SOAN 316

Cultural Politics of Global Development

This course examines how culture, identity, and ethics are implicated in economic development efforts around the globe and here at home. Through a critical examination of major development theories and their assumptions about the nature of the global system and the meaning of difference within it, the course explores whose ideas about development matter, how they manifest in terms of particular policies and politics, and what stakes they pose for different social groups. In particular, the course explores how race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, health, environment, and education, among other things, have structured development differences. In doing so, the course interrogates the role that colonialism, science, capitalism, and activism have played in shaping development norms and challenges to them. The course engages interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approaches to development through a combination of theoretical and ethnographic texts, as well as experiential learning. This course counts as one of the core courses for the Global Development Studies Designation.