Intercultural Gender Studies

Course Number: WGS 201
Transcript Title: Intercultural Gender Studies
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: June 8, 2020
Total Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 40
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: Yes
Satisfies General Education requirement: Yes
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0

Prerequisites

MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121.

Recommended

Course Description

Examines the power structures related to women, men, and across the gender spectrum in developing countries, using foundational understandings of patriarchy, oppression, gender bias, and the social construction of gender. Explores intersectionality and the reality that it is often the complex interaction of various factors including sex, gender, race, socio-economic-status, and sexual preference that contribute to power dynamics across societies. Includes the following topics: the process of gender enculturation, male preference, sexual violence, female circumcision, infanticide, child brides and honor/dowry deaths, economic empowerment, education, ethnocentrism, advocacy, literacy, trafficking and prostitution.Recommended: WGS 101. Prerequisite: MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Apply critical thinking skills to the investigation of international issues that focus on the historical and socio-cultural phenomenon of gender inequality.
  2. Recognize and analyze how cultural differences define and impact gender roles and expectations.
  3. Apply service learning experience and self-reflection to enhance community participation and responsibility.
  4. Apply advocacy skills to analyze problems resulting from gender inequalities and work towards their solutions.

Alignment with Institutional Core Learning Outcomes

Major 1. Communicate effectively using appropriate reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. (Communication)

Major

2. Creatively solve problems by using relevant methods of research, personal reflection, reasoning, and evaluation of information. (Critical thinking and Problem-Solving)

Not addressed

3. Extract, interpret, evaluate, communicate, and apply quantitative information and methods to solve problems, evaluate claims, and support decisions in their academic, professional and private lives. (Quantitative Literacy)

Major

4. Use an understanding of cultural differences to constructively address issues that arise in the workplace and community. (Cultural Awareness)

Minor

5. Recognize the consequences of human activity upon our social and natural world. (Community and Environmental Responsibility)

To establish an intentional learning environment, Core Learning Outcomes (CLOs) require a clear definition of instructional strategies, evidence of recurrent instruction, and employment of several assessment modes.

Major Designation

  1. The outcome is addressed recurrently in the curriculum, regularly enough to establish a thorough understanding.
  2. Students can demonstrate and are assessed on a thorough understanding of the outcome.
    • The course includes at least one assignment that can be assessed by applying the appropriate CLO rubric.

Minor Designation

  1. The outcome is addressed adequately in the curriculum, establishing fundamental understanding.
  2. Students can demonstrate and are assessed on a fundamental understanding of the outcome.
    • The course includes at least one assignment that can be assessed by applying the appropriate CLO rubric.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Student mastery of outcomes may be assessed by any combination of the following:

  • Written or oral examinations
  • Participation in class discussion, exercises, small group activities or role plays
  • Objective or essay examinations
  • Performances or plays
  • Oral or visual presentations
  • Participation in organizing community or professional events
  • Service learning activities

Texts and Materials

Suggested Text: Women Across Cultures: A Global Perspective, Shawn Meghan Burn

There have been a few suggestions around choosing a title with “Gender Studies” in the title that I want to address here. Although the textbook options are certainly expanding with the academic conversation moving towards Gender Studies, rather than specifically Women’s Studies, I would argue this text -- and most of the texts generally -- covers gender enculturation, gender roles theory, cultural relativism, intersectionality etc. Basically you cannot study “women’s” issues without looking at other genders in societies. The revisions for this course simply reflect a changing understanding of gender in our culture and are more inclusive, so even though the text may still say “women” the concepts of gender studies have always been included in all of these texts.

Course Activities and Design

The determination of teaching strategies used in the delivery of outcomes is generally left to the discretion of the instructor. Here are some strategies that you might consider when designing your course: lecture, small group/forum discussion, flipped classroom, dyads, oral presentation, role play, simulation scenarios, group projects, service learning projects, hands-on lab, peer review/workshops, cooperative learning (jigsaw, fishbowl), inquiry based instruction, differentiated instruction (learning centers), graphic organizers, etc.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Outcome #1: Apply critical thinking skills to the investigation of international issues that focus on the historical and socio-cultural phenomenon of gender inequality.
  • gender enculturation
  • define “socio-cultural”, including sociocultural explanations for patriarchal societies
  • define gender inequality
  • gender enculturation theories and research
  • cultural relativism, ethnocentrism, acculturation
  • international feminism and human rights
  • historical feminist movements
  • roles based on gender in foraging, herding and agricultural societies
  • cross-cultural concepts of body ownership and control
  • female circumcision
  • dowry/honor deaths
  • infanticide (pre and post-natal infant selection)
  • child marriage
  • intersectionality
  • social and political institutions in societies (gender & society, gender & politics)
  • gender-related issues related to work
  • economic impacts of gender
  • gender-based violence
  • health outcomes related to gender
  • family and other intimate relationship dynamics, including violence and other non-dominant genders
  • workplace rights based on gender and sexual orientation
  • male preference
  • women as property
  • transnational feminist movements
  • multiculturalism
  • global feminism
  • reproductive health & health care systems around the world
  • queer theory
  • micro-loans
  • trafficking and prostitution
Outcome #2: Recognize and analyze how cultural differences define and impact gender roles and expectations.
  • gender enculturation
  • gender enculturation theories and research
  • cultural relativism, ethnocentrism, acculturation
  • intersectionality
  • economic impact of gender roles and expectations as it relates to work and family
  • male preference
  • women as property
  • private vs. public sphere
  • sexual double standards
  • sexual & reproductive health
  • gender binary
  • women’s work (including gender perspective on unpaid work)
  • gender gap in unpaid care work
  • maternal health care
  • gender wage gap, including the human capital approach
  • gender & religion
Outcome #3: Apply service learning experience and self-reflection to enhance community participation and responsibility.
  • Observe, analyze, and reflect on service learning
  • Use observations, analysis, and reflection to evaluate the community problem in light of concepts and theories presented in class
  • Demonstrate relevance of community experience to course content
Outcome #4: Apply advocacy skills to analyze problems resulting from gender inequalities and work towards their solutions.
  • review solutions, including organizations addressing some of the issues discussed as a model of potential solutions