Early discussions of the process of industrialization in underdeveloped countries were frequently concerned with what was called “impact,” presumably viewing the intrusion of the factory into a non-industrial society as a sort of shock or disruptive influence which tended to break down the older social system. Moreover, the nature of the shock and some of its necessary consequences were generally conceived in the Western model. To be sure, allowances were made for some features of the indigenous society such as the lack of skill and education of the labor force, entrenched stratification systems, the extended family, and, in general, the village nexus. This approach focuses upon the surrounding society in which the factory is an irresistible catalyst and is either concerned with transitional social problems or with long-term changes such as declining fertility, increasing standards of living, and the displacement of traditional social organization. Most of the data for the “impact” approach have been drawn from cases where the greatest contrasts occur–the most rural elements of the population caught up in large extractive industries or repetitive machine operations; they have confounded the effects of rapid, slum-producing urbanization with the factory situation itself; they have dealt with relatively new factories that have not as yet had time to become imbedded in the local institutional framework; and finally, they have selected situations in which the area was eidier exclusively or predominantly industrial.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.