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Culture and Development


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 5
  • Convenor: Kalpana Wilson
  • Assessment: a 1500-word annotated bibliography (40%) and 2500-word essay (60%)

Module description

This module aims to introduce you to different understandings of culture, cultural processes and practices within the field of international development. It will focus on the way culture - and how it is understood - impacts on every aspect of our lives. It will explore the connections between culture and space use, how we interact with others and how knowledge is produced, including research and policy outcomes. From formal colonialism to contemporary forces of globalisation, this module outlines how culture is central to our understandings of power relationships, difference and inequality, from local to global scales.

Indicative module content

  • Culture, Colonialism and Resistance
  • Gender, Culture and Development
  • Neoliberalism, Culture and Markets
  • Diasporas, Culture and Development
  • Culture and Education: from National Liberation to Decolonizing the University
  • ‘Culture’ as Racial Discourse: the ‘War on Terror’

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you should be able to:

  • critically assess different understandings of culture and understand their implications in the field of development studies and globalisation
  • understand the contested nature of cultural practices and institutions
  • understand theoretical and policy approaches to processes of cultural change, including different strategies of development
  • understand the relationship between culture and power
  • draw on a range of theoretical approaches to construct and develop an argument in relation to the themes of the course.