Complimentary Human Spaces

Dr. Zhou presenting at the 2012 CAS Spring ColloquiumWednesday March 28, 2012 Bin Zhou of the geography department and Carly Foster of the department of political science presented for the spring 2012 colloquium with the shared topic of “Complimentary Human Spaces.” Both presentations dealt with understanding the perception of class and gender roles and their connection too space within culture.

Zhou presented first with “The Space of Yin and Yang.” This talk demonstrated how the concept of Dao are deeply imbedded in Chinese culture influencing language, mathematics, architecture, issues of age, and social strata. Zhou commented on how current social structures in china are a reflection of these long held beliefs and the challenges china faces in reconciling the democratization that accompanies modernization with the long held beliefs and traditions of the culture. These issues greatly affect how social and political changes in the country unfold, as well as how civil rights progress for the people of china.

Foster followed up with “Politics, Gender and Discursive Space: William Bennett’s MANifesto,” a critique and discussion in response to William J. Bennett’s “Why Men are in Trouble.” Bennett’s article expresses his feelings that masculinity is poorly defined within our culture and implies that the rise of feminine ideologies is in some ways tied to a decline in masculine ideals. Foster counters the article by commenting that the goal of feminine ideologies is to break down barriers between the sexes and that Bennett is calling for a more strict definition of barriers to keep men in and women out. Foster then went on to discuss if masculinity is indeed on the decline within our culture how can we preserve it without hindering the efforts of feminine advancement.

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