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Discipline and Development
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Book description

Perhaps the most commonly held assumption in the field of development is that middle classes are the bounty of economic modernization and growth. As countries gradually transcend their agrarian past and become urbanized and industrialized, so the logic goes, middle classes emerge and gain in number, complexity, cultural influence, social prominence, and political authority. Yet this is only half the story. Middle classes shape industrial and economic development, they are not merely its product; the particular ways in which middle classes shape themselves - and the ways historical conditions shape them - influence development trajectories in multiple ways. This is the story of South Korea's and Taiwan's economic successes and Argentina's and Mexico's relative 'failures' through an examination of their rural middle classes and disciplinary capacities. Can disciplining continue in a context where globalization squeezes middle classes and frees capitalists from the state and social contracts in which they have been embedded?

Reviews

"The highest praise that most historical sociologists can give is that a book is in the same league as Barrington Moore's Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy. This book may well be in that league with its grand comparative sweep, its subtle attention to methodological issues, and its command of the literature. Postmodern it is not. It offers theory, it grapples with evidence, it comes to strong conclusions that point forward as well as backward." --Leslie Sklair, Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics

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