SOCI-220 CBL: Global Inequalities/Social Justice
Fall for 2017-2018
R 11:00 - 1:30pm
*CBN 211

Global inequalities refer to the systematic differences in the distribution of socially valued attributes such as education, income, information, health, and influence between people living in different areas of the globe. We will begin by discussing the systemic causes of global inequalities. Then, for the bulk of the course, we will read on topics centered on manifestations of inequality and approaches to addressing them: modern slavery, health disparities, sex trafficking, labor and sweatshops, poverty, human rights, and disaster relief. Our readings will be about what it feels like to experience these inequalities as well as analyses of current efforts to alleviate the inequalities. At the same time, each student will be interning at an organization seeking to address global inequalities.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None


SOCI-220-01 Global Development and Social Justice
Fall for 2017-2018
MW 3:30 - 4:45 PM

Global development is a term that refers to efforts around the world to make societies better (by improving people’s lives), especially for people who have lower income and less access to important things such as education and health services. This course explores the efforts being made to alleviate the suffering of people around the globe. Some of the questions we will answer include: What are people doing to try to help people around the world? Are those efforts effective? Why or why not? What are some of the unintended consequences that occur as a result of these activities?

Out of the uneasy mix of missionaries, conquistadors, colonists, and humanitarians who populate its prehistory, poverty alleviation (in conjunction with the exercise of power) has evolved in the past six decades to become the field of global development as we know it today. Its dominant institutions became nationally and formally organized after World War II awakened the American conscience in a new way to the suffering of people in far-flung parts of the world, while at the same time, powerful national interests shaped the development enterprise more broadly. The goals of poverty alleviation have been realized to some extent; standards of living have risen to unprecedented levels since the 1990s. However, there are also apprehensions that global development is failing in some important ways. Some critics within the industry wonder how much people are really benefiting.

This course is organized in roughly three sections: First, we examine research on what development interventions look like on the ground. What do people do, and how do people respond? How effective are the programs and projects? What are the outcomes?

In the second section, we examine various explanations for why we are seeing particular outcomes, including those that focus on development’s historical roots, global political and economic structures, and organizational logics.

Finally, the last section will look at various answers to the question, “How, then, should we proceed with global development?” A core part of one’s answer to this question depends on the definition of well-being one assumes. We will examine what “development as freedom” implies, as well as other conceptions of the good life and the use of happiness indexes around the world.

The learning objectives of this course are:
•To understand global development from perspective of the person the programs are intended to help
•To think critically about global development interventions
•To learn about the ways that people are trying to measure and improve human well-being around the world
Credits: 4
Prerequisites: None
More information
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