thenoobyorker replied to your post: nenfea replied to your post: akagoldfish replied…

What if it’s used as label that is quantitative and not simply qualitative?

How?  Both the notion of development and civilisation are exceptionally charged.

What is civilisation, how do we define it and thus how do we measure it?  How can definitions of civilisation not reflect western-centric presumptions as to what civility is?  For example if we went to a mostly untouched tribe living deep in the forest couldn’t they consider us uncivilised or barbarian for allowing people to go homeless and starve?  Yet we may consider them uncivilised because they don’t drink tea with their pinkies out.

Development is a little less tricky.  If you’re using it broadly you run into the same problem (developed how, to what end, and why do we consider that to be development?).  However contextually it can specify a particular aspect for study.  That sort of use should be on a case by case basis, rather than as a blanket term to homogenise the intricacies of different societies, cultures and states.  Even then there’s a problematic presumption: we’re using the terms developed and undeveloped, assuming that the people being studied would consider ourselves to be in a position worthy of aspiration.

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