The ‘Catastrophic Consciousness of Backwardness’: Culture and Dependency Theory in Latin America and the Caribbean

New Formations - ISSN 0950-2378
Volume 2021 Number 103

The ‘Catastrophic Consciousness of Backwardness’: Culture and Dependency Theory in Latin America and the Caribbean
Michael Niblett, pages 113-133
DOI: 10.3898/NEWF :103.07.2021

Abstract

This article examines the relationship between economic and cultural dependency. Its analysis is framed by Enrique Dussel’s methodological insistence on the international transfer of surplus value as the essence of dependency. Beginning with an examination of the heyday of classical dependency theory in Latin America and the Caribbean in the 1960s and 1970s, the article moves on to consider the increasing importance accorded culture as a site of power and struggle, focusing on the work of Sylvia Wynter. The second half of the article turns to the literary registration of dependency. Arguing that literary works can provide a barometric reading of the pressures of underdevelopment in advance of political-economic analyses, I consider Patrícia Galvão’s Parque Industrial (1933) and Olive Senior’s ‘Boxed-In’ (2015). Published, respectively, some forty years either side of the heyday of dependency theory, these paradigmatic fictions are examples of both the diagnostic and active role of literature in responding to the depredations of dependency.

SORRY - you are not registered as being permitted online access to the full text of this article

You have the following options:

  1. If you are viewing this via an institution or academic library you can ask that your institution takes out a Subscription to this journal.
  2. If you already have a Personal Subscription please login below


    Forgotten your username / password? Click here to locate

  3. Purchase an annual Personal Subscription
    PRINT + DIGITAL personal subscription (£45 / year)
    DIGITAL personal subscription (£30 / year)
    A Personal Subscription provides immediate access not only to the single article you are seeking, but also to all past and future articles in this journal up to the expiry of your annual (calendar year) subscription.
  4. Purchase immediate access to this single article (UK£7.00) - Buy article Coming Soon

To cite this article
Michael Niblett (2021) The ‘Catastrophic Consciousness of Backwardness’: Culture and Dependency Theory in Latin America and the Caribbean, New Formations, 2021(103), 113-133. https://doi.org/10.3898/NEWF :103.07.2021

Share this