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Commit Sociology - Development and Underdevelopment.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Christian O.Caron

- Interest in development has its roots in the Cold War, when developed capitalist countries led by the US warred with communist countries led by the Soviet Union (42) - These two groups tried to amass power by gaining control over less developed countries (42) - Businesses in the developed West became interested in new markets outside their traditional spheres of operation (42) - In the 1960s, W. W. Rostow argued that societal development follows several necessary stages of development (44) - In the beginning, a society might be traditional, undifferentiated, and undeveloped, but when it comes into contact with a developed society, science and technology spread and traditional society enters a stage of possible “takeoff” (44) - Takeoff occurs if an increase in market transactions, manufacturing, and trade takes place (44) - Another popular approach in the 60s was modernization theory, which emphasizes the importance of values and norms as drivers of development, ex. the need for achievement (44) - People who enjoy a high need for achievement are more likely to become successful entrepreneurs, so societies that encourage entrepreneurial behavior and competitiveness are the most likely to develop (44) - Most of the responsibility for economic backwardness, according to modernization theory, lies with third world countries, since development happens when people adopt the values of the developed north (44) - Modernization theory = market capitalism and the values that underlie this approach will lead to development (44) - Dependency theory = uneven global development stresses the exploitative relationships between the north and underdeveloped (44) - According to this theory, the nature of the relationship between developed and underdeveloped countries keeps those countries from development (44) - Historically, the global south was well-developed until the north colonized it and used weapons and diseases to annihilate the people living there (45) - The WestAfrican slave trade also undermined governance in WestAfrica (45) - Forced labour had existed for centuries before this, but the trans-Atlantic slave trade created much larger slave economies (45) - The Portuguese initiated the slave trade by taking advantage of the custom of local African chiefs to buy household slaves (45) - They began trading European merchandise for human lives and shipped enslaved Africans across theAtlantic to work in Brazil to produce sugar and coffee (45) - In the nineteenth century, England, Belgium, France, and Germany carved up much of Africa for resource wealth, establishing artificial boundaries that ignored traditional ethnic spheres of influence (46) - This led to increased warfare (46) - In some areas, the Europeans imposed heavy taxes on farmers so they would have to work for the whites (46) - Underdevelopment = the idea that the development of Europe required the exploitation of the south and undermined its development (46) - Some scholars argue that exploitation takes place through terms of trade, which are the ratio of price of exports to price of imports (47) - Prices of agricultural exports from the underde
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