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 Policy, People and Resources in Comparative Perspective 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 thematic and conceptual development discussions are treated in more depth: the cultural turn in development, landscape approaches to development; institutions and assemblages, social movements and political activism. These themes are illustrated with case-studies from rural and urban settings. Throughout the course attention is paid to 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:
- assess the value of different sociological and anthropological perspectives on development;
- apply various theoretical approaches and concepts to changes in rural and urban settings;
- assess the usefulness of different perspectives in professional contexts;
- show understanding of the theoretical discussions by accomplishing the written assignments.


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: 70%;
- the average of the 4 individual assignments: 20%;
- the grade of the group tutorial: 10%.

The written test consists of essay-like questions about the literature and the lecture materials. No books are allowed to be taken to the examination room. Each student should have completed the four assignments in order to be allowed to participate in the exam.
The assignments will be individually marked. They should be no longer than 1 A-4 (using line spacing 1, and font 12), or max 550 words (free font and spacing). The requirements for a good assignment (content, style, typography) will be explained during the lectures. Each assignment is worth 0-10 points.; the average mark of the assignments contributes to 20% of the final mark.
Group tutorial. Students will be organised in groups. Each group has to prepare a presentation and exercise for one of the Thursday tutorials, which will be graded.


Literature will be available on blackboard.

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