Culture and Economic Development
AbstractThis chapter begins by noting that culture as an element in economic development in the Third World has been largely neglected in traditional development economics, most writers either seeing culture as an obstacle to development or ignoring it altogether. Recently a shift in thinking has occurred whereby culture is now more widely seen as being more central to the development process, especially where a human-centered rather than a goods-centered view of development is taken. A particular aspect of culture that has been seen as important has been cultural diversity; it is argued that the beneficial aspects of diversity can only be realized when they are seen within a global ethical framework. The chapter goes on to consider the destructive and constructive role of conflict in bringing about social change, and discusses the pervasive effects of globalization on the economies and cultures of the world, arguing that international integration can lead to national disintegration. Next the chapter looks at the role of tourism as a significant economic and cultural force in developing countries. Finally the essay concludes with some recommendations for policy.
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