Modernization refers to the process which demonstrates the adoption of contemporary ways of life as well as values. It is a theory that describes the transition from rural, agrarian and old-fashioned practices to the urban, secular and industrial society. Globalization is the universal interaction among individuals, companies, governments and countries fueled by international trade, technological development and investments while global stratification can be defined as the hierarchical arrangement of groups and people around the world in a bid to classify them based on their characteristics (Law 20). There is an association between the three concepts (modernization, globalization and global stratification) since they are all concerned with social interactions and social changes that continually take place in the world. The discussion presented below describes the relationships the concepts.
Globalization and Global Stratification
Globalization is often depicted by the creation of free trade between regions or countries which facilitates the transfer of goods and services, technology and knowledge between countries. With free trade, people from different cultural background, races and religion can freely interact with each other. Transfers of technology and capital from one region to another lead to making regions to share common technologies and capital but if these resources equality distributed there is no doubt that there would be disparities in term of resource endowment which can be revealed through global stratification.
The mobility of labor and capital within a region not only accelerates economic development but can also reduce regional inequalities. The classification of a country or a region based on economic development and social interaction depends on the labour supply behaviour and the movement of resources between countries (Keirns and Nathan 200). This means that global stratification is brought about by labour supply behaviours exhibited by individuals who differ in terms of talents, skills and abilities including the capital endowment.
Countries are ranked based on various criteria, for instance, developed and developing and poor countries. Developed countries are referred to as high–income or wealthy countries while some developing countries are referred to as middle-income nations. Low-income countries are considered to be poor (Bian 100). Middle-income countries can further be divided into two the upper-middle and the lower-middle. These classifications are based on measures like Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Per capita income, the balance of trade, the balance of payment among other measures. The differences in GDP can be explained by economic activities that take place in respective countries and resource endowment. The level of GDP depends on the level of investment, consumption which is determined by demand, public expenditure and Import and exports. Globalization supports investment, increased demand and promotes the exchange of goods and services between Nations (exports and imports). Thus, globalization drives economic development and allow low-income countries to channels their efforts towards developing their economies to grow and be regarded as middle-income or high-income countries.
Wealthy countries are characterized by the availability of valuable natural resources, industrialized sectors, developed infrastructure or advanced public transport system, high standards of living, low levels of poverty and homelessness, high level of education and well-developed learning institutions and advanced security. Such countries are also composed of a large urban population. Unlike, developed countries poor countries are characterized by the high rural population, high levels of poverty and less developed institutions. But as suggested before, the situation in poor countries can change. In a nutshell, globalization can bring about a positive impact on global stratification.
Globalization and Modernization
Modernization is regarded as a push towards enhancing order while globalization is considered as a push towards transformation or chaos. Modernization of a change process that focuses on economic growth and changes in values and population systems (Wang 60). These changes are brought about by different economic aspects and are greatly backed by changes in political as well as social status. Changes in the mode of communication and ways of communication contribute to modernization (Xifra 668). Globalization had led to the evolution of communication technologies, making communication between individuals cheaper and easier regardless of geographical differences. Information, as well as communication technologies, are continuously influencing individual’s lifestyles. Individuals in both rural and urban centres can access information due to increased access to the internet and use of social media. As a result, many people are increasingly changing their lifestyles and behavior (Cole 320). Individuals are adopting other people’s culture based on what they see and read on social media and the internet. Businesses are now using social media platforms as advertising and distribution channels due to the high number of internet and social media users, a scenario that is supported by globalization and opening up of new markets on a global scale.
Social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook have not only become networking sites but also forums for social and political debates. They have turned into platforms for the expression of civic ideas. Through social media sites, people can present reports in particular events in real-time leading to proper coordination. With existing social media platforms, individuals and businesses are now able to reach both local and global market. Americanization (a form of universal culture that is spread due to America’s economic and political dominance) has also been accelerated by increased use of social media (Xifra 670). Economic integration and international trade and increased scholarship have also contributed to changes in people’s culture. Western countries and China have managed to spread their cultural practices around the globe and hence contributing to modernity.
The relationship between modernization and globalization is also explained by the expansion of multinational companies. Societies have been forced to adopt foreign languages due to the spread of multinational companies across the world. Most of these organizations hire individual who can communicate in many languages including their language, hence making individuals move to urban areas in other countries and communicate with clients in a different language, making people lose their identity (Xifra 671). A good example is African countries which are now losing their cultural identity. Some of those who have migrated to other countries have embraced the aspect of other cultures.
Modernization and Global Stratification
Modernization theory assumes that poor countries are likely to remain poor because they failed to develop the necessary values, beliefs and practices that support rapid economic growth and development. Low-income countries followed traditional beliefs and values that blocked modernization and industrialization. The theory also assumes that high-income countries remain wealthy since they developed beliefs, practices and values that support trade, infrastructural growth, industrialization and rapid economic development.
According to the modernization theory, the existing global stratification is due to the differences in willingness to facilitate growth and development of the nation. Wealthy countries developed a cultural train that includes working hard and ignoring traditional ways in favour of new approaches to doing things and thinking (Henry 450). Unlike, poor countries, wealthy nations embrace future orientation. The protestant reformation in the Western Europe nations diminished the traditional disbelief of the Catholics for social, economic and material success. New ethics emphasized hard work and material success in the course of life. Such values contributed to the growth and development of the countries in the region to become high and middle-income nations.
Modernization influences economic growth and development. Low-income countries can only achieve high levels of industrial development and economic growth if they are ready to develop and embrace values and practices that will help them transition from low-income to high-income countries. They are likely to remain poor is they fail to do so. Modernization involves the adjustment of cultural values and attitudes to different forms of economic growth.
Modernization, Global Stratification and globalization are key interrelated concepts. The concepts re concerned with social behaviour, lifestyle, values, believes and practices as well as economic growth and development. Globalization and modernization influence global stratification. Modernization theory reveals that values, practices and beliefs are important in managing the development of a country. Similarly, globalization involves the free movement of resources between nations. The international integration and transfer of resources from one nation to another effect global stratification as discussed above.