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Day 21 – Q 5.Differentiate between the terms ‘modernisation’ and ‘westernisation’ with the help of suitable examples.

5. Differentiate between the terms ‘modernisation’ and ‘westernisation’ with the help of suitable examples. 

उपयुक्त उदाहरणों की सहायता से ‘आधुनिकीकरण’ और ‘पश्चिमीकरण’ में अंतर करें।


Modernization involves changes not only at the institutional level but also a fundamental change at the personal level whereas westernization is a process of imitation of western countries by non-western countries.



  • Basis– It is related to forfeiting dogma and adopting practices that are consistent with conventional wisdom. For example, abolishment of untouchability, empowering women.
  • Cause– Educational reform is often a prerequisite for modernization. For example, Sati system which was widely prevalent till 18th century, got abolished only due to efforts of educated Indians.
  • Impact– It involves a change in modes of thinking, beliefs, opinions, attitudes, actions and also a change in the social structure from a closed conservative society to a classless, casteless society. For example, the way position of women is changing in society, from just remaining inside house to visiting even space.
  • International examples– Modernisation process involves the application of the new knowledge to the ways of living. Japan and China have been modernized in terms of industrialization, social relations but still have their culture intact.


  • Basis– Westernization involves the behavioural aspects like eating, drinking, dressing, dancing, etc.
  • Causes– Colonialism, mature and powerful market forces of the west that present western culture as the epitome of a good lifestyle. For example, Suit as formal dressing, Pizza, burger as fast food, etc.
  • Impact– Subjugation of the local culture, loss of world diversity, conflict between core and peripheral values etc. For example, harassment against women is blamed on westernization, diseases due to adoption of lifestyles or eating habits that are not supported by the local climatic conditions.
  • International examples– Contemporary Indian society where westernization is on rise due to factors like globalization, impact of colonialism etc.


Westernization and modernization though have fundamental differences, but are still associated as in modern times, rationalism and scientific education, that fuel modernization, have their origin in western societies and westernization is often perceived as a sub-process of modernization.

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