Anthropology

Activism for Development and Social Justice

Module code: 843L6
Level 7 (Masters)
30 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Essay, Coursework

On this module, you will address the ways in which activists and activism have sought to engage in development and social justice. You'll explore and evaluate different approaches to activism, grounding this in theories of social mobilisation and citizenship, and will work through a series of practical examples, drawing on empirical material produced by anthropologists and others, to explore how activism has been used to address issues of development and social justice. In doing so, you will seek to build on the material introduced in previous terms on theories of social change and approaches to development and social justice, to explore how different kinds of activisms seek to bring about change.

The module will explore the contributions that imaginative, insurgent, disruptive and chaotic forms of social action have to make to development, and will cover a range of forms of collective action from the use of petitions and lobbying of representatives, to the use of the arts in "interrupting" everyday life to bring some of its elements into question, to mobilisation for protests and peaceful demonstrations, to non-violent direct action and info-activism.

Module learning outcomes

  • Develop an analytical understanding of the different forms that activism in pursuit of development and social justice can take, and be able to evaluate their relative strengths and weaknesses
  • Appreciate the contributions that activism can make to development and social justice
  • Show an advanced grasp of theories of social mobilisation, citizenship and social action
  • Demonstrate knowledge of empirical literature on the use of activism for development and social justice
  • Develop advanced skills in critical engagement with activism for development and social justice through practical experience and reflection on that experience