Perhaps the most commonly held assumption in the field of development is that middle classes are the bounty of economic modernization and growth. As countries gradually transcend their agrarian past and become urbanized and industrialized, so the logic goes, middle classes emerge and gain in number, complexity, cultural influence, social prominence, and political authority. Yet this is only half the story. Middle classes shape industrial and economic development, they are not merely its product; the particular ways in which middle classes shape themselves - and the ways historical conditions shape them - influence development trajectories in multiple ways. This is the story of South Korea's and Taiwan's economic successes and Argentina's and Mexico's relative 'failures' through an examination of their rural middle classes and disciplinary capacities. Can disciplining continue in a context where globalization squeezes middle classes and frees capitalists from the state and social contracts in which they have been embedded?
• Focuses on the middle classes, a subject not examined as central in development theory since the heyday of the modernization paradigm • Detailed analysis of South Korea, Taiwan, Argentina and Mexico ideal for area/country specialists • Re-introduces history into development theorizing, appealing to economic historians, historical sociologists, and development theorists
Preface; 1. An introduction to middle classes, discipline and development; 2. Middle classes and development theory; 3. Discipline and reward: rural middle classes and the South Korean development miracle; 4. Disciplinary development as rural middle class formation: proletarian peasants and farmer-workers in Argentina and Taiwan; 5. From victors to victims? Rural middle classes, revolutionary legacies, and the unfulfilled promise of disciplinary development in Mexico; 6. Disciplinary development in a new millennium: the global context of past gains and future prospects; Appendix A; Appendix B; Appendix C; Bibliography; Index.