Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Woman as "Other" Global Module

This is a very good Global Module for a Gender or Sociology course.

Woman as “Other”

Week 1

Let’s take the opportunity to get to know each other. You’ll find three folders in the Week 1 area, one called Introductions, one called Perceptions, and one called Questions.

During a normal week, unless otherwise directed, always remember to post at least two times.

We’ll begin our reading and discussing next week. With this in mind, we want you to do a few things this first week.

1. Post an introduction in the Introduction folder. What are your interests? Do you have experience travelling overseas? What do you hope to learn in the Global Module? Also, take the opportunity to greet your fellow students and find out more about them. Be sure to include contact information such as your email address or IM.
2. What are your perceptions of your partners in the Global Module? For the _____ students, what do you think of the US? For the American students, what do you think of when you think of _____? Post your initial views in the Perceptions folder.
3. Post any questions that you might have in the Questions folder. Some of you are probably quite experienced in working online, and might have even participated in Global Modules before, and could help out your classmates if they have any concerns.

Keep in mind that you should always feel free to contribute to the Casual Conversations folders found elsewhere on the site. Feel free to introduce a topic or post questions. The password for the Casual Conversations folder is: beaver.

Thanks, and we’re really looking forward to getting started.

Week 2

We are going to discuss the status and perception of women. Our text will be Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex. You will be reading the Introduction. Follow this link and read her introduction:


By reading and discussing The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir we will not only learn about her views, but this will also allow us to introduce the topic of the status of women.

Once you have read the assignment we will answer a series of questions. You will be required to post answers at least twice, although you can contribute more often if you wish. You can either post an original answer to a question or comment on the posting of another student. Either way, your postings should be detailed and analytical. If you are late posting for the week do not simply answer a question that has already been answered by another student – contribute in a new way. Build upon your fellow students’ answers. Think of it as the class as a whole answering the question.

1. Who was Simone de Beauvoir and what was her reason for writing The Second Sex? Do you find her arguments convincing? Are her points still valid or has the world changed dramatically since de Beauvoir wrote The Second Sex?
2. In The Second Sex, de Beauvoir makes the point, “But if I wish to define myself, I must first of all say: ‘I am a woman’: on this truth must be based all further discussion. A man never begins by presenting himself as an individual of a certain sex.” What point is de Beauvoir making here?
3. In a famous quote, de Beauvoir proposes that, “He is the Subject, he is the Absolute – she is the Other.” What does this mean? Is woman “the Other?” If she is “the Other,” what are the consequences?
4. If we believe de Beauvoir then a good question to ask would be – was the creation of “the Other” a conscious or unconscious decision? That is, were women deliberately given a supporting role?
5. Simone de Beauvoir suggested that, “The bond that united her to her oppressors is not comparable to any other.” What does she mean?

Week 3

Let’s continue our discussion this week, focusing on specific examples from our two countries. Work on the following question. Be sure to post at least twice this week.

1. In what ways are the lives of women in your two countries similar? Do these similarities tell us something about the universality of the female experience?
2. In what ways are the lives of women in your two countries different? How can these differences be explained?
3. Is life getting better or worse for women in your countries? Why might it be getting better or worse in one country as compared to another?
4. Can we think of specific suggestions for ways to improve the status of women around the world?

Week 4

Sadly, it’s already time to say goodbye. Each student should post at least once this week. In addition, Champlain College students should write a short reflective piece to be posted in their ePortfolio. What did you learn from the process? What were the similarities and differences that you discovered? What might explain them?

1. What have we learned about the status of women in our two countries, and in the larger world?
2. What have we learned about each other and ourselves from this discussion?
3. Would you like to say goodbye to your new friends? What do you want them to know about your country?

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