You will be asked to read a set of scholarly articles that will supplement the assigned textbook chapters. This handout describes your discussion question (DQ) assignment for these articles.
• Write two DQs per article.
• As you read each article, take notes. Underline important points and jot down ideas or questions that come to mind while reading it; this will help you write DQs more easily.
• D Qs should neither be too specific (“What does the fourth word on p. 27 mean?”) nor too general (“Was this a good article? Why or why not?”). Try to strike a balance between the specific and general. Try to ask thought-provoking questions that make connections to other areas of study and other realms of life—what you saw on the news, read in the paper or a magazine, etc. Note that questions that could be asked of any article are not good questions (e.g., What were the weaknesses of the methodology?). Your questions should center around content that pertains specifically to the assigned article.
• Be sure to point the reader to the specific content of the article that your question addresses.
• Avoid questions with “yes/no” or “either/or” answers. Good DQs are open-ended. Also avoid leading questions. See below for examples of good DQs.
• Go for controversy! Try to pose questions that would easily engage the class in discussion.
Example Discussion Questions
1. What negative consequences could result if parents followed Bem’s suggestion to raise androgynous boys and girls? How might peers respond to boys with stereotypically feminine characteristics and girls with stereotypically masculine characteristics? What are the positive consequences of raising androgynous boys and girls? Where does one draw the line between a healthy de-emphasis on gender and a healthy acknowledgment of gender in raising children?
2. Josephs, Markus, and Tafarodi argue that individuation (distinguishing the self from others on the basis of talents or accomplishments) does not serve as a significant source of esteem for American women (because of gender-role socialization). How accurately does their argument describe women in the U.S.? Explain your response. How do women in the U.S. compare, in terms of how individualistic they are, to men and women in Asian cultures? How does the pressure that women feel in our society to be appropriately “feminine” interact with the individualistic norms that all Americans experience?
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