Tradition Vs Modern Essay Research Paper The

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Tradition Vs Modern Essay, Research Paper The terms ??traditional?? and ??modern?? are so often used in conversation, and also in reference to Society, that it is a good exercise to consider what these terms do mean in a comparative light. Berman in All that is solid melts in air puts forward an interesting set of ideas in the comment that people who live in traditional ways, or in modern ones, can almost be said to occupy different states of mind. For instance, a full 500 years have passed since some peoples first met up with the influences of the more modern Western world. (1988, pp. 15-16) However, in many cases, the adjustment has still not been made, and the conflict of what is traditional and what is modern continues to occur with different impacts upon the individual,

as well as the society in which he or she lives which is apt to reflect an ongoing conflict. For example, it could be said that what is lived in a remote western Chinese village differs very much from the experience that is given to human beings by life in New York City. It would be easy to state that the former was very ??backward?? or just very different from what is imparted by New York City, but obviously, this contrast cannot be made too neatly. The modern has arrived in mainland China, little by little, over centuries. On the other hand, what is modern or ??foreign?? has not been absorbed completely, and varies greatly from place to place in China. Furthermore, the systems under which modern influence did begin to arrive happened to be different from those which produced

modernity in the West. In the traditional society of mainland China, western influence came only in a trickle for some time, only to coastal or other directly affected areas during the centuries of attempted European colonization of China, and afterwards, only according to what a Communist regime has permitted to take root in the country. The dichotomy of convention also does not give much time to just what was introduced or expanded into China by the neighbouring countries of Korea or Japan, by the period of British authority over some parts of China, and what ideas or practices really came from within the society itself. The Chinese experience has involved various things which would seem to match what happened in the West, as in governing a mass population, or

industrialization, but the results have differed from what has been the experience of the West or for that matter, the experiences of other traditional societies that have also been exposed to Modernity by way of mainly outside forces. The social sciences make use of the terms, Traditional vs. Modern, in ways that are sometimes just as vague as those of ordinary conversation. As Eisenstadt asserted, ??the central preoccupation of modern social thought and sociology has been unraveling the nature of the modern social order??. (1973, p. 4) It is argued that the changes brought by the forces of modernity, and which the social sciences have to take into account, have been the dichotomies of liberty versus Authority, of stability and continuity versus Change, and of what is called

modern social rationality versus Cultural orientations. (Eisenstadt, 1973, pp. 4-5) The last concept, that of modern social rationality in contrast with usually much, much older cultural orientations, seems to be helpful in understanding what is meant by traditional society in its different elements that do not fit with the modern. Wagner stressed how difficult it has been to describe the ??modern society?? as much as we use the term as a kind of convention. The basic distinction between these social developments and ??traditional societies?? is very often to be found in social scientific writing, even though it is known that what happens when the modern meets the traditional can be unpredictable, that is can take a very long time to occur, and that this does not occur smoothly