Jeffrey Swindle Jeffrey Swindle

Jeff is a PhD student in Sociology at the University of Michigan. He is generally interested in the concept of development, including the historical roots of development, individuals' beliefs about development, strategies for achieving development, and the influence of development projects on individuals' attitudes and behaviors. His current research examines the diffusion of terms that reference societies' positions along a developmental hierarchy of societies. He examines the frequency at which hundreds of such terms have appeared across millions of books and newspaper articles over the past three centuries. Jeff has also worked with the DI Studies team to examine perceptions about the relationship between development and freedom, democracy, and human rights in Islamic-majority countries.

Research Profile at the Population Studies Center

Articles & Chapters

Thornton, Arland, Shawn F. Dorius, and Jeffrey Swindle. 2015. "Developmental Idealism: The Cultural Foundations of World Development Programs." Sociology of Development, 1(2): 277-320. PDF.

Recent Pub

Horváth & Kiss. Depopulating semi-periphery? Longer term dynamics of migration and socioeconomic development in Romania.

Recent Pub

Hongwei Xu. Developmental Idealism, Body Weight and Shape, and Marriage Entry in Transitional China. Chinese Journal of Sociology.

Recent Pub

Allendor & Thornton. "Caste and Choice: The Influence of Developmental Idealism on Marriage Behavior." American Journal of Sociology.

Reading History Sideways

The method of reading history sideways is described and critiqued by Arland Thornton

Video Lecture

Arland Thornton speaks on "Developmental Idealism: The Cultural Foundations of Worldwide Development Programs"

© 2016
Developmental Idealism
Population Studies Center
University of Michigan