Analyzing Contemporary Social Issues in a Global Context


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Using the Google Public Data World Development Indicators ( that have been constructed by the World Bank, students will examine the commonalities and disparities with respect to contemporary social issues in a global context. They will compare poor nations with medium income nations, with affluent nations. Students will also consider specifically how social wellbeing and development indicators in the United States compare to other nations and the trajectories of change over time. The importance of teaching American students about global inequalities, the debate about globalization, and an assessment of the assignment is forthcoming in an article titled, “Testing the Flat World Thesis: Using a Public Dataset to Engage Students in the Global Inequality Debate” in Teaching Sociology.


Resource Type(s):
Bhavani Arabandi, Ithaca College
Stephen Sweet, Ithaca College
Alicia Swords, Ithaca College 
Date Published:
Subject Area:
Political Economy 
Class Level:
Class Size:

Learning Goals and Assessments:

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Goal 1:
Understand the trajectory of social issues in a global context.
Assessment 1:
Select low-, middle-, and high-income countries, along with the U.S. and construct graphs according to selected indicators.
Goal 2:
Analyze the variation of structures and resources in a global context.
Assessment 2:
Consider historical, political, and socio-economic circumstances that led to the current state of global inequalities.
Goal 3:
Consider programs or policies needed to improve social issues and inequalities in the global economy.
Assessment 3:
Research scholarly articles and pose creative solutions to global issues.

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