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Chapter 12 - Cultural dimensions of development

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Adam Szirmai
Affiliation:
Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, The Netherlands
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Summary

In the discussion of the concept of development in Chapter 1, we emphasised that development is not limited to the economic sphere. It also involves a broad range of social changes. An important dimension of development is cultural change. We cannot study economic developments in isolation, but also have to take into account cultural aspects such as attitudes, religious precepts, lifestyles, identities and values. Culture as a dimension of development is extremely important. It is also a somewhat slippery concept, as almost anything can be classified under the heading of culture: culture as art, identity, religion, language, nationalism, attitudes, institutions, material artefacts, and so forth.

A full treatment of cultural change is not possible in the context of a single chapter. This chapter will have an exploratory and open character, focusing primarily on the interrelationships and interconnections between culture and economic development. It will be more reflective and open-ended than other chapters. Its aim is not to summarise the literature or to develop general hypotheses or firm conclusions about the role of culture, but rather to make the reader aware of and sensitive to the possible importance of cultural elements in the broader process of development. The chapter addresses the following issues: the role of religion in economic development; the notion of efficient institutions; traditional versus modern culture; cultural obstacles to development; cultural consequences of and reactions to Western penetration in the non-Western world; the pros and cons of cultural mapping for development projects and policies.

Type
Chapter
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The Dynamics of Socio-Economic Development
An Introduction
, pp. 486 - 514
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2005

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  • Cultural dimensions of development
  • Adam Szirmai, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, The Netherlands
  • Book: The Dynamics of Socio-Economic Development
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511817342.013
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  • Cultural dimensions of development
  • Adam Szirmai, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, The Netherlands
  • Book: The Dynamics of Socio-Economic Development
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511817342.013
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Cultural dimensions of development
  • Adam Szirmai, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, The Netherlands
  • Book: The Dynamics of Socio-Economic Development
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511817342.013
Available formats
×