Anthropology and Development: The Ambiguous Engagement
Development is a worldly activity, carried out by people with a stake in its outcome; it is the consequence of public planning and execution, and, to an increasing extent, of private investment. In the first development decade of the 1950s, it was an idealistic venture, designed to improve the lot of the common man in the new nations—the former colonies. Emphasis was placed on activities that might increase income and improve social welfare. That many of the means were inappropriate to these ends (in particular, rapid and premature industrialization) became evident in the second and third decades (1960–1980), and development as a scholarly topic has been marked by vigorous theorizing and polemical debate.