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How do large-scale forces (such as economic change, law and social policy, social change, systems of oppression, media, globalization, the development of technology) shape and constrain people’s intimate lives?

A good essay has an introduction, which should end with a strong and specific thesis statement, body paragraphs that support the thesis, and a conclusion. It also uses appropriate evidence from lectures, readings, films, and class discussions to support the points that are being made. Take a position, make an argument, use evidence, and provide a brief citation (title or author last name in text) when referring to books, articles, class lectures, or films. If you quote directly, please be sure also to cite page number(s) if available. Be sure to answer all parts of the question. You do not need a references page or title page.

Double-space your answer, using 12-point font and 1-inch margins. Do not hand in more than 5 typed pages. And please staple the pages.

The question:

Throughout the course, we have been exploring the social construction of sex, love, and romance and considering the ways that intimate relations we tend to think of as personal and private exist in a much larger context. Thinking about what you know from the readings, lectures, and films, address this question:

How do large-scale forces (such as economic change, law and social policy, social change, systems of oppression, media, globalization, the development of technology) shape and constrain people’s intimate lives? As you discuss the impact of large-scale forces in the specific cases listed below, also consider to what extent people exercise agency in the face of these forces.*

Address all of these cases:

1) Sex work

2) Forms of marriage: temporary marriage, arranged marriage (think of Embroideries), AND transpacific Vietnamese marriage

3) Sex, love, and/or romance as depicted in The Color Purple

4) Sexual revolutions

*You do not need to discuss all of the forces listed—these are examples—and you may discuss more than one. Focus on whichever seem most important in each case.

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