1

Feeling the effects of development

The Labour Migrant

Imagine that you have been unable to find a job in your home town. Your family can 110 longer help you with money, the situation at home has become intolerable. You pack your more precious and necessary possessions and take off for another town, or even another country, aiming to make a new start. When you arrive at your destination, you are confronted by a large number of problems which need urgent solutions. You need food and shelter most urgently, but soon you will also need friends. You may speak with a different accent from the people in your new place, or you may even speak a different language. You have become a labour migrant.

Now imagine that you live in the African Sahel, that broad belt of desert and semi-desert which stretches across the northern half of the continent. There has been a drought which has gone on for years. The grazing has disappeared and as a result your family's cattle are dead. For the past four years, the sparse crops which used to be grown have failed. There is no food locally, and the government has been unable to provide any relief. Indeed it has refused to admit that there is a problem, fearing that doing so might make the international banks, to which it is indebted, lose confidence, and reluctant to lend it any more money.

You decide to travel to the capital city, some 500 km away. After a difficult journey, mostly on foot, occasionally hitchhiking, you arrive and are faced with the problems of food, shelter, work, friends. Once again you are a labour migrant.

It is quite possible that in the first case, you couldn't find a job because of the decline of some industry which had provided employment for your parents and grandparents. The industrial decline may have been the result of the loss of markets, because

-3-

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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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