General Exam Questions

Development Area
General Exam Questions
Four Hours
Paper I.
1. Trace the development of theories in the sociology of development. For each
theoretical perspective (modernization, dependency, etc.), contextualize the
emergence of the perspective by describing social, economic, and political
conditions and relations that affected developing regions. In your elaboration,
identify the key theorists that made major theoretical contributions and describe the
strengths and weaknesses of the theories they developed.
2. “Perhaps one of the most important advances over the past thirty is in gender-based
research and understandings of development challenges.” Discuss with reference to
ONE sectoral area of development theory, explore the ways in which the shift from
WID (Women in Development) to GAD (Gender and Development) to GAG (Gender
and Globalization), evaluating the specific ways in which new wave in gender theory
advanced or set back those understandings.
3. What constitutes good governance and to what extent has good governance been
advanced by decentralization and democratization efforts at the sub-national level?
4. Theories of class and marginality have been replaced by theories of segmentation
and citizenship as frameworks for analyzing poverty and development. Discuss,
assessing whether the changes that you observe are indicative of paradigm shifts in
the sociology of development.
5. While events of the second-half of the 20th century have profoundly transformed
arrangements governing work and its routinization in households and employment,
some patterns endure relatively unchanged. Discuss the changes and continuities in
the intersections between work and households, and describe a theoretical
framework that integrates individual and structural views of households and work.
6. EITHER: Taking any two countries as your examples, explore the factors that have
led over time to divergences in their processes of educational expansion. Use the
insights of the literature on inequalities of educational opportunity while at the same
time taking account of comparative historical literature on national development.
Evaluate the concept of ‘Social Origin” as it relates to educational stratification.
Discuss the variety of theoretical literatures that underpin this concept. Identify and
describe three theoretical explanations for the effect of social origin on academic
achievement. Then, with examples drawn from empirical research, show how this
perspective contributes to policy debates over the development strategies of states
and international agencies.