Monday, June 29, 2020

M1 MEEF dossier women's activism

Some of you sent me your analysis of a set of documents concerning women's activism in the UK (either as an official exam or as a practive). I will put here some notes about this exercise - this post will probably be updated several times over the next few days.

I am sure you remember the aim is to show three things
- that your English is good (whether a written or an oral exam)
- that you understand the documents and what their authors are trying to do
- that you know the history they are part of. You can show you know some British history (in this case).

And the two main dangers as ever
1) paraphrasing the documents.
2) repeating your history class, without reference to the documents.

This is a difficult exercise, and remembering all five of these elements is delicate.

Certainly for most answers I got this time the main weakness was not showing knowledge of British history. So here is somewhere you can revise the history of women's activism in Britain. (Mp3 lectures) There is no doubt too much here, but if you can listen to some of it, that will help.

Women in GB part one
Women in GB part two
Women in GB part three
Women in GB part four

Here  are a few mistakes people fell into - they are not a disaster in themselves, but much better avoided.

1) This set of documents is clearly about the history of women's activism in the United Kingdom. If you use examples or quotations from the women's movement in the United States or in France, the examiner will read this as if you had written "I know nothing at all about the subject in Britain!!" It might be possible to give one example from outside Britain if you have already given three examples from Britain, but be careful.

2) You should not give the impression that the women's movements in Britain were a monolithic, homogeneous phenomenon where women in general all agreed with each other that something needed to be done, and then they did it. Like all political movements it was full of arguments and contradictions, successes and failures. National women's liberation conferences took place in the 1970s on several occasions. The last one, at the end of the 1970s, broke up because of deep disagreements - and noone ever dared organize another national women's liberation conference again!

3) It is not your job to praise feminism or denounce feminism - your main tone has to remain analytical.

[more comments will be added later here ] 

No comments: