Reading & Group Discussion Questions

Source for readings and email responses: Vogeler and de Souza, Dialectics of Third World Development.

Each set of questions is due BEFORE the scheduled class period for each topic for the appropriate semester. The questions for each group of chapters listed below will be discussed in small groups at the beginning of the class period and Dr. Vogeler will summarize the answers at the end of the class period. Much of the assigned readings will be difficult for you to understand. You are not expected to understand all the material in the chapters but you must be able to articulate the major perspectives with supporting information after our class discussions. The beginning will be hard but the end will be rewarding! Be sure to raise questions in class and to see me if you have any difficulties with the course readings and materials.

Suggestion: print out your questions and answers: bring them to class to add comments based on the class discussions and lectures; and then study these notes for the tests.


 Just copy all the material between each set of grey lines -- the topical heading, general question, chapter number, and questions, and the concluding question -- and then paste them into the email message box. Type your answers to all the questions in the email. Email your responses to ivogeler@uwec.edu from anywhere in the world! In the Subject box of the email message, use your UWEC email user name, 111, and the chapter numbers that are due. For example, Subject:allenklx,111,chapters3-5 [add the chapter numbers to match the particular assignment!]. Follow this example exactly: no spaces, no /, etc!!!!!! And then click on Send. Incorrect or incomplete SUBJECT messages will be deleted and result in missing work.
Climate and Resources
What is your opinion/reaction/ideas about how weather and other environmental factors affect(ed) the level of human development or civilization of cultures and people around the world?

Chapter 3 [Email responses start with Chapter 3-5!]
1. According to Huntington, what are the climatic handicaps of Asia?
2. What common characteristics do the three types of tropical civilizations have?
Chapter 4
3. Document how Hodder is not an environmental determinist?
Chapter 5
4. Are Third world countries generally poor in natural resources?
5. Where have problems of climate been overcome in the U.S.A.?

How do the readings support and/or challenge your opinions expressed above? Reflect on the contents, the arguments, and the ideologies and provide specifics in your response. Don't say the readings support my opinions -- they can't because the readings are contradictory!
Cultural Traditions
What is your opinion/reaction/ideas about how cultural characteristics, particular religions such as Hinduism, affect(ed) the level of human development or civilization of cultures and people?

Chapter 6
1. How does the "sacred cow" protect small-scale farmers from starvation?
2. What groups think the Hindu doctrine of ahimsa causes the mismanagement of cattle?
3. Why are "irrational" practices, such as old-age homes for cows and natural selection, rational?
Chapter 7
4. What does Heston say is the central issue in the Indian cattle complex discussion?
5. What is cultural determinism?

 How do the readings support and/or challenge your opinions on Religion expressed above? Reflect on the contents, the arguments, and the ideologies and provide specifics in your response. Don't say the readings support my opinions -- they can't because the readings are contradictory!


Chapter 8
1. Define the concept, Blaming the Victim.
2. Provide the examples of blaming the victim from rural and urban U.S.A. and from the Third World.
3. How is blaming the victim an ideological process?
4. How does Ryan distinguish between exceptionalism and universalism?
5. What is social Darwinism?
6. Who are the victim blamers?
Chapter 9
7. Cite three specific examples of blaming the victim from Disney's comics.
8. Why is blaming the victim such a popular and powerful explanatory framework?

How do the readings support and/or challenge your opinions on Cultural Traditions expressed above? Reflect on the contents, the arguments, and the ideologies and provide specifics in your response. Don't say the readings support my opinions -- they can't because the readings are contradictory!


European Colonialism: Plantation Agriculture
What is your opinion/reaction/ideas about how European colonialism in general and plantation agriculture in particular affect(ed) the level of human development or civilization of cultures and people around the world?

Chapter 10
1. What characteristics of plantation agriculture result in underdevelopment?
2. What positive attributes of plantations does Beckford cite?
3. What fundamental distinction does Beckford stress repeatedly?
Chapter 11
4. List the production, income, and welfare benefits from United Fruit Company.
5. Why is United Fruit's image blacker than its record, as presented by May and Plaza?
Chapter 12
6. What reasons would Tobis cite for question 5?
7. What motivates United Fruit to diversify in North America? How does it finance this diversification?
8. Why do multinational conglomerates, such as United Fruit, develop "puppet capitalists" in Third World countries?
9. Explain the role of "associate producers" in the collapse of the Union of Banana Exporting Countries in 1974.
10. Make a list of issues that conservatives, liberals, and radicals raise when they discuss plantation economies.

How do the readings support and/or challenge your opinions on Plantation Agriculture expressed above? Reflect on the contents, the arguments, and the ideologies and provide specifics in your response. Don't say the readings support my opinions -- they can't because the readings are contradictory!


Population
What is your opinion/reaction/ideas about world population?

Chapter 13
1. Outline Hardin's lifeboat ethics by means of an actual drawing. [In email, just describe it; no diagram is required.]
2. What is the tragedy of the commons?
3. How does the ratchet effect work in population-resource matters?
4. What attributes of Hardin's argument make it conservative? Refer to Chapter 1, pp. 8-9.
Chapter 14
5. What are the three unacceptable ways, according to Commoner, of limiting population numbers?
6. What does Commoner think of Hardin?
7. Cite the web page from this course for the demographic transition diagram.
[In your email message to me, just cite the web page address where this diagram is located.
Hint: I would not ask if I did not provide!]
8. Why did family planning not work in India?
9. What limits the availability of food in Third World countries?
Chapter 15
10. What does Ritchie-Calder think is the solution to the "population problem"?

How do the readings support and/or challenge your opinions expressed above? Reflect on the contents, the arguments, and the ideologies and provide specifics in your response. Don't say the readings support my opinions -- they can't because the readings are contradictory!


Chapter 16
1. What is the Malthusian argument?
2. What is the class bias of Malthus and Hardin?
3. Contrast the method of analysis used by Malthus with that used by Ricardo.
4. With which class did Ricardo's sympathies lie?
5. Describe Marx's method of analysis, dialectical materialism?
6. Outline Marx's theory of surplus value (from our previous class discussion).
7. How do Neo-Malthusians differ from earlier Malthusians?
8. Do resources and scarcities arise out of nature or are they created by societal institutions controlled by elites?
9. Why is altering population numbers the persistent approach in capitalist countries?

How do the readings support and/or challenge your opinions on Population expressed above? Reflect on the contents, the arguments, and the ideologies and provide specifics in your response. Don't say the readings support my opinions -- they can't because the readings are contradictory!


Imperialism
What is your opinion/reaction/ideas about imperialism?

Chapter 20
1. Describe Galtung's Center-Periphery theory?
[In your email message to me, just cite the web page address where this diagram is located.
Hint: I would not ask if I did not provide!]
2. Which classes and where do they control the world space economy?
3. What is the fundamental contradiction in the theory?
4. What are the three stages of exploitation?
5. Distinguish between the five types of imperialism? Cite U.S.A. examples for each type.
6. How does Eau Claire function as the Center Go-Between and the Periphery at the same time?

How do the readings support and/or challenge your opinions on Imperialism expressed above? Reflect on the contents, the arguments, and the ideologies and then provide specifics in your response. Don't say the readings support my opinions -- they can't because the readings are contradictory!

 

Created by Ingolf Vogeler on 4  November  1996; last revised on October 21, 2013 .