What Is Modernization Theory?

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Modernization theory describes the development and process of modernization in societies, particularly in regard to the industrial societies of North America and Western Europe. It posits that the development of a society can be predicted in stages from its inception to its growth into a fully modern culture.

Typically, the introduction of technology is the catalyst for a traditional society's growth into modernization. Once technology is introduced, social and cultural changes shortly follow. As a result, increased education develops, as well as the advancement of mass media. In addition, the evolution of transportation and communication begin to make the society more sophisticated and complex.