Technology And Education : The Modern World As Passive Victims At The Mercy Of The Powerful West

Technology And Education : The Modern World As Passive Victims At The Mercy Of The Powerful West

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The simplistic and highly misleading view that depicts the poorer world as passive victims at the mercy of the powerful West has meant that postwar paradigms or in-arguments “for how to conceptualize and overcome development challenges” (City of Johannesburg, 2006) have failed to achieve long-term development outcomes. For example, modernization theory (MT) stated that with investment and planning from the Industrial West, all states could follow a liner process of development where traditional sectors of the economy and rigid social structures would be abandoned and replaced by modern social organisation (Nabudere, 1997; Jolly et. al., 2004; MacKinnon & Cumbers, 2011). In other words, it was believed that once Rostow’s ‘take-off’ stage was triggered, the bud would open up, the chick would break through its shell and a domino-effect would occur where Western technology and education would remove all traces of traditional society.

With the support of institutions such as the Bretton Woods and neoclassical economic theory, the modernization paradigm represented a simple and straightforward means of engaging in international trade. However, by accepting the assumptions that underdevelopment was an internal problem; that modernization was a quick fix to development; and that Western values were always superior to traditional social systems, the modernization paradigm failed. As a “big ideological hooray for postwar capitalism” (Greig et. al., 2007, p. 80), the paradigm was arrogant and ignorant of ‘real’ problems such as unequal structures that were created through the expansion of Western capitalism (Frank, 1969). In addition to positing the West as democratic, equal, and conflict-free and the rest as authoritarian and conflict-ridd...


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...d pens…a hand pump that can supply safe water…a local health clinic supplied with drugs and staff” (UNDP, 2003, p. 134)

-were about placing responsibility on wealthy people in wealthy countries to ensure that these dreams could be transformed into reality (Greig et. al., 2007). In other words, by being directed at donor-countries, the MDG reports reinforced the view that development was a developing country issue rather than a global initiative directed at all counties. Other criticisms also stated that the MDGs ignored the issue of inequality by not focusing on absolute poverty (Payne & Phillips, 2010), by posing as ‘distracting gimmicks’ that excluded gender issues such as violence against women (Antrobus, 2005) and by failing to address international policies that leave poorer countries “voiceless in shaping the new global architecture” (Bhalla & Lapeyre, 2004).

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