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Beyond Dependency Theory: National and Regional Patterns of Underdevelopment in Guatemala

Carol A. Smith
American Ethnologist
Vol. 5, No. 3, Political Economy (Aug., 1978), pp. 574-617
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/643758
Page Count: 44
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Beyond Dependency Theory: National and Regional Patterns of Underdevelopment in Guatemala
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Abstract

The historical and spatial pattern of Guatemala's underdevelopment is examined here, with special attention being paid to the differentiation of the national core and western periphery in the twentieth century. It is argued that Guatemala's underdevelopment cannot be traced to its long-standing export dependency, but rather to the uneven expansion of export-generated capital and its varying impact on relations of production in different parts of Guatemala's economy in the twentieth century. Evidence supporting this position consists of census data on changing patterns of urban growth and occupational characteristics of Guatemala's (operationally defined) economic cores and peripheries. This evidence is measured against explicit models of dependency structures and underdevelopment, as well as field and historical data on changing patterns of relations of production.

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