Rostow's Modernization Theory

818 Words4 Pages
Rostow was born on April 7, 1916 in New York to a Jewish family. He was known as active socialist and economist. He joined university of Yale at the age of 15 on full scholarship and graduated at the age of 19. He had done his PhD in 1940. After completing education, he became professor of economics at the University of Columbia. During his professional life, Rostow served in the Office of Strategic Service under William Joseph Donovan during the World War II. In 1945, immediately after the war, Rostow became Assistant Chief of the German-Austrian Economic Division in the United States Department in Washington D.C. In 1947, he became the assistant to the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Europe, and was part of the development…show more content…
The modernization theorists believe and argue that change is unavoidable and the transformation from traditional to modern societies will occur in a linear way. There are many ways for change to take place such as political institutions, economic institutions, technology and mass media and through education. Rostow’s modernization theory is around “five stages of economic growth” which was alternative to Marx’s theory of economic development. Rostow in his theory of modernization argues that an underdeveloped nation “take-off” toward modernity is achievable through the spread of technology and the modern economic organizations. According to Rostow, all societies, in their economics dimension are lying within one of the five categories: traditional society, pre-condition for take-off, take off, the drive to maturity and the age of high…show more content…
At this stage, the preconditions for take-off are developed. In this phase, the societies are in their transition phase from traditional to modernity. They use of technology increases the productivity in industry as well as in agriculture. Such conditions first developed in Western Europe in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Rostow’s third stage of economic development is the take-off stage. The precondition stage prepares the ground for take-off, as new technologies spread through agriculture and industry. Agriculture is commercialized. There is no more resistance to change and people are able to accept the new methods of production and rates of growth. The resistance to growth is overcome and the nations are on the path of self-sustaining economic growth. This stage takes about 4 decades duration. Rostow places Iran on take-off stage on modernization ladder. Rostow’s fourth stage of economic development is drive to maturity. It is the period when societies have accepted and successfully and effectively applied the range of modern technology. Forty years after the end of take-off, maturity is generally attained. In Bulgaria case of modernization by Vassilev, which we discussed in the class, they could not sustain modernization due to mass literacy, improved education, urbanization, which resulted into more human resources as compared to the job market and could not move beyond the
Open Document