Pol 266 Study guide is here! Whoo-hoo!

F10    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

I 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 ways migration affects family dynamics.
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 ways sex is a political matter.
7. List three ways three ways it is easier for women to take on men’s roles than vice versa.
8. List three levels of knowledge.

II SHORT ANSWER: SEVEN questions will appear on the exam; you will answer 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 about 1 blue book page.

1. How does it help or hurt a nanny to be considered a part of the family?
2. What is kyriarchy and how is it related to patriarchy?
3. What is the relationship between multiculturalism and group rights?
4. What is Nussbaum’s threshold for justice and what role does it play in her approach to development?
5. How are ‘might’ and ‘right’ related to one another?
6. What are the ten capabilities?
7. What are adaptive preferences and why do they matter?
8. What is political power?
9. What is the public sphere and what is the private sphere and why do they matter?
10. What is ‘emotional labor’ and how is it similar to/different from other forms of labor?

III. 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 presents her list of ten capabilities as necessary to a fully human life, and as such she does not recognize any conflicts between those capabilities. Yet in her discussion of religious expression she apparently extends rights to groups which may interfere with the capabilities of individuals within those groups. How does she resolve this apparent discrepancy, and is such a resolution persuasive? Discuss in detail at least one other case in which developing capabilities for one person or group of persons may come into conflict with the capabilities of another person or group of persons.

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 discussed the relationship between private space and public space, as well as that between inside/outside roles and personal/political matters. Discuss these sets of dichotomies with reference to women’s and men’s roles and activities, particular in terms of private/inside/personal as the feminine sphere and the public/outside/political the masculine sphere. What does this mean in terms of household labor? In terms of work and how it is valued? What does this mean in terms of social expectations of men and women? How do these different spheres shape what is considered worthy of political activity, as well as who can participate in politics? Do these dichotomies still hold?


About proftp

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