Study guide: 266

F09    Pol 266 Study Guide

This will be a closed-book, closed-note exam. While you are encouraged to study together, you must each come up with your own answers and write your own exams.

The exam will be divided into three parts, and all questions will be drawn from the following. Do note that the questions are drawn both from lecture and from the readings. Also, none of these are ‘trick’ questions, that is, if they seem straightforward, they are.

Finally, keep in mind that these questions are pulled not just from Nussbaum, but also lecture, Atwood, and the essays in Okin, and in Ehrenreich & Hochschild

List: FIVE questions will appear on the exam. You will answer ALL. [15 percent, total]
Simply list the answers; no explanations necessary. Note that in some cases more than three answers may be applicable.

1. List the three arguments against universal values.
2. List three capabilities.
3. List three elements of Kymlicka’s argument in favor of group rights.
4. List three categories of women in Gilead, and their associated roles and colors.
5. List three ways sex is an economic matter.
6. List three vulnerabilities of working as a nanny.
7. List three ways sex is a political matter.
8. List three things which affect the definition of the family.

Short answer: SEVEN questions will appear on the exam. You will write on FIVE. [50 percent, total]
Give a BRIEF answer and/or explanation (depending upon the question), and identify if the term is associated with a particular author; answers should be 1-2 blue book pages.

1. How does it help or hurt a nanny to be considered a part of the family?
2. What is filial kin work?
3. Does culture lead politics or politics lead culture?
4. What is Nussbaum’s threshold for justice?
5. What is the difference between political and comprehensive liberalism?
6. Who speaks for culture?
7. What are adaptive preferences?
8. What is the menu of opportunities?
9. What is the public sphere and what is the private sphere?
10. What is ‘emotional labor’?

Essay: TWO questions will appear on the exam. You will write on ONE. [35 percent]
The answer should be comprehensive, drawing on in-class and reading material, and involving not just quick responses to the questions, but an evaluation of those responses.

1. Nussbaum attempts to create a partial theory of justice with her list of central human capabilities. Discuss this list in detail and whether each element is, indeed, indispensable to full human development. Discuss as well whether meeting these requirements leads to justice, or if something else is needed.

2. Is multiculturalism bad for women? Discuss in detail, with reference to particular examples and arguments.

3. Margaret Atwood’s Gilead is a fictional portrayal of a patriarchal republic in which women and men are assigned specific and rigid roles. How realistic is this portrayal? Is it comparable to any societies today? How likely is it that a population used to liberty would (apparently) give in so easily to totalitarian rule? Would such policies likely unite men and women in opposition to such rule, or, as the narrator Offred suspects, divide them? Does Atwood reveal anything to us about human beings and power in general?

4. We’ve spent a lot of time discussing ‘household labor’ in class. What, exactly, constitutes household labor? What is the relationship between household labor and wage-labor? When household labor becomes wage-labor, how is similar to other forms of wage-labor? How is it different? What is the role of men in household labor? Why is household labor still largely performed by women and girls, whether it is paid or unpaid labor?


About proftp

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