Development And Underdevelopment Theory

During the 1960s and 1970s two schools of thought took prominence in sociocultural anthropology: development and underdevelopment theory, as well as, the world-systems theory; which, in combination with the key tenets of Marxism laid the foundation of a new critical perspective called anthropological political economy. A precursor to the modern form of “political economy”, referred to now as “classical” political economics, has been dated to the eighteenth century, this later divided into the academics disciplines: political science and economics. Originally designed by the enlightenment-era social theorists to explore the “origin and nature of, and relationships between, nation-states and their colonial holding around the world” (132), it …show more content…
“Post”colonialism did not see a reversion of colonial states and societies to resemble a more pre-colonial period, instead it illustrated that both parties were transformed by prolonged contact. Remnants of the previous regimes left lasting infrastructural, cultural, and economic changes that had subtle corrosive effects that acted on racist and classist antagonism that could be seen in the diasporic movements of people from the periphery to the metropole. This was exemplified by immigration from former colonies to the centers of power where predictable examples of unrest, political turmoil, and social injustice, created a state that was no longer recognizable to itself, in such as ethnicities and religious affiliations that were once among the majority becoming the minorities. These developments created an uncertain theoretical focus within anthropology during the 1960s and 1970, until 1979, where the book Orientalism(1979) by Edward. W. Said (1935-2003) championed a new moral and epistemological course for theoretical methodology within anthropology. Said’s legacy was grounded in his activism on behalf of dispossessed individuals and is said to be the forerunner of “public anthropology”. In his publication Said sought to decipher the mechanism of control of colonial empires to circumscribe and objective the mysterious and exotic “Oriental” subjects of imperial power. Anthropology was profoundly influenced by this analysis and sought to include the postcolonial critique in future work, while reconciling the previous encounters of the dominant powers by styling them as an opportunity for imagining the West’s impression of themselves in relation to the non-western

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