Tagged: Development

Profiting from Precarity

In Italy during the 1970s, labour movements responding to and resisting the rigidity of assembly-line employment celebrated precarious patterns of work; precarity was something beautiful (precario bello). This, Stevphen Shukaitis observes, “is an eminently sensible thing to say when you think about what the kind of ‘security’ and ‘stability’ is created by working in a petrochemical factory or on an automobile assembly line for forty years.” More recently, popular discussions of precarity in the Anglophone world have tended to orient...

Holding Up the Women Who Hold Up Half the Sky

  Recently, Netflix added the widely acclaimed documentary Half the Sky to its online streaming library.  The film, inspired by journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn book of the same name, follows six American celebrities as they travel throughout Asia and Africa addressing some of the health care, educational, and economic issues that oppress women and girls across the globe. Throughout the film, the viewer clearly sees the impact women and girls of the developing world have on both Kristof...

Reflections on Voluntourism

    After spending five weeks conducting ethnographic research in Nepal, I was ready to return to the United States and many of the luxuries of a developed nation. I knew that it would take time to adjust my sleep schedule. I also figured that it would take some time to return to the fast-paced life of New York. What I did not expect was the overall difficulty I would have returning to a developed country. The air conditioning is...

A Sociologist Volunteers Abroad

  In ten days I’ll get on a plane from New York and travel for 15 and a half hours to Kathmandu, Nepal.  I’ll stay in Nepal for four weeks, living in a volunteer house with 13 foreigners, all volunteering at various organizations and institutions in and around Kathmandu.  Some volunteers will work in hospitals or medical clinics, while others will teach English in local schools, community centers, and orphanages.  There is even a program through the Ministry of Agriculture...

Development and Human Rights

In the last decade of the 20th century, development thinking shifted from a growth oriented model to the concept of human development as a process of enhancing human capabilities. This paradigmatic shift, articulated in the writings of Amartya Sen, moves beyond growth of income and captures the quality of growth in terms of social and human development and the meaningful participation of, and fair distribution of benefits for all concerned. The United Nations took up this approach with the Human...