This course focuses on the psychology of gender in cultural context. Using culture and biopsychosocial ecological perspectives as guides, we will explore topics related to achievement, interpersonal relationships, family life, health, adjustment, victimization, and resilience. The course will feature content related to gender-related life choices and tasks, gender similarities and differences, sexuality, life-span development and challenges, and mental and physical health. We will examine theories and research about gender as they interact with other social identities related to culture, race/ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation and fluidity, socioeconomic class, and historical time periods. Our attention will also focus on the ways in which complex intersections of social identities are associated with gender-related behavioral variations, social privilege, disadvantage, marginalization, and empowerment. Emphasis will be placed on thinking critically about North American models of gender and exploring frameworks for promoting respectful social justice perspectives and cross-cultural solidarity.
Field WorkCountry: India
Date: February 28, 2019
In this field class, students will attend a Bollywood movie, as well as meet, interact with, and interview students and professors from a local university. Semester at Sea and local students will meet and get acquainted. In the afternoon, the two groups will attend a Bollywood movie together. During the film, class members will look for examples of course concepts (e.g., gender roles and expectations, gender stereotypes, body objectification, family expectations, intimate relationships, patriarchal values, gender egalitarianism). Following the movie, class members and local university students will meet with local university professors to discuss the movie and learn about local customs and expectations related to sexuality, standards of beauty, methods for enhancing beauty, attraction, friendship, gender roles, dating, courtship, marriage, and family life. Semester at Sea students will also have a chance to enjoy lunch with local students. They will ask questions on topics related to standards of beauty, attraction, friendship, gender roles, dating, courtship, and marriage. Interview questions will be prepared in advance. Students should draw comparisons between practices in India, the United States, and other countries on the itinerary.
- Observe examples of standards of beauty, sexuality, gender roles, dating, courtship, and marriage practices in India portrayed in a Bollywood film.
- Learn about standards of beauty, sexuality, gender roles, dating, courtship, and marriage practices in India through interviews and interactions with local university students and professors.
- Through interaction with other students and faculty members, learn about potential media effects on idealized views of beauty, body consciousness, and body objectification.
- Discuss and compare goals for social change regarding gender roles and intimate relationships within India as well as North America.
- Compare and contrast standards of beauty, sexuality, gender roles, dating, courtship, and marriage practices between India, the United States, and other countries on the itinerary.
- Develop tools for practicing cultural sensitivity and cultural humility when considering gender across cultural contexts.
- Apply course concepts to what was observed in the film, learned from student interviews, and learned from professor presentations.