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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jane Dyson
SISSA 490
Seattle Campus

Special Topics

Topics vary.

Class description

This course introduces childhood and youth cultures in South Asia with particular reference to young people’s ‘work’, broadly defined. The course is divided into three parts.

Part I - Orientations – introduces theoretical approaches to studying childhood and youth in South Asia. This section highlights the importance of considering children’s working lives and the issues of agency, politics, and social inequality that are bound up with children’s and young people’s work.

Part II – Key Issues – is built around a set of themes relevant to an understanding of children’s and young people’s lives in South Asia. These themes all relate to the issues of ‘youth work’, broadly defined. Students will be asked to apply the theoretical framework set out in Part I, to an examination of household and industrial labor, sex work and child trafficking, military work, elite work, educational labor, and underemployment. The classes in this part of the course are organized around a set of required readings and student-led seminars.

Part III – Representations – encourages students to use their understanding of the key topics discussed in the course to reflect on the ways in which young people are represented and represent themselves.

Student learning goals

To encourage students to evaluate different scholarly perspectives on young people’s lives

To introduce key dimensions of children’s and young people’s experiences of youth and work in South Asia

To enhance students’ oral and written communication and teamwork skills

General method of instruction

Student led presentations Instructor led presentations Class based, or small group discussions around key readings Videos

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Assignment One: Seminar presentation 30% - due throughout quarter Assignment Two: Written essay (3,000 words maximum) 50% - due 13th March 2008 Seminar participation: 20%

Assignment details

For assignment one, you are required to get into a group of two or three and prepare a seminar presentation on one of the key topics discussed in weeks 4 through 9. Your presentation involves you adopting a particular role – such as a teacher, travel guide, activist, or news reporter – and presenting material to your ‘audience’ (the class), who may be cast in the role of students, clients, travelers, or businesspeople. In your presentation you are required to demonstrate knowledge of academic work conducted on the topic, demonstrate a familiarity with the medium of communication in which you are presenting material, and display skill in engaging your audience. You must also produce a double-sided hand out that offers key information on the topic you have been researching.

For assignment two, students will write a 3,000 word final essay on a topic of their choice that relates to the course or from a list of questions that Jane Dyson will provide in Week 6. These essays will be assessed according to detailed evaluation criteria that will be circulated in advance.

Students’ participation grade will be derived from an assessment of the written feedback which they provide other students on their seminar presentations. Account will also be taken of students’ ability to initiate and contribute to class discussion of the key readings.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Jane Dyson
Date: 12/05/2007