Anthropology Essay Sample on Anthropology of Development


            Anthropology is the study of human behavior and perception in their environment. Since time immemorial, many people have viewed development from different perspectives, some think of development based on academics, economics, social standards, cultural beliefs and political development. This paper is an analysis of western stage theories of development and the unilinear progress. The paper also discusses the reasons why the World Bank views Lesotho as a country that has not achieved development.

Western stage theories and unilinear progress

            Western stage theories of development refer to the philosophies that were used by people of western culture to define differences in development. A deeper study of these assumptions reveals various notions and ideas concerning development that were held by different individuals in varied generations. Western Stage theories denote a increasing differentiation between nature (the body) from culture (the mind), it also demonstrates a progressive control over nature, which becomes less personified, less objective and, less modified in nature. Thus the theories indicate that there is substantive changes in the light of development as people move from one generation to the next (Rist, 21).

            The proposers of theories of western civilization state that there is unlimited room for growth and that the issue to limitation in available resources can be overcome by controlling natural circumstances. For example, people can manipulate the scarcity in materials by taking part in producing more to avert depletion of the existing resources.  Economic developments are some of the activities that human beings can use controlling nature hence realizing a balance in limited materials (Sahilins, 33). This theory holds the belief that there is so much to be done to meet the economic development that aims at improving human lives

            Western civilization also states that the idea of development tor progress indicates some level of lack on the side of other individuals, the undeveloped. Western stage theory states that lack any developmental theory cannot define the in availability of development. The stages of development are as well noted when individuals own property like housing, finance and infrastructure and other aspect of life such as having the capacity or ability t perform a task (Grabber 23).   Western Stage Theories of development clearly uphold the belief that changes in social organization and conceptions of the person as well as technological changes such as an individual must have a sense of self in order to have a sense of property, and he or she must have property and self, inscribed in law, to have material accumulation under capitalism.

            Unilinear theories of development tend to apply a universally accepted wisdom such as the methods used by humans to achieve values, goals or objectives within the same environment.  The study of anthropology on the other hand does not hold such a notion, but fully relies on the ideas of unilinear progress often, because anthropology is also a product of the Western Enlightenment. Western Stage theories imply that the factor about time is progressive, linear, and abstract the progress also simply gradual rational mastery over the irrational, as well as the material (Rist, 30)

Some of the limitations of the western stage theories of development are that it only thinks of development based on the notion held by a few people.  The aim and nature of development vary from one place to the other and from one region to the next hence development should not be considered as a universally similar factor since what one person or place considers developed is not what the other will consider developed (Ferguson 34). The notion that social and cultural development should be similar is wrong since societies differ in the structure and belief; hence what one society term as developed is not what the other will uphold as developed.

The human race has gone through development in various sectors; the western culture considers development from social, academic, global, economic and employment front. On the other hand, some African countries are considered less developed based on economic, cultural and other life factors that affect their daily being. A country like Lesotho is considered by world bank as being less developed bas on economic factors that the countries has suffered in  the recent past. In this southern country, people suffer many diseases that should not be affecting the live of individual as far and the leaders of the World Bank are concerned. The economic development in this country cannot be admired as well; people lack enough resources to go by Ferguson 44). They scramble and struggles for the little resources found in its environment. most of the these materials, especially those of high quality ends up in the hands of the most privileged in the nation, leaving those who are poor to suffer without anyone to fight for them.

Social and political underdevelopments are some of the main features that can be used to define this southern African nation. Political instability and a hostile environment is the order of daily living in this art of the continent.  The country is ruled by power and wealth hungry individuals who are ready to hold on to such opportunities as long as they live. Democratic development is notable unheard of in the nation too. National decision making is done by those in the ruling party and the rest are expected to abide by them without questioning in anyway

Works Cited

Grabber, D. The first 5,000 years. New York, NY: Melvil House

Fabian, J The and time and the other. Belmont, CA: Cengage Leaning  

Ferguson, R The history of development. New York, NY: Sage

Sahilins, M The original affluent society. New York, NY: McGraw Hill

Rist, R. The history of development. New York, NY: Sage