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ASN2170 - Women in Asia: Gender, Tradition and Modernity

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Alison Tokita


Clayton Second semester 2007 (Day)


The unit will look at gender relations, cultural definitions of femininity and masculinity and changing gender roles in Asian societies and cultures. The pre-modern, modern and postmodern condition of women in countries such as Japan and Indonesia, and the issues facing women in Asia today will be explored in depth in a comparative context. Topics will include matriarchal cultural patterns in Japan and Indonesia and their cultural expressions, the impact of patriarchal systems such as Confucianism and Buddhism, the nature of women's equal rights movements in contemporary Asia, changing family structures and educational opportunities for women.


On completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Analyse contemporary gender relations in selected South and Southeast Asian contexts from anthropological and sociological perspectives.
  2. Examine selected gender issues and changing gender roles in East Asian countries.
  3. Demonstrate a good grasp of issues arising in the intersection of gender, tradition and modernity across Asia.


Research essay (2000 words): 40%
Examination (1 hour): 30%
Oral presentation of group research project with written summary (1500 words): 30%

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 1 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial) per week


A first-year sequence in Asian studies or Anthropology or by permission