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Development Paradigm Revisited: A Few Anthropological Considerations.

Byline: Abid Ghafoor Chaudhry and Hafeez ur Rahman Chaudhry


The aim of this paper is to ponder over the term, 'development', as a concept with regard to the Third World countries, especially, in relation to Pakistan. Traditionally and historically, the debate on 'development' has ignored local or indigenous perspectives usually dubbed as 'backward', 'traditional', 'obsolete', and

'out-dated.' The authors are of the view that development as a concept has been

misused to subjugate as well as subordinate the third world nations in order to extend colonial agenda. This was done deliberately to make local populations of the third world countries, like Pakistan, to shun their indigenous intellectual heritage. The paper is an attempt to generate a scholastic debate and exchange of professional views upon the development direction as required by countries like Pakistan. In addition, the paper builds an anthropological case to include the socio-cultural factors in order to revisit the development paradigm to suit the unique cultural perspective of the nation.

Keywords: the 'development' concept; third world countries; anthropological perspective; socio-cultural factors; development paradigm


Government of Canada in a report quoted Brian Walker to say 'the field of development is a veritable junkyard of abandoned models, each focused on a particular aspect while ignoring the rest' (Winegard, 1987). Between 1950 and 1985, 60 former colonies attained political independence. Many, stressed by poverty, had little experience in self-governance, public service administration, financial, resource and industrial management. The world had no earlier experience of political and economic change on so large, rapid and diverse a scale. Assistance programs were a novelty and largely conducted by trial and error, many donors seeking unrealizable rapid results and simple remedies for highly complex and disparate difficulties (Hulse, 2007).

The situation seemed to be changing after the works of The World Commission on Environment and Development in which Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland came up with an innovation of introducing a new term 'sustainable development' which was 'to ensure that it [development] meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs' (WCED, 1987). 'The word 'development' has been narrowed to the perception of what poor nations should do to become richer'. 'The 'environment' is where we live; 'development' is what we do in attempting to improve our lot within our abode'.

The downward spiral of poverty and environmental degradation incur a waste of opportunities and resources'. 'Economic growth must be based on policies that sustain and expand the environmental resource base' (Ibid).

On June 20th 1997, General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) adopted 'Agenda for Development' as a result of four years' extensive deliberations made by the member states and secretariats of the United Nations. The then Secretary General of UN, Mr. Kofi A. Anan remarks on the 'emergence of globalization and interdependence as key features of the new international environment' as follows: On the positive side, increased trade and communications present opportunities for all nations to enjoy. But many long standing problems and their solutions have increasingly taken on international dimensions as well. Environmental degradation, extreme poverty, sudden population shifts, massive human rights violations, illegal drug trafficking and organized crime are all threats to development that can no longer be resolved by national efforts alone, no matter how important those efforts may be.

The way in which the world copes with this global interdependence to ensure equitable and sustainable development is one of the great challenges facing the international community (United Nations, 1997: vii-viii).

The agenda for development understands the role of peace and security for attainment of development. It accepts 'every state has an inalienable right to choose its political, economic, social and cultural systems, without any interference in any form by another state as well as the right of their political status and right to pursue economic, social and cultural development' (United Nations, 1997: 14). The vision of promoting development based on an integrated approach has also been stressed as 'development is and should be centered on human beings' through adoption of multidimensional approach to development while focussing on economic and social development and environmental protection (Ibid: 19-20).

The document acknowledges that 'agriculture remasins the main sources of income for the majority of the population in developing countries' therefore it recommends that 'the agriculture, industrial and services sectors need to be developed in a balanced manner' in order to save agricultural domain from 'marginalization from the overall process of economic development'(Ibid: 35-36).

While progress has been achieved in many areas, there have been negative developments, such as social polarization and fragmentation, widening disparities and inequalities of income, and wealth within and among nations, and marginalization of people, families and social groups. (Ibid: 42).

The objectives set by United Nations in its document 'agenda for development' stresses witnessing economic and economic development through safe guarding basic human rights especially of women, children, migrants, environmental protection and all humanitarian issues by adopting a participatory approach to development. If done so, one can expect to see the results of development reaching out to the poor segments of society, protection of rights by the government, decentralization of public institutions and services, strengthening of local authorities and networks, political empowerment and role of (developing) countries in international economic decision-making process.

The UN World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), was convened in 2002 in Johannesburg discovers that 'little progress has been made towards eradication or significant alleviation of inequities between rich and poor, or of the environmental degradations'. It further suggests that 'the deep fault-line that divides human society between the rich and the poor, and the ever increasing gap between the developed and the developing world pose a major threat to global prosperity, security and stability' (Hulse, 2007). Sustainable development at the local level is dependent on the implementation of enabling mechanisms at the local, national and international (Grenier, 1998).

In short, development planning has often failed to achieve the desired result: sustainable development. In some cases, 'dependencies have been created by an outside world that orders and demands (through laws and natural resource regulations) but do not truly contribute to development. Communities are often left to find their own means' (de Vreede, 1996).

Critical Appreciation of Development

Alan Barnard and Jonathan Spencer's edited Routledge Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology (2005) visualizes the term 'development' in two directions. Firstly social evolutionism but picture changed from mid twentieth century in which the term 'development' is seen in economic perspective including production, consumption and living standards while focusing Third World countries. Secondly, 'Development' is 'the term is especially associated with the international projects of planned social change set in motion in the years surrounding World War II, which gave birth to 'development agencies', 'development projects', and, ultimately, to 'development studies' and 'development anthropology'.' The encyclopedia suggests that both senses treat development separately but in Development Anthropology, to understand the term comprehensively, the two of them need to be dealt in total.

Development is no longer the responsibility of the state; rather, the state sets the wider framework, the market must be its motor, and civil society would give it direction (Rist, 1997: 223-6).

Anthropologists, Mario Blaser, Harvey A. Feit and Glenn McRae (2004) state that 'most development practices have furthered, and still further, the transformation of relatively autonomous and self-governing communities, which over the years have carefully developed an intimate relationship with their lands, into dependent communities easier to subordinate to transnational markets and nation-states.' The editors believe that most development practices have furthered, and still further, the transformation of relatively autonomous and self-governing communities, which over the years have carefully developed an intimate relationship with their lands, into dependent communities easier to subordinate to transnational markets and nation-states. Yet, while Indigenous communities have opposed many of these development agendas, their agendas are themselves emergent, rather than a reaction to other agencies.

That is to say, their life projects are socio-cultural in the broadest sense rather than narrowly strategic. Their life projects are also place-based but not limited to the local (Blaser M. , 2004).

In contrast, development promoted by market or state-backed agents, with its claims to political necessities, the greater good and market demands in the context of globalization, appears to be disengaged from place conditions. Development as a practice and discourse embodies the European Enlightenment's implicit project of making specific local world-views and values, those broadly described as modern and Western European, into universals. As a successor to imperialism and colonialism, development has extended the reach of those local world-views and values far beyond the place in which they took shape (Blaser M. , 2004).

The sustainable development concept emerged out of the recognition that there are 'strong links between economic development and environmental protection' (Courrier, 1994: 508). Our Common Future (WCED, 1987) popularized the term and brought it to the attention of the world. The WCED described the concept as 'development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability to future generations to meet their own needs' (WCED in Courrier, 1994). Others have described it as 'economic development with due care for the environment' (Ramphal, 1994: 680).

Rhoda Reddock in an edited book by Jane L. Parpart, M. Patricia Connelly, and V. Eudine Barriteau (2000) says '.....areas comprised most of Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, the Middle East, the Pacific region, and South and Central America. Today, this grouping includes former colonial, largely but not totally tropical, countries, peopled mainly by non-Europeans. It is usually referred to as the Third World, underdeveloped countries, developing countries, and, more recently, the South or the economic South.' It is further added that 'the heyday of developmentalism " in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s " fostered some strong beliefs, such as that state or government should play the central determining role in introducing development policies and strategies that could lead to improved standards of living and conditions of life; and That international investment, loans, and aid can redirect economies away from their traditional bases " usually in agriculture " toward industry and manufacture.'

She refers this change as result of renewed influence of liberal economic thinking (now called neoliberal economics), and adds further that 'today, although much of this sentiment has changed, much has remained the same. The dominant thinking in the late 1980s and early 1990s has been that the state has a leading, but only facilitating, role in the economy.'

Francisco Sagasti and Gonzalo Alcalde (1999) refer 'two alternative ways of achieving development were put forward: one based on market economies and liberal democracy and the other based on central planning and a single-party system. In the decades that followed, each trumpeted its successes and sought to enlist the poor countries, many of which were emerging from decades or centuries of colonial rule in their camp. Developing countries became contested ground for trying one or another set of recipes to promote economic growth and improve living standards. Moreover, the East-West struggle became the lens through which practically all political, economic, and social events would be filtered and seen.'

Francisco Sagasti and Gonzalo Alcalde (1999) have cited the World Bank (1991) and UNDP (1994) findings that 'What has been the result of five decades of attempts to promote development?' Not surprisingly, the development efforts of the past five decades have been neither a great success nor a dismal failure. On the positive side, a handful of low-income countries, particularly in East Asia, have in one generation achieved the standards of living of the industrialized nations; life expectancy and educational levels have increased in most developing countries; and income per capita has doubled in countries like Brazil, China, South Korea, and Turkey in less than a third of the time it took to do so in the United Kingdom or the United States a century or more earlier.

On the negative side, poverty has increased throughout the world; income disparities between rich and poor nations and between the rich and the poor in both developed and developing countries have become more pronounced; the environment has been subjected to severe stress, both in developing countries that have remained poor and in those that industrialized rapidly; and social demands have grown many times over throughout the developing world' (World Bank, 1991; UNDP, 1994).

Francisco Sagasti and Gonzalo Alcalde (1999) emphasize that 'one of the recurrent themes in the evolution of the idea of development is the tension between the diversity of situations in developing countries and the use of standard models and theories to interpret these situations and to give policy advice. During the past two decades, the recognition of the growing heterogeneity of the developing world " one of the main features of emerging global order " has shifted the balance in the direction of paying more attention to diversity and the variety of development experiences.' Sen's inquiry into the meanings of equality and inequality starts by acknowledging the empirical fact of pervasive human diversity, and he proceeds to develop a framework with concepts such as functionings, capabilities, and effective freedom that allows him to incorporate ethical considerations when examining the different types of inequality embedded in social arrangements (Sen 1992, p. xi).

Russell Ackoff has argued that 'development is an exception and theories are not constructed to account for exceptions' Albert Hirschman has made a similar point: 'When change turned out pretty well it was often a one-time unrepeatable feat of social engineering, an outcome that only gives confidence that a similar unique constellation of circumstances can occur again; but trying to repeat the sequence of events formulaically in another context won't work' (Hirschman, 1995: 314"315).

During the last 15 years, development thinking and practice have placed greater emphasis on the institutional and social aspects of development, including poverty reduction, building capable states, good governance, and conflict prevention and resolution. In particular, Ralph Dahrendorf's concept of 'vital opportunities' (Dahrendorf, 1983) and Amartya Sen's criticisms of utility theory, which led Sen to introduce the concepts of 'functionings,' 'capabilities,' and 'entitlements' (Sen 1992, 1984; Nussbaum and Sen 1993), constitute the most promising avenues for the renewal of ideas about development and how to bring it about. 'The inadequate, not to say pernicious theories of development on which policies are based have to be reconsidered' (Lefeber quoted by North and Cameron, 2003: 35).

Anthropology and Human Centered Development

The mainstream of development anthropology was also influenced by the rise of 'neo-Marxist theories of modernization and traditional anthropology'(Barnard and Spencer, 2005: 193). Under the influence of Dependency theory and Neo-Marxist mode of production theory and world systems theory, anthropologists began to 'insist that differences between societies had to be related to a common history of conquest, imperialism, and economic exploitation that systematically linked them.' (Ibid: 193). Neo-marxist paradigm contended that what passes in the name of development is just 'capitalistic development and expansion in capitalistic mode of production' (Ibid: 193) in societies that had not embraced the capitalism.

The resolve was to conclude that newly liberated countries may not witness development and could just go on perpetuating with capitalistic orientations and thus getting away from what is called development. Scholastically diverse range of veiws on development drove hotfoot for more conceptual clarity and reorientation.

The argument stated by Routledge Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology describes 'the very popularity within anthropology of the radical, neo-Marxist critiques of orthodox development and modernization theory in some ways set the stage for a new era of closer collaboration between anthropologists and the organizations and institutions of capitalist development policy.' (Ibid: 193). Anthropology, as regards the previous perceptions about the discipline (only studying remote, primitive and small scale societies) was put under pressure to show up the interpretations about the then current areas of concerns about development, modernization and overall phenomenon of social change. In spite of intellectual differences between academic anthropology and development anthropology, anthropologists are engaged in studying the third world societies while putting their basic training in anthropology into practice.

Anthropologists, in practice (at least those who are trained and hired by 'leading departments'), continue to work mostly in the 'Third World', and to specialize disproportionately in the study of small, rural, isolated, or marginal communities. Anthropologists today are expected, it is true, to address questions of the transformation of local communities, and of linkages with wider regional and global processes; but it remains the case that it is a particular kind of people that anthropologists are typically interested in seeing change, and a particular kind of local community that they seek to show is linked to that wider world. (Barnard and Spencer, 2005) Development anthropology strives to see the normative side of development. The development anthroplogists question the notion of growth and economic development to be ultimate aim of development.

Rather, development anthropology present the human aspect of development by illuminating the evils of strict economics oriented definition of development. As the current debate in development anthropology focuses 'around the question of whether raising income levels and standard of living always has a positive effect for all parties concerned.' (Ferraro, 2008: 407). May be an economist or a development practitioners would agree to this preposition but 'a number of studies over the past several decades have strongly suggested that economic progress (as defined by rising wages, improved GNP, and so on) actually has lowered the quality of life for many non-Western people.' (Ibid: 407).

Lewellen (2003) refers to the situation after World War II, when there was no idea of the term 'developing world' as most of today's developing countries were colonies supposed to provide the raw materials, cheap labor and all essentials to their respective colonial rule. Both Lewellen (2003) and Scupin and DeCorse (2009) have quoted the articulation of W. W. Rostow1 (1960) that classified development to be achieved as a result of five-stage conscious intervention. Similarly, another renowned sociologist S. N. Eisenstadt (1967, 1970) developed an alternate theory on modernization suggesting that causes for underdevelopment are internal instead of external in terms of a country. Lewellen (2003) also cites politics, administrative centralization and political elites to be crucial elements of the modernization process.

As regards the centralization factor, it is to create a different and distinct ideology that is necessary to incorporate the various multifariousnesses (factions, vested interests groups) into one group whereas the modernization is also concerned with some kind of elite center (wealthy landowners, enterpreneurial class or military). He further elaborates:

Both political and economic modernization will be restricted to the core group, resulting in a situation of internal colonialism in which a few small elites who are centered exploit the rest of the country (Ibid, 2003).

In case of dependency theory, L. R. Stavrianos (1981: 34-35) as discussed by Lewellen (2003) states:

The underdevelopment of the Third World and the development of the First World are not isolated and discrete phenomena. Rather they are organically and functionally interrelated. Underdevelopment is not a primal or original condition, to be outgrown by following the industrialization course pioneered by Western nations. The latter are overdeveloped today to the same degree that the peripheral lands are underdeveloped. The states of developedness and underdevelopedness. The states of developedness and underdevelopedness are two side of the same coin.

Lewellen (2003: 207) thus concludes that capitalistic development of the First World caused the underdevelopment of the Third World. He also stresses that 'dependency theory and the World system perspective were at odds with anthropological tradition.' Famous sociologist Immannuel Wallerstein (1974, 1979, 1980, 1986) contributed World System's Theory in development debate.

His model categorizes all countries in three classes called Core, Peripheral and Semi-peripheral Societies.2 This approach is also criticized on behalf of critics as over emphasizing economic factors while ignoring other important factors like political and cultural traditions.

According to the paradigm of Hann and Hart (2011: 100-101) development's ultimate goal in post-war decades was a better world with a primal focus on betterment of the poor developing countries' economic prospects. In this scenario, the term development was multifold and translated in various senses for example as an engine to accelerate economic growth or as a mean to trying to understand both how capitalist growth is generated and how to make good the damage capitalism causes in repeated cycle of creation and destruction. Among other meanings of development included governments to best intertwine sustained economic growth with redistribution. The last perception was said to be boosted by communist bloc initiated in late colonial period till the 1970s. Hann and Hart (2011: 102) also point out another version on perception o development as 'commitment of rich countries to help poor countries become richer.'

In the 1950s and 1960s, the rapid growth of the world economy encouraged a belief that poor countries too could embark on their own enrichment, from the 1980s onwards development has more often meant freeing up global markets and applying sticking plaster to the wounds inflicted by exploitation by exploitation and neglect. Development has thus been a label for political relations between rich and poor countries after colonial empire; for some decades it went in tandem with 'aid' but the preferred term nowadays is 'partnership' (Hann and Hart, 2011: 102-103).

The history of development studies suggest that the decades of 1950s and 1960s were focused on the modernization approach. The only recipe to become 'modern' was believed to be shunning of traditional institution and replacing them with the modern ones. The social cost of modernization was told to be accepting the 'norms of modernization' in form of increased reliance over western development models, technology, capital intensive economies and preference of Western political systems marked as best suited for development and modernization. The resultant inequalities were asked to be accepted till the alleged 'trickle-down' effect helps uplifting the poor. The decade of 1980s witnessed the rise of neo-liberalism that made the shift of development theory away from state's role to controlling markets and effective price system.

We see that during 1950s, the aim and objectives of developing nations were assigned to engineering firms that were reassigned to economists in 1960s. The decade of 1970s found the indulgence of other social sciences recruited to monitor the 'human factor' (Ibid, 106). As a result of continual intellectual dislodges in fixture of development and its ultimate goals, Hann and Hart are of the view:

It would be no exaggeration to say that the development industry has been a site of class struggle between the bureaucracy, both national and international, and the people, however they are classified. Human lives were overridden by bureaucratic planning recipes that could not accommodate people's real interests and practices (Ibid, 106).

As regards, the role of anthropologists, Hann and Hart pointed out three roles as options. First to inform on the people for the benefit of bureaucracy, second, doing vice versa and third adopting the role of mediators. They opine the third role to be chosen by anthropologists most frequently. As a result, the situation from 1980s started changing because of the contribution made by anthropologists in form of new specialization emerged as 'anthropology of development' to advocate the role of anthropologists in development. Hann and Hart (2011) add:

Under heading of participatory development, anthropologists did their best to enable local people to have a say in the projects that would transform their communities. Particular attention was paid to the needs of poor, marginalized groups and of course to women (Ibid, 109).

The concept of development if taken as a social change is meant to be present and occurring in all known human societies. Although, its nature sometimes turns out to be sudden and disastrous when it is understood in form of physical happening in material world like catastrophes, famines, plagues, earthquakes or other forms of natural hazards. On a social canvas, a sudden change could be perceived as a revolution or a rebellion. On the other hand, it also happens as a gradual process, in case so hardly perceptible. In fact, a social scientist is asked to learn that physical and social worlds are meant to be changing all the times. The study of change especially in socio-cultural systems also registers that change does not take place in alienation. The social institutions lay the very fabric of a society which is meant to be affected through the process of social change due to their interconnectedness as well as interdependence. Beattie (1999) assures the students of change that:

The student of change is concerned with all these fields of enquiry, regarded in their temporal, dynamic aspect. He can no more study 'social' change in general than he can study 'society' in general. His data are specific social and cultural institutions and he has to study the modifications of these through time, in the context of other co-existing social, cultural and, sometimes, ecological factors (Beatie, 1999: 241).

In addition, study of change has been a major domain of research for the anthropologists who attempted to describe change from various theoretical standpoints like evolutionism, diffusionism, neo-evolutionism, socio-biology and many others. The development is also a planned intervention aimed at uplift of certain communities, nations or countries. Beatie refers to British Anthropologists who believed that:

Culture contact represented in relations between European colonial powers and the various indigenous people who they governed in Africa and elsewhere. Of course the alien governments were not the only agents of change: missionaries, settlers, and traders often preceded them, and powerfully affected the indigenous cultures. And the changes brought about by impact with the Western world were not only political; radical alterations in the whole range of social and cultural institutions were brought about (Beatie, 1999: 242).

Beatie (1999) has referred to Malinowski's approach towards social change as 'a process of reorganization on entirely new and specific lines.' On the contrary, Max Gluckman objected Malinowski's approach 'for failing to see that far from being an abnormal state of society, conflict might rather be an essential aspect of it.' Raymond Firth made his point that 'social change always involves some degree of conflict.' Beatie adds that:

It is obvious that some kinds of conflicts are structurally more disruptive than other, for they bring about major changes in the form of social institutions (Beatie, 1999: 246).

Beatie (1999) emphasizes that anthropologists are concerned with two kinds of social conflict and social change. The first type is social conflict and change relates to existing social structure. These changes are meant to be taking place in 'existing normative framework and are resoluble in terms of shared systems of values, and offer no challenges to the existing institutions.' The second type of change comes about in the 'character of the social system itself' due to which the conflicts that arise out of such change are not resoluble. As regards the two types of change, the first type seems to be a part of normal social life that does not pose any threat to the existing social framework. However, the second type of change seems to be direct threat to the foundations of society and its existing structure as it appears to press the society into situation against whom there are not precedents of dealing with or no known remedies to overcome the unwanted upshots.

Beatie further goes on to describe the paradigm of Godfrey and Monica Wilson called 'radical' and 'ordinary' opposition. According to them: Radical conflict tend to arise when different but related spheres of social action vary widely in range and scope, the same individuals being involved at the same time in both3 (Beatie, 1999:248).

While advancing the discussion on social change, Beatie adduces the Firthian prototype on development. Firth talk about the impact of rich and advanced Western culture on less advanced and small scale one are likely to move through four stages. According to Firth, first stage is called initial stage that comprises readiness for the Western artifacts but embraces no or little modification in the traditional structure of the recipient culture.

But during second stage, as the interaction between Western culture and recipient culture increases, there is a radical absorption and group values seem to be giving way for the individualism due to strain gets stronger between the older and the new ones. This strain conduce a third stage that contains hostility against the new order and a conscious attempt to retain the traditional practices intact. Finally, the blending of new values and traditional ones witness the effect of previous three stages which could be either way but if in case there is some alignment between newer and traditional values then there is some hybridization of both the values and a happy ending but Firth no claims for always a happy ending. Beatie has touched upon the utility of the model in terms of being helpful in explaining historical analysis of change (Beatie, 1999: 249-250).

The 'unhomely' is a term coined by Homi Bhabha to highlight the plight of those people who are refugees, migrants, the colonized people, exiles, women, gays simply carrying the meanings of those having no home. Keeping in view the term, Rapport and Overing (2007) have placed the indigenous peoples of the world into this category. M. Jackson (2000) also terms them 'fourth-worlders' encompassed by, but not at home in, the nation state. Rapport and Overing opine:

In present day speech, these are those people who are 'under- privileged', who suffer 'displacement' and 'social exclusion' (Rapport and Overing, 2007: 197).

There is another term 'politically challenged' used for such voiceless people. There are two characteristic reactions regarding these politically challenged people. First is that they are viewed as threat to the health and well-being of the nation-state or, on the contrary, 'the displaced' themselves are understood to be at threat from the powers that be (Rapport and Overing, 20007: 198). Bhabha (1994) as cited by de Certeau (1997) 'calls for:

A development of 'literature of recognition' through which such people could discover their own voices and find the means to signify, negate and initiate their own historic desire, de-establishing traditional relations of cultural domination from the margins (Bhabha, 1994 and de-Certeau, 1997 as both cited by Rapport and Overing, 2007: 198).

Rapport and Overing also talk about the 'simple' and 'natural' that were termed by the colonial administration or other agents of nation-states as 'undeveloped', the 'marginal', the 'illiterate'. These terms were said to be the essential aspects of an evolutionist mentality that rationalized political domination over all those conquered territories of the Americas, Asia, and Africa. Rapport and Overing refer to Z. Bauman (1995: 66) who points out that these colonial regions were termed as 'primitive' and once the label was put on, it was thought to be a right of Western civilization to conduct what Bauman has said a 'merciless war on the dead end of the tradition. Rapport and Overing punctuate that this war was like a war against cultural particularism that demanded the training, civilizing, educating, cultivating of the colonized. They further add:

The gigantic aim was to disqualify and uproot all those particularizing authorities " the local shaman, priest, chief and king " who stood in the way of an ideal, 'progressive' order within which human homogeneity was believed to be achieved " through subjecting all those local lifeways to the dictates of something called reason (Rapport and Overing, 2007: 201).


To sum up, anthropology has its roots in studying man in all cultural settings. Anthropologists in West study while focusing on contemporary issues, whereas they also study the remote and indigenouos populations in various other parts of world as well as the third world countries. In a way, it can be said that discipline of development anthropology studies all matters related to development especially the changes created by the development practices. In a way 'development anthropology is one of the branches of anthropology which aims at studying and researching on meaning, concept, theories, models, approaches, policies, strategies, and programs of develoment.' (Pandey, 2008: vii). The scope of development is summarised as: ...those who lack 'development' are those who putatively possess such things as authenticity, tradition, culture: all the things that 'development' (as so many anthropologists have over the years agreed) places in peril (Barnard and Spencer, 2005).

Anthropology has long experience of working with the small scale, simple and primitive societies. The exposure of anthropologists is also with the third world countries where anthropologists do study various aspects of their social and cultural life. Chambers verifies:

Anthropologists have come to an interest in agricultural development through their long experience in working closely with the horticultural and peasant communities of the third world. This involvement coincides with a national interest in improving the agricultural productivity of ,food poor countries. Although the objectives of agricultural assistance programs may vary from project to project, for instance, some programs have as their goals, the elimination of rural poverty, through the introduction of farming technology and techniques, new plant varieties, commercial fertilizers and similar innovations. Other programs are developed around attempts to improve the nutritional status of people. Still other programs might be directed to deal with problems related to capital improvements in lesser developed countries, such as encouraging agricultural self-sufficiency and reducing the need for food imports, or helping a country develop foods for cash exports (Chambers, 1984).


1 Rostow described development to be resulting in five stages starting from firstly, traditional stage; secondly, culture change stage; thirdly, take off stage; fourthly, self sustained growth stage; fifthly, high income growth stage. (Scupin and DeCorse, 2009: 514).

2 According to Wellerstein, Core Societies are the powerful industrial nations exercising economic domination over other regions. Peripheral Societies have very little control over their own economies and are dominated by the core societies. Whereas, Semi Peripheral societies are somewhat industrialized and have some economic autonomy but are not as advanced as the core societies (Scupin and DeCorse, 2009; Lewellen, 2003).

3 In many communities in Africa and elsewhere increase in the scale of some systems of social relationships, for example the economic ones involved in participation in world markets, is not balanced by corresponding increases in the scale of social relationship in other spheres, such as domestic life, race relations, or religious practice. It is certainly true that such differences of scale are a conspicuous feature of many changing societies, and conflict often does arise when wide-range systems impinge on narrow-ones. But in the last resort relatively insoluble conflicts arise because the different institutions which social change brings into uneasy contact with one another involve radically different and incompatible ways of thinking and acting, rather than simply because there is a difference in scale Beatie, 1999: 248).


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Date:Apr 30, 2013
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