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sosc1910 - Lecture 2

7 Pages

Social Science
Course Code
SOSC 1910
Nadiah Habib

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Lecture # 2 What is Development I? Tip for the day: re-read your notes from the previous lecture before coming to class, and quickly browse over your readings to refresh your memory and see if there is any aspect of the readings that you have had difficulty with. To Finish from last week: I will give you 4 tools I give to all my classes And these tools should be in your notes and ought to inaugurate a section in your notes called concepts and definitions: 1. the dominant ideology: A set of interrelated beliefs that tell us how the world works and how it ought to work, hence it is descriptive and prescriptive, it describes and prescribes. These taken for granted notions come to appear natural to us, but there is nothing natural about them. The dominant ideology reinscribes and reinforces the status quo and resists change. 2. objectivity : there is nothing objective about objectivity, both the notion of objectivity and the notion of the dominant ideology go hand in hand. When something appears objective, it is because it is not overtly advancing its perspective. When it overtly names its perspective, it gives us the opportunity to think with it or against it. Difficult knowledge 3. Difficult knowledge: difficult knowledge is knowledge that often challenges the dominant ideology that is either difficult for us to accept, so we reject it and its source [because it deeply challenges some of our long held beliefs] or we embrace it wholeheartedly without subjecting that knowledge to a critical evaluation. When you are in the grips of difficult knowledge it is important to ask yourselves: what is it about this information that is causing me to reject it so vehemently/ or what is it about this information that I find so seductive? 4. Problematization is a critical and pedagogical dialogue or process and may be considered a process of demystification. Rather than taking the common knowledge (myth) of a situation for granted, 1 problematization poses that knowledge as a problem, allowing new viewpoints, consciousness, reflection, hope, and action to emerge. What may make problematization different from other forms of criticism is its target, the context and details, rather than the pro or con of an argument. More importantly, this criticism does not take place within the original context or argument, but draws back from it, re- evaluates it, leading to action which changes the situation. To problematize a statement, for example, one asks simple questions: -- Who is making this statement? -- Who is s/he making it for? -- Why is this statement being made here, now? -- Whom does this statement benefit? -- Whom does it harm? Today is the first lecture on the theme “What is Development?” objectivity : there is nothing objective about objectivity, both the notion of objectivity and the notion of the dominant ideology go hand in hand. If I could wish for anything in this course I would wish that you talk to me and to each other about this idea until you are convinced that is nothing objective about objectivity. Hence a positive aspect of a film review, or opinion about the reading cannot be, it was good because it was objective or it was bad because is was bias, everything that you will read, hear and see in this course has a bias, either a hidden bias (hence it is pretending to be objective) or an explicit bias in which case you are invited to know what the particular point of view is and either think with it or against it. For example in responding to today’s question: what is development? 2 One perspective is that development is good (while it may have some negative consequences, good things come with bad things) and that is part and parcel of everything in the world. On the other hand historicizing issues of development and telling us that ideas of development have changed over time for some very good reasons, and that many would argue that old ideas about development were/are very problematic and there has been a huge effort among academics, activists and lay people to both critique development and to work to change and shift and challenge its problematic aspects. Even though for example: I am an academic who believes development has failed because it has been based on a hoax and with today’s film you are going to get a better idea of some of the reasons that I think that. Yet at the same time, I do not think we should advocate for the end of development, but the end of development based on the old models. We can think of Development as both a project and a process. We want to improve our lives where and when we can, but we cannot change them from very difficult to great, change is a process and at every step we need to assess, change according to our assessment, reevaluate in light of what we are confronted with and address the unforeseen problems that arise from the steps we take. This project and process then does not proceed in a straight line. (a)History is crucial (b)Structural change. (c) modernization is problematic (d) Benefits in economic growth are not always equitable (e) Sustainable Development (f) Political change (g) Economic determinism a) History is crucial/ not like 19 century, but what have we learned about how growth spreads within economies. 3 1. Agricultural sector plays a key role in economic growth. Provides a marketable surplus, Market for consumer goods Labor power for industry 2. land ownership and tenure important Those without often get into more debt and are landless and as a result they have neither the means nor the abilities to make use of increased commercialization. 3. Governments that invested in public education, land reform, improved transportation, positively affected economic growth.(we need to keep these things in mind as we see and experience more and more of the effects of imposed austerity measures). 4. cannot imagine that history is everywhere the same, as if each place must go through a set # of changes like William Rostow’s five stages of developmen
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