A major, eclectic work of extraordinary scope and unprecedented vision, "The Three Worlds" is much more than a study of the contemporary Third World. It examines the constituents of development--cultural as well as political and economic--throughout the world from prehistory to the present.
Peter Worsley first considers existing theories of development, synthesizing the Marxist approach with that of social anthropologists and identifying culture--in the sense of a shared set of values--as the key element missing in more traditional approaches to the sociology of development. Worsley then examines successive forms of rural organization, develops a new definition of the urban poor, considers the relation of ethnicity and nationalism to social class and to each other, and, finally, discusses the nature of the three worlds implied in the term Third World.
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