AN237 Half Unit
The Anthropology of Development
This information is for the 2021/22 session.
Prof Katherine Gardner
This course is available on the BA in Anthropology and Law, BA in Social Anthropology, BSc in Social Anthropology, Exchange Programme for Students in Anthropology (Cape Town), Exchange Programme for Students in Anthropology (Fudan), Exchange Programme for Students in Anthropology (Melbourne) and Exchange Programme for Students in Anthropology (Tokyo). This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.
This course explores how anthropologists have evaluated, criticised and contributed to development. Focussing on both 'Big D' development (schemes of improvement or projects) and 'little d' development (change which occurs as the result of economic growth or modernisation) the course shows how anthropological insights have been used to change practices from within as well as critique development from the outside. From anthropological work which seeks pragmatic engagement to that which deconstructs development as an oppressive and power laden discourse, the course aims to give students a broad background to the field. Topics covered include the role of the state; local politics and power relations; gender and empowerment; development as discourse and 'aidnography'; neo liberalism and global capital; corporate social responsibility; markets and micro credit; and the relationship between 'tradition' and modernity. Throughout, the course will draw upon a broad range of ethnographic examples.
10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the MT. 1 hour of lectures in the ST.
This year, some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of virtual lectures, classes and online interactive activities. The contact hours listed above are the minimum expected. This course has a reading week in Week 6 of MT.
Students are expected to prepare discussion material for presentation in the classes based on the core ethnographies covered in the course. Formative work will include a mock exam question.
Gardner and Lewis 2015, Anthropology and Development: Twenty First Century Challenges; Ferguson, J. 1990 The Anti-Politics Machine: Development, Depoliticisation and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho; Cambridge University Press; Li, T, 2014 Land's End: Capitalist Relations on an Indigenous Frontier; Karim, L., 2011 Micro-Finance and its Discontents: Women and Debt in Bangladesh; Elyachar, J. 2005; Markets of Dispossession: NGOs, the Market and the State in Cairo; Scherz, C. 2014. Having People, Having Heart: Charity, Sustainable Development, and Problems of Dependence in Central Uganda; Scott; J. 1998, Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition have Failed.
Detailed reading lists are provided at the beginning of the course.
Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.
Course selection videos
Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.
Important information in response to COVID-19
Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.
Total students 2020/21: 25
Average class size 2020/21: 9
Capped 2020/21: No
Value: Half Unit
Personal development skills
- Team working
- Problem solving