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Theories of Underdevelopment

  • Andrew Webster
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Abstract

In the preceding Chapter we considered the theory that global modernisation could be explained primarily in terms of the development of certain values, norms and motivations — such as the drive for high achievement. Among those who cultivate such modernising attitudes, it is claimed, are the entrepreneurs of the business world who use the monetary surplus accumulated through wise and steady investment to expand industry and so generate more investable surplus for further expansion. Thus, countries which have yet to develop, lack the necessary values-system and entrepreneurial skills to invest any surplus remaining after people’s immediate consumption needs have been met. We saw that this theory has serious weaknesses in terms of lacking supporting evidence and analytical strength. In particular, we concluded that it does not have any conception of the inequalities of power and class conflict that for many social scientists are an important and for some the most important factor influencing the pattern of social change and development.

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© Andrew Webster 1984

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  • Andrew Webster

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