Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Our developmental thinking can cause problems for the poorest of the poor

11.04.2006


We like to believe that all the thinking about development and all the assistance we give is helping the poorest people in the world. In a new dissertation, Bent Jörgensen, at Göteborg University in Sweden, maintains that assistance and economic growth in certain circumstances aggravates the situation for the poorest of the poor. The problem is primarily that the concept of development takes on another meaning.



Over the last two decades Vietnam has undergone strong economic development as a result of cautious political reforms. Many people claim that Vietnam is winning the battle against poverty via a high rate of economic growth. At the same time, the gap between rich and poor has increased.

Bent Jörgensen brings forward the importance of non-economic aspects that help us understand poverty and how to combat it in developmental practice and thinking.


The study shows how the local society’s non-poor consistently benefit from partially new flows of resources like land and subsidies, information about cultivation techniques, and enhanced power and influence. Injustices are created and legitimized by locally constructed social divisions between rich and poor.

These social divisions are already in place in the dominant developmental thinking and can be defined as the dividing line between individual success and failure. The poor are assigned the thankless role of illustrating failure or simply the negation of development. Others can grow rich and exert influence by referring to the inability or unwillingness of the poor to deal with resources and influence.

‘Laziness’ and ‘stupidity’ are made a part of the identity of the poor. Developmental thinking thus creates a group of people who not only can be termed poor but also can be seen as ‘hopeless.’

Even the local will to help people in need declines when the poor are blamed for their poverty. This diminishing will to help doesn’t accord well with the present trend of allowing local elite-dominated institutions assume a greater responsibility for combating poverty. These institutions ‘learn’ to place the blame for poverty on the poor people themselves.

With these findings, the dissertation constitutes a critique of not only the received way of combating poverty in Vietnam but also of global developmental thinking in general.

Eva Lundgren | alfa
Further information:
http://www.gu.se

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>