How has industrialization shaped modern society?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Industrialization has shaped modern society in a number of ways.  Here are some of the most important of these ways:

  • Urbanization.  When a country industrializes, its population tends to move to cities.  The cities are where the factories are and where the jobs are.  Therefore, people tend to leave the countryside and move to the cities.
  • Reduced importance of agriculture.  Industrialization affects agriculture by introducing machines that reduce the need for human labor.  This means that fewer and fewer people in an industrial society work on farms.
  • A larger middle class.  Industrialization does not just create blue collar jobs.  It also creates jobs for managers, for engineers, for scientists, and for many other people who do not do manual labor.  These people typically become part of a middle class that is much larger than in past times.
  • Greater wealth.  Industrialization typically increases the wealth of a society.  Industry can make higher value products much more quickly than agriculture can or than pre-industrial artisans can.  Modern society is much richer than previous societies.
  • More consumer goods.  Along with greater wealth comes a larger number of consumer goods on which to spend wealth.  Industrialization allows an economy to create more consumer goods for people to buy.

In these ways, industrialization makes modern societies much more urbanized, middle class, wealthy,  and consumeristic than societies were in the past.

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