The Discourse On Development As A Form Of Social Change

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Development for the sake of progress is generally assumed to be good. However, the discourse on development has brought into play conventional thinking of development as a form of progress toward poorer regions of the world in order for capitalistic countries to enjoy economic and political wealth. These presuppositions are problematic in terms of how development is seen as a normative form of social evolution and instrumental in its’ need of intensifiers that state those regions are lacking. Development as a form of social change is destructive because it signifies there are issues waiting to be solved. Arturo Escobar states that development needs to rid itself of its discursive history because the very act of Western hegemonic forces helping third world countries reasserts the notion of its moral and cultural superiority in a supposedly post-colonial time. Arturo Escobar is critical of the development industry and postulates that development needs to rid itself of its history entrenched in economics and modernity. Escobar criticizes development by destroying its destructive history as perpetuation of hegemonic ideals following post-World War II. Development, he states has reached an impasse and “seen as a invention and strategy produced by the ‘First World’ about the ‘underdevelopment’ of the ‘Third World’”. (22) That is, “development” does not exist solely for the purpose of helping Third World countries, but exists as a form of social, cultural, and political control
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