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Development and Culture

Deborah Eade
Price: $ 15.95

Culture has been defined as the sum of all the resources, be they material, intellectual, emotional, or spiritual, that people draw upon to give meaning to their lives. All models of development are essentially cultural in that they reflect perceptions of and responses to the problems faced by human societies. Yet despite international recognition of their inter-connectedness, represented by the 1995 report of the World Commission on Culture and Development, published by UNESCO, most development policies and interventions are based on an assumption that 'modernization' in the Western sense is the ultimate goal. Culture is therefore regarded either as an impediment to progress, or as something to be kept outside the economic and political spheres and consigned to the areas of religion and ritual. This anthology, written by a variety of aid practitioners and scholars, shows the need to go beyond viewing culture merely as an important dimension of development, to seeing development itself as a cultural expression, and culture as the basis upon which societies can develop through self-renewal and growth.

Deborah Eade is series editor of the Development in Practice Readers.

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