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Hi. I am a student in England writing an essay about how modernization theories have effected women's position within the family in third world countries. I would be very grateful if you could either provide any relevant information or recommend where I could find it. Looking forward to hearing from you, Janine.

I assume that by modernization theories you mean, how society has generally become more modern, more technological? To be more specific - vacuum cleaners v. brooms; computers; telephones, etc... This advancement is entirely a western construct but is now being exported to most other countries. There are good and bad sides to this for women. The good side is that these technological advances sometimes make women's lives easier - i.e. cleaning the house, but of course, these are only for a certain class of women-and in third world countries these practices are often working against tradition, which thereby changes the value this duty has in the family.

For instance, women have traditionally been gatherers and men the hunters. If these roles are obliterated because of technology, which would bring products to them rather than assuming that they have to go find the products - then women's & men's roles in society change. Traditionally, this has had a more adverse affect on women because then their value is diluted.

Also, modernizing basically means westernizing. In developing countries, women have overall been more respected than in western countries - therefore, modernization means that western traditions will be adapted, including accepted sexism. The other part of modernizing is through computers and if the U.S. is any model, those who have access to this technology have traditionally been male, so women are falling behind. So this pattern, too, could be repeated in other countries.

Overall, I think that women have yet to fare well when it comes to technological advances, but I also think that technological advances are inevitable, so I think that we have to make them work for us. I hope that helps.


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