Advantages & disadvantages of modernization

Written by james stuart
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Advantages & disadvantages of modernization
Modernisation has transformed the world in the 20th century. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Modernisation is usually associated with urban and industrial development. During the 20th century, cities have grown as economic and cultural centres, and new technologies have transformed almost every aspect of life. Although modernisation has many advantages, some are concerned about the long term effects it has on countries and people.

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On the one hand, modernisation has encouraged the development of new forms of creative expression, such as film and television. These forms can be easily exported and viewed all over the world. However, a loss of culture may result from modernisation. The spread of the Western culture has caused young people in non-Western countries to abandon traditional customs and values. Even languages begin to disappear as urbanisation encourages people to learn a country's dominant language.


New technology has revolutionised the speed and accuracy of production. Furthermore, increased global trade allows businesses to sell their products anywhere. But increased global production may hurt domestic business when international companies can offer products at cheaper prices. The production of goods in foreign countries, where labour laws are more relaxed, amounts to exploitation in some people's view.


Natural resources such as wood, water and oil are often processed in modernised society, and skyscrapers and factories begin to transform the landscape. Environmental problems, such as climate change, are believed to be the result of industrial development and production. However, in many poorer countries, the discovery of oil and the adoption of new technologies is welcomed for the financial opportunities it presents.

Communication and Travel

New inventions such as phones, televisions and computers allow people to communicate instantly anywhere on the globe. Increased global travel allows people to visit foreign cultures for business or leisure. Contact with foreign cultures fosters international cooperation, but can also result in further loss of culture as people begin to adopt the foreign cultures and languages they are exposed to.

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