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Locating the ‘Local’ in the Diversity and Development Debate: Analysing Evidence from the Field

Krishan Takhar

Journal of Development Policy and Practice, 2023, vol. 8, issue 1, 24-42

Abstract: The locals of Neemrana are perceived as kaamchor [slackers] and rude, and as dehatis entrenched in the ‘traditional culture’. To Gunnar Myrdal, the developed ‘modern man’ is the obverse—one who transcends tradition. Then, the locals need ‘development’ and ‘modernisation’ as they merely have ‘culture’. Thus, are the locals merely cultural beings? This article argues through the help of empirical data that the locals are not only ‘cultural beings’ but also ‘development beings’. This is shown through studying Jhunda (a tall shurb), which is simultaneously a part of both culture and economic development as well. Thus, it is argued that culture/development may not be separate entities as widely believed. Although, the dominant development machinery working through the instrumentalities of the state and private industry in the region have excluded the local culture and people, the researcher argues that the epistemic treatment of the locals and thus their inclusion has possibilities of offering value to the development process at large. But how do we situate and theorise the locals and local culture and their potential contributions in the larger development theory? To address the same, the locals and local culture are treated as a ‘diversity’ as in multiculturalism.

Keywords: Developing countries; development theory and practice; participation; private sector (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023
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DOI: 10.1177/24551333221127820

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