Third World  

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"Third-world countries usually produce raw materials that are then transformed into capital by first world nations. This happens in industry, but it also happens in the arts. What was revolutionary about bossa nova is that a third-world country was creating high art on its own terms, and selling that art around the world." --Caetano Veloso in "Why bossa nova is 'the highest flowering of Brazilian culture", 2013, The Guardian [1]


"As a kind of camera obscura Fanon, Bruckner [in The Tears of the White Man] offers the white man's inverted version of Fanon's Black Skin, White Masks. While Fanon speaks of the colonialist and racist mechanisms that generated self-hatred on the part of the colonized, Bruckner speaks of the ways that Third Worldism itself has imbued white Europeans with irrational guilt and insecurity."--Race in Translation (2012) by Robert Stam, Ella Shohat

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The term "Third World" arose during the Cold War to define countries that remained non-aligned with either NATO or the Warsaw Pact. The United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Western European nations and their allies represented the First World, while the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, and their allies represented the Second World. This terminology provided a way of broadly categorizing the nations of the Earth into three groups based on political and economic divisions. Since the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the term Third World has decreased in use. It is being replaced with terms such as developing countries, least developed countries or the Global South. The concept itself has become outdated as it no longer represents the current political or economic state of the world.

The Third World was normally seen to include many countries with colonial pasts in Africa, Latin America, Oceania and Asia. It was also sometimes taken as synonymous with countries in the Non-Aligned Movement. In the dependency theory of thinkers like Raúl Prebisch, Walter Rodney, Theotonio dos Santos, and Andre Gunder Frank, the Third World has also been connected to the world-systemic economic division as "periphery" countries dominated by the countries comprising the economic "core".

Due to the complex history of evolving meanings and contexts, there is no clear or agreed-upon definition of the Third World. Some countries in the Communist Bloc, such as Cuba, were often regarded as "Third World". Because many Third World countries were economically poor, and non-industrialized, it became a stereotype to refer to poor countries as "third world countries", yet the "Third World" term is also often taken to include newly industrialized countries like Brazil and China now more commonly referred to as part of BRIC. Historically, some European countries were non-aligned and a few of these were and are very prosperous, including Austria, Sweden, Finland and Switzerland.

Etymology

See also

Third World (band), the Jamaican reggae band




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Third World" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jan-Willem Geerinck. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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