SDC-30306 Sociological and Anthropological Perspectives on Development


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. S Hobbis
Lecturer(s)dr. J de Koning
dr. S Hobbis
Examiner(s)dr. J de Koning
dr. S Hobbis

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

ENP-22803 Theories and Themes: Sociology, and RSO-21306 Political Sociology for Development, or equivalent

Continuation courses:

YSS-82812 BSc Thesis Sociology of Development; RSO-34306 Theorizing Development: Implications for Research


This course focuses on sociological and anthropological contributions to development studies. The aim is familiarization with theoretical discussions and controversies, critical analysis and positioning. Students learn how to recognize concepts from across the field and situate them within the relevant debates. Particular themes will be treated in more depth: the cultural turn in development, sustainability, conservation, governmentality, social movements, mobility and migration. These themes are illustrated with case-studies from rural and urban settings. Throughout the course, but particular at the end, attention is paid to methodological approaches and the possible role of sociologists and anthropologists in the practice of development.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- differentiate current sociological and anthropological perspectives on development;
- apply various theoretical approaches and concepts to specific activities and exercises in the tutorial;
- analyse critically the value of different perspectives in assigned readings;
- evaluate different theoretical concepts by relating them to specific urban and rural cases.


The course consists of 2x2 lecture hours per week, and one obligatory tutorial of 2 hours each week. For each tutorial one group of students prepares a presentation and an exercise in which the literature of that week is applied on a specific case. The students write four individual assignments that receive collective feedback by the teachers.


The final mark is based on three components:
- written test with open questions: 60%;
- the average of 4 individual assignments: 30%;
- the grade of the group tutorial: 10%.


Literature will be available in Learning Environment@WUR.

Compulsory for: BINInternational Development StudiesBScA: Sociology of Development5MO
Restricted Optional for: MIDInternational Development StudiesMScA: Sociology of Development1AF