Sociology and development in the 1990s: Critical challenges and empirical trends

Abstract

Recent transformations of global economic structures have been accompanied by divergent national, regional, and local patterns of development, including severe socioeconomic crises for many Third World countries. At the same time, established conceptualizations of development processes have been called into question by divergent models of social change, such as those of world systems and postmodernist theorists. These phenomena present major analytical challenges for sociologists specializing in the study of development. New technologies and production processes, changing forms of international dependency, and the appearance of new social actors are among the most important topics for study. We argue that political economy, based on midrange propositions and comparative historical methods, constitutes the most fruitful approach to this task.

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Portes, A., Kincaid, A.D. Sociology and development in the 1990s: Critical challenges and empirical trends. Sociol Forum 4, 479–503 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01115061

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Key words

  • development (sociology of development)
  • world system
  • postmodernism
  • dependency
  • restructuring (industrial restructuring)