Characteristics of Modernization Process:
1. A revolutionary process:
In the process of modernization a radical change takes place in human life. Black has compared the transition from tradition to modernity with that of the change from pre-
human to human existence and from primitive to civilized societies.
2. A complex process:
Modernization is complex process. It cannot be reduced to a single factor or single dimension. It involves changes in all areas of human thought and behaviour. Some of the
components of modernization are: industrialization, urbanization, social mobilization, differentiation, secularization, media expansion, increasing literacy and education and
expansion of political participation.
3. A systematic process:
Modernization is a systematic process. In its wake it changes the total social system. Change in one factor tends to produce a complimentary change in another factor. Various elements of modernization have been highly associated together because they had gone together.
4. A global process:
Modernization is a universal process. It originated in the fifteenth and sixteenth century Europe, but now it has become a worldwide phenomenon. It has been brought about primarily through the diffusion of modern ideas and techniques from the European centre to almost all parts of the world. The endogenous development of non-western societies
has also contributed to this; in any event, all societies which were at one time traditional are becoming modern.
5. A lengthy process:
Modernization takes much time to occur. It does not occur overnight rather it is evolutionary in nature. Much time is required to bring about total changes in society. For
example, western societies took several centuries to modernize. It may take generations for societies to move from tradition to modernity.
6. A phased process:
The process of modernization proceeds in phases and sub-phases. All the societies have to move through some stages. They have to begin with a traditional stage, pass through a
transitional stage and reach the stage of modernity. The patterns of modernization may vary from society to society but all societies will move essentially through the same
7. A homogenizing process:
Modernization produces tendencies towards convergence among societies. It involves movement towards integration of societies in the long run so that the formation of a
world state can be contemplated.
8. A progressive process:
Modernization is inevitable and desirable. Initially modernization causes pain but in the long run it contributes to human well-being, culturally and materially.
9. An adaptive process:
Modernization puts before individuals and groups the need to adapt themselves to the
new changes taking place in society. In the process of rapid socio-economic changes, individuals are likely to aspire for various positions and are supposed to perform different
roles. Those who fail to keep pace with these changes, perish in the process of modernization new institutions emerge in order to meet the demands of the rapid changes
and fulfill new aspirations of the people.
10. A dynamic process:
Modernization implies an ongoing process of change. With the advancement of scientific
knowledge and technical skills, the conditions of life undergo a radical change. A society based on subsistence agriculture, clan or village government is traditional as compared to modern society which is regulated by inanimate sources of power and governed by complex organizations and formal institutions. Likewise the latter is likely to give way to a post-modern society articulated by nuclear fission and sustained by test-tube babies.