Basic Seminar (Learning Gender)

Yuki KUBOTA Professor

Department: Institute of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Class Time: 2012 Spring Thursday
Recommended for: 1st year Liberal Arts students

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Course Aims

Gender is, in contrast to biological sex, "sex" constructed socially and culturally. In this seminar, the goal is for students to repeatedly question every day life and society's many aspects from a gender informed perspective and to attain basic literary search methods, outline preparation, and presentation and discussion methods.

Key Features

The aim of a basic seminar is to learn and experience study methods in university through particular subjects.


p> Thus, although the subject may not be so important, I have the personal belief about the subject of "gender", because I think it is important for freshmen.

In high school, students are accustomed to passively absorbing pre-existing knowledge and memorizing the correct answers. In contrast, learning in college entails discovering your own questions, gathering data, examining this data critically, and finally creating one's own theory. It is very important for students to question what they have thought of as "normal."

Exposure to the subject of gender will teach them that most gender differences are determined by the socio-culturally factors than biological factors and that even biological aspect is not explained simply by a dichotomy. Students will have new perspectives for the world by gaining a gender-sensitive gauge.

For this reason, I think it is very important for students to learn attitude questioning what they have thought of as "normal", not to accept simply existing frameworks.

In the first half of the term students will be assigned texts which written by the viewpoint of "gender" from familiar theme such as education, labor, love, marriage and child care to academic fields such as literature, law, economics and psychology, so that they can actively exchange their opinions with each other while comparing their own life experiences. By repeating this process, students will became aware of the fact that gender is related to all areas of our society and how they have been caught up in it, willing or not.

In the second half, students will create their own research questions. Students have chosen various topics including family, maternity, industrialization, education, gender in language, indirect discrimination, women's social progress, men's participation in housework and child care, positive actions, European society, and Islamic society. Using keywords innovatively they searched within texts, read critically, looked for new data and improved upon it. Finally, as class summary, we held small presentation council and students write final reports.

Although presentations were limited to 10 minutes and questions to 3 minutes, how they looked while presenting so magnificently had a deep impression on me. It seems effective that they evaluated each other when presenting so that they could seriously participate.

Thanks to understanding and support of the Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the handouts from their presentations have been successfully published as a collection. I hope that as a starting point for university study it can be a foundation for development.

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Course Requirements

We welcome those who are interested in the subjects of this seminar and have the desire to participate actively in class. Outside of texts, students should attempt to get in the habit of looking at daily life through gender sensitivity and implement this in other classes.

Course Schedule

time Topic Contents Text
1 Orientaition How will this class progress? / Self introduction / Decision of students in charge of reading text Chapter 1
2 Library Orientaition Learn how to use library
3 What is gender? Lecture by professor in charge. In conjunction with the topic, learn about how to create an outline and give a presentation. Chapter 2
4 Gender and education / Gender and love Read text in turn (Summary by the student in charge, report and discussion) Chapter 3–9, Handouts1–9
5 Gender and labor / Gender and family
6 Gender and child care / Gender and internationalization
7 Gender and gender-equal society / Gender and psychology
8 Gender and literature / Gender and law
9 Gender and economics / Princess-stories and gender
10 Find a theme for individual presentation Participants will decide on a theme which they want to study further and formulate a research question.
11 Gather texts for individual presentation / Summary / Make a presentation Accumulate texts according to personal theme and summarize. Create an outline and a PowerPoint.
14 Individual presentations and discussion 1 Presentations and discussion / Mutual evaluation 1
15 Individual presentations and discussion 2 / Conclusion Presentations and discussion / Mutual evaluation 2 / Conclusion


Participation (attendance, presentation, discussion), contents of the presentation, contents of the final report, the result of mutual evaluation of the presentation, etc. are evaluated comprehensively.

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Page last updated November 24, 2014

The class contents were most recently updated on the date indicated. Please be aware that there may be some changes between the most recent year and the current page.

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