Epistemology of development
In point of fact, especially in developing countries, many attempts of economic development and social transformation fail to materialise as planned.
The reasons are many: top-down procedures of planning; concepts, objectives and models copied from outside; socio-cultural disregard for the population concerned; processes of transfer of technology, knowledge, systems of thought and patterns of conduct, which serve the ideological and material interests of dominant groups etc. (See Between Subaltern Participation And Democratic Cooperation)
The result is an increasingly unbalanced and detrimental development, at the rural, urban, national and international levels.
To this end, such methods are to be explored and devised as will reveal from within the social internal dynamics and the historical dialectics of the processes of change.
The formulation of hypotheses, the interpretation of data, the theories and solutions usually put forward in social sciences, are focused in the individual research scholars who initiate and conduct the research work as a professional activity. They address themselves to fellow professionals, policy makers or development agencies for the reason that the specific needs of these sponsors represent an obvious market for the ideas.
As a consequence, the research methodologies and the knowledge made available do generally mirror the prevalent socio-economic structural set-up more than the people's needs and aspirations. The production of social knowledge has become an economic undertaking, and knowledge a trade commodity the exchange value of which is, by and large, dependent upon the prevailing system of social relations.
A few basic questions
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