Sociology of DevelopmentBy Akintunde Osa, Ojutiku (Matriculation number 82253) In Essay 6The normativeimplications of development, and how can these be founded? Supervised by: Prof .
Dr. RudigerKorff 22.06.
2017The word “development” is a concept that poses a leveldifficulty in ascertaining its extent and impact. This is because of differentphases and meanings it may take as regards the situation any a given point intime. We identify development in human social lives and endeavors, economies,technological abilities etc. It suggests a form of increase or advancement; itis a further step from a previous state. Development began in 1949, after theSecond World War; then, the issue of reconstruction of countries came up. Countriesthat have overcome the effects of the wars were the First World Countries,while others were Second and Third World Countries. (Escobar, 1995)Sadly, the concept of development istagged to the Western world, giving rise to Developed, Developing andUnderdeveloped countries around the world. This has given some sort ofdefinition to development; so much so that other countries cannot define thechanges or advancements they experience because the West have set theparameters for measuring development.
As development comes in and the thirdworld race to keep up, certain important practices and ways of life aredepreciating and consequently eradicated as time goes on. This among others isimplications of embracing development as a whole. Hence, there is decline anddecrease in morals and values which are essential factors in the culture of anyhuman society.Development has been the parameter for ascertaining global success.
First, we see development earlier, before the wars and how it affected thecontinents of Africa, Asia and Latin America. These effects can still be seenand heard today. One of the solutions offered by the West to cater forpersisting problems in these continents is development; however, it did notbring the expected result. It rather set them back the more and created a gapfor exploitation and under development persisted. (Escobar, 1995). Developmenttherefore became a cover name for various forms of exploitation and dependency.Human and mineral resources are extracted from the developing countries due tothe demands of the industrialized world, with this on the high side; developedcountries keep up with the pace of development, while the developing countriesare dragged behind because the possibilities and opportunities of developmentare limited.Raw materials and mineral resources are gotten at petty cost fromdeveloping countries and they are being processed and manufactured into costlygoods and services in the developed countries with their enormous intellectualand technical manpower.
This makes the rest of the world (third world) moredependent on the developed countries. There is a fixed image the developing andunderdeveloped countries have. That portrays them as weak and helps seekers;this is as a result of the level of education, scientific and technologicalknowledge which in turn leads to unavailability of progressive ideas to bringabout development. This dependent relationship goes beyond the domineeringpower of the world powers, but also the exercise of power by their elites.Escobar discussed three axes of development in underdevelopedcountries, they are: forms of knowledge, system of power and forms ofsubjectivity. These all result in: inequality in income distribution, declinein economic importance of the middle class, difficulty in changing familyoccupation because of social class’s barriers, inadequate income, persistentglobal hunger and poverty, monopoly of business establishment which exploitsemployees and the consumers, increase per capital income for developedcountries. Another strategy developed by the West to solve the problems of theThird world (poverty reduction, improved standard of living) which furtherreinforces their dependency level is establishing organizations such asInternational Bank of Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank.
Theyenhance the domineering and exploitative motive of the Western world throughimposition of solutions that do not synchronize with their economies and livingstandards. (Escobar, 1995)In the same vein, the rich are getting richer and the poor even poorer.It is easy to trace the flow of money from the developing countries to thedeveloped countries than to trace the flow of money from the developed to thedeveloping countries. That is why they are still developing ; the persistentyearn for more, increased, better, nicer and advanced approaches by the Third Worldhas put the Developed or First world at the edge and they have proven to beahead always. Questions have risen on the way forward from the present situation ofthe developing countries; only if the developing countries would look inwardsand harness the potentials embedded in their cultures and traditions. Escobargave the instance of “Hybrid of Cultures” in Latin America.
Theymanaged to blend their culture and that of the West; also, increased local andpolitical representations will help develop the minds of leaders.The terms like gender equality,sustainability, poverty eradication, and scientific advancement technologyexpansion are the main themes of this power discourse. The capitalist systemhas enforced a rigid international division of labor which is responsible forthe underdevelopment of many areas of the world. The unequal power relationsand the discourse of hegemony shows that economic growth in the advancedindustrialized countries does not necessarily lead to growth in the poorercountries (Foucault, 1991). Dependency is a historical condition which hasshaped a certain structure of the world economy such that it favors some countriesto the detriment of others and limits the development possibilities of thesubordinate economics, a situation in which the economy of a certain group ofcountries (underdeveloped/developing) is conditioned by the development andexpansion of another economy, to which their own is subjected developed world.
Sen, 1999 proposed another view and idea of development. He seesdevelopment as a means of freedom and opportunities opened to the humansociety. These freedoms are contributory to the society; he explains thatcontributory freedom includes: political and social freedom, economicopportunities, transparency, protection and security. Development is notdescribed by the level of income, but the will to exercise freedom by humans atany point in time.
Freedom goes through processes and opportunities; theprocesses are the decisions made on developmental issues, while opportunitiesare the human abilities to make choices at any point in time.Theterm of ‘development’ invokes the idea of more, better and progress bythe Global North yet at the same time they don’t want it all in real otherwisethe world would have witnessed peripheries becoming semi peripheries andsemi-peripheries becoming core but on the contrary the global hungry is everincreasing and the developed countries are getting more developed whereas poorcountries are becoming poorer. Theunderdeveloped and developing countries are often portrayed as those in theneed of help because they lack technology, scientific knowledge, ability tomanage and above all they lack innovation. This implies the hierarchy orimperial nature of the core of the world which can be the ‘only’ help. Thedevelopment and power discourse enforces these unequal power relations and thehegemony of industrialized world over the global South (Robinson, 2002).In conclusion, the concept of development is multifaceted anddiversified. It is also subjective in nature based on the angle one views itfrom. For the Western world or First World countries; development is entirelydifferent from the experiences of developing or Third World countries.
It thenappears that the initial aim of development is to achieve the intent of theWest rather than the purposeful aid and solutions to the needs of the ThirdWorld. References Robinson, J. (2002). Development and Displacement.
Oxford: Oxford University Press Escobar, A. (1995). Encountering Development: The Makingand Unmaking of the Third World. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Foucault, M. (1991). Discipline and Punish: The Birth ofthe Prison. London: Penguin. Sen, A. (1999).
Development as Freedom. New York:Anchor, Random House.