Distinguish between relative dating and absolute dating
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Rather than focusing on discussion of the readings, the analytical tasks involve attempting a causal analysis of some aspect of gender inequality related to the week's issue, building on the materials we read (in brief papers of a couple pages).The approach in this class seeks to develop analytical skills as well as understandings of the relevant literature by stressing doing actual analyses of gender inequality.
To simplify navigating through the course guide, only the headings for these subsections are initially visible.Both ordinary people and experts (such as scholars) commonly fluctuate between simplistic explanations that founder under close scrutiny and throwing up their hands in frustration over what can seem an enigma beyond human comprehension. We will explore diverse facets of gender inequality and varied ideas about what causes might be decisive.We will also look carefully at the ways we can identify and verify the causes of social phenomena.In this course we will investigate what causes inequality between women and men.How does it arise, why does it take different forms, why does it vary in degree across societies, what are the components that add up to gender inequality, how do various institutions and practices contribute to it, and how does it change?Women and men are unequal in every conceivable way in endless circumstances, both immediate and enduring, by both objective criteria and subjective experience. Can we characterize it in ways that let us confidently and impartially assess when there is more or less of it?
We casually refer to causes and effects in normal interactions all the time.
How can we conceive of and talk about gender inequality in ways that are general enough to apply across the range of relevant phenomena, consistent enough to minimize conceptual ambiguities, and precise enough to be analytically effective?
Gender inequality has been extraordinarily diverse and wide spread.
We will adjust the time devoted to these two goals according to our experiences over the class.
Every week, students will initiate discussions on readings and papers.
To make this work, each week's papers will be exchanged (electronically) with enough lead time that we can all read all the papers prior to the class meetings.