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SOSC 102U. Lecture Note 9 Alternative Development Frameworks. Main Issues. The definition and meaning of development Major theories on East Asian development Feminist critiques of development theories From Gender and Development Studies to the “Global South Feminist Perspectives”.

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sosc 102u


Lecture Note 9

Alternative Development Frameworks

main issues
Main Issues
  • The definition and meaning of development
  • Major theories on East Asian development
  • Feminist critiques of development theories
  • From Gender and Development Studies to the “Global South Feminist Perspectives”
the definition and meaning of development 1
The definition and meaning of development (1)
  • The conventional definition of “development” is in terms of economic expansion, industrial productivity, and income in a nation
  • Indicators of development:
    • A. World Bank: use Gross National Product (GNP) per capita to classify economies as “low-income,” “middle-income,” or “high-income”
      • GNP: the total value of final goods and services [sold to customers but not other manufacturers] produced in a year by domestically owned factors of production
    • B. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) defines a developing country as a newly industrialized economy (NIE) by using industrial employment, world export of manufactures, and real per capita of gross domestic product (GDP)
      • GDP: the total value of final goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a year
    • C. The United Nations: a set of economic and population characteristics to assess the relative level of development--High developed countries or low developed countries
the definition and meaning of development 2
The definition and meaning of development (2)
  • In the above indicators, overall economic growth and productivity are emphasized. But whether the economic prosperity really improve the living standard of all people is neglected
  • New indicator to measure development
  • The Human Development Index (HDI): compare average achievements in meeting the basic human needs (choices, self-determination, and the human ability to influence and control the environment, natural or social, as well as the process of change, in accordance with a given society’s historical conditions, priorities, and capabilities)
  • One important account of the HDI is how economic growth can help both men and women live better. Traditional development analysis neglects women’s issues
  • Sustainable development is more important than economic growth
hdi and real gdp per capita in six asian states 1997
HDI and Real GDP Per Capita in Six Asian States (1997)

Based on Chow Ngai-ling and Deanna M. Lyter, 2002: 27.

major theories on east asian development
Major Theories on East Asian Development
  • Four major theories of development related to East Asia
  • 1. Neoclassical Economy/Modernization Theories
  • 2. The Cultural Perspective
  • 3. The Statist Perspective
  • 4. Dependency/World System Theories
1 neoclassical economy modernization theories
1. Neoclassical Economy/Modernization Theories
  • A. All societies eventually develop through a linear and progressive series of complex social processes as they move from industrialization to urbanization, and, finally, to modernization
  • B. Traditional institutions, values, and practices inhibit economic development
  • C. The less developed countries should follow the industrialized West to transform their economic, political, social, and cultural institutions, values, and practices, expecting the potential of the free market economy to raise living standards in poor countries and to modernize their states
  • D. Through foreign direct investment (FDI), production, marketing, and trade on a global scale, the economy will experience a takeoff stage, and people will share in this growth and reap the benefits of development
2 the cultural perspective
2. The Cultural Perspective
  • A. Values, ideology, attitudes, and practices influence development policy, institutional arrangements, and the state’s role in implementing policy—tradition and modernity coexist and intermingle
  • B. All the economically high-performing countries in East Asia share the same Confucian values
  • C. How does Confucianism become a positive factor for East Asian development? (based on Alvin So and Stephan Chiu’s research)
    • C-1: Confucian values have promoted education and self-improvement through deferred gratification, intensive study, and the internalization of ethical principles
    • C-2: Confucianism endorsed the collective orientation and familialism that gave rise to entrepreneurial spirit and skills, the backbone of East Asian economic success
3 the statist perspective
3. The Statist Perspective
  • Emerging as a critique of modernization perspective
  • Economic power cannot function effectively outside of the framework of politics provided by the state
  • Because the strong state is politically autonomous from partisan domestic interests, it can provide economic leadership and administrative guidance for market decisions in the private sector. Strong state can also facilitate global opportunities for economic expansion
  • Advocates of statist perspective also justify authoritative regimes and ignore the adverse effects of their governance (i. e., inefficiency, corruption, and militarization) and industrialization (i. e., repression of organized labor, human rights violations, and environmental degradation)
4 dependency world system theories
4. Dependency/ World System Theories
  • Dependency Theory: unequal exchange between the powerful “core” nations (developed countries) and the developing countries such as those in Latin America and Africa
  • World System Theory: the world system was developed from 16th. Century Western Europe. It gradually expanded to the global scale through incorporating the “rest of the world” into its economic and political system
  • Classification of economies in world system theory: core, semiperiphery and periphery
    • Countries at core: determine its terms of trade with countries at periphery
    • Countries at periphery: provide raw materials to and purchase imported goods and technology know-how from the core countries
    • Countries at semiperiphery: serve as buffers between the core and the periphery
  • East Asian “four tigers” are classified as “semiperiphery”
feminist critiques of development theories
Feminist critiques of development theories
  • 1. the persistence of gender inequality is unrecognized and untouched by developmental theories and analysts, especially considering the East Asian region
  • Gender-related Development Index (GDI): the closer a country’s GDI is to its HDI, the lesser gender disparity in a country
  • Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM): measure gender inequality in the areas of economic and political participation and decision making, focusing on women’s opportunities (such as “seats in parliament held by women,” “female administrators and managers,” etc.)
feminist critiques of development theories1
Feminist critiques of development theories
  • 2. the extent to which East Asian development is now being and can be sustained
  • During the 1997 financial crisis, the evidence shows that women, especially the youngest and oldest, were more severely affected than men, with a greater percentage of women experiencing layoffs, unemployment, falling wages, and poverty

In South Korea, the crisis-induced job losses caused the employment fell 3.8% for men, but 7.1 % for women

Impacts of 1997 Financial Crisis on men and women employment in S. Korea

feminist critiques of development theories2
Feminist critiques of development theories
  • 3. Theories and empirical studies of East Asia’s development primarily reflect men’s standpoints. No explicit reference to gender as a fundamental category of analysis. The centrality of women’s labor to development is mostly neglected
    • studies tend to assume that women’s primary contribution is in the sphere of reproduction but not production. Household labor, home-based production, and the informal labor market in which women make significant contributions are neglected
  • 4. In the internal operation of the national economy, the statist perspective fails to acknowledge that the state is a gendered institution based on unequal power relationships.
    • The state give men authority and control over women. In the name of development, the state and its ruling class can impose laws and policies, taking responsibility for affirming the positive human rights of women (e. g. property rights, labor’s rights to organize) and preventing their violation (e. g. gender-based violence and the trafficking of women)
feminist critiques of development theories3
Feminist critiques of development theories
  • 5. On cultural perspectives, feminist scholars question whether the Confucian cultural tradition has been used to justify the male status quo, women’s subordination, and the gendered division of labor
  • For example, filial piety as a patriarchal script has been used to glorify the principle of women’s obedience—obey one’s father before marriage, obey one’s husband after marriage, and obey one’s son while growing old. It affects the degree to which women have access to and control over resources to engage in economic activities (e. g. getting credit for enterprises and saving money for investment) and the extent to which they can bargain with patriarchy
feminist critiques of development theories4
Feminist critiques of development theories
  • 6. A Western-centric view of the dichotomy between public and private sectors. Along the dualist view, women are portrayed as homemakers inhabiting the private domain of the household and engaging in reproductive work, while men are assumed to be the breadwinners, occupying the public domain of the economy and politics and doing productive work
  • In East Asia, work and family are intertwined in the lives of women and men, from those laboring in the subsistence and cash-cropping economies in rural areas to urban dwellers working for pay in various industrial sectors
  • As East Asian women actively increase their participation in the labor force, work and family in their lives impinge on each other
feminist critiques of development theories5
Feminist critiques of development theories
  • 7. Asian women workers as social agents in development: Conventional theories of development generally fail to see either women or workers as social, independent actors and as being capable of resisting blatant discriminatory treatments, negotiating with unfair employers, and bargaining with patriarchy
  • A false impression is that Asian women workers are passive, obedient, mindless victims of mistreatments
  • Asian women workers are notable for their low unionization. But union strikes had occurred.
    • Only labor movements in South Korea are noted. To be sure, in Hong Kong, the early 1950s and the late 1980s had witnessed a series of union strikes (Chow Ngai-Ling’s personal observation). In Taiwan, union strikes also took place in the late 1980s
from gender and development studies to the global south feminist perspectives
From Gender and Development Studies to the “Global South Feminist Perspectives”
  • Mainstream feminist debates and discourses on development consists of three perspectives:
  • 1. Women in Development: modernization had not trickled down to benefit women
    • Modern societies as egalitarian and democratic and traditional societies as male-dominated and authoritarian ones that discriminate against women
  • 2. Women and Development: the above perspective neglect the fact that women have always been part of development. Women’s problems are part and parcel of the fundamental inequality of the current capitalist system.
    • In the course of modernization, the production of goods for direct use was replaced by production for exchange. This shift tends to benefit men (especially male capitalists) more than women. Gender inequality is part of class inequality
from gender and development studies to the global south feminist perspectives1
From Gender and Development Studies to the “Global South Feminist Perspectives”
  • 3. Gender and Development: gender as a set of social relationships between women and men in both the production of the labor market and the reproduction of the household
  • This perspective deconstructs the public/private dichotomy, uncovering women’s oppression in the family (the dichotomy is regarded as a Western-centric view here)
  • Seeing women as agents of social change rather than as recipients of development programs
global south feminist perspectives
Global South Feminist Perspectives
  • Along the “Gender and Development” perspective, a research networks called Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era was formed in 1984
  • Their position: during the years between 1976 and 1985 (the U. N. decade for women), the great majority of Third World women had worsened

The classification of world nations used in the cold war era: the First World (Western countries such as Western Europe, U. S. and Japan), the Second World (the communist blocks including Soviet Union and China), and the Third World (the rest)

global south feminist perspectives1
Global South Feminist Perspectives
  • “Global South” consists of a variety of feminisms and discourses on development of which East Asia is a constitutive part
    • Western and white liberal feminist scholars often describe Third World women in conjunction with backwardness, underdevelopment, oppressive traditions, high illiteracy, rural and urban poverty, religious fanaticism, and overpopulation
  • The concern: In the words of Gita Sen and Caren Grown: “Our vision of feminism has its very core a process of economic and social development geared to human needs through wider control over and access to economic and political power.”
  • To develop and advocate alternative development frameworks, methods, and processes to follow this vision of economic and social development—both practical and strategic gender needs and interests are emphasized
which of the following might be strategies proposed by scholars of the global south perspectives
1. Protecting environment is related to women’s well beings

2. The structural transformation of an oppressive society by eliminating gender subordination and all forms of oppression is important

Which of the following might be strategies proposed by scholars of the Global South Perspectives?

3. To enhance women’s opportunities and participation by increasing their share in resources, land, employment, and income relative to men

4. An increase in women’s control over economic decisions, a guarantee that women’s voices are entered into the definition of development and the making of policy choices, a cut in military expenditures, demilitarization, control over transnational corporations, and land reforms in rural areas