[TEACHING] Modernization’s Influence On Bhutan’s Policy Of Gross National Happiness And Its Impact On Culture

[Course taught for OSHER@Dartmouth in Fall 2014 – Link]

Description —
This course will explore how capitalist development and the quest for Gross National Happiness (GNH), Bhutan’s guide for ethical development, are impacting traditional definitions of family and identity in that country.

The focus of the course will be three generations of a single Bhutanese family and their different experiences with, and reactions to, modernization and development. The course will provide an understanding of contemporary Bhutan and explore how modern development affects family life, identity, culture, relationships between generations as well as possible lessons for other developing societies.

Articles and readings about Bhutan will supplement course lectures along with photographs, audio and video recordings; class participants will be encouraged to develop their own reactions and understandings and thus contribute to lively discussion.

Instructor — Brian Young
is currently a graduate student at Dartmouth College. He has been to Bhutan a number of times conducting ethnographic, field research and is currently preparing to go back to Bhutan to give a paper at a conference sponsored by the United Nations Population Development Fund. He has also done ethnographic field research in Harare, Zimbabwe and presented this research at a graduate African Studies conference at Stanford University. Last summer Brian was a student at Oxford University taking courses to further develop his knowledge of globalization and development. Here are some links to websites (Dartmouth Now, Dartmouth Graduate Forum, and the Bhutanese Broadcasting Service). These websites feature current articles and a piece that was nationally and internationally aired on television and radio by the Bhutanese Broadcasting Service.