International, Domestic and Off-Campus Studies Committee (IDOCS)
Green Sheet 03/04-1
At the November 6, 2003 faculty meeting, IDOCS will move approval of Sociology/Anthropology TA 2XX as the Field Supervised course for the Fall 2004 Term in Asia.
Course : Sociology/Anthropology TA 2XX: Tradition and Change in Contemporary Asia
Offered : Term in Asia, Fall 2004
Catalog description : This course will examine the promises and perils of social change in Asia today. We will look at changes in rural life and the meaning of migration to the cities, the problems and pleasures of life in Asia's big cities, changing family and gender roles, growing population and environmental issues, the rewards and costs of Asia's economic growth and its role in globalization, and the nature of both democratic and autocratic politics as they reflect and shape social change. We will put special emphasis on comparisons among China, Thailand, and Vietnam, but with some attention to Japan, Korea, Cambodia, and the Philippines as well. Finally, we will explore the U.S. role in Asia and Asia as a significant source of migration to-and cultural innovation for-the U.S.
GE credit: HBS [pending]
Other credit: Sociology/Anthropology major; Asian Studies concentration and major [pending]
As the first sentence of the above Catalog description suggests, the topic of the 2004 Field-Supervised course for the Term in Asia, will be social change in Asia today, with a focus on the promises and perils of such change. Of the six issues identified in the above catalog description-(1) rural life and migration to urban areas; (2) life in Asia's big cities; (3) changing family and gender roles; (4) growing population and environmental issues; (5) rewards and costs of Asia's economic growth and its role in globalization; (6) the nature of democratic and autocratic politics-not all will be examined in each country; rather, in each country, the course will focus on two or three of these issues. End-of-course grades will be determined based on performance on a series of short essay exams over readings, lectures, class discussions, one at the end of each country; on a series of short ethnographic papers based on observation and interpretation of local life; and on a medium-length end-of-course reflective essay.
Rationale : "Tradition and Change in Contemporary Asia" will have several key themes and purposes. First, the course will introduce students to the cultures and social traditions of East and Southeast Asia, and to the kinds of issues people there are struggling with in a time of rapid social change, through the lens and language of sociology and anthropology. China, Thailand, and Vietnam (and possibly Japan) will be the key "case studies" as participants in the Term in Asia ask: what are the social and cultural traditions? how and why are they changing? what does this mean for the people involved? Secondly, the course will provide a place for a sustained conversation about the experiences and learning of Term in Asia participants during their time in China, Thailand, and Vietnam, thereby serving as a way to tie together information learned in the program's on-site courses and other experiences, while also providing an opportunity to put local details into a larger context. A final thread which will be woven throughout the course is intended to help participants acquire a sense for the connections between our own history and foreign policy as U.S. citizens and the history of Southeast Asia and people's lives-both there and here as immigrants.