Measures of Individual Modernity: Review and Commentary C. MILTON COUGHENOUR and JOHN B. STEPHENSON University of Kentucky, Lexington, U.S.A. Introduction FROM THE TIME the concept of modernity was appropriated from popular use to describe and explain aspects of contemporary social change, it has been applied to a variety of social and cultural units: societies, civilizations, cultures, communities, particular institutions, e.g., economy, polity, and family, and even concrete organizations. Within recent years we have witnessed the extension of the concept of modernity to still another unit of analysis: the indi- vidual. Social scientists have achieved more in the precise measurement of individual modernity than in the measurement of modernity of any other social or cultural unit. In this paper the attempts by Doob, Inkeles, Kahl, and Stephenson to measure individual modernity are reviewed and an attempt is made to weigh their potentials and limitations. Criticisms of these measures have mainly to do with their validity and utility from the standpoint of both theoretical and methodological considerations. Four Recent Measures of Individual Modernity 1. "Psychological Modernization"-From his African studies' Doob devel- oped a set of scales for the measurement of "psychological modernization." Each of the eight ten-item subscales is based
International Journal of Comparative Sociology (in 2002 continued as Comparative Sociology) – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1972
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