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   Course Title    Present day Theories of Modernization
Lecturer    Shaydorova Gunsyma
Institution    East-Siberian State Technological University
Country    Russia

For students of "Social work" specialization (the second year, fourth term)

The course is given to students after compulsory course "Sociology"

For full-time students 20 hours

Assessment - credit

The purpose of the course:

Having taken this elective course, students should analyze the processes of transformation of the Russian society, using theories of modernization and neomodernization as methodology.

The task of the course:

Students should:

  1. know present day theories of modernization and neomodernization; acquire skills of working with scientific literature, periodical press for writing reports and essay;
  2. understand peculiarities of modernization of the Russian society, specifically, changes of social structure of society, changes of political institutions, the dynamics of value orientation; develop analytical skills of statistic facts, results of sociological research;
  3. compare peculiarities of modernization of different societies, distinguish general and particular, acquire skills of comparative analysis.

The elective course "Present day theories of modernization" is supposed to be given after compulsory course "Sociology". The elective course gives profound study of realities of modern Russian society. The social worker should have an integrated notion of social and cultural peculiarities and tendencies of development of Russian society, and should possess fundamentals of sociological analysis. Understanding of the realities of modern society (transformations of social structure, political institutions, formation of civil society) allows one to grasp the idea of social problems of the transition period (unemployment, criminality, poverty and so on) and develop social policy accordingly.

During this elective course active methods of study are used problematic tasks, dialogues and discussions. Students should prove their point of view concerning arguing problems, based on knowledge of theoretical material and empirical facts. These methods are more available, because the course includes wide historical material, theoretical conceptions and problems. Test writing an essay, which allows for the appreciation of analytical, creative abilities of students.


Thematic plan

Theme 1. Modernization as the achievement of Modernity (4 hours).

The characteristics of modern society. The transition from agricultural production to industrial, treated as the main sector of economy, concentration of economic production in cities, the spread of technological innovations, embracing all the spheres of life. The influence of the economic system on the social structure of society: proletarianization and pauperization of the population, elite transformation, the emergence of numerous middle class, the rise of social inequality. The change in the political sphere: strengthening of the role of state in the regulation of economic processes, the extension of the rule-of-law sphere, the formation of the rational bureaucratic organization. Secularization, the increasing role of science, the democratization of education, the spread of mass culture.

Theme 2. Classical modernization theories (2 hours).

E. Hagen, N. Smelser, Sch. Eisenstadt, S.Huntington, W. Rostow. The interpretation of modernization as the necessary, irreversible and endogenic process. Mechanism of modernization: 1) modernization as the consequence of the structural and functional differentiation of society; 2) modernization as adaptation of societies with different levels of development; 3) technological determinism in the explanation of the modernization mechanism.

Theme 3. The theories of neomodernization (2 hours).

J. Alexander, E. Tiryakian, P. Sztompka, A. Etzioni. The main principles of neomodernization theories. The change of the role of elites in the modernization process: social movements as the main agent of modernization. The refusal from unification process of modernization, possibility of multilinear development. The acknowledgement of the important role of socio-cultural values. The refusal from contrasting tradition and innovation. The increasing role of exogenic factors and mass media communications. Modernization of Japan and new industrial counties of Asia.

Theme 4. Modernization of Central and eastern European countries (taking Poland, Hungary and Eastern Germany as examples) (2 hours).

Transformation peculiarities of Central and Eastern Europe. Transition from a distributary economy to market one, from one-party system to multi-party democracy. Transformation of social structure. Inequality in incomes. Social welfare.

Theme 5. The peculiarities of modernization in Russian society (2 hours).

The modernization approach to the analysis of both the historical development of Russia in general and the essence of the transitional period. The historical interpretation of modernization (the reforms of Peter, the Great; Alexander I; Stolypin P.A. etc.). The "delaying" of modernization. The special role of the state. The economic, social, cultural aspects of modernization. The cultural specific features of the modernization process in Russia. The dynamics of socio-cultural values. The western way or original development. The scenarios of development of Russia.

Theme 6. Transformation of social structure of Russian society (4 hours).

Social and economic structure of society as a result and a factor of transformation processes. Socio-economic polarization of society. Middle class formation. Phenomenon of poverty. Models of social mobility. Change of political orientations and priorities in the 1980-1990s. Political culture and social changes. Problem of civil society formation. Social disintegration.

Theme 7. Adaptation to social changes (2 hours).

The necessity of consideration of adaptation abilities of population to the tempo of socio-economic changes: social cost of reforms. Development of social protection system. The social policy of the transitional period.

Theme 8. Round-table discussion "Scenarios of Russia's development: Russia between the East and the West (2 hours).



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