Reification and Alternatives to Development

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Creator: 

Bueckert, Michael

Date: 

2013

Abstract: 

This thesis evaluates the post-development concept of “alternatives to development” from the perspectives of critical political economy and Western Marxism. Post-development theorists have long critiqued how development depoliticizes social life and suppresses alternative political imaginations. In formulating alternatives to this mode of social change, they emphasize place-based politics of cultural difference, premised on notions of coloniality, economic difference and autonomy. As I demonstrate, these theoretical positions are limiting, for they unnecessarily close off post-development theory from potential strategies and allies. Alternatively, I argue that the Marxist concept of reification provides an alternative analytical framework which transcends these limitations. By highlighting the role of capitalist class relations in shaping subjectivity and limiting political imagination, the concept of reification thereby illuminates the conditions which make thinking and acting “otherwise” materially possible, while expanding the scope for social action beyond the margins of the capitalist world system.

Subject: 

SOCIAL SCIENCES Sociology - Social Structure and Development

Language: 

English

Publisher: 

Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 
M.A.

Thesis Degree Level: 

Master's

Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Political Economy

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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