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The Construction of the Nation-State.docx

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Western University
Anthropology 1025F/G
Randa Farah

The Construction of the NationStateKnowledge of the OtherProgress and similar terms were used to distinguish European civilization from nativesCriteria were developed to measure the backwardness of nonwestern societiesTwo main typologies were used 1 Human Evolution American 2 Political Structures BritishUnder these typologies natives were ranked according to what they did not have compared to Europeans QuestionsDid they lack a stateDid they lack sophisticated technologyDid they lack organized religion1 The evolutionists examined other peoples as relics of the past and not as contemporary societies 2 The British distinguished between egalitarian and centralized political structuresA Egalitarian stateless societies with bands and tribes B Centralized Political System chiefdoms and states In this context certain concepts acquired particular meaningProgress anything newer than the odl should be betterModern the opposite of ancient or the oldDevelopment as relating to technological advancements and economic standards of livingModernization TheoryModernization theory classified the world into modern and traditional societiesIn the modern world people were deemed rational efficient developed technology to maximize profit forwardlooking and committed to devtIn traditional societies time was thought to be circular no progress people were shackled by traditions inefficient etcThe free market was conceived as central to development and the motor that drives growth is capitalismThey argued that in Europe the economy flourished because of entrepreneurial spirit technology and competitionIn contrast the Third World was deemed stagnant and inefficient due to their traditional or backward culturesreligions
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