Department of Sociology
 Department of Sociology

Pamela Neumann

M.A., Latin American Studies, University of Texas at Austin



Gender, political sociology, development, Latin America, ethnography, feminist theory


A longtime San Antonio (Texas) resident, Pamela Neumann earned her B.A. cum laude in political science from Trinity University. She has held several different positions since then, including AmeriCorps member and Program Manager with City Year San Antonio, Service-Learning Coordinator at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and Communications Specialist for Food for the Hungry in Nicaragua. Pamela's thesis research examined the trajectory and effects of women's participation in community development in Nicaragua.


SOC 307N • Sociology Of Development

44520 • Fall 2015
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm CLA 1.106


In 2013, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the top 10 wealthiest countries was $48.5 Billion, more than 25 times higher than the combined GDP of the rest of the world ($1.86B). The average life expectancy in the U.S. is 79 years, while in other countries people may live less than 50 years. Why, despite decades of foreign investment, and efforts by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other institutions, do such global inequalities persist? In this course we will examine issues related to global poverty and inequality using a sociological lens. In the first half of the course, we will consider the historical legacy of colonialism and the rise of the “development industry,” as well as some of the various theoretical explanations for “underdevelopment”. In the second half of the course, we will delve into a series of specific topics related to development in our globalized world, including foreign aid, NGOs, microcredit, gender, the environment, democracy, and violence and insecurity. Throughout the course, students will be expected to critically engage with important questions such as: How do we define “development”? Who benefits from globalization and why? What are the social, political, and economic consequences of global inequality? How should such inequalities be addressed?

Required texts:

McMichael, Philip. 2012. Development and Social Change (5th edition)

Other readings will be posted on Canvas and/or are available online.


Class Participation: 10%

Short Reflection Papers (3 papers, 2-3 pages each): 25%

Exams (2): 40%

Final Paper: 25% 


Profile Pages

  • Department of Sociology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E 23rd St, A1700
    CLA 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712-1086