Lerner, D 1958, The passing of traditional society: modernizing Middle East, Free Press of Glencoe, New York.

Daniel Lerner is one of the key proponents of the modernisation theory, which says that the rest of the world should follow the Western concept of modernity to achieve development. Attached to this modernity is a distinctive personality. To be a modern individual, one must be able to empathise with others. Lerner argues those who cannot see themselves in the shoes of others will not develop. The mass media according to Lerner plays crucial role in the modernisation process. He notes, “As people are more exposed to media, the greater is their capability to imagine themselves as strange persons in strange situations, places and time than did people in any previous historical epoch (p. 52)”. To date, this book remains a key text in the modernisation discourse. The modernisation paradigm, however, has been hugely criticised especially in the postmodern era where there is an emphasis for societies to construct their own realities and roadmaps to development.

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