Women in Asian Societies - 2017

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 2
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: SP1 , SP3
  • Availability for 2018: SP1 , SP3
  • Assessment: Essay - Covers Topics 7-12 (20%) , Invigilated Exam - Short Answers (30%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 793.00
HECS 793.00
International 1,043.00

This unit examines the role and status of women in Asian societies. It considers representations of the feminine in traditional culture as well as contemporary society. Special emphasis will be placed on the implications for women of current social and economic changes in the region including government policies affecting reproduction and the family, women's involvement in subsistence agriculture, industry and the development process. Autobiography and film will be used to supplement anthropological and sociological studies.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an appreciation of the development of gendered relations in the Asian region.
  2. recognise the complex relationships between socio-cultural value systems, ideological change and gendered issues.
  3. critically examine complex concepts and underlying assumptions related to what it means to be a man or a woman in Asian societies.
  4. demonstrate an awareness of changes in gendered relations brought about by economic, political and socio-cultural changes.
  • Essay — Covers Topics 7-12 (20%)
  • Invigilated Exam — Short Answers (30%)
  • Participation — Participation in online forum (20%)
  • Review — Covers Topics 1-6 (20%)
  • Test — Covers Topics 1-4 (10%)
For more information on invigilated exams see Exams and results

Students must have completed 18 credit points (6 OUA units) at Level 1 before enrolling in this unit.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Introduction: culture and gender in anthropological theory
2Men and representations of women in Asian myth and religion
3Patrilineal societies: China and Bali; Fraternal polyandry: Tibet
4Matrilineal and bilateral kinship systems in Asia
5Women in classless and stateless societies
6Gender and class in traditional state societies
7Gender experiences under colonialism and revolution
8Men and representations of women in modern Asian societies
9The family and population policy: China, SE Asia, Japan
10Socio-political transition, economic transformation and gendered labour
11On the margins: Men, prostitutes, hawkers, domestic service
12Gender, aid and development

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture
  • Streaming Multimedia
  • Web links

Online materials

  • Online Assessment
  • Printable format materials
  • Resources and Links

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.
This unit does not have a prescribed textbook(s).

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