Negative stereotyping of majority world

Other Names:
Promulgating popular myths of underdevelopment
Hegemony of development images

Westerners (those from the "developed world") perceive people of the majority ("developing") world, and commonly portray them in their public culture, from the assumption that their difference is in some ways unacceptable and inferior. In this way the "backward" countries of the majority world have been robbed of their right to be different. Their particular indigenous cultures and traditions have been denied validity and recognition.


Popular myths of underdevelopment include: (1) The Third World is always in crisis; (2) The climatic conditions inhibit development; (3) Overpopulation is responsible for hunger, disease and warfare; (4) There is not enough food to feed all the people; (5) Countries can't develop because of corrupt governments; (6) Violent tribal conflict is responsible for many of the problems; (7) Third World people and their culture are still backward; (8) Aid and technological assistance from the North are necessary to solve the problems; (9) Aid-giving countries are great because they are so generous.


According to a mythical assumption inherent in Eurocentrism, the European countries and the USA are at the top of the evolutionary ladder and are therefore the most developed parts of the globe. The non-western countries, on the other hand, are believed to be on a lower scale and are thus deemed to be inferior. This process led to economic, political and cultural hegemony of Europe. The western project involved the imposition of imported values and practices – all in the name of development. Today, we have a fully fledged development industry generating massive amounts of capital on the basis of Eurocentric thinking.


Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 1: No PovertyGOAL 2: Zero HungerGOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 6: Clean Water and SanitationGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 14: Life Below WaterGOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal
Date of last update
06.05.2019 – 17:53 CEST