Social Change, Culture and Development (L2107N)

15 credits, Level 5

Autumn teaching

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?


50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar


50%: Coursework (Essay)
50%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is 150 hours of work. This breaks down into 20 hours of contact time and 130 hours of independent study.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.