In this article, we will continue our discussion about the problem of development in Muslim counties through a sociological lens. In the previous article, I have pointed out its discourse and economic aspects. However, our concern clearly cannot be better understood without a certain kind of sociological investigation.
What we mean by sociological inquiry is the effort to explain the social structure and its parts across historical times. In the other world, we try to describe the different trajectories of modernization and industrialization within Muslim countries. It is a huge process of social transformation that affects the whole of social life. But, in this article, I tend to focus on the role of production technology and the function of energy. These two are important because modern social life never works without them.
We know that Muslim countries are relatively late to modernising themselves. Whatever the reason behind this, the condition of Muslim countries can be said to lack technological innovation and energy utilization.
In the agriculture sector, we rarely found new techniques to improve production. Sure, we do not reject the fact that irrigation and fertilization have been enacted but we must realize we just import it and not try to develop further technology. Therefore, our agricultural sector is underperformance when compared with other countries. This condition brings the peasant relatively hard to improve their life. And it also lies in the rise of disparity between rural and urban areas. We can see it in the degree of the income gap between them.
In the 21st century, the ICT revolution drove the world to arrive in unprecedented conditions. Manuel Castell coined “Informational society” to call this condition. Unfortunately, Muslim countries still have limited option to take opportunity to build their society.
I think this is happening partially because of the lack of our vision about the future of Muslim society. And the consequence is we tend to feel satisfied with being technological followers. We do not have a passion to be a technological leader in the world. Maybe one called it a utopia but at least we have the intention to develop our technology.
I must assert that the foundation of the information era is electric energy utilization. It is mean that we hardly refute to live in a social structure that is mostly dependent on energy utilization. In this era, the portion of physical tasks no longer dominated. And the management task is accomplished with hi-tech devices that consume a lot of electricity. Reflecting on that fact we can emphasize that when the energy cost is cheap so we can advance social management.
Finally, the main reason why Muslim countries underdeveloped is because we do not hold modern power called technological advantage. But obviously, we do not embrace technological determinism. We tend to provide the cruciality of technology to shape modern society more eligible and the effect of the absence of this factor made Muslim society throw backwards.