Activism and Social Change

Course Number: WGS 202
Transcript Title: Activism and Social Change
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 ore equivalent placement test

Prerequisite / Concurrent

Course Description

Examines how people in society work to empower their communities and to improve the conditions of their lives. Explores ways that feminist theoretical perspectives have shaped the goals and strategies of social change efforts. Offers an in-depth look at selected topic areas, connects analysis and personal experience, and prepares students to become effective citizens, able to analyze societal issues from a variety of perspectives. 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. Recognize influences of changing political, social, economic, religious, sexual, historical, and cultural patterns in the creation and perpetuation of injustice.
  2. Evaluate effective strategies for empowering communities and working toward positive change to alleviate social and institutional injustices and oppression.
  3. Use feminist, gender, and queer theoretical perspectives to analyze social change efforts.
  4. Communicate effectively in writing, collaborating, and speaking.
  5. Apply service learning experience and self-reflection to enhance community and environmental responsibility and advocacy skills.

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)

Minor

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:

  1. Written or oral assignments
  2. Objective or essay examinations
  3. Research projects
  4. Participation in class discussions, small group activities, exercises, or roll plays
  5. Performances or plays
  6. Oral or visual presentations
  7. Participating in or organizing community or professional events
  8. Service learning activities

Texts and Materials

Suggested texts:
Grassroots: A Field Guide to Feminist Activism by Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards

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: Recognize influences of changing political, social, economic, religious, sexual, historical, and cultural patterns in the creation and perpetuation of injustice.
  • Dynamics of power and privilege in societies
  • Sexism, ageism, racism, heterosexism, homophobia
  • LGBTQ rights
  • patriarchy
  • first, second, and third wave feminist movements
  • global feminism
  • economics through a gendered lens
  • politics through a gendered lens
  • marginalization based on sex, gender, race, disability
  • gender enculturation
  • social roles theory
  • reproductive health care
  • court cases as a reflection of changing patterns related to class
  • topics:
  • religion
  • work and economics
  • interpersonal violence
  • media portrayal of gender as it relates to systemic oppression
  • politics and law
  • education, including Title IX
  • medical research
  • review health outcomes from an intersectional perspective
Outcome #2: Evaluate effective strategies for empowering communities and working toward positive change to alleviate social and institutional injustices and oppression.
  • explore dynamics of social change movements
  • case studies of organizations, initiatives, laws, etc. that affect change to alleviate oppression and injustice
  • equity programs in health care
  • social justice movements
Outcome #3: Use feminist, gender, and queer theoretical perspectives to analyze social change efforts.
  • overview of feminist theory
  • overview of queer theory
  • overview of gender theory
Outcome #4: Communicate effectively in writing, collaborating, and speaking.
  • clear expectations for writing, collaborating, speaking, and research in the gender studies discipline
Outcome #5: Apply service learning experience and self- reflection to enhance community and environmental responsibility and advocacy skills.
  • 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