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Third World

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243 words
Social Issues

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"Third World" was a contentious and politically loaded concept, which had often been used in a pejorative manner. It is important to remember that the concept is a "social construction" and while our language does reflect our own world-view, the intention behind our speech is equally as important. That is, while this term has often been used (some would say abused) from a "colonial" mindset, it can also be used constructively as a general indicator of the shared experiences of the majority of the world's population. I do not believe the concept is a very useful analytical concept because it is neither precise nor detailed enough to be considered as a useful tool for social, political, or economic analysis. The majority of people who criticise the usefulness of the concept argue that it is too generalised and over-simplifies the diverse and complex nature of the third world. This argument can be justified, but I do not feel it is the intention of the concept to offer a precise analysis of the phenomena it points towards. This does not detract from its overall, general usefulness as an indicator of a massive body of people, which are living in diverse cultures and who have shared, and continue to share, similar social, political and economic experiences. I feel compelled to take the "middle path" towards the concept - neither total endorsement nor absolute rejection - because we are essentially dealing with humanity's attempt at understanding the ...

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