We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Enslaving Development: An Anthropological Enquiry into the World of NGO

MANNAN, MANZURUL (2010) Enslaving Development: An Anthropological Enquiry into the World of NGO. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This thesis investigates the conflict of values that occurs in Bangladesh between NGOs and wider society. It examines the dynamics of BRAC, a large NGO, in order to illustrate the dissonance and inconsistencies in development discourse. Tension is evident in development, which is a multi-stranded process, in which each strand may complement or contradict the others. The process may also be understood in terms of the societal change that results from an attempted synthesis of the contradictory, clashing values of Western agency (individualism, equality, market, etc.) and Bangladeshi rural cultural life (community, hierarchy, subsistence, etc.).

Development processes, backed by strong finance, introduce Western ideas and theories to the South. NGOs subscribe to a global policy language in transforming these ideas into locally implementable programmes and projects, ignoring the diverse social, cultural and political settings in which they work. When villagers come into contact with these projects, they are pushed towards a sense of individualism, but instead of developing this individualism, they produce a new form of collectivism. In this hybrid environment, actors engaged in development adhere neither to the old values nor to new ones.

Projects aimed at modernization, itself, have undergone change from a blue-print approach to a process approach. In reality, top-down approaches are renamed but not reformed into bottom-up approaches. NGO projects targeting women, notably through micro-credit programmes, contribute to the rise of women-only organisations as well as matri-focal groups that constitute a challenge to male-dominated village associations. Micro-credit also polarises the traditional notions of money into moral and immoral money to produce new arenas of dispute. Overall, religious groups oppose such NGO interventions.

Conflict occurs within NGOs themselves. This is evident when BRAC, as an organisational entity, seek to accommodate to Western, Bengali and Islamic cultural traits which further generate conflict and are managed by a culture of fear or indulgence. Unless knowledge is shared by both parties there is the strong likelihood of increased conflict to the detriment of both NGOs and the local people.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Bangladesh, NGO, Conflict, Development, Hierarchy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Anthropology, Department of
Thesis Date:2010
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:06 Jul 2010 14:18

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter