SOW-SCS101
Comparative societal questions
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleSOW-SCS101
Credits (ECTS)3
Category-
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Social Sciences; Social and Cultural Sciences;
Lecturer(s)
Lecturer
dr. L.W.J. Knippenberg
Other course modules lecturer
Lecturer
prof. dr. M. Lubbers
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
prof. dr. M.J. Spierenburg
Other course modules lecturer
Lecturer
prof. dr. M.J. Spierenburg
Other course modules lecturer
Examiner
prof. dr. M.J. Spierenburg
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2017
Period
PER1  (04/09/2017 to 12/11/2017)
Starting block
PER1
Course mode
full-time
Remarks-
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesNo
Pre-registrationNo
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
Aims
Knowledge: Students obtain knowledge and insight in differences and similarities concerning the key societal questions posed in anthropology and development studies and sociology,.
Skills: Students learn about multiple ways to approach key societal issues.
Attitudes: Students learn to adopt a critical attitude towards a range of theoretical perspectives.
Content
Anthropology used to focus on pre-industrial societies whereas sociology used to focus on richer industrial societies. In the last decennia both disciplines focus on a broader range of societies, while development studies scholars primarily look at developing countries. The questions that are asked in these disciplines with regard to organisationally and technologically different societies run parallel to a large extent. They all focus on societies and not only on individuals and they all involve the same aspects of societies. These societal characteristics are the institutions, narratives and technologies used by citizens in a society to provide for themselves, the inequalities existing between them and the extent to which cohesion (solidarity) exists and conflicts occur between population groups.
Students study subject matter from the three disciplines. Students evaluate the relation of current sociological problems to the classical main questions of inequality, rationalisation (i.e., technology) and cohesion (i.e., conflict). They learn that anthropology asks questions on what keeps societies together, what fractures occur, and what causes certain societies (‘tribal’ ones in particular) to have so little inequality. Furthermore, students are given an introduction to development studies, learning that this discipline critically studies “the deliberative acceleration of modernization, interpreted as the synchronized fourfold transition of economy, government, political system, and society” (WRR, 2010. Less Pretention, More Ambition: development policy in times of globalization. Amsterdam University Press p. 49). This perspective is expanded by adding an extra dimension, i.e. the ecological dimension, and the consequence adding this dimension has for the above-mentioned four transitions, through the idea of sustainable development.
Levels
Master

Test information
Papers

Required materials
Articles
Ultee, W.C. (2015). Problem Selection in the Social Sciences: Methodology, Pp. 49-55. In NJ.D. Wright (eds.), International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (Second Edition). Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Book
Coleman, J. S. (1990). Foundations of Social Theory. London: Harvard University Press. Chapters 1 and 2
Book
Knippenberg, L. (1994). Development and Modernity. In: Frans Schuurman and Luuk Knippenberg. Blinded by Rainbows: anti-modernist and modernist deconstructions of development. Saarbrücken: Verlag für Entwicklungspolitik Breitenbach (pp.90-106).
Articles
Knippenberg, L. (2004). Sustainable development. Scope. (pp. 1-14).
Articles
Dobson, Andrew (1996. Environment Sustainabilities: an analysis and a typology. Environmental Politics 5.3 (PP. 401-428).
Articles
Redclift, M. (2005). Sustainable development (1987–2005): an oxymoron comes of age. Sustainable development, 13(4), 212-227
Book
Ferguson, J. (1997). Anthropology and its evil twin. “Development” in the constitution of a discipline. In: F. Cooper and R. Packard. International development and the social sciences: Essays on the history and politics of knowledge. pp.150-175
Articles
McDermott Hughes, D. (2001). Cadastral Politics: The Making of Community-Based Resource Management in Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Development and Change, 32(4), 741-768.
Articles
Li, T. M. (2014). What is land? Assembling a resource for global investment. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 39(4), 589-602.
Book
Coleman, J.S. (1994). A rational choice perspective on economic sociology. In Neil Smelser and Richard Swedberg (eds.) The Handbook of Economic Sociology (1st edition), pp.166-180. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

Instructional modes
Lecture
Attendance MandatoryYes

Seminars
Attendance MandatoryYes

Tests
Papers
Test weight1
OpportunitiesBlock PER1, Block PER2