Modern Societies And Its Impact On Society

2264 Words10 Pages
Modern societies are described most effectively against the background of what came before them. The process of modernity is reactive; it’s meaning is derived by a comparison with, and by rejection or negation of preceding agrarian and industrial societies. Traditional, or pre-modern societies take as their basic unit the community or the collective. The family constitutes production and consumption as well as socialization, indicative of a rudimentary division of labour. Further, traditional societies facilitate a worldview that is wholly comprehensive. Durkheim describes this as the ‘collective consciousness’. People derive their outlook largely through the different ways that they interact with society, and because these societies have high degrees of similarity, and a shared set of moral values and beliefs, members experience the world in similar ways. In this contrasting view, modernization can be viewed as a process of individualization, specialization and abstraction. In the structure of modern society, the individual dominates the collective. The division of labour is complex. People become alienated from the process of production as specialization increases and their occupations become more specific, consequently disconnecting them from the products of their labour. Moreover, modern societies facilitate a worldview that is abstract. While traditional societies are based on similarity, modern societies are based on differences, thus differentiating the way
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