intermediate technology


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intermediate technology

production techniques which avoid the NEW TECHNOLOGY and capital-intensive nature of Western production systems, but are an improvement on indigenous methods. The use of intermediate technology is increasingly proposed as APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY for some THIRD WORLD countries (see also UNDERDEVELOPMENT) which lack the infrastructure to adopt advanced technology satisfactorily and may not benefit economically or socially from export-oriented capitalist production (see also DEPENDENCY THEORY, DEPENDENT INDUSTRIALIZATION, NEOCOLONIALISM, UNEQUAL EXCHANGE. GREEN REVOLUTION).

Following E. F. Schumacher's (1973) prescription that ‘small is beautiful’, local schemes for irrigation, conservation, organic farming, etc., using indigenous skills and locally available resources, have been encouraged, enabling the population to exert more control over their lives. Such schemes are also proposed as ‘ecologically friendly’, avoiding the ENVIRONMENTAL DEPLETION that may result from inappropriate enterprise, and as providing a preferred basis for long-term development. (Such development is increasingly proposed as ecologically appropriate for more ‘advanced’ societies.) See also ETHNOSCIENCES, MULTI-CULTURALISM, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.

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