ANT204H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Houseplant, Wage Labour

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Published on 15 Apr 2013
School
UTSG
Department
Anthropology
Course
ANT204H1
Professor
ANT204H1
LECTURE 4-Is Progress Inevitable?
A. So why did they get it so wrong? The thaba-tseka Development Project
B. 5 key ideas about Progress & development
-Surely nature is natural
C. Class Activity : My houseplant
D. Video Second Nature
Quote of Oxford history of South Africa
-Painting a picture of ppl w/o ‘history” –Lesotho
A. 1) Ignore what they cannot chang
-wage labor is dominant vs. agriculture
-not ‘resource poor” (natural and historical) but “resource exploited” (politics and history)
-resources have been exploited and depleted by neighboring South Africa, they have been confiscated of
the most fertile land
Wage labor exploitation in South African mines ( worked in horrendous conditions)
Best thing they should do (NGOS and other organizations) should fight for better wages in the mines
(CEDA,NGO, fair trade shops etc) this cannot happen however, they do not have the power to do this, it
is out of the NGOS reaches
Ferguson Quote “this reason, agriculture concerns tend to move center stage and Lesotho is portrayed
as a nation of farmers…”
-cannot be identifies as the cause of the problems because they do not have the power to change it
2) Ignore what they cannot understand
Complex, differentiated state & people, multiple things you have to take into account if you try
to undergo a development intervention
Interval political party politics; development has the ability to distinguish different governments
and institutions, ruling party have all the money, benefit from the detriment of others
development is politically involved (its inherently involved in politics)
-if you have a development project, cannot have critical view of the ruling government, they will not
allow you to do what you need to do
-Development= a political tool, some benefit and some do not
3) Blame the Victim
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ANT204H1
-why does development cont. ?
Eg. Cattle mystique (paradox)-development activists wanted Lesotho ppl to give up their cattle , and
they said no, they did not want to change, and it was interpreted this as primitive thing and could not
understand them
- villagers are too selfish not ready for change, and are too ‘primitive’
-the idea that in order to be developed you have to illiterate, primitive etc. but when it doesn’t work
they blame them for being “too primitive”
Rationale response by the Lesotho ppl: if cattle goes , their symbol w/in society and family goes, it also it
a retirement plan, cattle represents wealth, they can sell it to get money etc.
-Development failure seen as not being development’s fault
Quote
-convince them that they are farmers (Lesotho ppl) development failed something that is important to
know is that development never says it fails , only says making progress when close to it, they need
more funding
-if development doesn’t achieve its goal then what happens?
Ferguson called it the ‘anti politics machine”
Quote in this perspective the “development”….
-ruling parties took the development money to get power in areas where they did not have it before
(extend bureaucratic power of ruling power)
-claims that it has no political links but they inherently do, and pretend like they didn’t get involved w/
politics
B. 5 key Ideas About Progress & Development
Seeing the world through the development lens
1. Despite its ambiguity
-development provides a historically stable framework for the ‘west” to relate to and understand the
“rest”. See the world through a simplistic binary of developed underdeveloped…
Making the ’other’
2. Development is characterized by a specific process of “othering” and “labelling”
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Document Summary

The thaba-tseka development project: 5 key ideas about progress & development. Surely nature is natural: class activity : my houseplant, video second nature. Painting a picture of ppl w/o history lesotho: 1) ignore what they cannot chang. Not resource poor (natural and historical) but resource exploited (politics and history) Resources have been exploited and depleted by neighboring south africa, they have been confiscated of the most fertile land. Wage labor exploitation in south african mines ( worked in horrendous conditions) Ferguson quote this reason, agriculture concerns tend to move center stage and lesotho is portrayed as a nation of farmers . Cannot be identifies as the cause of the problems because they do not have the power to change it: ignore what they cannot understand. Complex, differentiated state & people, multiple things you have to take into account if you try to undergo a development intervention.

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