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Home Theories of Under Development Dualism and the Concept of Dual Societies

Dualism and the Concept of Dual Societies:


Definition and Explanation:


It is the international-structuralist model which highlighted the concept of dual societies. This means that there exist rich nations and poor nations at world level; and a few rich accompanied with a majority of poor people in the developing countries. Thus, dualism is a concept which represents the existence and persistence of increasing divergences between rich and poor both at world level and at country levels.


Components/Elements of Dualism:


Prof. Hans Singer presents the four components of dualisms:


(i) The different sots of conditions amongst which some are superiors while others are inferior, and they coexist in a given space at a same time. For example, the co-existence of modern and traditional methods of production in urban and rural sectors; the co existence of wealthy, highly educated elites with the masses of illiterate poor people; and the coexistence of powerful and industrialized wealthy nations with the weak, impoverished peasant societies in the international economy etc.


(ii) The co-existences which we mentioned above are chronic, not just the transitional. Thus it is not a temporary phenomenon which in time will eliminate the discrepancy between the superior and inferior elements.


(iii) The degrees of superiority or inferiority have an inherent tendency to increase, rather diminishing As the productivity gap between a DC industry and its counter-part in LDCs goes on to widen day by day.


(iv) The inter relations between superior and inferior elements are of such nature that superior element does little or nothing to pull up the inferior.


International Dualism:


There are four components of international dualism:


(i) There exist greater differences in between different countries and geographical regions regarding per capita incomes.


(ii) These differences are not temporary and short termed, rather they are chronic. As the standard of living enjoyed by an average Pakistani and that of an American is different for centuries, not for decades.


(iii) These differences go on increasing, rather decreasing. As the growth rates of GNP and that of GNP per capita have really been widened between developed countries and under-developed countries.


(iv) The inter-relationships between rich and poor countries in international economy are of such a nature that they have promoted the growth of the rich countries at the cost of poor countries.


Factors of International Dualism:


The following factors have been found responsible for international dualism:


(i) The DCs have a power to control and manipulate world resources and commodity markets to their advantage.


(ii) The foreign investment activities by MNCs.


(iii) The privileged access of rich nations to scarce raw material.


(iv) The export of unsuitable and inappropriate science and technology.


(v) The transfer of out-dated and irrelevant systems of education to societies where education is considered as a key component in the process of development.


(vi) Dumping policies pursued by the rich countries which discourage industrialization efforts of UDCs.


(vii) The harmful international trade theories and policies which have confined the UDCs to export just primary products.


(viii) The harmful aid policies pursued by donors which help in perpetuating the international dualistic economic structures.


(ix) The creation of elites in poor countries who are influenced by the external ideas.


(x) The transfer of unsuitable methods of university training for unrealistic and often irrelevant international professional standards, for instance the externally conceived degree requirements for doctors, engineers, technicians and economists.


(xi) The international brain-drain which has encouraged the international mobility to the rich nations because of handsome salaries etc.


(xii) The demoralizing 'Demonstration Effect' of luxury consumption on the part of wealthy people both at home and abroad, as propagated in through foreign movies and magazine advertisements.


No doubt, most of the problems arising out of international poverty are due to international capitalistic system, yet the poverty of UDCs can not be entirely attributed to the behavior of rich countries. Thus we conclude international dualism with the remarks given by Hans Singer:


"The growth in the rich countries has led to develop the most sophisticated, costly and capital intensive technologies, mortality reducing and diseases control measures etc. All such have led to create population explosion, rising unemployment and inability to develop their own technological capacities".


Domestic/Local Dualism:


Above we told international dualism where we showed that greater differences exist regarding social and economic aspects between the rich countries and poor countries. The same like situation also exists in case of poor countries at the domestic levels. It is shown by the following arguments:


(i) The standards of living vary greatly between the top 20% and the bottom 40% of the population. The majority of the rich reside in big cities like Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad in Pakistan, while the great cluster of mass poverty are generally found in the rural regions.


Not to talk of disparities in life standard of the rich and the poor of the UDCs, there also exist the pockets of great wealth co-existing with spreading slums. The case of exalted buildings and increasing Katchi Abadies (Muddy Shelters) in Karachi is before us. The phenomenon of inferior and superior not only exists in respect of distribution of wealth, income and power, it is also available in the technological nature of UDCs industrial production. The advanced manufactured large sector using capital intensive technologies co exists with labor intensive, small scale activities catering for limited local needs.


(ii) The coexistences of a few rich accompanied by mass poverty, and the craze to use capital intensive technologies by a few producers accompanied by labor intensive technologies by majority of the producers go on increasing, rather disappearing.


(iii) The gap between the rich and the poor, and between modern and traditional methods of production shows signs of growing even wider, not only within individual UDCs, but also among the 3rd world countries as a group. Countries like South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia etc. have experienced higher growth rates of per capita. While Pakistan India, Bangladesh and Ghana etc., have shown a little growth in per capita income. Again, the gap between the rich and the poor within the dualistic economies is also widening.


(iv) In case of UDCs one does not find any relationship between the rising wealth of modern enclaves and improvement in the living standards of traditional society. In other words, in case of dual societies one does not find the existence of "Spread Effects". It means that the growth of the superior is keeping inferior more weaker and inferior.


Relevant Articles:


Nurkse's Model of Vicious Circle of Poverty (VCP)
Nelson's Low Level Equilibrium Trap
Leibenstein's Critical Minimum Effort
Big Push Theory By Rosenstein Rodan
Linear Stages Theory and Rostow's Stages of Economic Growth
Harrod-Domar (H-D) Growth Model
Adelman and Morris Stage Theory
International Structuralist Models
Dualism and the Concept of Dual Societies
Dualistic Theories
Rural-Urban Migration Model
Neo-Classical Counter Revolution Theory
Traditional and Modern Growth Theories
Romer's Model of Endogenous Growth Theory



Principles and Theories of Micro Economics
Definition and Explanation of Economics
Theory of Consumer Behavior
Indifference Curve Analysis of Consumer's Equilibrium
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Equilibrium of Demand and Supply
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Introduction to Development Economics
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