Intended as supplemental reading in courses on theories of development, this book augments traditional core texts by providing students with more depth on about two dozen recent and emerging theories that have appeared over the past 20 years. This period has seen a decline of the traditional "grand" theories that attempt to apply to all people all the time in favor of "micro theories" that focus more on individual differences, so a book like this actually points the way toward the future rather than dryly reviewing the past. In addition, the author inspects the changing ways in which the concept of "theory" itself has been interpreted during this period, and he concludes with a chapter suggesting future directions.
Part II: Products of Social Movements
During the last half of the 20th century, two major social watersheds emerged to redirect several societal groups out of their traditional identity-and-power channels and into newly charted sociopolitical passageways. The first watershed appeared after the close of World War II and extended into the 1950s and beyond. The second surfaced in the 1960s, then continued in somewhat altered form throughout the rest of the century.
The first of the pair of movements was postcolonialism. In the aftermath of World War II, most of the regions of the world that had been held as colonial territories by European nations, the United States, and Japan won political independence. First were the Asians. Japan's wartime defeat brought freedom to Korea, parts ...