Essays in The Sociology of Development
|Author:||D. Devaraj URS AND G.N. Ramu|
|Publisher:||UNIVERSITY OF MYSORE, MYSORE|
The five essays in this volume are revisions of the 1998 D. Devaraj Urs Lectures given by Professor Ramu at the Institute of Development Studies. Each of the essays provides an overview of the topic under discussion and its implications for economic and social development programmes of the developing countries. For example, although most thinkers assumed that modernization as a theory disappeared years ago. Professor Ramu points out how the modernization paradigm continues to influence the policies and programmes of such global agencies as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. In the essay on Globalization, Professor Ramu offers a detailed account of how the contemporary forces of globalization manifest and reshape economy, polity and culture of nations around the globe. He concludes that although globalization has to some degree forced the integration of national economies, there is no evidence to suggest that such an economic integration has resulted in a central global system of beliefs and values. More important, and contrary to the earlier assumptions, globalization has not induced the decline of the nation state.
Following a discussion of the historical circumstances which led to the formation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank and the discussion of their organisational structure, Professor Ramu examines the policies and programmes of these two financial institutions which have controlled the economic destinies of world's poor nations. He concludes that despite lending hundreds of billions of dollars over the last 50 or so years, the World Bank and the IMF have not succeeded in creating conditions for economic growth and stability of the countries of the South. Instead, much of the evidence suggests that these two institutions have become new colonizers of the economies of developing countries.
The essay on the role of women in development focuses on how women are left out in the policies and programmes of development that are constructed by international funding agencies such as the IMF and the World Bank as well the planners of developing countries. After reviewing some of the major feminist perspectives on women and development, the essay enumerates various unsuccessful attempts to enhance the women's participation in programmes of socio-economic development and lists reasons for their failure. It also suggests a few strategies for empowering women.
In the final essay on environment and development, Professor Ramu argues that both developed and developing countries have contributed to the destruction of the environment. In the name of economic growth and prosperity, the developed nations have not only excessively exploited the non-renewable natural resources but also engaged in a careless. ruination of the environment. The developing countries too have contributed to the environmental degradation but they have done so out of sheer necessity to stay out of hunger and poverty. Consequently, the essay focuses on policies directed at both developed and developing countries for protecting the environment which were formulated at the 1992 Earth Summit.
G.N. Ramu received his B.A. (1960) and M.A. (1962) from Maharaja's College, M.A.(1970) and Ph.D. (1972) from the University of Illinois. He is currently a Professor of Sociology at the University of Manitoba, Canada. G.N. Ramu was the President of the Western Association of Sociology and Anthropology (Canada), Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association, and Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute. He was a Visiting Professor at the Indian Institute of Management (1978-79) K.R. Wodeyar Distinguished Speaker at the University of Mysore(1989) and Nehru Distinguished Lecturer at M.S. University of Baroda (1998).
G.N. Ramu has published extensively on marriage and family patterns in India and Cannada. He has previously authored Family and Caste in Urban India (1977), Family Structure and Fertility-Emerging Patterns in an Indian City (1988), and Women, Work and Marriage in Urban India (1989). He was the co-editor of Introduction to Canadian Society (1976), Liberalization Indian and Canadian Perspectives (1995) and editor of Courtship, Marriage and the Family in Canada (1979) and Marriage and the Family in Canada Today, 2 editions (1990 and 1993). His forthcoming books are Ties that Bind-Adult Sibling Relations in Urban India and Work and Family Life Among the Gold Miners.
D. Devaraj Urs Chair was established in the University in 1976 in recognition of his tireless efforts, as Chief Minister of Karnataka, to ameliorate the quality of life of those people belonging to weaker sections of society. Some of the objectives set forth were to examine the impact of a host of welfare measures undertaken by the Government for the socio-economic uplift of the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other Backward Classes. The Chair was envisaged to act as a catalyst. among students and faculty through lectures and other media for focussing developmental issues pertaining to backward groups. Many eminent Scholars including Prof. V.M. Rao were invited in the past to occupy the Chair. On the recommendation of the University Syndicate, I had the privilege of inviting Prof. G.N. Ramu as a Visiting Professor in 1998. Prof. Ramu delivered five lectures on various developmental issues. I did listen to a couple of these lectures and found them relevant to the broad objectives of the Chair. As will be evident to the reader, in his lectures Prof. Ramu has explored how modernization theory continues to flourish in the policy corridors of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, despite its pro-western bias. Prof. Ramu has pointed out that globalization has produced imbalances in being relatively more beneficial to wealthy countries than developing nations. This feature is well illustrated in his lecture on the Bretton Woods Institutions: The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Taken together, all five lectures force the reader to reflect on one point, and that is, local. economic and social progress cannot occur in an insulated fashion because they are directly and indirectly controlled by global forces. The advocates of globalization have mesmerized the influential political leaders and economic thinkers, that future lies in yielding to globalization of the economy and therefore economic reforms are inevitable. The lectures suggest a cautionary approach in light of what is known about the positive and negative aspects of modernization and globalization as the main agendas of such global agencies as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. These are written in such a way that students, faculty and intelligent lay persons can appreciate the forces behind developmental ideals and practices.**Contents and Sample Pages**
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