Does the Third World exist?

Essay by camillaworldUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, June 2003

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What do we mean by the term 'Third World'? It can be considered to be a name for a certain type of coherency and homogeneity among a group of people in the world. So, to rephrase the question, does there exist between the general regions that Third World is to encompass, namely Africa, Latin America and Asia, a unity and sameness? Also, what distinguishes them from the rest of the world? This leads on to ask of the nature of these supposed similarities so that it can be ascertained whether they are a reality today. There are various possible determining categories in which to view Third World coherency such as the economics, geography, history, politics and psychology of the region. This essay will briefly deal with each separately, although they all interrelate with each other very closely. Different theories in the past have offered their views, favouring the coherency of one or a few categorisations over others, and some of these are now anachronistic.

The categorisation is deeply political and important economically; as will be shown, it has been seen to be about power for subjugated people and it determines credit rating for financial support. Also, why do we ask this title question? It is really so that we can understand the assumptions and complexities that shape this concept in order approach the question of development in an open minded way

The Political and Psychological Third World

The term 'Third World' was first coined in 1952, by the Frenchman Alfred Sauvy to give form to the desire of those countries that lacked access to economic opportunities, to find a 'third way.' The first and second ways, being those of the capitalistic First World and the socialist/communist Second World. It was politically motivated since these countries had been subordinated by both...