MA DEVELOPMENT COMMUNICATION THEORIES OF DEVELOPMENT Topic: Theories Outside Mainstream Development Group: 14 THAP 815 Lecturer: Professor Jenkeri Okwori OLEBARA CHUKWUEMEKA PGDDC/ARTS/06905/2010-2011 CHINDUSU ZONG M.A/ARTS/4797/2010-2011 THEORIES OUTSIDE MAINSTREAM DEVELOPMENT Introduction: Mainstream development stemmed from the need for the propagation of growth and industrialization. This study is vital to the history of development in any society, development is given the status of ‘human right’ as the process is meant to promote the rights and opportunities of the human race. When this started it paved a way for consciousness and sensitivity to the rights and privileges of humanity at the same time, on the other hand it came with promises and ideas of a ‘better life’ for all. Economic growth, industrialization was and still is the centre of development. Institutions and government were central in the shaping of mainstream development and its discourse and practices. Theories outside mainstream development on the other hand cannot be ruled out. These theories emerged as a result of the activities of this historical point of view. Change is constant in development and as such these theories are seen as having emerged through changes on a separate platform from mainstream development, but share certain traits, ideas and practices alike. 2 Theories: (outside mainstream development) Socialist Development: it has been argued that the only difference between the socialist and capitalist theory is that one is state led and the other market led according to Gordon white. Social development can be summarily described as the process of organizing human energies and activities at higher levels to achieve greater results. Development increases the utilization of human potential. In the absence of valid theory, social development remains largely a process of trial and error experimentation, with a high failure rate and very uneven progress. The dismal consequences of transition strategies in most Eastern Europe countries, the very halting progress of many African and Asian countries, the increasing income gap between the most and least developed societies, and the distressing linkage between rising incomes, environmental depletion, crime and violence reflect the fact that humanity is vigorously pursuing a process without the full knowledge needed to guide and govern it effectively. Dependency Theory: Dependency Theory developed in the late 1950s under the guidance of the Director of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America, Raul Prebisch. Prebisch and his colleagues were troubled by the fact that economic growth in the advanced industrialized countries did not necessarily lead to growth in the poorer countries. Indeed, their studies suggested that economic activity in the richer countries often led to serious economic problems in the poorer countries. Such a possibility was not predicted by neoclassical theory, which had assumed that economic 3 growth was beneficial to all (Pareto optimal) even if the benefits were not always equally shared. Self Reliance Theory: Originating in Tanzania under the umbrella of Ujamaa-African Socialism the concept referred to a development strategy that relied on people’s own resources and capacities to satisfy their needs. The strategy was formulated in the Arusha Declaration of February 1967 under the guidance of Tanzania’s president Julius Nyerere who proposed that “ development be the political mobilization of a people attaining their own objectives” The worsening problem of resource scarcity in sub-Saharan African dictates that governments can no longer rely on conventional means to successfully address the basic needs of their populations. Community participation has been advanced, and in fact tried, as a strategy that can be potentially viable in complementing efforts to meet the needs (Njoh 2002). The stagnation and undiminished scale of poverty has given rise to numerous strategies and initiatives at the grassroots level to help cope with the decline. It is against this backdrop that some village development associations will be examined since their contribution towards meeting the basic needs of the local population and the sustainability of local economies is overstated. As Gooneratne and Mbilinyi (1992) put it, confronted with growing poverty and economic stagnation or depression in the 1980s and early 1990s, self-reliance has been advanced as a viable alternative strategy to “dependent development” and donor-led “structural adjustment” in developing countries. 4 Self-reliance is considered not “merely a necessity but a matter of survival” (Galtung et al., 1980). In identifying these theories the central idea of socialist development is that it should be nationalized, the agriculture socialized, the markets abolished or limited and the economy centrally planned. Socialism was such that development was offered to the predominantly rural societies, industrialization was embarked upon them with high costs and negative outcomes. This industrialization was key in socialist development. Dependency theory another part of this study originated in Latin America and later expanded to Europe and Africa. The major focus of this theory is underdevelopment and the relationship between development and underdevelopment. The industrialized nations were the ones benefiting at the expense of the countries exporting raw materials. The trade can be termed as unequal exchange. They made a lot of development and high profits from this exchange while the exporting countries remained at their state of underdevelopment and the struggle to continue to meet up to the production level as time passed did no good in changing their status. The more raw materials were exported from them, while products of these raw materials were sold back to them, they purchased what was actually theirs but refined from industrialized countries and branded with a new logo. Dependency on these new brands and products became a routine that could not be controlled. For patronizing these products meant that masses were meeting a standard for development as these products began to look more appealing than the local produced products. 5 Development communication is founded on an idea. The idea is, to put the modern media of social communication at the service of development. Development is the big thing these days. Everybody’s talking about it. Big chunks of money are spent in its name. But what is it? Discussions of development are usually couched in economic terms. The economic goal is often described in terms of an increase in the Gross National Product or GNP, the sum total of goods and services produced by the country annually. The goal has already been criticized as inadequate. One of the big problems of underdeveloped countries is the misdistribution of available goods and services. It doesn’t help much to increase the size of the “economic pie” if 90 per cent of it still goes to only 10 per cent of the people while the remaining 90 per cent of the people whose total number increases more rapidly, continue to share in only 10 per cent of the wealth produced. Their condition will not improve, but can only grow worse. Responsible economists point out that the development goal should be not only to increase the production of wealth but also to improve its distribution. In other words, an increase in GNP, plus social justice, GNP alone won’t do it. Seen in this light, the problem immediately goes beyond mere economics. And the point we want to make here is precisely that development means more than economic development. Even plain economic development involves more than economics. It requires an improved social organization. You need better social structures, relative peace and 6 order, disciplined (and highly motivated) people, a skilled labor force, a dedicated civil service, a minimum of graft and corruption, a sensible tax structure, a wise government, etc. Actually, for real economic development, you also need social justice, because this is what will provide people with their motivation. If people can have a decent share of what they produce, they will work harder. When you talk about justice, however, you’re talking about moral values, not just economics. In other words, just to achieve economic development, you also need moral development. To achieve economic development with social justice – without which development won’t make sense to the common people – you need to change a lot of attitudes. People have to add a moral dimension to the way they operate their business, for instance. And workers may need a new attitude towards work, since social justice also requires that workers do justice to their employers, not only the other way around. A Total Approach In short, development really means developing people. Then the people will change their environment, including their social and economic environment. We need a total human development approach, even if our immediate goal might be economic development. The latter, of course, is not the end in itself, but only a means to enable human beings to live more humanly. For a man may be rich and still live like a pig. Economic development doesn’t help him. 7 Conclusion: With the background above we could infer that though seen as outside the mainstream theories, Socialist, Dependency and Self-reliance theories of development are increasingly becoming more relevant in today’s definition of development, though we are yet to ascertain how relevant they are today. It can be argued that their relevance has been greatly enhanced by the recent bridging of the digital divide, globalization is now a permanent structure for the now and future and glocalization is increasingly being advocated for and they are all linked to the third world dependency on the first world, our search for the utopia of self reliance and carried on the vehicle of social networks. It is important at this stage to ask ourselves the true application of the word development especially when we consider these theories outside the norm of development theories, a quick retort from a sociology student in ABU Zaria “what you people call development is growth, development comes with ability to maintain and drive the process of development, being proactive and not reactive, you can start thinking development when you are sure you can be responsible, it is a constant process….” No doubt a lot of us still run around in circles trying to figure out where growth (in this context) stopped and development starts and vice-versa but suffice to say that the theories considered outside the mainstream development theories are increasingly becoming relevant in the scheme of things as far as general development is concerned in whatever context we may chose to study it. 8 References 1. Dependency Theory: An Introduction - Vincent Ferraro, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA July 1996 2. Theories outside mainstream development: Chapter 2- 02 Thesis (84-98) 3. A Theory of Development By Genaro V. Ong, Jr. - (From the book “From the Village to the Medium”, published by the Communication Foundation for Asia: Manila, 1976) 4. Social Development Theory - by Garry Jacobs and Harlan Cleveland - November 1, 1999 5. Nordic Journal of African Studies 12(2): 196–219 (2003) - THE CONCEPT OF SELF-RELIANCE IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES IN THE CAMEROON GRASSFIELDS - CHARLES C. FONCHINGONG & LOTSMART N. FONJONG - University of Buea Cameroon. 9
"Theories Outside Mainstream Development"