6 Political Participation: Modernization and Political Decay (1968)

Samuel Huntington

Modernization and Political Consciousness

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Those aspects of modernization most relevant to politics can be broadly grouped into two categories. First, social mobilization, in Deutsch’s formulation, is the process by which “major clusters of old social, economic and psychological commitments are eroded or broken and people become available for new patterns of socialization and behavior.”1 It means a change in the attitudes, values, and expectations of people from those associated with the traditional world to those common to the modern world. It is a consequence of literacy, education, increased communications, mass media exposure, and urbanization. Secondly, economic development refers to the growth in the total economic activity and output of a society. It may be measured by per capita gross national product, level of industrialization, and level of individual welfare gauged by such indices as life expectancy, caloric intake, supply of hospitals and doctors. Social mobilization involves changes in the aspirations of individuals, groups, and societies; economic development involves changes in their capabilities. Modernization requires both.

… [T]he most crucial aspects of political modernization can be roughly subsumed under three broad headings. First, political modernization involves the rationalization of authority, the replacement of a large number of traditional, religious, familial, ...

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