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Elective: Shop till U drop, Buy till U die

Vak
2015-2016

Admission requirements

This course is only available for second year students in the BA International Studies. The number of participants is limited to 25.

Description

Almost 40 years ago, China embarked on a policy of modernisation and opening up to the outside world. Since then, and despite its adherence to Marxist-Leninist-Maoist principles, the nation seems to have become more capitalist than socialist. Present-day society has evolved into a consumer society. More than ever before, the Chinese people have become sensitised to the symbolic value of big brand names and the status they confer. The increased spending power of many urbanites – and a growing number of rural dwellers – has turned visits to Starbucks or McDonald’s (or their local clones), domestic and foreign tourism, using Iphones and E-readers into daily experiences. Instant gratification has become the norm, but this comes with a price: obesitas; affluenza; a rapidly deterriorating natural environment; lawlessness; a widening gap between haves and have-nots; are just some of the problems that China is facing today. Having become part of the global order, global crises cast their influence too.
This elective course will focus on the mindboggling changes that have occurred – and are still occuring – in Chinese society. But we will not limit ourselves to China: regional and transnational developments and influences will certainly merit our attention as well.

Additionally, the students will work through W.C. Booth, G.G. Colomb, J.W. Williams, The Craft of Research, third edition, Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 2008.

Course objectives

The elective courses for International Studies are designed to teach students how to deal with state-of-the-art literature and research questions. They are chosen to enhance the students’ learning experience by building on the interdisciplinary perspectives they have developed so far, and to introduce them to the art of academic research. They are characterised by an international or comparative approach.
Academic skills that are trained include:

Oral presentation skills:
1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
a. in the form of a clear and well-structured oral presentation;
b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
c. using up-to-date presentation techniques;
d. aimed at a specific audience;
3. to actively participate in a discussion following the presentation.

Collaboration skills:
1. to be socio-communicative in collaborative situations;
2. to provide and receive constructive criticism, and incorporate justified criticism by revising one’s own position;
3. adhere to agreed schedules and priorities.

Basic research skills, including heuristic skills:
1. to collect and select academic literature using traditional and digital methods and techniques;
2. to analyze and assess this literature with regard to quality and reliability;
3. to formulate on this basis a sound research question;
4. to design under supervision a research plan of limited scope, and implement it using the methods and techniques that are appropriate within the discipline involved;
5. to formulate a substantiated conclusion.

Written presentation skills:
1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
a. in the form of a clear and well-structured written presentation;
b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
c. using relevant illustration or multimedia techniques;
d. aimed at a specific audience.

Timetable

The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.

Mode of instruction (in principe staat dit gewoon vast, tenzij anders aangegeven)

Lecture, seminar style discussion, presentations and supervised research.

Course Load

  • total course load: 10EC x 28 hours= 280 hours, broken down by: – class participation: 28 – preparing assignments & presentation: 70 – research and writing final paper: 182

Assessment method

Weekly assignments, presentations and a final paper of approx. 4-6,000 words (excluding tables and bibliography).
assignments (15%)
presentation (25%)
final paper (60%)
Note: The maximum possible grade to be obtained for re-submission of the final essay is a 6.0

Blackboard

Blackboard will be used. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrolment in uSis
Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

Kevin Latham, Stuart Thompson, Jacob Klein (red) (2006), Consuming China – Approaches to cultural change in contemporary China (London, etc. Routledge)
Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom (2013), China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford: Oxford UP)
Additional readings will be made available through Blackboard.

W.C. Booth, G.G. Colomb, J.W. Williams, The Craft of Research, third edition, Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 2008

Registration

Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.

Contact

Prof.dr. S.R. Landsberger, email: s.r.landsberger@hum.leidenuniv.nl

071 527 2530

Remarks

Students unacquainted with China or developments in East Asia in general and China’s growing role and importance in the region, are strongly encouraged to read (some or all of) the following books. These readings will provide a basic introduction to pre-reform China:
Keith R. Schoppa (2000), The Columbia guide to modern Chinese history. New York: Columbia University Press.
Peter Zarrow (2005), China in War and Revolution, 1895-1949. London, New York: Routledge.
Mitter, Rana (2008), Modern China – A Very Short Introduction, Oxford.: Oxford University Press.
Naughton, Barry (2007), The Chinese Economy : Transition and Growth, Cambridge MA: The MIT Press.
Teufel Dreyer, June (2008), China’s Political System: Modernization and Tradition, New York et al.: Longman.