Welcome to I181: Technology & Poverty

Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays 10-12.30
Place: 210 South Hall
Instructors: Janaki Srinivasan & Neha Kumar

In this course, we encourage students to examine the interplay between technological systems, economic activities, social structures and practices in the lives of ‘the poor.’ Our goal is to challenge the ways in which students think about how ‘technology’ is defined and what this term covers. Similarly, we will discuss how the term ‘poverty’ is understood and measured. Students will come to understand poverty ground-up as ‘the poor’ experience and describe it, not only in terms of high-level indicators. Through the course, we will focus on the roles played by individuals and societies as active agents of technology adoption and use, in the context of their constrained socio-economic conditions.

We will look at several phases of the application of technology towards poverty alleviation. Starting with the green revolution, to the push towards industrialization, the ‘appropriate technologies’ movement, and the more recent upsurge in entrepreneurship and digital technologies, we will discuss various case studies from different parts of the world. We will also focus on specific application areas such as health care, education, and entertainment, and examine the impact of different technologies in these domains.

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