Future of Modernization Essay

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Future of Modernization SOC/120 According to Macionis (2006), modernization is “the process of social change begun by industrialization” (p. 455). Modernization is evident in U.S. society because the characteristics of modernization as identified by Peter Berger can be clearly seen. The characteristics of modernization include: • the destruction or weakening of small, traditional communities, • the rise of individualism, and the fall of traditional values, • more diversity in beliefs and behavior, • focusing on progress more than the past, • a greater value on efficiencies, and improvements, which improve quality of life (Macionis, 2006, p. 456). The fears of many of the influential modern theorists have become manifested in U.S. society, many of whom expressed different challenges a society might face if modernization continued. For example, Ferdinand Tonnies feared a society which emphasized the importance of rational thinking, efficiency, and capital would weaken traditional communities, and produce large impersonal community centers where neighbors are complete strangers (Macionis, 2006). Neighborhoods throughout the United States are filled with people who do not know their own neighbors, and whose only relationships revolve around points of interest (work, sports, family). The author experienced this impersonal phenomena growing up in a large Kentucky city where he did not even know the names of his neighbors. An argument was made in Society: the Basics that an impersonal modern society can still have strong bonds between individuals much like traditional small communities (Macionis, 2006, p. 457). However, in a modern, and especially a post-modern society where the expansion of personal choice is virtually unchallenged, people have the opportunity to (and are even

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