Lecture 6, 6/10

Thinking Small: A Bottom-Up Approach to Development
From the “top-down” approaches of the cases discussed so far, in this class we will shift to taking a “bottom-up” approach to understanding both technology and poverty. We will discuss the “appropriate technologies” movement in the wake of some of the consequences of large-scale, capital-intensive projects. This movement promoted a philosophy of accommodating indigenous cultures and producing benefits for the rural poor through direct access to ‘appropriate’ technologies.

Required readings
– Schumacher, E. F. 1973.”Buddhist Economics” and “Social and Economic Problems Calling for the Development of Intermediate Technology” In Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered, pp. 50-59, 161-179. Harper and Row Publishers.
– Bilger, B. 2009. “Hearth Surgery. The Quest for a Stove that Can Save the World.” The New Yorker, December 21.
– 2012. “‘Clean cookstoves’ draw support, but they may not improve indoor air quality.” The Washington Post.
– Hans Rosling, The Magic of the Washing Machine.

Background readings
– Rogers, E. 1962, 2003. “Elements of Diffusion.” In Diffusion of Innovations. Free Press.
– The issue of ‘sustainable development’ raised in the UN’s Brundtland Report (Read chapters 1 and 2).
– Cowan, R. S. 1987. “The Consumption Junction: A Proposal for Research Strategies in the Sociology of Technology.” In W. E. Bijker, T. P. Hughes, & T. J. Pinch (Eds.), The Social Construction of Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology, pp. 261-280. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
– De Laet, Marianne and Annemarie Mol. (2000). “The Zimbabwe Bush Pump: Mechanics of a Fluid Technology,” Social Studies of Science 30(2): 225–63
– Bornstein, D. 2007. “The Light in my Head Went On.” in How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas. Oxford University Press. (p. 21-40)
– Srinivasan, J. 2012. “Looking beyond Information Provision: The importance of being a Kiosk Operator in the Sustainable Access In Rural India (SARI) Project, Tamilnadu.” Special Issue, Information Technologies & International Development Vol 8.