2

Development theory: the light of experience

In this chapter, we are going to look at how modernisation theory was criticised during the 1960s and 1970s in the light of the experience of the many countries in Africa and Asia which became independent during that period, and the experience of the Latin American countries which had become independent much earlier (see box 2.1). The most fundamental objection to modernisation theory was that it assumed 'developing' societies could follow the already developed countries along their wellworn path to development. When experience showed that this was not happening, sociologists began to construct theories which asked, and answered, different kinds of questions. In particular, they asked questions about the history of imperialism and its effects on developing countries. In doing this, they moved the discussion of development away from individual societies taken in isolation. They proposed that each society's development problems could only be understood in relation to its place in a 'world system'.

Box 2.1Dates of independence of some countries

Africa

Angola

1976

Mozambique

1975

Benin

1960

Niger

1960

Chad

1960

Nigeria

1960

Congo

1960

Rwanda

1962

Ghana

1957

Sierra Leone

1961

Ivory Coast

1960

Sudan

1956

Kenya

1963

Tanzania

1961

Malawi

1964

Uganda

1962

Mali

1960

Zimbabwe

1980

-33-

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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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