Defining and measuring development
Problems of Defining Development
You might have expected me to discuss this problem in chapter 1, together with a neat definition of development. There is a very good reason for having left it until this stage. By now you should have realised that 'development' is a concept which is full of value judgements in general, and political value judgements in particular. This is true of much of the subject matter of sociology, It is even difficult to decide on the precise words that we should use to describe the 'underdeveloped', 'developing', 'less developed', 'backward' parts of the world (see box 9.1).
Box 9.1Definitions, descriptions and theories
Here are some of the words which are frequently used to describe the characteristics of those countries and areas which might be described as 'underdeveloped'.
You might like to think about three questions in relation to each of these characteristics:
|1. What assumptions does each one make about the nature of the 'development process'?|