Spring 2024

What is Development? Rethinking Solutions for Health, Sustainability, and Global Justice

Listed in: Anthropology and Sociology, as SOCI-220


Li Zhang (Section 01)


What is “development”? What makes some places more or less “developed”? Does the process of development unfold simply as a steady “march of progress” and modernization, or also as a contested historical process of social change? This course is an introduction to development sociology and the interdisciplinary field of development studies. We will study the history and major theories of development and globalization and examine some of the most pressing contemporary issues of health, sustainability, and social justice. By tracing the historical transformations between colonialism, the development era, the neoliberal globalization project, and sustainable development, this course will show how development stems from unequal power relationships between and among peoples and countries of the Global North and Global South.  Students will learn to think critically about past ideas and proposals for development and modernization and search for better solutions for the twenty-first century. Readings include foundational texts and cutting-edge research in development sociology and interdisciplinary development studies. In addition to the lectures, students will cultivate critical thinking and improve skills in reading, writing, discussion, and creativity through dialogue, creative group projects, and independent research.

Limited to 20 students.  Spring semester.  Professor Zhang.

How to handle overenrollment: SOC majors first, followed by class year (first year, sophomore, junior, etc.), and Five College students.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: an emphasis on readings, discussion, creative group activity, independent research, and written work.

SOCI 220 - LEC

Section 01
M 12:30 PM - 1:50 PM WEBS 219
W 12:30 PM - 1:50 PM WEBS 219


Other years: Offered in Spring 2024