Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective

Subject GEND40003 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Truncated - 8 week semester

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 3 hour seminar per week for 8 weeks.
Total Time Commitment: An average of 10 hours each week
Prerequisites: Admission to fourth-year honours or the postgraduate diploma in history or gender studies or the first year of the two-year Master of Development Studies (Gender and Development), or permission of the subject coordinator.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: Knowledge gained in an undergraduate degree with at a minor in Gender Studies or related field.
Non Allowed Subjects: This subject was previously taught under the code 131-432 Students who have completed 131-432 are not permitted to enrol in this subject
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website :

Subject Overview:

This subject surveys recent developments in feminist theory and feminist methodology within a cross-cultural context. It explores issues involved in present-day debates about feminist epistemology and knowledge, including debates surrounding the relationship between western and other feminisms, the contributions of postcolonial feminists and queer theorists.

In 2010 the subject will consider the backlash against multiculturalism, framed largely in terms of the toleration of cultural beliefs and practices that contravene and impinge on the sovereign rights of individual members of particular groups, particularly women, sexual minorities and children.

The issues highlighted in these contests include religious fundamentalism, the veil, honour killings, and arranged marriage to name a few. Importantly, what do those who are situated at the centre of these controversies, the women and men themselves have to say, both to members of their own groups and to the those who consider them victims or perpetrators of unacceptable cultural practices.

These controversies are considered in the context of tensions around secularism, religion, sexuality, the law, the individual and the group. individual freedom and cultural constraint. feminist critics of multiculturalism and multicultural critics of feminism.


Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • show an advanced understanding of the changing knowledge base in the specialist area.
  • be able to evaluate and synthesise the research and professional literature in the discipline.
  • have an appreciation of the design, conduct and reporting of original research.
Assessment: A literature review assignment of 1000 words 25% (due mid semester) and a research essay 4000 words (due end semester)
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available from the bookshop at the start of semester

Recommended Texts:

These texts will all be available at the bookshop

  • Amara, Fadela (2006) Breaking the Silence: French Women's Voices from the Ghetto , Berkely, University of California Press

  • Scott, Joan (2007) Politics of the Veil . Princeton, Princeton University Press

  • Wikan, Unni (2008) In Honour of Fadime: Murder and Shame, Chicago, University of Chicago Press
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • demonstrate research skills through competent use of the library and other information sources.
  • demonstrate critical thinking and analysis through class presentation, participation, and completion of a research essay.
  • show understanding of social, ethical and cultural context through the contextualisation of judgements, developing a critical self-awareness, being open to new ideas and possibilities and by constructing an argument.
Links to further information:
Notes: This subject is compulsory in 097 GD First 100 points, Master of Development Studies (Gender and Development), and core in Gender Studies Honours, Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Gender Studies), Postgraduate Certificate in Arts (Gender Studies).
Related Course(s): Master of Development Studies (Gender & Development)
Master of Development Studies(CWT)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 200 point program - full time over 18 months
200 point program - full time over 24 months
Anthropology and Social Theory
Development Studies
Development Studies
Development Studies
Gender Studies
Gender Studies
Gender Studies
Social Theory
Social Theory
Social Theory

Download PDF version.