Sociology and development in the 1990s: Critical challenges and empirical trends

Alejandro Portes, A. Douglas Kincaid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Recent transformations of global economic structures have been accompanied by divergent national, regional, and local patterns of development, including severe socioeconomic crises for many Third World countries. At the same time, established conceptualizations of development processes have been called into question by divergent models of social change, such as those of world systems and postmodernist theorists. These phenomena present major analytical challenges for sociologists specializing in the study of development. New technologies and production processes, changing forms of international dependency, and the appearance of new social actors are among the most important topics for study. We argue that political economy, based on midrange propositions and comparative historical methods, constitutes the most fruitful approach to this task.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-503
Number of pages25
JournalSociological Forum
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • dependency
  • development (sociology of development)
  • postmodernism
  • restructuring (industrial restructuring)
  • world system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Sociology and development in the 1990s: Critical challenges and empirical trends'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this