Yay! The final! Whoo-hoo! (341)

Pol 341
Final exam


Logistics: I’ll be in my office (364 Carmen) that Wednesday between 5 and 6pm, so you can drop off the paper then. If you want to drop off the paper early, you can either slide it under my office door, or bring it to the Political Science Department office (358 Carmen) and put it in my mailbox.

The exam: Write a response to ONE of the following (series of) questions. Where appropriate, make explicit reference to the arguments of Henderson & Jeydel, Al-Ali & Pratt, and Kaplan. book. (This is, obviously, an open book exam.)

Make sure to answer ALL parts of the question (although you are free to answer the various parts in any order you deem fit). When appropriate, use examples to illustrate your points—remembering, of course, to explain how the example works, and not simply asserting that it does so.

Answers should be typewritten, approximately 1500 words—and please, NO COVER SHEET.

Good luck!

1. Is the solution to women’s lower status in what women do for themselves, or what men are willing to take on? Examine in reference to institutional politics, to social movements (including revolutionary movements), and to underground politics.

2. Henderson & Jeydel make reference to Maxine Molyneux’s distinction between ‘strategic’ and ‘practical’ gender interests in their analysis of women’s public activities. Discuss, in detail, what counts as a practical issue, and what counts as a strategic matter, citing relevant examples [from any of the books, as well as from lecture] to illustrate your points. Does it make sense to separate the two types of interests? What is the relationship between the two?

3. H&J note that international development agencies have pursued ‘gender mainstreaming’ as a means of not segregating or marginalizing issues mainly affecting women. Al-Ali and Pratt, however, are critical of gender mainstreaming as having precisely the effect of marginalizing women’s interests and women as political actors. Discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of gender mainstreaming, keeping in mind H&J’s discussion of the necessity of  ‘critical mass’, A&P’s analysis of the lack of independence of women in Iraq’s parliament and bureaucracy, as well as what counts as a ‘woman’s issue’.

4. Laura Kaplan quoted many members of Jane who spoke of how transformed they were by their experience in working with Jane, and how empowered they were by their participation. While a do-it-yourself (DIY) ethic can empower an individual or group, it also carries the risk of segregation from a wider politics (especially if, like Jane, the group is ‘extralegal’) and, ultimately, of depoliticization. On the other hand, a DIY ethic also offers possibilities of a kind of radical participatory politics, such that an organization like Jane could serve as a model for many other interests and organizations. Discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of a DIY group like Jane, how it could be adapted to work within an (open) political system, and whether it has anything to offer to those living in closed political systems.


About proftp

I teach political science and bioethics as an adjunct at a CUNY school.
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