Modernization Vs. Dependency Essay, Research Paper
MODERNIZATION VS. DEPENDENCY
The modernization perspective is behavioral or microsociological the primary focus is on individuals or aggregates of individuals, their values, attitudes, and beliefs. The dependency perspective, by contrast, is structural or macrosociological its focus is on the mode of production, patterns of international trade, political and economic linkages between elites in peripheral and central countries, group and class alliances and conflicts, and so on. (Valenzuela & Valenzuela, 1978)
Each perspective has its own strengths and weaknesses in attempting to explain either development or underdevelopment, and it is important to take into consideration that any theory, once explained, can make sense. The difficulty in debating over these two theories arises in that they both seem relatively accurate. Then again, each theory examines the complete opposite site of the debate. Dependency theory suggests that underdeveloped nations depend on the advanced nations to grow; that the economy of certain countries is conditioned by the development and expansion of another economy to which the former is subjected. (Dos Santos, 1970) This theory takes a broader look at the development of the economy, and examines it on a much larger scale. Dependency theory takes into account mainly external factors, and looks at how internal factors contribute to those benefits obtained through external means.
At the same time, Modernization theory scrutinizes the smallest details of how a country functions, by looking at the actual people who occupy that country. Values, beliefs, and culture are all important determinant of how that country can and will function. The country s potential is determined by its people and how willing they are to work hard.
I feel that the Dependency perspective takes a lot of information into account when analyzing the economic situation of a country. While this theory maintains that mainly structural factors are relevant in the development of a country, I feel it implies that social and cultural relationships are influenced by the components of dependent growth. Increased international trade, control of the means of production, group and class situations, and the political atmosphere all would affect the social and cultural environment. While the Modernization theory focuses mainly on the people, it seems to me that Dependency theory does take that into account in some small way, as is determined by the more powerful influences such as trade, politics, class conflicts, etc. Dependency theory seems a little more involved and complex, and examines numerous factors in determining the development or underdevelopment of a certain country, and how each country is affected by another advanced or backward.