Tradition and Modernity:An Obsolete Dichotomy? Reflection on Binary Thinking and Indigenous Peoples

Germond-Duret, Celine (2016) Tradition and Modernity:An Obsolete Dichotomy? Reflection on Binary Thinking and Indigenous Peoples. Third World Quarterly, 37 (9). pp. 1537-1558. ISSN 0143-6597

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Abstract

The debates over Indigenous peoples and development are often framed within the discussion on the shift towards modernity, the imposition of economic liberalism and resistance against external interventions, with a tendency to see Indigenous peoples as a possible alternative to the world economic order. However, looking at many development agencies’ discourses, the idea that Indigenous peoples will actually benefit from modernity prevails. The literature is divided along these two conflicting views and dominated by binary oppositions: traditional/modern; backward/advanced; sustainable/unsustainable, etc. This article discusses the tradition/modernity dichotomy and raises the following questions: is it relevant to think in terms of modernity/tradition in the case of Indigenous peoples? What does the use of such a dichotomy imply? What is the alternative? The article demonstrates that this binary opposition is neither relevant nor desirable, and that a new analytical framework is required. Instead, it proposes using a normalisation framework, which focuses on the attempts made to ‘normalise’ Indigenous peoples and to encourage them to comply with existing social and economic models.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Third World Quarterly
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3303
Subjects:
ID Code:
176829
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
14 Oct 2022 14:35
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 11:54