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.
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.