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Culture and Development: A Critical Introduction


By: Susanne Schech and Jane Haggis

John Wiley & Sons

Paperback | Mar 2000 | #179979 | ISBN: 0631209514
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NHBS Price: £24.99 $32/€28 approx

About this book

This book introduces students to new ways of thinking about culture and development. The book integrates the recent scholarship in the area of cultural studies within the existing frameworks of development studies, which have primarily focused on issues of political economy and structural transformation. Rather than viewing culture as simply an attribute of the societies undergoing development, this text critically examines how "development" itself operates as a cultural process. The authors draw on theories of modernity, poststructuralism and post-colonial studies to show how development institutions, processes and practices are inevitably caught up in a web of cultural presuppositions, values and meanings.

The authors use the themes of gender, tradition and identity, human rights and new communication technologies to explore the challenges that processes of cultural change pose to conventional understandings of development. The book concludes by considering the move beyond "development" to a "post-development" paradigm. The book is made up of thematic chapters, which include outlines and overviews of the specific topics, as well as case studies to illustrate the issues. The authors have designed the book specifically for students and teachers and the material included has been class-tested during their own teaching.

"...a well written and researched textbook for the turn of the millenium....refreshing, readable, topical and relevant." Elsbeth Robson, Keele University "Culture and Development is an important text for introductory nd midlevel undergraduate classes and development practitioners looking for a comprehensive, critical and interdisciplinary alternative to "business as usual"Economic Geography "Overall, the book is an excellent introduction to anthropological and development studies literature on representations, power and culture. While this literature boomed in the 1990s, its theoretical language and disciplinary dispersal made it difficult for students and practitioners to keep up with the debates. Culture and Development provides just such a readable account for student and teacher alike." Progress in Human Geography "Culture and development takes a wide-ranging, yet in-depth approach to its subject which lends it both coherence and authority. As an innovative introduction to these themes, this book is to be highly recommended." The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute


List of Figures and Tables. Preface: The Cross-overs of Culture and Development. Acknowledgments. Thinking about Culture and Development. Bringing Culture and Development Together, Globalization and the Politics of Representation. Feminism, Development, and Culture. Inventing Traditions, Construction Nations. Human Rights, Cultural Difference, and Globalization. Culture, Development, and the Information Revolution. Index.

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Susanne Schech is Senior Lecturer in the School of Geography, Population and Environmental Management at Flinders University of South Australia. She is also Director of the Centre for Development Studies at Flinders University. She has published articles on gender and development, the social construction of whiteness and information technology in development NGOs. Jane Haggis is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Flinders University of South Australia. She is also Associate Director of the Centre for Development Studies at Flinders University and has published a number of articles on gender and imperialism, social construction of whiteness and feminist research methodologies.

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