chapter  3
17 Pages

Change as direction

Negative and positive change The previous chapter argued that verbal conceptualisations of change can reflect value judgements and even a political stance by connoting such change positively or negatively. Certain usages of words like ‘decline’, ‘progress’, ‘development’ and ‘crisis’ do so by attributing a quality to events in time. The words ‘progress’ and ‘development’ imply the belief that ongoing changes will take us closer to an ideal point of arrival, with ‘development’ also implying that ‘social change occurs according to a pre-established pattern, the logic and direction of which are known’ (Nederveen Pieterse, 1991: 6). The word ‘decline’, on the contrary, denotes a movement away from the ideal. When applying such ideals to a country or a community by using these words, one expresses a political judgement.