21 September 2009

Modernity: Definition and Features

What is modernity? What is its definition? What are its features? Again, from the Encyclopedia Britannica:

Modernisation is the transformation of society through the development of industry and technology, accompanied by far-reaching political and social changes.

A key feature of a modern society is its application of scientific knowledge to the production of goods and services, with an emphasis on maximising efficiency.

Modernisation affects all of society, including the economic, political and social systems. In the economic sphere, modernisation takes the form of industrialisation.

Secularisation
is necessary for the rise and maintenance of any modern society.

An orientation towards knowledge, technology and economy is basic to modern civilisation.

The three drivers of modernity are:
1. Experimental science
2. Scientific technology
3. Production-oriented economy

The economy ceases to be oriented mainly towards consumption and comes to place its main emphasis on production as its goal. This involves a shift towards production for further production, that is, capital investment.

The process of modernisation is a kind of permanent revolution, without any final goal. One can distinguish various phases of modernity, with the contemporary scene even offering glimpses of a "post-modern" one.

The superiority or desirability of modernity remains an open question.

7 comments:

Incognito said...

what is its place in the purpose of life ?

Indian said...

If you are concerned about such lofty things as "the purpose of life" then you don't have to worry about modernity.

Modernity matters if you care about more mundane things like:
1. removing poverty, illiteracy, hunger and disease
2. making your country a superpower.

estheppan said...

>>>"If you are concerned about ...."

Are you not concerned about the purpose of your journey before embarking on one ?

Y term it lofty? It would seem to be the most mundane thing of all.

Rather, 'lofty' would be to disregard this most fundamental of all concerns. Don't you think ?

>>>"Modernity matters if you care about ... poverty, illiteracy, hunger and disease"

There was a fellow, Siddhartha , prince of Kapilavastu, who got concerned about such issues.
But what he proposed was not 'modernity'.

If you care to look at the lives of the rishis of india, the ones who created Vedas etc., you may find that even the ordinary beggar or slum-dweller in todays' world is materially richer than them!

Adi Shankaracharya, possessed the wonderful wealth that you see on him in any of the pictures- a saffron robe!

Take the case of other respected figures. Sri Ramana Maharshi, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and so on.

Overseas, take the case of Jesus.

Just like the so-called christians of today have taken to living in luxury quite against the simple-living exemplified by Jesus, the indians of today, the unworthy descendents of ancient indians seems to think that modernity is the panacea for poverty, illiteracy, hunger and disease.

They perhaps frogets that the so-called 'modernity' of 'developed world' is based on the rampant exploitation of the rest of the world, on nature, on animals, birds and plants, on earth and environment, on other humans, indeed on themselves even!

Quite a descend indeed from the ancient indians who nurtured nature. Who said- "lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu" rather than seeking to be 'superpower'.

Perhaps the inevitable result of sidelining the concern for 'purpose of life', terming it 'lofty'.

Namaste

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Anonymous said...

what are the post modern response to modernity?

Anonymous said...

This article is about Modernisation whereas the heading says Modernity.There is a big difference between both..!!

Indian said...

Really?