6

Rural development and social differentiation
The problem with the two approaches we looked at in the last chapter is that, while they contain some useful ideas, they do not take into account historical changes, and tend to assume that the societies in which they are interested remain isolated from the rest of the world.In reality rural society has to be considered as part of a world system and a world history. This is so whether or not a society is obviously part of the wider system (as with plantation agriculture in Africa or Latin America) or less obviously so, as in the case of some parts of Papua New Guinea, where very isolated people use pots and pans manufactured in Taiwan.The new approach to the study of the sociology of rural societies became influential during the 1970s, partly as a result of criticisms of both modernisation theory and dependency theory, as well as dissatisfaction with both substantivism and formalism. It pointed in a number of directions. In particular it focused attention on the following questions:
1. How does rural society become attached to the wider society? Is there one path or are there several? This problem is sometimes described as the problem of articulation.
2. Do classes exist in rural society? Are classes forming in rural society? Are there other kinds of differentiation (emerging and institutionalised differences between groups of people) in such societies which are as important as classes? This is sometimes called the problem of differentiation.
3. How is household work organised? Does unpaid household work affect the market prices of cash crops, making them cheaper because household work is unpaid? How is income distributed in rural households?

-112-

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Sociology and Development
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vi
  • Part One - Introduction and Overview 1
  • 1 - Feeling the Effects of Development 3
  • 2 - Development Theory: the Light of Experience 33
  • Part Two - Town and Countryside 51
  • 3 - Urbanisation and Urbanism 53
  • 4 - Industrialisation 73
  • 5 - Rural Development: Entering the Market 95
  • 6 - Rural Development and Social Differentiation 112
  • 7 - State, Government and Education 130
  • 8 - Gender and Development 148
  • Part Three - Themes in the Sociology of Development 171
  • 9 - Defining and Measuring Development 173
  • 10 - Case Material 192
  • Glossary 219
  • Bibliography 225
  • Index 229
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