Modernity refers to the transition of social life forms and structures in relation to specific time periods and geographical locations to a different environment and time. The transition from traditional modes of societies to urban-based societies entails the dawn of new kinds of social systems as they transition from consumer societies to information societies, which essentially is institutional changes (Giddens 2015, p. 1). This paper is a presentation of the key features expected of modern society as the main topic, as it transitions from traditional society to urbane and industrialized one being the subtopics, and uses examples as instructional words to illustrate this within the restrictions of sociological terms.
Modernity has elicited a great amount of discourse which is majorly philosophical and epistemological in nature, centring on history and knowledge to present the uniqueness of modern social institutions. Sociologically, the main features expected from the transition from traditional societies to industrialized urbane societies include; the speed of transformation, the scope of transformation, and the nature of current social establishments (Giddens 2015, p. 6). The speed of transformation of industrialized modern societies will be expected to be extreme as compared to traditional societies which are relatively less dynamic. Some sense of individualism and personal autonomy will be expected (Sociology: Open Textbook Library, 2016). The perfect example of this feature is with respect to technological growth in cities where almost every activity is done with technological and modern equipment such as modes of transport for example subways, and shopping systems which use online payment systems (Parsons & Turner, 2005). Modern urbane societies have a higher potential for absorption and embrace of technological advancement.
The scope of transformation is a feature that underscores the interconnection of the varied geographical areas with each other with respect to social transformation of any kind. Sociologically, this has led to such considerations as national sociological structures and global sociological organizations which constitute the sociopolitical factors such as domination, power, capital, and risks (Beck 2016, p. 258). In addition, urbane societies are heterogeneous societies with weaker social bonds (Sociology: Open Textbook Library, 2016). Whilst the traditional societies are industrial; that is, organization of society with respect to industry, goods, health, education, social welfare, and political movements, the urbane societies are expected to be characterized by a risk which is borderless in its distribution and apt examples of this feature of the industrialized society is the nuclear radiation which some countries have exploited making the whole world share the fear of the risk of a world war breaking out (Genus 2007, p. 148). Another example is global warming which is not confined to one area but is rather the risk is shared globally due to pollution from industrialization in the cities.
The other expected feature of this transition is an alteration in the nature of social establishments in urbane societies where the traditional ways of thinking are lost. The organization of social forms and systems are different from the traditional ones, for example, the urbane political system is sociologically described as the nation-state, production is reliant on industrial power sources, products and compensated labor are commodified, trust in corporate environments and the forces of production portend dire effects on the ecosystem due to industrial emissions (Beck 2016, p. 259). Economic systems are capitalistic and global in nature for example the push by United Nations for global free trade tends to change the nature of trading activities; urbane societies will tend to undertake global trades with other societies. Political systems harbour parameters such as despotism which combines consolidated armed, political, and philosophical powers and a modern example is Stalinism which was a totalitarian form of government (Roginsky 2008). Many other sociopolitical practices are expected to be organized in a complex reconstitution referred to as “reflective cosmopolitization”.
Modernity transition is thus a complex process with impetus on separation of periods and space which provides the ability to zone the societal forms, the growth of dis-embedding schemes which serves to reorganize social relations in different locations and reflexive knowledge application which incorporates the application of knowledge in the daily social life (Giddens 2015, p. 53).