The word "developing" is on everyone's tongue. In newspapers, on television, and in the lecture hall, onereads or hears of the developing world, or underdevelopment, or the Third World. What do all these terms mean (deSouza, 1989)?
The adjectives used in Western countries to describe the poor countries of the world have had a curiousand changing history in the past half century according to de Souza (1989). De Souza said that the terms "primitive"and "backward" were used interchangeably until Truman's Point IV Program was set forth in 1949, after which"undeveloped" became pre-eminent. In the early 1950s, the first years of the United Nations, the term changed to"underdeveloped." By the late 1950s and during the 1960s, many colonies gained independence and seats in theUnited Nations General Assembly. The need to consider the feelings of the new U.N. representatives led to a searchfor a more hopeful sounding word. The term "the developing countries," which was subsequently improved to read"the rapidly developing countries" was adopted.