critique the notion that cities in the global south are not yet modern

Topics: Literacy, City, Modernity Pages: 7 (2821 words) Published: February 3, 2014

1. Intro
2. What is modern? Academic views and what people in cities of the global south perceive as being modern(Bangkok example) 3. What is the global south- which cities belong to this category 4. Technological progress as a form of modernity using positive examples from India (Bangalore) and less positive views from Lagos 5. Employment structure e.g the informal sector often viewed as not modern. Robinsons view of cape town 6. Education- literacy rates Islamabad

7. Linking from Islamabad- religion how has religion played a part is it possible to be modern and have religion- Pervez Musharraf quotes 8. Linking from religion Afghanistan- cities PURPOSEFULLY not ‘modernising’ due to influence of Taliban. Back to the idea that modernity is intrinsically western

9. Link into war and effects on modernity- sub Saharan Africa 10. Politics and political freedom modern ideals
11. The question seems to suggest they will be modern at some point by using the word ‘yet’- discussion of whether some cities will ever be considered modern by western standards of the word- going back to What is modernity 12. Conclusion.

Using examples, critique the notion that cities in the Global South are not yet modern In order to effectively critique the notion that cities in the Global South are not yet modern, the term ‘modern’ needs to be understood. Some commentators argue that modernity is a western phenomenon, (Giddens 1990) whilst others argue that mainly western scholars of modernity and urbanisation are wrong to define modernity like this (Robinson 2006). In addition to a discussion of modernity, it is useful to look at the term ‘global south’ and identify which cities belong to this category and whether it is advantageous to divide cities like this. It is also necessary to look at the ways specific cities of the ‘global south’ confirm or reject the notion that they are not yet modern. Whether cities in the global south should be classified into ‘modern’ or ‘non-modern’ and whether they can contain some elements of modernity without being entirely ‘modern’ is also an interesting concept. There are many different and conflicting notions of ‘modernity’; an interesting place to start is the view that modernity is a word that has many connotations that can represent different things to different people, so is difficult to define (Therborn 1995). For example, in Thailand, some city dwellers think that modernity is being able to work in a clean air conditioned environment in the city, rather than rice fields in rural areas (Rigg 2007). For many people living in cities in the global south the mere action of working and living in the city is comparatively modern when viewed alongside villages in the same country (Rigg 2007). Modernity is also difficult to define because most societies have made progress of some sort, so are to some extent ‘modern’ when compared with previous generations (Pierson 1998). One view of modernity is that it has roots in seventeenth century Europe, when people stopped following habits prescribed by tradition (Giddens 1990). This view is developed by Rigg (2007) who points to several factors that show a ‘modern’ nation or city. Firstly, he argues that ‘modern’ cities will see significant improvements in both economy and technology. He then claims that a ‘modern’ city will see transformations in the type of work the population engages in, with increases in secondary and tertiary industries and reductions in the informal sector. Another important aspect of modernity is social change, which can be shown by high adult literacy rates (Zajda 2011). Inkles (2009) shows that secular and rational thought are widespread in a modern city. Other commentators such as Robinson (2006) argue that urban modernity is more about the cultural experience and celebration of novelty. This...

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