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Women's Studies and the International Student: A Report on a Course for Japanese Women.

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Problems encountered by Japanese women who participated in an American women's studies seminar have been valuable to the development of a cross-cultural women's course at Mary Baldwin College in Virginia. In the summer of 1981, the school offered a special women's study course to 30 Japanese university women. The program had limited success because the students had difficulty identifying with the problems of American marriage, divorce, and sex role inequalities that were the focus of the course. However, after returning to Japan, the women wrote to their American professor relating current experiences to issues they had encountered the previous summer. Based on this experience, the women's studies course underwent several changes, adopting a more relevant cross-cultural framework. The 30 female Japanese students enrolled in the 1982 course developed their own questionnaire to elicit Japanese views on marriage, family, and career. This survey, included here with responses, was administered to 200 young Japanese in the spring of 1982. Students then tabulated the data and used it as a basis for discussion and cultural comparisons in their summer course. The evolution of this course points out the dilemmas and frustrations which may result when students from a patriarchal society are confronted with women's rights issues. As their consciousness increased, many women in this course felt torn between a loyalty to their own customs and a desire to relocate to a more open-ended society. (LP)

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Author:Rosser, Sue V.
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1U5VA
Date:Jun 1, 1983
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