Sociology of Development

By Prof. Sambit Mallick   |   IIT Guwahati
Learners enrolled: 449
The objective of the course is to familiarize students with the current issues and debates concerning development. The concept of development, as historically conditioned, has had several connotations, starting from incessant preoccupation with economic growth during the years following independence to the current engagement with the human and social development with active inclusion of local communities in the process. The course attempts to understand the current practices of development by an analysis of the approaches, agencies and issues involved in it.

INTENDED AUDIENCE:  UG and PG students of Humanities and Social Sciences, Sciences and Engineering.
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 25 Jul 2022
End Date : 14 Oct 2022
Enrollment Ends : 08 Aug 2022
Exam Date : 30 Oct 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week-1 : Historical location of the idea of ‘development’
Week-2 : End of colonialism, rise of nationalism in the Third World and the desire for development
Week-3 : Classical sociology and the notions of social change Ideas of evolution and progress
Week-4 : Modernization theory – I
Week-5 : Modernization theory – II
Week-6 : Modernization theory – III
Week-7 : Critiques of modernization theory
Week-8 : Dependency theory – I
Week-9 : Dependency theory – II
Week-10 : Critiques of dependency theory
Week-11 : Limits to growth thesis and post-development
Week-12 : Globalization and development

Books and references

1. R. Klitgaard, Adjusting to Reality: Beyond "State Versus Market" in Economic Development, ICS Press, 1991. 
2. J. Hage and K. Finsterbusch, Organizational Change as a Development Strategy: Models and Tactics for improving Third World Organizations, Lynne Rienner Pub, 1987. 
3. N. Uphoff, M.J. Esman and A. Krishna, Reasons for Success: Learning from Instructive Experiences in Rural Development, Kumarian Press, 1998. 
4. J. Isbister, Promises Not Kept, Kumarian Press, 1994. 
5. J.T. Roberts and A. Hite (eds.), From Modernization to Globalization: Perspectives on Development and Social Change, Blackwell Publishers, 2000. 
6. H. Alavi and T. Shanin, Introduction to the Sociology of Developing Societies, Macmillan, 1982, pp. 1-29. 
7. A. Escobar, Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World, Princeton University Press, 1995, pp. 21-54. 
8. G. Esteva, ‘Development’ in W. Sachs, ed., The Development Dictionary, Orient Longman, 1997, pp. 8-34. 
9. K.C. Alexander, The Process of Development of Societies, Sage, 1994, pp. 8-39. 
10. R.A. Nisbet, Social Change and History, Oxford University Press, 1969, pp. 104-136; 159-188. 
11. A. Inkeles, ‘A Model of the Modern Man: Theoretical and Methodological Issues’ in C.E. Black, ed., Comparative Modernization, The Free Press, 1976, pp. 320 348. 
12. W. Moore, Social Change, 1978, pp. 94-118. 
13. D.C. Tipps, ‘Modernization Theory and the Comparative Study of Societies: A Critical Perspective’ in C.E. Black, ed., Comparative Modernization, The Free Press, 1978, pp. 62-88. 
14. M. Blomstrom and B. Hettne, Development Theory in Transition – The Dependency Debate and Beyond: Third World Responses, Zed Books, 1984, pp. 27-65; 79-97. 
15. D.H. Meadows, D.L. Meadows, J. Randers and W.W. Behrens III, The Limits to Growth: A Report for the Club of Rome’s Project on the Predicament of Mankind, Pan Books, 1974, pp. 17-24; 45-87. 
16. E.F. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered, ABACUS, 1977, pp. 10-32. 
17. I. Illich, Toward a History of Needs: Throwing the Baby out with the Bathwater, Bantam, 1977, pp. vii – xiv; 131-172. 
18. F.J. Schuurman, ‘Paradigms Lost, Paradigms Regained? Development Studies in the Twenty-first Century’, Third World Quarterly, Volume 21, No. 1, 2000, pp. 7-20.

Instructor bio

Prof. Sambit Mallick

IIT Guwahati
Sambit Mallick is Professor of Sociology at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati. He specializes in the sociology of science and technology, and also includes historical sociology and philosophy of the social sciences among his research interests. His research and teaching are at the intersection of philosophy, social theory, and science and technology studies. His courses under NPTEL have attracted a large number of students even from the remote areas in India and abroad.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 30 October 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Guwahati .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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