Maricopa Community Colleges  ASB211   19986-99999 

Official Course Description: MCCCD Approval: 6-23-1998

ASB211  1998 Fall – 2000 Summer II

LEC  3.0 Credit(s)  3.0 Period(s)  3.0 Load  Acad

Women in Other Cultures

Cross-cultural analysis of the economic, social, political, and religious factors that affect women's status in traditional and modern societies.

Prerequisites: None.

Go to Competencies    Go to Outline

MCCCD Official Course Competencies:


ASB211  1998 Fall – 2000 Summer II

Women in Other Cultures



Explain core concepts and principles in the field of anthropology. (I)


Trace the historical development of cross-cultural studies of women's roles. (I)


Identify and analyze the theoretical approaches within feminist anthropology. (I)


Contrast the concepts of sex and gender. (II)


Analyze theories relating to the biological and cultural basis of women's and men's roles in society. (II)


Analyze theories of gender stratification. (III)


Describe the cross-cultural variations in women's economic roles. (IV)


Apply the concept of holism to explain the relationship between women's economic roles in various subsistence systems to their other roles in society. (IV)


Analyze the relationship between kinship and marriage systems and women's status. (V)


Analyze the relationship between gender stratification and cross-cultural variations in views of female sexuality. (V)


Describe cross-cultural variations in women's religious roles. (VI)


Describe women's participation in alternative religious movements. (VI)


Compare and contrast women's political participation in societies with different degrees of social stratification. (VII)


Describe the impact of European contact, colonialism, and industrialization on women in the developing world. (VIII)


Analyze the impact of development policies on women in developing countries. (VIII)

Go to Description    Go to top of Competencies

MCCCD Official Course Outline:


ASB211  1998 Fall – 2000 Summer II

Women in Other Cultures


I. Introduction to Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Studies of Women's Roles

A. Core concepts of anthropology

1. Culture

2. Social-structure

3. Holism

4. Ethnocentrism

5. Cultural relativism

B. Development of anthropological interest in women and gender

1. Early women anthropologists

2. Origin and development of feminist anthropology

II. Sex and Gender

A. The nature/nurture debate: biological versus cultural determinants of human behavior in general and female and male behavior in particular

B. Biological attributes of sex and the cultural construction of gender

C. Core concepts of gender

1. Gender status

2. Gender role

3. Gender ideology

4. Gender stereotypes

III. Theories of Gender Stratification

A. Biologically based theories

B. Theories based on cross-cultural comparison

IV. Women's Economic Roles

A. Gendered division of labor

1. Biological basis

2. Productive and reproductive activities

B. Subsistence systems and women's economic roles

1. Foraging

2. Horticulture

3. Pastoralism

4. Intensive agriculture

5. Industrialism

V. Kinship, Marriage, and Sexuality

A. Descent systems and the social power of women and men

B. Marriage practices

C. Cultural variation in views of female sexuality

VI. Women, Religion, and Ideology

A. Women as religious specialists

1. Stratified societies

2. Egalitarian societies

B. Women in the realm of the sacred

1. Goddesses

2. Myths

3. Gender ideology

C. Women in religious movements

1. Revitalization movements

2. Alternative religions

3. Women's spirituality movement

4. Spirit possession

VII. Political Participation

A. Egalitarian societies: concepts of women's and men's personal autonomy

B. Ranked societies: shared power and authority in dual-sex political systems

C. Stratified societies: women's informal political influence

VIII. Women and Development

A. The impact of rural development policies on women

B. Urban development: traditional and modern sectors of the economy


Go to Description    Go to top of Competencies    Go to top of Outline