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Course Information

Instructor Info:Lynda Pickbourn
Term: 2013F
Meeting Info: Tuesday Thursday
12:30 PM - 01:50 PM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 106
12:30 PM - 01:50 PM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 106

This course examines the often contradictory impacts of economic development on gender relations in developing countries and asks: what challenges do global economic trends pose for gender equality and equity in developing countries? How do gender relations in turn shape the outcomes of economic development policies? To answer these questions, we will explore the links between development policy and gender inequality in Africa, Asia and Latin America, in the context of a globalizing world economy. Special topics to be explored through the close reading and analysis of books, scholarly articles and documentaries will include the household as a unit of economic analysis; women's paid and unpaid labor, the gendered impacts of economic restructuring, international trade, and economic crisis; the feminization of migration flows and the global labor force in the formal and informal sector, and the implications of these trends for economic development. The course will conclude with an evaluation of tools and strategies for achieving gender equity within the context of a sustainable, human-centered approach to economic development.

Course Objectives:

Upon completion of the course, you can expect to attain

 (1) A critical perspective and understanding of how and why gender matters as an analytical category in economics, both in theory as well as in empirical applications;

(2) The ability to locate and interpret gender-differentiated indicators and descriptive statistics;

(3) The ability to analyze economic development policy concerns and debates in the developing world from a gender perspective.

Evaluation Criteria:

Course Requirements

The workload in this class is medium to heavy.  You should expect to spend about 6-8 hours per week outside class time on this class.  Your evaluations (or grades for 5-college students) will be based on:

 Attendance and class participation

Your attendance and participation is essential for making this class a success; very little learning will take place without your commitment and active participation. You should come to class prepared and willing to discuss the assigned readings, respond to questions, engage on another in intellectual conversation, and engage with the lecture presentations based on your knowledge of the assigned readings.  Respectful and constructive disagreements and debates are encouraged, and I particularly urge you to speak up when you disagree with me, or with an apparent consensus in the class, on a particular issue.

 Class attendance is required, and you may not miss more than three classes, including excused absences. 

 Weekly reading responses and assignments

Once each week, you will be required to write one or two paragraphs in which you reflect on some aspect of the week’s readings that inspired you or with which you strongly disagree.  These reading responses serve a number of functions: they prepare you for class discussions, and compel you to read and think about the readings. They should be written in an organized manner (with attention to grammar, spelling etc) and should demonstrate thoughtful reflection on the readings. 

 Unless otherwise noted, students assigned to Group A will respond to the readings assigned for Tuesday; students assigned to Group B will respond to the readings assigned for Thursday.  After Week 6, we will switch groups.  You will be required to post your response on the course website by 12:00 noon on the day prior to the class at which the readings will be covered in order for you to receive credit for that paper.  At the end of the semester, I will look at the quality of all your responses to determine your evaluation for this component of the class. 

In addition to, or in place of the reading responses, there may be a short assignment based on the readings for the week.  These will be posted on Moodle. 

Group Research Projects

Over the course of the semester, you will work in groups of 3/4 on a research paper that will explore in depth a topic related to gender and development in a country to be chosen from a list of countries that I will provide. In addition to the readings in the course material you should make reference to other scholarly studies on the subject.

 You will be required to submit the following by the deadlines marked on the course calendar:

 a research proposal

  1. an annotated bibliography and outline of the research paper
  2. an initial draft
  3. a final draft

In addition to the final draft, each group must also submit one page outlining the contributions of each group member to the research project.

 During the final weeks of the semester, you will have the chance to share your research with the class, in the form of an oral presentation.  The dates for this are marked on the course calendar.  The length of the final paper should be in the range of 2500-3000 words, excluding footnotes, references, tables and figures.

 In order to receive an evaluation for this course, you must

  • Have no more than three absences from class
  • Complete and turn in all assignments on time
  • Engage in class discussions and activities, including research presentations


Additional Info:

Assignments/Late Work:

All work is due on the stated date. I will not accept late work unless you have contacted me ahead of time, with a legitimate and documented reason, and we have agreed on an alternate due date.


Required Texts and Assigned Readings:

There are two required texts for this class.  These are listed below, and are available from the Hampshire Textbook Shop.  In addition, there are other required readings taken from other sources which will be posted on the Moodle course website.  All required readings need to be done BEFORE the class for which they are assigned. 

Beneria, L. (2003), Gender, Development and Globalization: Economics as if All People Mattered, Routledge

 Visvanathan, N. et al. (2011), The Women, Gender and Development Reader, Zed Books, referred to in the Course Outline as The Reader