University of Sussex Business School

Social Change, Culture and Development (L2107N)

Social Change, Culture and Development

Module L2107N

Module details for 2022/23.

15 credits

FHEQ Level 5

Module Outline

This module starts from the observation that development is more than economic change and involves important social and cultural aspects. It begins with an interrogation of the way development practices and ideas are embedded in cultural contexts, and specifically how the development industry is historically and culturally entangled in Western conceptions of progress, rationality, and the individual. Against a view of culture as 'tradition' and an impediment to development we will examine different cultural conceptions of progress. This involves both alternate visions of future development as well as the negative impacts that development policies and interventions have on local people, communities and cultures. Questions of power and cultural relativism inevitably arise: what happens when different interests and commitments collide, and who or what determines the module development interventions take?

Module learning outcomes

To demonstrate an awareness of different theoretical approaches to culture.

To summarise the basic debates over the relationship between development, modernisation and social and cultural change.

To apply theoretical insights to the evaluation of the relative strengths and weaknesses of different forms of development policy and intervention

To apply an anthropologically critical perspective to accounts of development intervention and social change.

Essay (1500 words)Semester 1 Assessment Week 1 Thu 16:0060.00%
Coursework components. Equal weighting for all components.
EssayT1 Week 8  

Submission deadlines may vary for different types of assignment/groups of students.


Coursework components (if listed) total 100% of the overall coursework weighting value.

TermMethodDurationWeek pattern
Autumn SemesterLecture2 hours11111111111
Autumn SemesterSeminar1 hour11111111111

How to read the week pattern

The numbers indicate the weeks of the term and how many events take place each week.

Dr Elizabeth Mills

Assess convenor

Mx Emilia Moscardini-Powers

Assess convenor

Dr William Lock

Assess convenor, Convenor

Prof Anne-Meike Fechter

Assess convenor

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