Westernization leads to de-Westernization

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

Westernization of less developed societies eventually leads to a form of de-Westernization, Samuel P. Huntington argues, in The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order:

Initially, Westernization and modernization are closely linked, with the non-Western society absorbing substantial elements of Western culture and making slow progress towards modernization. As the pace of modernization increases, however, the rate of Westernization declines and the indigenous culture goes through a revival. Further modernization then alters the civilizational balance of power between the West and the non-Western society, bolsters the power and self-confidence of that society, and strengthens commitment to the indigenous culture.

In the early phases of change, Westernization thus promotes modernization. In the later phases, modernization promotes de-Westernization and the resurgence of indigenous culture in two ways. At the societal level, modernization enhances the economic, military and political power of the society as a whole and encourages the people of that society to have confidence in their culture and to become culturally assertive. At the individual level, modernization generates feelings of alienation and anomie as traditional bonds and social relations are broken and leads to crises of identity to which religion provides an answer.


  1. Lucklucky says:

    Noticeable in Turkey.

  2. Adar says:

    In Afghanistan the young women during the 1960′s were reputed to wear mini-skirts shorter than that of their “western” peers. The backlash was so strong that the society went back to the 1600′s form of dress for women.

Leave a Reply