Sociology of Development

The Sociology of Development

From Modernization to the “Institutional Turn”

Alejandro Portes

The Elements of Social Life and the Placement of Institutions.Sociology's contribution to the study of international development registers several notable contradictions. On the one hand, it has produced over the years many significant contributions, engaging the minds of some of the discipline's most distinguished scholars. On the other hand, development never achieved a central role in the discipline, particularly in the United States. Until recently, there was no section of the American Sociological Association specifically devoted to this topic. Until very recently, it appeared that any sociologists who became famous had to dedicate some time to saying something significant about Third World development. This was as true for scholars embracing a consensual functionalist paradigm as for those working from a Marxist-influenced conflict perspective. Yet in the end those ideas proved to be of little practical use and thus as peripheral as the very countries whose situation they addressed. Read more.


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Sociology of Development: 1 (3)

Vol. 1 No. 3, Fall 2015
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eISSN: 2374-538X
Frequency: Quarterly
Published: March, June, September, December


About The Journal

Sociology of Development is an international journal addressing issues of development, broadly considered. With basic as well as policy-oriented research, topics explored include economic development and well-being, gender, health, inequality, poverty, environment and sustainability, political economy, conflict, social movements, and more.