Sociology be seen and heard today. One of the

Sociology of Development

By

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Akintunde Osa, Ojutiku

 

(Matriculation number 82253)

 

 

In

 

Essay 6

The normative
implications of development, and how can these be founded?

 

 

 

 

 

Supervised by: Prof .Dr. Rudiger
Korff

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                    22.06.2017

The word “development” is a concept that poses a level
difficulty in ascertaining its extent and impact. This is because of different
phases and meanings it may take as regards the situation any a given point in
time. We identify development in human social lives and endeavors, economies,
technological abilities etc. It suggests a form of increase or advancement; it
is a further step from a previous state. Development began in 1949, after the
Second World War; then, the issue of reconstruction of countries came up. Countries
that 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 is
tagged to the Western world, giving rise to Developed, Developing and
Underdeveloped countries around the world. This has given some sort of
definition to development; so much so that other countries cannot define the
changes or advancements they experience because the West have set the
parameters for measuring development. As development comes in and the third
world race to keep up, certain important practices and ways of life are
depreciating and consequently eradicated as time goes on. This among others is
implications of embracing development as a whole. Hence, there is decline and
decrease in morals and values which are essential factors in the culture of any
human society.

Development has been the parameter for ascertaining global success.
First, we see development earlier, before the wars and how it affected the
continents of Africa, Asia and Latin America. These effects can still be seen
and heard today. One of the solutions offered by the West to cater for
persisting problems in these continents is development; however, it did not
bring the expected result. It rather set them back the more and created a gap
for exploitation and under development persisted. (Escobar, 1995). Development
therefore became a cover name for various forms of exploitation and dependency.
Human and mineral resources are extracted from the developing countries due to
the demands of the industrialized world, with this on the high side; developed
countries keep up with the pace of development, while the developing countries
are dragged behind because the possibilities and opportunities of development
are limited.

Raw materials and mineral resources are gotten at petty cost from
developing countries and they are being processed and manufactured into costly
goods and services in the developed countries with their enormous intellectual
and technical manpower. This makes the rest of the world (third world) more
dependent on the developed countries. There is a fixed image the developing and
underdeveloped countries have. That portrays them as weak and helps seekers;
this is as a result of the level of education, scientific and technological
knowledge which in turn leads to unavailability of progressive ideas to bring
about development. This dependent relationship goes beyond the domineering
power of the world powers, but also the exercise of power by their elites.

Escobar discussed three axes of development in underdeveloped
countries, they are: forms of knowledge, system of power and forms of
subjectivity. These all result in: inequality in income distribution, decline
in economic importance of the middle class, difficulty in changing family
occupation because of social class’s barriers, inadequate income, persistent
global hunger and poverty, monopoly of business establishment which exploits
employees and the consumers, increase per capital income for developed
countries.

Another strategy developed by the West to solve the problems of the
Third world (poverty reduction, improved standard of living) which further
reinforces their dependency level is establishing organizations such as
International Bank of Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank. They
enhance the domineering and exploitative motive of the Western world through
imposition of solutions that do not synchronize with their economies and living
standards. (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 the
developed countries than to trace the flow of money from the developed to the
developing countries. That is why they are still developing ; the persistent
yearn for more, increased, better, nicer and advanced approaches by the Third World
has put the Developed or First world at the edge and they have proven to be
ahead always.

Questions have risen on the way forward from the present situation of
the developing countries; only if the developing countries would look inwards
and harness the potentials embedded in their cultures and traditions. Escobar
gave the instance of “Hybrid of Cultures” in Latin America. They
managed to blend their culture and that of the West; also, increased local and
political representations will help develop the minds of leaders.

The terms like gender equality,
sustainability, poverty eradication, and scientific advancement technology
expansion are the main themes of this power discourse. The capitalist system
has enforced a rigid international division of labor which is responsible for
the underdevelopment of many areas of the world. The unequal power relations
and the discourse of hegemony shows that economic growth in the advanced
industrialized countries does not necessarily lead to growth in the poorer
countries (Foucault, 1991). Dependency is a historical condition which has
shaped a certain structure of the world economy such that it favors some countries
to the detriment of others and limits the development possibilities of the
subordinate economics, a situation in which the economy of a certain group of
countries (underdeveloped/developing) is conditioned by the development and
expansion of another economy, to which their own is subjected developed world.

Sen, 1999 proposed another view and idea of development. He sees
development as a means of freedom and opportunities opened to the human
society. These freedoms are contributory to the society; he explains that
contributory freedom includes: political and social freedom, economic
opportunities, transparency, protection and security. Development is not
described by the level of income, but the will to exercise freedom by humans at
any point in time. Freedom goes through processes and opportunities; the
processes are the decisions made on developmental issues, while opportunities
are the human abilities to make choices at any point in time.

The
term of ‘development’ invokes the idea of more, better and progress by
the Global North yet at the same time they don’t want it all in real otherwise
the world would have witnessed peripheries becoming semi peripheries and
semi-peripheries becoming core but on the contrary the global hungry is ever
increasing and the developed countries are getting more developed whereas poor
countries are becoming poorer.

The
underdeveloped and developing countries are often portrayed as those in the
need of help because they lack technology, scientific knowledge, ability to
manage and above all they lack innovation. This implies the hierarchy or
imperial nature of the core of the world which can be the ‘only’ help. The
development and power discourse enforces these unequal power relations and the
hegemony of industrialized world over the global South (Robinson, 2002).

In conclusion, the concept of development is multifaceted and
diversified. It is also subjective in nature based on the angle one views it
from. For the Western world or First World countries; development is entirely
different from the experiences of developing or Third World countries. It then
appears that the initial aim of development is to achieve the intent of the
West rather than the purposeful aid and solutions to the needs of the Third
World.

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

 

 

Robinson, J. (2002). Development and Displacement.
Oxford: Oxford University Press

 

Escobar, A. (1995). Encountering Development: The Making
and Unmaking of the Third World. Princeton:             Princeton University Press.

 

Foucault, M. (1991). Discipline and Punish: The Birth of
the Prison. London: Penguin.

 

Sen, A. (1999). Development as Freedom. New York:
Anchor, Random House.