Social Analysis of Inequality, Poverty and Development

Modular value: 20 credits

Lecturer: Martin Rew

Social Development concerns have been a well recognised part of the development policy debate for at least the past twenty years. However, until recently these debates have largely concentrated on the role of gender and forms of civil society intervention. Increasingly, donors and development practitioners are beginning to recognise the need for a greater sociological and social anthropological understanding of poverty and inequality, particularly in terms of how and why varying forms of power and authority are exerted, and what implications this has on dynamics of social cohesion and exclusion. This has led to an emerging focus on understanding the relevance of sociological categories of class, religion, ethnicity and gender in both disaggregating levels of poverty and inequality, and in understanding the processes which foster poverty and inequality in development.

The aim of this course is to introduce students to some of these key concepts and debates in order to enable critical evaluation of how well sociological understandings of development inform the social analysis of exclusion, poverty and inequality, as well as what implications this might have for development policy.

Topics covered include:

  • Introduction to the Social Analysis of Poverty, Inequality and Social Exclusion: Causes, Forms and Economics
  • Social Development and Civil Society
  • Ethnicity: Citizenship, Rights and Inequality
  • Exclusion as Social Process I: The Anthropology of Development
  • Identity, Inequality and Exclusion: The role of the middle class
  • Identity, Inequality and Exclusion: Gender
  • Identity, Inequality and Exclusion: Violence against Women
  • Identity, Inequality and Exclusion: Religion and Faith-Based Organisations 
  • Exclusion as Social Process II: The Anthropology of Development, Meaning, Symbol and Language
  • Film

By the end of the module you will be able to:

  • Describe and explain the relationships between social dynamics, poverty, inequality and development in developing country contexts and regions. 
  • Critically evaluate the key concepts and theories used in debates around social analysis and development. 
  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the policy implications resulting from the social analysis of poverty and inequality in development.
  • Evaluate and use a number of analytical frameworks involved in the context of the social analysis of development.

Teaching and learning approach

The module will be delivered using a range of teaching and learning methods in a highly participatory environment, including interactive lectures, group discussions, student presentations, case studies, videos and invited speakers.

Assessment

The assessment for the module will consist of: 

  • Critical reflection on your presentation, worth 30% of the marks 
  • A 3,000 word essay worth 70% of the marks.

The presentation topics will be drawn from the session plan and will enable students to actively engage with material, theory and ideas.

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