History Of Latin American Underdevelopment By J. Samuel Valenzuela And Arturo Valenzuela

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“Modernization and Dependency: Alternative Perspectives in the Study of Latin American Underdevelopment” by J. Samuel Valenzuela and Arturo Valenzuela broadly compares and analyzes modernization and the dependency approach (1978, p.536) within the context of underdevelopment in Latin America.
Valenzuela and Valenzuela first begin by discussing the modernization perspective, its assumptions and how this perspective relates to Latin America underdevelopment (1978, p.537). Valenzuela and Valenzuela determined that modernization literature assumes that for a society to modernize it must reject traditional values and patterns. Essentially, it is the internal traditional practises that need to be dismantled for modernization to take place.
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Development and underdevelopment are linked and “condition each other mutually” resulting in a divided world that consists of industrial “central” countries and underdeveloped “peripheral” countries (Valenzuela and Valenzuela, 1978, p.544), with the periphery often being constrained by its role in the global capitalist system (Valenzuela and Valenzuela, 1978, p.544).
The level of analysis differs greatly between the modernization approach and dependency approach, where modernization focuses predominantly on the behaviours, beliefs and traditions of individuals, the dependency approach focuses on elements outside the individual unit such as international trade, class alliances and conflict (Valenzuela and Valenzuela, 1978, p.550). Where the modernization approach focuses on the microsocial, the dependency approach focuses on the macrosocial (Valenzuela and Valenzuela, 1978, p.550).
Valenzuela and Valenzuela have determined that the dependency approach has a fundamental advantage compared to modernization theory (1978, p.552), dependency perspective is much more open to drawing from a broader body of evidence and range of phenomena, such as the relationship between “central” countries and the “periphery”, trade and class alliances. Modernization theory, which operates on a “simple conceptual framework and a reductionist approach”, such as the traditional- modern dichotomy (Valenzuela and Valenzuela, 1978, p.552),

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