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By Jeffrey James (auth.)

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The modern man’s openness to new experience is reflected in his interest in technical innovation, his support of scientific exploration of hitherto sacred or taboo subjects, his readiness to meet strangers, and his willingness to allow women to take advantage of opportunities outside the confines of the household. … In other words, psychological modernity emerges as a quite complex, multifaceted, and multi-dimensional syndrome. (Inkeles and Smith, 1974: 290–1) What is striking about the vector of factors that make up the syndrome described in the quotation is not only that it seems to appear consistently in studies that are independently conducted, but also in a variety of diverse populations.

The modern man’s sense of efficacy is reflected in his belief that, either alone or in concert with others, he may take actions which can affect the course of his life and that of his community; in his active efforts to improve his own condition and that of his family; and in his rejection of passivity, resignation, and fatalism toward the course of life’s events. His independence of traditional sources of authority is manifested in public issues by his following the advice of public officials or trade union leaders rather than priests and village elders, and in personal matters by his choosing the job and the bride he prefers even if his parents prefer some other position or some other person.

Oliveira (1991). ‘Mass-media, Culture and Communication in Brazil: the Heritage of Dependency’, in G. Sussman and J. Lent (eds), Transnational Communications, Sage. S. Rao (1989). ‘Innovative Marketing Strategies: Small Enterprises Fight Large Established Companies’, Economic & Political Weekly, August 26. L. Sklair (1994). ‘Capitalism and Development in Global Perspective’, in L. ), Capitalism and Development, Routledge. A. Southall (1961). ‘Introductory Summary’, in A. ), Social Change in Modern Africa, Oxford University Press.

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