Moral Basis of a Backward Society

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Free Press, Feb 1, 1967 - History - 192 pages
Looking at how nepotism and family-centric societies sacrifice the public good, Edward C. Banfield uses a study of the people of southern Italy to argue how self-interested families can lead to poverty.

Analyzing families in southern Italy in 1955, Moral Basis of a Backward Society discusses how poverty is a result of the inability to trust or associate strongly outside of immediate family.

Challenged and argued for years, Edward C. Banfield’s study has become accept by many people in the modern age.

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User Review  - thcson - LibraryThing

I thought this book should have included more ethnographic narratives of individual villagers' lives. The author describes their mistrustful general ethos in clear terms, but the details he gives ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ben_a - LibraryThing

Grim and revealing. I read it on my way out to vacation in Maui -- not an intended irony, but a significant one. The peasant story about the "3 answers" is an education in itself. Questions: 1. How is ... Read full review

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About the author (1967)

Edward C. Banfield was a political scientist that focused on self-interested, family-centric society and how it sacrificed public good.

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