Ruins and Rhythms of Life and Development after Progress

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Since the rise of capitalist modernity, communities across the world have been
convinced by the potential of development and progress. This article steps aside
from the idea of continuous and unilinear change, and examines contemporary
afterlives of broken developmentalist dreams. By assembling ethnographies from
countries politically defined as growth-engines in three different regions of the
world (Brazil, Germany and India), we propose that development no longer inspires the same aspirations about progress. By exploring how material decay and shattered expectations become intimately woven into the everyday experiences of local opulations, we show how the ruinous effects of pursuing economic growth leaves ordinary people to a life on their own terms. At this current historical juncture, we argue for the analytical productiveness of exploring ‘the after’ rather than ‘the otherwise’. This is pursued through an interrogation of the irregular rhythms of ‘life after progress’.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEthnos. Journal of Anthropology
Publication statusPublished - 2021

ID: 188454754