Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Modernization -Perspectives III

Synthetic Perspectives
Among the attempts to synthesize the different perspectives on modernization in India the most comprehensive and well known is Prof Yogendra Singh's Modernization of Indian tradition to overcome the partial focus on social processes and the limitations of the analytical categories used in other perspectives on social change which  have rendered them narrow and inadequate.He identifies commonalities in the earlier perspectives  and uses them to fashion his own taxonomic synthesis based on unilinear evolutionism in the long run which distinguishes  the micro and macro contexts in which change producing processes begin and materialize the internal and external sources of change and the structural and cultural  substantive domains within which phenomena are undergoing change.This is said to yield a comprehensive as well as theoretically consistent synthetic theory into which social change in India from the Vedic times to the present can be fitted including epochal changes  as advent of Muslims,British colonialism or Independence.

S.C Dube's emphasis is on the search for alternative paradigms among which he includes conscientization,affirmative action and institution building.His survey is oriented towards the practical issues of social policy.Gunnar Myrdal's well-known institutional approach to the problem of development in South Asia bases itself on the premise that not only is the social and institutional structure different from the one that has evolved in western countries but more important the problem of development in South Asia is one calling for induced changes in that social and institutional structure as it hinders economic development and as it does not change spontaneously or to any large extent in response to policies restricted to the economic sphere.

Myrdal's saw resilient traditional institutions and values as insurmountable obstacles to modernization.By contrast  the institutions of modernity in India most notably the state tended to be soft and would therefore be unable to pursue a modern agenda effectively unless traditional blockages were destroyed.

David Mandelbaum provides a compendium of early work on the theme of change especially in terms of caste mobility and religious  and tribal movements.

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