Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Tourism

pp 1-3

Date: Latest Version

Dependency theory, tourism

  • Samantha ChaperonAffiliated withBusiness School, University of Greenwich Email author 

Sometimes referred to as underdevelopment theory, the dependency paradigm gained prominence in the 1960s as a critique of modernization theory. The latter posits that a country’s socioeconomic development should follow an evolutionary path from a traditional to a modern society, with a shift from agriculture to industry, from rural to urban, and with markets playing a central role. It argues that a country that maintains a traditional society is both an expression of underdevelopment and the cause of it. Proponents of dependency theory argue that it is not traditions and internal factors that lead to underdevelopment, but instead it is external political, institutional, and economic structures that keep developing countries in a dependent position relative to developed countries.

This can be understood with reference to Frank’s (1967) theory of underdevelopment. He described the global economic system as having two poles: a developed “metropolitan center” and an underdeveloped “peripher ...

This is an excerpt from the content