More on language

While I’m on the topic of terms of the left, there’s an interesting term that I’ve noticed being used in New Internationalist mag. Instead of the old and troublesome terms like “developing world”, “third-world”, “global south”, “non-Western” etc., they consistently use the term “majority world”. I like this both in concept and in practice. Lets hope it picks up currency in contemporary culture.

  • Interesting, its an improvement in a way but it troubles me too. The whole minority/majority concept is troubling, as long as one group gets looked at as the majority then their will be minorities, and if being the majority is used as a reason for empowerment then that means putting down minorities. Its a delicate space. The phrase makes an important point about western dominance, but does it guide towards any solution?

  • Thanks for your thoughts Abe. I agree with you completely. As with all terms that try to boil down a complex set of factors into a single term it has some major issues. I like it myself because it is a recognition that the “western” or “northern” world (of which I am a part) are in fact a minority, and yet culturally, economically and militarily, we wield so much influence. It is sobering, and I think important, to recognise how disproportionate this influence is.

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