Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Douglas V. Davidson

Second Advisor

Dr. Lewis Walker

Third Advisor

Dr. Subhash Sonnad

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Don Cooney


The intergenerational problems of indigence, poverty and social dysfunction that plague African societies are inextricably grounded in the broader issue of ethnocentrism in neoclassical microeconomics. Economic anthropology provides a methodological critique of the conceptual limitations of neoclassical micro-behavioral assumptions narrowly imposed on non-westem economic organization. While recognizing non-westem economic praxes, the sociological implications of strict neoclassical microeconomic agency for non-westem socioeconomic development is conspicuously ignored. The critique fails to specifically consider the impact of neoclassical ethnocentrism to non-westem sociocultural organization and improvement.

This research utilizes an African-centered, social psychological approach to examine the paradigmatic implications of rational choice criteria for microeconomic agency within African sociocultural organization. Rational choice criteria appear incapable of resolving African underdevelopment since they engender normative behavioral expectations that interdict the social reproduction of African cultural praxis. The simultaneity of diametric behavioral expectations and deep structural impetuses establishes meta-axiological dilemma as propagative social conditions for underdevelopment.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access