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Lecture outline Nov 21.docx

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Political Science

Lecture outline Nov 21 Page history last edited by Leslie Chan 4 days, 10 hours ago Gender and Development: The Social Construction and Representation of the “Third World Woman” in Development These notes are made available courtesy of Elena Goracinova. Feel free to add points and relevant links and resources to the note. (Click on the edit tab above, make the additions, and be sure to click "Save" at the bottom of the page when finished) - Gender and development as socially constructed categories. How do they change through time? - How do dominant views become dominant and how do they lose at least a part of their relevance through providing alternative discourses? - Generalizations about women in the “Third World” as if they are homogenous group of people - How media and general language continue to portray women and gender in a particular way that prevents us from seeing the diversity around us? - Looking at and deconstructing the language of development. Development as a socially constructed idea in different historical periods used to justify actions during the colonial period. Three dominant representations of a “Third world” woman: What connotations do these representations carry? 1) Recipients of aid: Welfare Approach - Women as recipients of welfare or aid. - Built around notions of scarcity, limited resources, Malthusian idea. The world can’t sustain such population growth: overpopulations as an obstacle to development, family planning and social control of fertility - What is the flaw in the argument that food is scarce?  Technology has allowed overproduction of food  Many countries have negative rates of population growth  There are other reasons for having limited access to food Critiques: - Women as recipients to aid present a very simplistic vision of problems that exist: the solution was to provide food aid and nutrition. - Nestle tried to donate powdered milk so that babies can get healthy, women can be free from that obligation and they can go out and be more productive; However, they didn’t have clean water to mix the milk powder with, which led to many deaths in babies. DISASTER! Food aid that didn’t work!!! 2) As objects to be integrated into a particular socio-economic system, some kind of role to play - People began to think in more sophisticated ways about the role of women in development - Partly due to the feminist movement which was gaining ground and there were spillages to the development discourse around women and development - One particularly influential set of ideas: Ester Boserup, an economist who is starting to look at development through empirical evidence. She began to look at what women were doing in various economic settings. She found out women over the world are engaged in constant productive activities (housework, making craft to sell, getting water), which were invisible and uncounted. Women who do all of these activities are considered incomeless even though they contributed so much to societal well-being. Housework, raising a child has great monetary value and can be seen as a particular category of productive activity. - Over 600 categories were established in Brazil; it can be overdone - However the recognition fed into the modernization theory. If women can be productive, why not formalize that. Instead of women working at home, why don’t we put them in factories? Place children in school, so that mothers can be productive and contribute to the GDP - Women are being portrayed as being integrated into the economic system. They are units that can be counted in the economic system. - Women are not recipients anymore, but contributors to GDP - Move women from traditional role in household to modern economic roles - Move from rural to urban environments because there isn’t enough work in the rural areas - Documentary: Manufactured landscape: Enormous factories where to walk the factory floor would take you half an hour, and where people are doing the assembling. - Arguments that women are getting income through working in these factories, and they can pursue other activities and have some autonomy - Some argue that the China model seems to be raising a lot of people out of poverty. - China was one of the only countries that met the MDG’s; there are some good things that have happened due to these forms of economic activities Critiques: - When women are
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