“The notion of development is quite contested in academic circles”. Discuss the notion of development by paying focus on its 1) history; 2) conceptualisation; 3) dimensions and 4) focus overtime.
BACHELOR OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
13 APRIL 2018
074 091 7686
TABLE OF CONTANT
THE HISTORY OF DEVELOPMENT 1
THE CONCEPTUALISATION OF DEVELOPMENT 2-3
THE DIMENSIONS OF DEVELOPMENT3-4
Development is a contested phenomenon in the academic circle. While in the business world development is defined as the “process of economic and social transformation that is based on complex cultural and environmental factors and their interactions” in the discipline of sociology it is defined as the a multi-dimensional process which involves reorganising and reorientation of the entire economic and social system with intentions of also developing the quality of life for the people through improving ways of managing the natural and human resources to create wealth. This essay will focus mainly on the history, the conceptualisation, the dimensions and focus over time of development.
THE HISTORY OF DEVELOPMENT
Immediately after the World War Two (1939-1945) had dissolved, it consequently gave birth to decolonisation, which meant estimated hundred countries collectively divorced the colonizers and joined already independent yet underdeveloped countries. However, this meant the formation of new countries, and resulted to new economic, social, political, cultural development and social structures which people had to adapt to and accept since it was the change that had taken place. Going deeper to the history of development, right after the second world war two had ended, it turned everything upside down from the social dimension to the political dimension. The European country had no choice but to land on the hands of the new powers as to be emancipated from Nazism, the United States and the Soviet Union. When the Nazi concentration camps were discovered, the atrocities that had befallen the one race that had claimed to dominate were exposed, the general condemnation of racism placed a question mark over the concept of race. When the human rights were declared universally, the long oppressed and treated as minors emancipated at a stroke. During the post-war period most problem seemed to arise from the North rather than in the South. Initially, Europe was being reconstructed after it was affected by the second world war. The Marshall plan, a doctrine of the American president, Truman, which was aimed at providing financial aid for the European country, that was ruined during the word war two, to recover was launched on the 5th of June, 1945. But there were also looming breach between the wartime Allies, and Stalin’s claims in the Europe as Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia and Hungary became ‘people’s democracies’ all in different years. However, by year 1948, the Soviets built a Berlin wall but the Cold War called for serious preventive measures that resulted to the formation of the NATO. The powerful allies were mainly focused on the events transforming the political aspects of the Europe while the changes in the South were not mainly considered. It was in this context, the concept of development emerged.
THE CONCEPTUALISATION OF DEVELOPMENT
The conceptualisation of development refers to the theories, the concepts and definitions to clarify concepts in this case, the concept of development. Every writer has his different definition of development. For example, Todaro defines development as a process of improving the quality of all human lives with three equal important aspects namely,
Raising peoples living conditions, where he speaks of the income, medical service and improving the education levels through appropriate growth processes and approaches.
Creating conditions conductive to the growth of people’s self- esteem, through implementation of social, political, and economic systems that condone the respect of humans, improve human dignity and respect
Increasing people’s freedom to choose by enlarging the range of their choice variables
He continues to mention that development is not purely an economic phenomenon but rather a multidimensional process.
INTEPRETATIONS OF DEVELOPMENT
DEVELOPMENT AS ECONOMIC GROWTH
This is whereby there is development in the country’s economy but it is measures using the Gross National Product (GNP). A dual economy however, is highlighted in this case namely, the export sector which consist of a small number of workers but draws technology and secondly, the traditional sector, where you find that there is a large number of workers but inefficient technology.
DEVELOPMENT AS MODERNISATION
Here development emphasizes the process of social change that is expected to improve the economy, analyse the changes and patterns in the social, psychological and political process. It also highlights ways on how to develop wealth orientated behaviours and values in individuals meaning that people should be profit driven rather then be subsistence and self- sufficiency. It condones human development with investments in education and skill training and divorces commodity.
DEVELOPMENT AS DISTRIBUTIVE JUSTICE
This process views development as a tool of improving basic needs. The social justice has however raised three issues that question the nature of the good and services that are provided by the government, the access of these goods and services to different social classes and lastly, how the burden of development can be shared the classes of the society. This however is targeted to the groups including small farmers, the landless, the urban under-employed and the unemployed.
THEORIES OF DEVELOPMENT
This theory is hardly used by practitioner but emphasises solutions that are viewed in the context of development which is part of a historical process, it informs us that development is not fixed, it is challenged by the changing times. It considers and accommodates both the geographical and historical diversity, it also recognizes the high ‘opportunity cost’ that can bring irreversible damages to the environment. This theory acknowledges the important of peoples’ participation in decision making rather than decisions being made for them. It questions how various social groups and classes are affected by the rural-urban, core-periphery and other spatial interactions? It is however linked to development in a sense that when intervention is planned, it answers questions that concern the history, the environment, the people and the geographical aspects that should be considered when developing a certain country or community.
This theory entails that economic dimensions alone is insufficient for development and so it includes the non-economic elements such as the social, practical and cultural. It informs us of its perspective being diffusions, that it changes the critical as it removes various of cultural and social barriers.it however goes to inform us that backward internal structures can cause underdevelopment.
THE DIMENSIONS OF DEVELOPMENT
Development is a multi-dimensional phenomenon, namely the political, the cultural, the social and economic.
THE POLITICAL DIMENSION
In this sense, development means that it is through the scarce resources that have to be distributed to the people that will determine their political development. There should be an effective government in order for the state to provide comfortable, fair, secure and pleasant environment for the citizens and that is through providing relevant education, security and citizens prosperity.
THE CULTURAL DIMENSION
The cultural dimension to is considered in a sense that, for development to happen it has to acknowledge and understand how different culture will react to the development. Development acknowledges culture as to accommodate everybody and everyone, because the world we live in is characterised by different culture.
THE SOCIAL DIMENSION
Development has to unite people, is should create relationships and solidarity among people, so it places a huge role in the social relationships. When development is concerned in the social dimension education is important, the conditions which people live in should be considered, and for development to happen participation is necessary and regardless of your state or position in the society your opinion matters, this is to emphasize that development in communities should never be reasons for segregation but rather solidarity.
THE ECONOMIC DIMENSION
Development to be highly appreciated, it has to create a stable economy because one wrong move, the whole process can eventually lead to a disaster. People rely mostly on the economy because it holds the employment, the provision of education etc, for a country to fully operate, finance is the most vital aspect. A country’s economic development can however be challenged by corruption, and it relying mostly on foreign currency being trading etc.
In conclusion, development is a process with various meanings because to every writer it means something different, however in the concept of Sociology it speaks mostly of improving the quality of life for the people with consultations of the many dimensions it is concerned with, being the political, economic, social and cultural. Various concepts and theories sick to clarify the concept of this phenomenon but it is still contested, nobody knows the true definition of development as it is a notion with contested in the academic circle. One may agree that development is truly a concept of upgrading the living conditions from an undesired condition to a desired.
Shelly, S. development: meaning and concept of development
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Gibert, R, the history of development