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Robert Crosnoe, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Jacinto Cuvi Escobar

Interests

Latin America, Development Economics, Urban Sociology

SOC 307N • Intro To Soc Of Development

44890 • Spring 2015
Meets MWF 900am-1000am CLA 0.102
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Course Description:

In 2013 the average GDP per capita of the twenty wealthiest countries in the world was just over $50,000, while that of the poorest twenty countries was only $1,000. In low-income countries, literacy rates remain between 25% and 50% and 1 in 10 newborn children is expected to die before the age of 5. What accounts for the persisting (if not expanding) gap between rich and poor countries? Is economic growth the most important factor for improving the living standards of poor people in emerging countries? And what impact do social actors like drug cartels, the World Bank, or McDonald’s have on social well-being in the developing world?

Development is an inherently controversial concept, but remains central to the idea of improving the human condition. This course is designed to introduce students to major concepts and theories in the study of development and globalization with a focus on problems of inequality in wealth and well-being. The first part of the course will present the major concepts and tools used in the field. In the second part, we will discuss theories of economic development, exploring the causes and consequences of inequalities among countries. The third and last section will take a closer look at the social actors and forces that shape social and economic change on the ground, with a special focus on Latin America. Students with an interest in the global economic system and global inequalities as well as students seeking to add an international perspective to questions about growth, wealth, and inequality in their home country will benefit from this class.  

Required texts:

McMichael, Philip. 2012. Development and Social Change: A Global Perspective. London: Sage. 5th ed. Other required readings will be posted on Canvas.

Requirements:

2 In Class Exams

1 Short Paper

 

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