Political Science | Gender & Politics in Asia
Y324 | 3368 | Robinson

What does being a woman mean in contemporary China? Do the politics of the
communist state reinforce "traditional" ideas of female dependency and male
superiority? Or do they counteract them? In Japan, what explains the
continuing popularity of sex tours to Southeast Asia for Japanese
businessmen while their wives take responsibility for families and
children's education? What is the role of geishas and female entertainers in
Japanese economic and political life? How has women's extensive education
influenced their adult lives? In Korea, how has rapid economic modernization
affected the lives of women? How have women been affected by the transition
to democracy, population crises and a history of colonialism?
This course will provide an opportunity to explore how different social,
economic and political practices have influenced the post-World War II
construction of gender and sexuality in three countries in East Asia. We
will examine the interplay between gender relations and the characteristics
of public and private institutions. In particular we will examine the ways
in which gender is experienced within families, within politics, within
education, as sexuality and as work.  Our primary focus will be on the ways
in which political power and institutions shape and respond to economic and
social practices. The primary countries we will examine are China (including
Taiwan and Hong Kong), Japan,  and Korea, with brief glimpses of life in
some Southeast Asian countries.
Primary texts will include books, academic articles and monographs and films
(subtitled) from these countries. Students will be expected to take 2
take-home exams, and write one research paper as the final project. No final
exam will be given. Each of these will count for 1/4 of your grade; the
final quarter is participation which includes coming to class regularly,
participating in class discussion and providing
Required readings will  include articles and some of the following texts:
	Nahid Aslanbeigui, Steven Pressman, and Gale Summerfield, Women in
the age of economic transformation : gender impact of  reforms in
post-socialist and developing countries (Routledge, 1994.)
Joyce Gelb and Marian Palley, eds. Women of Japan and Korea (Temple, 1994)
Mayfair Mei-hui Yang, editor., Spaces of their own : women's public sphere
in transnational
China (Minnesota, 1999)
Lisa Rofel., Other modernities : gendered yearnings in China after socialism
(University of California Press, 1999)
Elaine H. Kim and Chungmoo Choi, eds.,   Dangerous women : gender and Korean
nationalism              (Routledge, 1997.)
AMPO, Japan Asia quarterly review, Voices from the Japanese women's movement
( M.E. Sharpe, 1996.