Knowledge and power: Guided social change in the Philippines
Fischer, Michael M. J.
Doctor of Philosophy
This is a study of Third World developers--those involved in the development process in their own countries. Using an integrated development project in the Philippines as an example, it tries to portray the complexity of the position of these Third World elites as nationalists, post-colonial intellectuals and activists engaged in an endeavor which has the potential to make their countries independent but which often reinforces dependence on the First World. What these developers want to accomplish, how they see their work, some of the unintentional consequences of their projects and the criticism leveled against them by their colleagues will be explored. Third World intellectuals engaged in development have come under increasing criticism from a sector of their peers who maintain that modernization theory is based on false Western premises and development, as currently practiced, only serves to perpetuate dependence. They feel that social science theory has aided in the maintenance of Western hegemony and therefore needs to be reformulated i.e. indigenized, in order to rid it of its colonial bias. The literature on modernization and development is perhaps most closely associated with colonialism because of the ideology of progress which underlies both colonialism and development, development's role in pacification campaigns, and the fact that old colonial powers heavily contribute to development projects in their former colonies. Given such a critique of their efforts, why do developers persist? My contention is that a combination of factors contribute to this paradox. As Third World intellectuals calling for appropriate social science models maintain, education based in Western models is important. Theoretical rigidity, however, is mediated by career goals, personal past, bureaucratic milieu and acceptance of government modernization goals.