Prabhu, 1956). Fundamentalism often opposes social differentiation and rationalization. Religious activity also has an impact on peoples attitudes. It has been reported that the more the respondent attends religious services the more traditional gender role and women employment attitudes he/she holds (Vukovic, 2007). To some extent, the revival and radicalization of Islam appears to be a global movement brought on, in part, by a strategic rejection of the apparently secularizing tendencies of modernity (Lechner, 2003). The modern society has indeed become increasingly secular and that this trend would continue; the lack of religiosity in Europe was a glimpse into the future for non-Europeans (Davie, 2000). Modernization, Position of Women and Family Planning Demographic research deploys a notion of culture that links models of change to the acceptability of modern birth control. People in traditional cultures are more fatalistic and leave reproduction to the will of God. Modernization of behavior has led to the constitution of modern families, which are more open to the use of modern contraceptives. The level of education, autonomy of women and consensual companionate marriage is linked to high acceptance of contraception. This idea of free individual choice linked to the language of rights and set in the context of a companionate marriage and a nuclear household, has helped most international family programs. Female education plays a key role in the social developmental approach. Cleland and Wilson (1987) have argued that education lowers fertility mainly by changing womens perceptions, ideas and aspirations rather than by affecting such objective realities as their work opportunities or the cost of children. A large body of Indian and international evidence points to the role of rising female education in lowering fertility. In addition to reducing desired family size, female education is likely to affect the relationship between desired family size and planned number of births. (Dreze and Murthy, 2006). However, several studies have found little evidence of the positive link between womens education and female autonomy (Jeffrey and Jeffrey, 1996; Vlassoff 1996; and Visaria, 1996) India was one of the first countries in the world to introduce a national family planning program in the 1950s. This was followed by a more gentle approach stressing that development is the best contraceptive. It was thought that economic growth would automatically reduce poverty and slow the growth of population. Over time, the focus shifted from economic growth to social development (Dreze and Murthi, 2001) The Role of Gender in Modernization Many researchers have reported of the changes in attitudes towards values beliefs as a result of modernization influences. Studies of Manhardt (1972) found that traditionally men were more concerned with the long-range career objectives, and women were inclined more forwards comfortable working conditions and good interpersonal relations. However, Hakim (1996), in his studies on European population, reported people are increasingly more positive to womens labor market participation. This change in peoples attitudes is usually explained by the raising level of education for women, better possibilities for career development for women, and also the increasing number of families that are dependent on two incomes for their level of living (Sundstrom 2000). A comparative study conducted by Sumer (1998) on the social position, attitudes and identies of younger Turkish and Norwegian women with higher education found out that Turkish and Norwegian differ considerably in terms of social ident ities. Turkish do not perceive gender as a significant social determinant in their lives and do not identify women as a general category whereas Norwegian perceive gender as a significant societal determinant in their lives and identify women as general category. Study conducted by Vukovic (2007) on a sample of 1250 Croatian citizens aged 20+ revealed that there is difference between males and females in all age-groups, in a way that females are more liberal, the difference is largest among the youngest respondents. The youngest female respondents were found to be increasingly dissatisfied with traditional beliefs, while male counterparts very slowly follow that attitudinal shift toward modernity and greater equality. Chia, Chong and Cheng (2001), in their study on relationship of modernization and marriage role attitude among Chinese college students, found a significant sex difference with women holding a more modern value and a more equalitarian attitude toward marriage-role. This more equalitarian marriage role attitude may also characterize Chinese who are more accepting of western values. The Role of Education in Modernization It is commonly held that standards of education determine attitudes towards change and modernization. The more education people have, the more easily they identify with modernity; the less they have, the more negative and suspicious they are of modernity and consequently the more resistant they are to change and modernization. Kragh and Djursaa (2006), in their study comprising 26 countries found that teaching styles in post-industrial societies are more likely to follow the organic model, involving greater empowerment of students and less formal authority. In the business school context, this empowerment is shown to rest on students cultural values of solidarity and social commitment. Educated respondents turn out to be more liberal and egalitarian in their attitudes towards gender roles and womens employment (Vukovic, 2007). Existing research suggests that business school teaching and management in organizations in general tend to enact similar sociocultural values (Senge, 1997; Senge et al, 2000; Hofstede, 2001; Brown and Lauder, 1992; Brown et al, 2003) and it is possible to generalize findings from business schools to other type of organizations. Business schools are important providers of potential managers to companies and both the content of teaching and the attitude to management and cooperation which students acquire during the process of socialization at the institutions, are therefore strategically important for business (Kragh and Djursaa, 2006). Research Objectives To investigate the management students attitude towards modernization with respect to Social Mobility, Position of Women, Family Planning, Marriage and Religion and Superstition. To find out the difference in attitude towards modernization among the female and male management students. Research Hypothesis There is a positive attitude among the management students towards modernization with respect to Social Mobility, Position of Women, Family Planning, Marriage and Religion and Superstition. There is a significant difference in attitude towards modernization among female and male management students. The Sample The Study on which this paper is based was carried out in a well-known institute of management located in the National Capital Region (NCR), Delhi. The institute has been in existence for 17 years and it runs a two year (full time) postgraduate program in business administration. The sample for the study consists of 120 management students studying in their 4th semester (final) of MBA full time programme. Variables N Age 20-27years M=22.8yrs Gender Female 60 Male 60 Parent occupation Business 36 Govt. Service 84 Rural/Urban Rural 13 Urban 107 Religion Hindu 110 Sikh 7 Muslim 2 Others 1 Tools for Data Collection and Analysis: Attitude towards modernization was measured by using Dr. B.M Mathur (1997) Modernization Attitude Scale which consists of 35 items divided into five dimensions: Social Mobility (7 items); Position of Women (7 items); Family Planning (7 items), Marriage (7items) and Religion and Superstition (7 items). Test Retest reliability ranges from .85 to .90. Content validity was judged by 30 judges. The questionnaire was personally administered by the researchers in classrooms after the classes were over. Scoring: Yes answer is given 1 mark for positive question and No answer is given 1 mark for negative question. The higher the score, more is the positive attitude towards modernization. The responses to the questionnaire were keyed in and analyzed using the SPSS (version 12). Results and Discussion (Table 1 here) (Table 2 here) Table 1: Showing the mean, % and SD of the five dimensions of modernization. Variables N Mean Mean as % Std. Deviation Social mobility 120 5.78 82.57% 1.03 Position of women 120 6.35 90.71% .81 Family planning 120 6.26 89.43% .91 Marriage 120 5.39 77% 1.07 Religion and superstition 120 5.25 75% 1.04 Total modernization 120 28.56 81.6% 3.92 Table 2: Showing the t-test of five dimension of modernization in terms of gender. Variable Gender N Mean Std. Deviation Df t-value Sig. Social Mobility Female 60 6.15 .84 118 4.12 ** Male 60 5.41 1.09 Position of Women Female 60 6.58 .61 118 3.12 * Male 60 6.13 .93 Family Planning Female 60 6.31 .72 118 .59 NS Male 60 6.21 1.07 Marriage Female 60 5.61 .96 118 2.32 NS Male 60 5.16 1.15 Religion and and Superstition Female 60 5.3 1.03 118 .52 NS Male 60 5.20 1.07 Modernization Female 60 29.86 2.26 118 3.82 * Male 60 27.26 4.75 ** Significant at .01 level, *Significant at .05 level, NS= Not Significant. Graphical representation of means of female and male students in terms of five dimensions of modernization A perusal at table 1 shows that the means of the five dimensions of modernization are all having high score, which shows that there is a positive attitude towards modernization among the management students. Among the five dimensions, the mean of the Position of Women (M=6.35) was higher than the others dimensions followed by means of Family Planning (M=6.26); Social Mobility (M=5.78); Religion and Superstition (M=5.25) and Marriage (M=5.39). This shows that these management students have a very positive attitude towards the Position of Women emphasizing on the equality of gender rights, status of women upliftment, and provision of education and accepting women at higher positions. In terms of their attitude towards Family Planning, the students consider it an important factor and notion of individual choice within the nuclear family is paramount. Modernization of behavior has also lead to the constitution of modern families, which are more open to the use of modern contraceptives an d believe in the concept of small family means a happy family. With regard to social mobility, the students are totally against caste, the concept of untouchability and have a view that such beliefs are an obstacle in the progress of the society and must be eliminated. The students have shown a positive attitude towards the upliftment of the scheduled caste and tribes. In case of religion and superstition, the students have the opinion that religion and superstition should be based on ones faith and one should not be superstitious. The modernization theorists of the past three decades largely accepted the view of the modern world as a space of shrinking religiosity (Appadurai, 1996). In case of marriage, the sample have the opinion that people should be given freedom to select ones own life partner and they have also indicated a positive attitude towards love marriage and even inter-caste marriage. The findings indicating a positive attitude towards modernization have been supported by many researchers. Acc to Srivastava et.al, (1976), the goals of higher standard of life, freedom security, and social justice are more of the accepted goals of modernism. Family values and teaching styles in business schools are part of the same cultural complex of linked values and norms (Kragh and Djursaa, 2006). Hence, our hypothesis 1 which states that there is a positive attitude among the management students towards modernization with respect to Social Mobility, Position of Women, Family Planning, Marriage and Religion and Superstition, is accepted. A look at table 2 shows the t-value of the five facets of modernization in terms of gender. The overall modernization score shows significant differences among female and male (t- value=3.82) and the mean score of female students (M=29.86) was higher than mean score of male students (M= 27.26). This shows that female management students are having more positive modernization attitude than their male counterparts. There is also a significant difference in female and male scores on two dimensions of modernization viz. Social Mobilty and Position of Women. The t-value of female and male in Social mobility is 4.12 which shows significant at .05 level and mean of female (M=6.15) was higher than mean of male (M=5.41). This indicates that female students have a more positive attitude towards social mobility in terms of eradicating untouchability, caste system and believe in the upliftment of the minority section of people. This result shows that female students are more welfare oriented tow ards the upliftment of society. According to the liberal theory of industrialism, economic development sponsors more mobility and encourages equal opportunities (Dribe, Helgertz and Putte, 2012). The t-value (3.12) shows significant differences between female and male management students in their attitude towards position of women. The mean of female (M=6.58) was higher than mean of male (M= 6.13). This is understandable that female will have higher regards for the position of women in the society. The position of women in society is closely related to family values. This finding shows that female students have higher opinion about the upliftment of the female role and equality in the eyes of society. In the long term, it is seen that that modernization brings systematic, predictable changes in attitudes towards gender roles. Mukherjee (1997), in his study on the ideas and attitudes of students towards modernization, found that female students wished to become economically independent and acquire equal status with males in jobs and houses. The t-value in family planning; marriage and religion and superstition shows no significant differences between females and males; even th ough in terms of Attitudes towards Marriage, the mean of female (M=5.61) is having higher than male (M=5.16). Thus, our hypothesis 2 which states that there is a significant difference in attitude towards modernization among female and male management students, is partially accepted and partially rejected. Conclusion Modernity is the attitude to adjust to the rapidly changing condition of socio-cultural and economic milieu and to break from traditional mode of life. Modernity is one thing towards which every society is inevitably moving, although at different rates of development. The findings of this study show that the attitudes of management students towards the different facets of modernization are positive and they favor development. This could be due to the reason that standards of education determine attitudes towards change and modernization. The more education people have, the more easily they identify with modernity; the less they educated they are, the more negative and suspicious they are of modernity and consequently the more resistant they are to change and modernization. Also, interestingly, female students were found to have a more positive attitude towards overall modernization and also towards the two dimensions of Social Mobility and Position of Women. Female students favor the integration of social classes and do not consider themselves as a weaker section of the society. They want to be stronger; free from being prejudiced and no longer under the domination of male counterparts.