Gender and Globalization

The Gender and Globalization module introduces students to one of the most important effects of globalization: the transformations in women’s roles and statuses brought about at the local level by transnational economic and cultural processes.  Going beyond cross-cultural comparisons, this module highlights themes that run throughout the literature on gender and globalization (the problem of tradition vs. modernity and the sometimes contradictory effects of globalization on women’s lives, including the problem of agency vs. oppression) and helps the student place them in the historical context of the two most recent phases of globalization: colonialism and the post-colonial/neo-liberal era of economic integration.  The module also introduces students to the concepts of resistance, accommodation and hybridity and encourages them to use them as analytical constructs.

The first week lays a foundation of basic concepts by encouraging students to think about globalization in terms of key terminology and significant conceptual issues, and concludes with a case study that historicizes the transnational sexual exploitation of women by comparing French concepts of the Algerian harem with the contemporary international sex-trade industry. The second week extends these basic concepts by studying two further examples of globalization’s impact on women’s identities and statuses.  The module concludes with a lesson in which students practice using the concepts taught in the module in role-playing exercises based upon real-life scenarios.

1. Articulate key concepts in globalization as they apply to women’s roles and statuses.
2. Employ analytical concepts and awareness of basic themes learned through case studies in the process of cross-cultural communication.
3. Recognize major transformations of women’s status and roles in the developing world brought about by economic and cultural globalization.
4. Interpret some of globalization’s contradictory effects on women’s status.
5. Recognize and discuss some of globalization’s implications of for concepts of masculinity.

 Testimonial from a Piloter of the Gender and Globalization Module

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