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Culture and development: the continuing tension between modern standards and local contexts.

Abstract : Multiple and often competing conceptualizations of culture have offered development thinking both a framework and a vocabulary for distinguishing one group of people from another in terms of their differing systems of meaning, patterns of behaviour, or levels of technology. They have also offered different visions of the relationship between culture and development. However, while these various perspectives diverge on many issues, they also share a common position. They show a persistent difficulty in grasping the articulation between the role of culture (suspected of bringing back "tradition") and individual autonomy (seen as a condition for a "modern society"). This articulation is critical for the conception of effective development strategies. In this literature review, we "take stock" of the way culture has been conceptualized in development thinking, recognizing and examining the different ways in which culture is said to affect development. Throughout, we will emphasise the need for development thinking to break away from the tradition/modernity dichotomy if more effective policies are to be designed and implemented.
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Contributor : Hèla Yousfi <>
Submitted on : Monday, November 14, 2011 - 9:46:41 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 4:01:18 AM


  • HAL Id : halshs-00641120, version 1



Hèla Yousfi. Culture and development: the continuing tension between modern standards and local contexts.. Jean Philippe Platteau and Robert Peccoud. Culture, Institutions and development, New insights Into an Old debate., Routledge, pp.57, 2010. ⟨halshs-00641120⟩



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