In Encountering Development, Arturo Escobar (1995) argues that problems of development do not exist objectively in the world, but are produced through discourse. How does discourse frame the realities and power dynamics of development schemes and interventions?
In response to this prompt, you will conduct a discourse analysis of one or more materials produced by a development actor.
Development actors can include individuals or organizations from public (government), private, or civil society sectors in the development field.
Materials can be from any time period, and can include annual reports, websites, videos, images, etc.
For your chosen materials, you should identify the development problem being addressed. Questions or themes that your paper can address include, but are not limited to, the following:
How is this problem framed?
How do the materials perpetuate, or alternatively challenge or deconstruct, common discourses on development?
From a sociological perspective, evaluate the materials consideration of issues of race, gender, nationality, socioeconomic status, or other relevant dimensions.
From a sociological perspective, evaluate the ways in which the targeted development problem is (or is not) historicized or politicized.
What are the implications of this framing for the types of solutions that are proposed?
Papers should engage with at least 3 course readings (which are screenshotted) , as well as lecture materials and sociological academic sources
Instructions in further detail:
The development actor could be: an individual (for example, a president, a person building and maintaining a particular development program, etc.), or an organization (for example, a specific foreign government, a specific department of the Canadian government, an intergovernmental development agency, or an international or local NGO).
this is my paper topic:
1. Looking at Africa’s underdevelopment-re: lack of electricity, looking at a historical approach and colonialism and the impacts it has on these countries and their lack of resources. How Akon (development actor) has found a way to provide electricity in countries in Africa using solar energy.
My advice would be to make sure to focus on the discourses that are circulated by either of these actors.
Please consult the lectures and examples in the modules page that have been provided (i.e. TOMS shoes, Inga Dam, the Ferguson reading) and the lectures in which we discuss them
Both these ideas sound so interesting! Since you are going to conduct discourse analysis and make an argument/analysis based on that, you might want to explore what materials you can find about either project and balance it with what kind of analysis/argument you want to make. You can also search for peer-reviewed journal articles on similar topics. Sometimes they can be great sources of inspiration!
The main objective is for you to make a detailed research outline, indicating what will work and how it is applicable, provide thesis etc . Make a detailed outline. THIS IS CANADIAN BASED.
Please use these notes i have provided also:
– Concern for how discourse shapes social realities
– Connect contemporary global inequalities to historical roots in colonialism
Colonialism: The conquest and control of other peoples lands and goods. (Loomba 2005, pg. 2)
The subjugation by physical and psychological force of ones culture by another a colonizing power through military and economic conquest of territory and stereotyping the subordinated cultures (McMichael p. 27)
European colonizers depicted non-European indigenous populations as backward and savage, while depicting Europeans as bringers of civilization and as superior
These notions were promulgated through ideologies of racial difference
– Read escobar 1995
– Produced through discourse
– How does discourse
– World vision, wildlife fund, cad govt, world bank
without examining Orientalism as a discourse one cannot possibly understand the enormously systematic discipline by which European culture was able to manageand even producethe Orient politically, sociologically, militarily, ideologically, scientifically, and imaginatively… P. 3
– Funny face Disney cartoons like Jaffar or scar from lion king
The United States emerged as a new global superpower (militarily, economically, and ideologically) and model for development Anticolonial legacy
More than half the people of the world are living in conditions approaching misery. Their food is inadequate, they are victims of disease. Their economic life is primitive and stagnant. Their poverty is a handicap and a threat both to them and to more prosperous areas. For the first time in history humanity possesses the knowledge and the skill to relieve the suffering of these people. . . . I believe that we should make available to peace-loving peoples the benefits of our store of technical knowledge in order to help them realize their aspirations for a better life. . . . What we envisage is a program of development based on the concepts of democratic fair dealing. . . . Greater production is the key to prosperity and peace. And the key to greater production is a wider and more vigorous application of modern scientific and technical knowledge. (Truman  1964)