Centre-Periphery Andre Gunder Frank: Sociology YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Andre Gunder Frank

  • Analysis of underdeveloped nations of Latin America, including Honduras and Mexico
  • Used dependency theory
  • West exploits labour and resources in the developing world.
  • West gets rich at the expense of the developing world
  • Modernization theories extracted from historical experience of developed countries not appropriate
  • Different from situation of underdeveloped third world countries
  • Some nations have become independent from colonial rule but are still dependent for their development on modem First World countries
  • Development is a myth which obscures the reality of exploitation
  • Exploitation is done through unequal trade and exchange
  • Third World countries in a permanent state of socio-economic dependency on dominant capitalist states
  • Metropolitan countries of the world or core/centre
  • Dependent states- satellite or periphery
  • Most affected are peasants ā€” remain poor
  • Only elite and some urban middle class develops in a situation of ā€˜unevenā€™ development.
  • Third World countries cannot follow western path
  • Not experienced colonialism
  • Many Third World countries were advanced before they were colonialized
  • Formulated the concept of the ā€˜development of underdevelopmentā€™
  • Stated that ā€¦ ā€œUnderdevelopment is not a natural condition but an artifact created by the long history of colonial domination in the Third world countries.ā€

ā€˜Metropolis-Satelliteā€™ Model

  • To explain how the mechanism of underdevelopment works
  • Metropolis-satellite relationship origin in the colonial period
  • Conquerors implanted new cities in the third world
  • Facilitated transfer of economic surplus to western countries
  • National cities then became satellites of Western metropolis
  • It is not limited to international level but also penetrates to the regional and local levels of third world countries
  • A whole chain of constellations of Metropolis and satellites
  • Extract economic surplus in the form of:
    • Raw materials
    • Commodities
    • Profit

From Third World villages to local capital to regional capital, national capital and finally to Western countries


  • Criticized on many grounds - in the long term Dependency Theory is not sufficient to explain why some countries are developed and others are developing.
  • But Peet and Hartwick said, This model attempted to place a country into a large global system
  • It stressed external causes of underdevelopment rather those internal to the peripheral society
  • Emphasis on economic rather than social interaction or cultural interaction


Q. 1. Who coined the phrase ā€˜development of underdevelopmentā€™ ?

(1) A. R. Desai

(2) G. Myrdal

(3) Samir Amin

(4) A. G. Frank

Answer: 4

Q. 2. Why is it not right to compare the experiences of the developed Western countries to the Third World countries?

1. Developed Western countries exploited the Third World countries

2. Developed Western were never colonialized

3. Their experiences are not the same because of their history

4. None of these

Answer: 3

#Sociology of Development

#Dependency Theories of Underdevelopment #Centre-periphery (Frank)


āœ Manishika