Department of Sociology

Pamela Neumann

M.A., Latin American Studies, University of Texas at Austin



Political sociology, gender, development, Latin America, ethnography, social theory


Pamela Neumann is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Sociology. Her current research examines women’s experiences navigating the judicial process in Nicaragua in cases of domestic violence. She has also conducted research in Peru on community perceptions of environmental contamination. Her work has been published in Gender & Society, Social Problems, Qualitative Sociology, and Latin American Politics and Society. Pamela is also a co-author of Invisible in Austin: Life and Labor in an American City (UT Press); see here for more information about that project. Her paper “‘We are not retarded': Explaining Collective Inaction in a Company Town” won the SSSP’s Conflict, Social Action, and Change Graduate Student Paper Award in 2015.


SOC 307N • Sociology Of Development

44520 • Fall 2015
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM CLA 1.106


In 2013, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the top 10 wealthiest countries was $48.5 Billion, more than 25 times higher than the combined GDP of the rest of the world ($1.86B). The average life expectancy in the U.S. is 79 years, while in other countries people may live less than 50 years. Why, despite decades of foreign investment, and efforts by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other institutions, do such global inequalities persist? In this course we will examine issues related to global poverty and inequality using a sociological lens. In the first half of the course, we will consider the historical legacy of colonialism and the rise of the “development industry,” as well as some of the various theoretical explanations for “underdevelopment”. In the second half of the course, we will delve into a series of specific topics related to development in our globalized world, including foreign aid, NGOs, microcredit, gender, the environment, democracy, and violence and insecurity. Throughout the course, students will be expected to critically engage with important questions such as: How do we define “development”? Who benefits from globalization and why? What are the social, political, and economic consequences of global inequality? How should such inequalities be addressed?

Required texts:

McMichael, Philip. 2012. Development and Social Change (5th edition)

Other readings will be posted on Canvas and/or are available online.


Class Participation: 10%

Short Reflection Papers (3 papers, 2-3 pages each): 25%

Exams (2): 40%

Final Paper: 25% 


Curriculum Vitae

Profile Pages

  • Department of Sociology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E 23rd St, A1700
    CLA 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712-1086