Posted at 10.27.2018
Initially, I would like to clarify the use of the conditions "Modernization" and "Westernization" but it is difficult to easily conceptualize and formulate specific definitions that all can agree. Because of this essay Modernization, at least in minimalist conceptualization, includes what S. P. Huntington (1996:68) referred to as "industrialization, urbanization, increasing level of literacy, education, wealth and social mobility, and more technical and diversified occupational structures". Westernization, on the other side, is seen as the "conversion to the ways of american civilization". Westernization is the communal process in which non-western individuals are assimilated in to the european culture or "assimilated into Western european culture". Westernization and Europeanization can be utilized interchangeably out of this point.
There is no denying the actual fact that 'modernization process first occurred in the west through the twin techniques of industrialization and commercialization' (Emerson, 1960:43) It had been the industrial trend that warmed the whole movement of change from a traditional agricultural world to modern industrialized and commercialized one. Vishnevsky (2006:9) mentioned that "modernization forms a great axis around which history's main occasions have turned because the end of the 18th century, enough time of the industrial revolution in England and the fantastic French Revolution, and gradually distributed to ever more new countries and areas, especially in the 20th hundred years". This drives us to the question accessible: Is Modernization synonymous with westernization? Can non-western societies modernize along different journey or must become westernize to attain modernization? In this essay, I will dispute that Modernization is not synonymous, indistinguishable and interchangeable with Westernization. To demonstrate my argument, the article will precede within the platform of challenging ideas and assumption that equated modernization with westernization particularly the modernization theory.
Modernization theory targets a kind of modernization believed to have started in Europe through the 18th hundred years, which brought different social beliefs and technological growth into a fresh era. It represents the way emerging solutions and systems of development and usage could bring about a more progressively more homogenized world. It really is simple logic that theory asserts the theory that modernization as a homogenizing process (Dark, 1966). In the sense all modernizing countries are become changing in to western culture, and underdeveloped countries should acquire characteristics which are common to developed european countries to modernize. The fundamental question is; are all modernizing nations will achieve the same final objective and principles, or the distinct values and customs of different societies mean that they will stay distinct and unique. The current modernization practice demonstrates significant differences are present between modernizing countries. It is worthy of mentioning the exemplory case of China which is significantly modernizing but without sacrificing its unique ethnic values and political parameters. Huntington (1996:20) identified that "non-western civilizations" generally are reaffirming the values of their own, rather than assimilating with the western. He also stated that even after obtaining modernization position it is less likely to observe ethnical similarity, rather neighborhoods can differ from one another. Take the circumstance of Japan although initially followed westernization as a model but now retaining its own culture and traditions. Many non-Western countries are steadily raising up to par with the United States, Great Britain and other modernized European countries thus which makes it difficult to maintain the west's social effect internationally. Thus one can't but agree with Huntington's idea that modernization is far from producing a widespread civilization across the world and westernization of other non-western countries (1996:20)
It is still said that to be modern is to do something and work like traditional western. Westernization has been considered as yardstick for modernization. I highly assume that modernization is a sophisticated set of processes that can not be easily conceptualized to an individual factor and a uni-dimension view. But modernization theorists make the declare that western capitalist prices and practices are the basis for modernizing other societies. It is all about non-western societies to follow the footsteps of traditional western countries to be modern. Here it is obviously difficult to give a full consent to the idea. Certainly, westernization is one way of economic development and it "remains an important model for achievement of modernization. " (Liu, 1997:43) But, it isn't and you will be the only general model. It is difficult to say that western model of modernization as a model of global applicability.
This assumption of looking modernization as uni-linear process is definately not being criticized and challenged, not only in non-western countries but also by european politicians and scholars. Aside from criticism, Mohammed M. Ali (1997: 14- 15) sets forward the thought of Islamic modernization this means the growth of knowledge and technology predicated on Islamic epistemology, as the first prerequisite for Islamic modernization. Presumably the introduction of new assumption by some African and Latin American scholars and politicians like "neo-liberalism is a lifeless end" might reveal the struggle to find alternative style of modernization. Beyond assumptions, taking in to consideration the existing modernization process in China is a sign for the lifetime of alternative way of financial development and modernization which is different things from traditional western way of development. The way Chinese societies modernize, leaves without doubt that homogenising and hegemonic assumptions of western program of modernity and modernization theory were not realized. Whatever we see instead, relating to Dubley (2008: 16), in many non-western countries, all on the path to modernize, there exists hardly any disposition to imitate the european model.
All these points make us a subscription to the thought of Eisenstadt (2002: 2-3) who stated that there are multiple modernities, and american design of modernization is not the sole "authentic" modernity, though it enjoy historical precedence and continue to be a basic reframing point for others. So, the non-western societies have to consider their own model of modernization, instead of trying to make themselves copies of the western world (Darmaputera, 1988: 2002).
The assumption of equating modernization with westernization not only provides little room for different way of modernization but also offers a monopoly of intelligence to the european societies. The non-western societies have to look at their technology, models and principles to modernize. I agree that western solutions and ideals are significant, although not all. But the fundamental assumption undermines others potential to innovate. It is clearly a top-down way of modernization. Islamic civilizations lead the world one time in history. Africa had its way of modernization and development before its contact with Western. Is current know-how a european product only? Today, Japan has become the world leading in various aspects of modernity moreover in electronics. No-one has a monopoly of ability over wisdom, creativity and development. Non-western societies have the potential to produce new things however the overall structural romantic relationship with the western world needs to be rearranged so that they can realize and put into action it.
In realization, in light with the current modernization routines and historical experiences modernization is not synonymous, equivalent or compatible with westernization. The experience shows that it's the enlargement of the western and globalization which has promoted both modernization and westernization of non-western societies. Modernization in itself has no idea of westernizing other societies and creating a more homogenous world. Obviously, modernization can't exclude westernization in certain aspects. But there is nothing uniquely american about technology and industrialization. Using european technology for reliable creation and service delivery is not being westernized.