Growth Of Modernity Is A Wide And Essay

Length: 6 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Sociology Type: Essay Paper: #69417576 Related Topics: Industrial Sociology, Karl Marx, Urbanization, Capitalism
Excerpt from Essay :

¶ … Growth of Modernity

Modernity is a wide and commonly debated expression utilized to explain the history of Western European nations from approximately the early-seventeenth century to the mid-twentieth century. Generally, modernity's signature features comprise augmented urbanization, a move from feudal economies to industrial capitalism, and a going away from the power and restraints of ancient customs and religious attitudes towards an acceptance of scientific and theoretical rationalism, liberalism, and egalitarianism. Modernity is therefore connected with technological and economic conversions and just as thoughtful, shifts in awareness. Particularly critical to these shifts is the appearance of the person as a shape of significant cultural and economic authority (Kennedy, n.d.).

Modernity has to do with social outlines linked to industrialization. Modernization is consequently the procedure of social alteration started by industrialization. There are four common characteristics of modernization that have been identified:

1. The turn down of small, customary neighborhoods

2. The growth of personal preference

3. rising variety in beliefs

4. A future direction and rising consciousness of time (Chapter 24: Social Change: Traditional, Modern, and Postmodern Societies, n.d.).

The idea of modernity came about when classical theorists desired to comprehend the connotation and implication of the Twin Revolutions and the results of industrialization, urbanization, and political democracy on rural civilizations. The expression modernity was created to confine these alterations in development by contrasting the contemporary with the customary. Modernity was meant to be more than an idea. Modernity referred to a world built anew by way of the active and mindful interference of people. In contemporary societies, the world is knowledgeable as a human structure, an occurrence that gives rise to a new sense of liberty and to a fundamental apprehension about the honesty of the future. Modernity consists of three things: traditional, institutional, and cultural. Traditional modernity means that there is a past awareness, a sense of getting away from the past, and a post-traditional awareness of what is going on in the world. Institutional modernity has to do with capitalism, industrialism, urbanism, and the democratic nation-state. Cultural modernity has to do with new viewpoints about science, economics, and education. It entails a condemnation of religion and division of religion from politics and education (The Development of Sociology and Modernity, 2010).

A new social science was put into place in the wake of these proceedings and was given the name sociology. Sociology is not only about intelligence, but is associated with advances in the social world and alterations in society. One reason why sociology is dissimilar than the other social sciences is that it tries to explain different sets of social forces that expand in a society at dissimilar times and places, with dissimilar actors and consequences. As societies change, it is the temperament of these changes that sociologists try to make clear, and it is the changes themselves that lead to dissimilar accounts of these changes (The Development of Sociology and Modernity, 2010).

Two predominantly significant dichotomies to look at when studying modern social theory are Marx's difference between use principles and exchange standards and Weber's difference between substantive and formal rationality. Certainly, it might be argued that in these dichotomies lies a foundation for understanding core basics of more than a few of their most central influence concerning capitalism as one of the three or four key organizations of modernity (Chapter 24: Social Change: Traditional, Modern, and Postmodern Societies, n.d.).

Max Weber quarreled that thoughts and ideas are what cause social alteration. For Weber, modernity meant augmented rationality and a matching turn down in custom. Weber was negative and critical about the effects of modernity. He was anxious that rationalization would wear down the human spirit. A question asked by his critics concerns...


Marx's intellectual plan is marked by a more and more keen sense of the economic and technological devices through which the old feudal order was being relocated by a new command founded on the understanding of profit by way of the sale of merchandise. The dynamics of this procedure are, of course, very compound; the old command did not merely yield its place to the new, and entered into an era of aggressive conflict with the developing forms of merchant and industrialized capital. On the other hand, the propensity towards the validation of manufacture that was started by the product form is, for Marx, the beginning of the future. In the end, the feudal financial system, with its dependence on absolutist power and archaic agrarianism, could not contend with the new forms of trade and manufacture which had instituted themselves in the cities. Therefore, by the early nineteenth century a proto-capitalist financial system had come out in Europe; a financial system which, in spite of the persistent prevalence of agricultural manufacture, had started to establish the substitute of merchandise for cash as the leading form of financial activity, to establish the legal circumstances of free citizenship, and to expand the cooperative government of manufacture into a plurality of dissimilar types of craft manufacture (Abbinnett, 2007).

Karl Marx on the other hand centered on social disagreement. He saw the Industrial Revolution as first and foremost a capitalist revolution. His view also maintained Weber's outlook about mounting rationality and declining custom. On the other hand, for Marx, these procedures were all alterations that maintained the increase of capitalism, and of this he was very decisive (Chapter 24: Social Change: Traditional, Modern, and Postmodern Societies, n.d.).

Weber is particularly known for his study of the religious origins of the capitalist way of life, as well as for his analysis of the main beliefs following the organizational competence of government. He argued that contemporary social life resulted from the convergence of several forces of cultural and social rationalization, an alteration that was most completely actualized in Europe and the United States. Weber stated that contemporary society is distinguished by the governance of rational achievement. This is so from the point-of-view of numerous meanings of rationality: systematic thought by means of precise ideas; analysis of resources for their efficiency in attaining a goal; systematic action; and negative response of traditional beliefs in favor of self-governing way of thinking about the circumstances (Sitton, 2003).

The center of Weber's conception of rationalization is the augment in a methodical and systematic advance to a variety of spheres of social activity. Even though there were forerunners in a lot of cultures. According to Weber, only Western society fully pursued the possibilities of rationalizing this wide diversity of fields of human attempt. The primary puzzle that Weber wants to investigate is precisely why this and not another society took the lead. He concludes that the impetus for the rationalization of social action was a prior cultural rationalization, particularly the amplification of a particular worldview in Western religious growth. In unequivocal distinction to Marx, Weber insists on the self-governing fundamental significance of ideas and descriptions of the world. Ideas are traditionally significant in two different ways. First, the motives of people are not reducible to a constricted want for material development. Rather, Weber disputes that people are strongly provoked by convinced ideal interests, an interest in spiritual salvation, as well as by more commonplace material interests. Second, even though these numerous interests are definitely the driving force of history they do not themselves conclude the route of history (Sitton, 2003).

Marx and Weber have a lot in common in their appreciation of contemporary capitalism. They both recognize it as a scheme where people are ruled by concepts, where the impersonal and thing-like associations put back the personal associations of reliance, and where the gathering of capital becomes an end in itself, largely illogical. Their analysis of capitalism cannot be estranged from a critical location, unambiguous in Marx, more hesitant in Weber. But the content and motivation of the criticism are very dissimilar. And, above all, while Marx supports the likelihood of conquering capitalism thanks to a socialist revolution, Weber is somewhat a fatalist and submissive observer, studying a mode of manufacture and management that seemed to him unavoidable (Lowy, n.d.).

What Weber, different from Marx, did not understand, is the control, over human behaviors, of exchange value. The instruments of valorization and the automatisms inscribed in the product exchange lead to an examining of social associations. Both Weber and Marx shared the thought of a considerable illogicality of the capitalist system, which is not conflicting with its formal or partial rationality. Both refer to religion to try to appreciate this irrationality. For Weber, what one has to explain is the beginning of this irrationalism, this turnaround of natural conditions, and the clarification he proposes refers to the crucial influence of…

Sources Used in Documents:


Abbinnett, Ross. (2007). Marxism After Modernity. Retrieved from

Chapter 24: Social Change: Traditional, Modern, and Postmodern Societies. (n.d.). Retrieved

Kennedy, Jake. (n.d.). Modernity. Retrieved from

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