chapter  2
Paradigms Lost: Reconsidering the Concept of Modernization
WithDaniel K. Berman
Pages 22

Modernization became associated with the hope that the postwar world would be a better place to live in. Greater material prosperity would be enjoyed increasingly by all peoples of all nations. Associated benefits included greater freedom, equality and self-determination. Modernization, like beauty, is very much in the eyes of the beholder. Adherents and detractors describe the concept quite differently. To its adherents, modernization is a term that encapsulates “a common set of desires” to which “increasingly, a majority of the people of all cultures, with their elites as vanguard, have moved.” Closer examination may reveal that some aspects of the modernization perspective are actually less problematic than they are controversial, for ideological reasons. The dependency perspective was formed as a reaction against the concept of modernization. Closely linked to the concept of modernization are two key ideas: progress and individualism.