When I was doing this weeks reading, one statement made by Erwin Alampay in his paper “Beyond access to ICTs: Measuring capabilities in the information society” really caught my eye.
“The idea of the ‘information society’ can be linked to the ideas of modernization and globalization. The ideology of modernization explains how societal development must go through a series of stages, with each phase having a different technological base of production. In an information society that base would be information technology. Furthermore, in the process of increased globalization, economies of the world have become more integrated whereby information technology plays a major role in it. As such, in both perspectives, information technologies play a part in development: with modernization, it can be seen as a potential means to close the gap among nations; with globalization, it is viewed as an important component for nations to participate in the economic process.”
These ideas are not new to me, since they are at the foundation of what this class is all about. However, this is the first time I had thought of ICT as having two different roles.
If I were to expand on these different views, I would say that modernization is the evolution and development of technology in a society, while globalization involves the spread of technology and its growing use/importance in global relations. When we examine ICT in developing countries, the modernization of technology comes before the globalization. Countries at higher levels of development have more advanced technology but as the process of modernization continues, new innovations in technology fuel the process of globalization. In my view, modernization is a process that has already been in action since the industrial age. As manufacturing technology developed, so did transportation, communication, and other innovations that laid the groundwork for the advanced technologies we have today. Globalization, on the other hand, is a new process that is transforming these technologies into important tools used in the economic process. Globalization has opened up national markets to international trade and created a new global economy. With the future of technology seeming bright, a focus on increasing modernization in developing countries will lead them to an even more globalized economy.