Debate the following proposition: “During the Market Revolution, women found greater freedom in the expanding cities than in rural and small-town America.”

The Mary Rogers Group Discussion – Mary Rogers 2

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This discussion revolves around the events covered in Amy Gilman Srebnick’s The Mysterious Death of Mary Rogers: Sex and Culture in Nineteenth-Century New York.

Your Marching Orders

In preparation for this assignment, you will each be named to a special team comprised of about ten members. Over the course of the week-long discussion, each team will debate the following proposition:

  1. “During the Market Revolution, women found greater freedom in the expanding cities than in rural and small-town America.”

At the outset of the group discussion, half of the members of each team will be assigned to the affirmative position — i.e., to the side that supports the above proposition, and the other half of the team will be assigned to the negative position — i.e., to the side that opposes the above proposition. You will be notified which side you are on at that time.

Drawing upon the narrative presented in Amy Gilman Srebnick’s The Mysterious Death of Mary Rogers, identify two or three themes that support your side of the argument, and illustrate your analysis with examples from the book.

The debate will go through two phases:

First Phase

For the first phase each member of your team will have posted a statement of 300-350 words, making the case for his or her side in the debate.

Second Phase

For the second phase, each participant should post two further statements of 200-250 words, each responding to an argument made by a team member from the opposing side.

What We’re Looking for in this Discussion

Your performance in this discussion will be evaluated by the substance and clarity of your participation. For a fuller overview of the evaluation criteria, see the Rubric and Guidelines for Group Discussions in this module.

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