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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Psychology and Sociology
Course Prefix and Number: SOCI 310
Course Title: *Women and Society
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Analysis of the social and cultural forces that shape women's position in society; explanations and critical analysis of the gendered nature of our reality. Cross-listed as WMST 310.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered even Fall.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

It is encouraged that instructors require both the use of a primary text and a supplemental reader or additional text (see the following lists for suggestions).

Issues in Feminism: An Introduction to Womenís Studies
By Ruth, Sheila (McGraw-Hill)
Women in American Society
By Sapiro, Virginia (Mayfield Publishing)
Kaleidoscope of Gender: Prisms, Patterns, and Possibilities
By Spade, Joan Z. and Catherine G. Valentine (Wadsworth)
The Origins of Womenís Activism: New York and Boston, 1797-1840
By Boylan, Anne M. (University of North Carolina Press)
No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and the Future of Women
By Freedman, Estelle B. (Ballantine Books)
The Routledge Companion to Feminism and Post-Feminism
By Gamble, Sarah (Routledge)
Her Way: Young Women Remake the Sexual Revolution
By Kamen, Paula (Broadway Books)
Feminist Theory: A Reader
By Kolman, Wendy, and Frances Bartkowski (Mayfield Publishers)
Feminist Theory Reader: Local and Global Perspectives
By McCann, Carole and Seung-kyung Kim (Routledge)
Feminist Frontiers
By Richardson, Laurel, Verta Taylor, and Nancy Whittier (McGraw-Hill)
Femicide in Global Perspective
By Russell, Diana E. and Roberta A. Harmes (Teachers College Press)
Global Feminisms: A Survey of Issues and Controversies
By Smith, Bonnie (Routledge)
Donít Kill Your Baby: Public Health and the Decline of Breastfeeding in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
By Wolf, Jacqueline (Ohio State University Press)
Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today's Feminism
By Hernandez & Rehman (Seal)
Course Objectives
  • To sensitize students to the position of women in American society as well as cross culturally.
  • To understand this position in relation to larger social and cultural forces.
  • To understand how gender oppression is structured into society.
  • To apply the major sociological theories and feminist theories to this subject matter.
  • To think critically and analyze, instead of simply accepting, socially constructed realities, and to begin to question why things are the way they are.
    Measurable Learning
  • Describe and explain the difference between sex and gender and the significance of this difference.
  • Describe and explain the history of and current status of the feminist movement in the U.S.
  • Explain the emergence of Women’s Studies as an academic discipline.
  • Identify the influence of gender on women’s lived realities: in the workplace, the home, within educational institutions, gendered media images, within the political sphere, and religious institutions.
  • Describe and explain the notion of intersectionality: race/gender/class/sexuality/ disability.
  • Recognize gender at work in men’s lives.
    Topical Outline:
  • History of the American Feminist Movement
    - Theoretical perspectives
    - Sociological perspectives on gender inequality
    - Feminist perspectives on gender inequality
  • Intersectionality: gender/race/class/sexuality
  • Gendered worlds: Cross-cultural perspectives
  • Gendered institutions
    - Gender and the workplace
    - Gender and educational institutions
    - Gender and the law-violence against women
    - Gender and the political system
    - Gender and religion
    - Gender and the media-women and body images

    Culminating Experience Statement:

    Material from this course may be tested on the Major Field Test (MFT) administered during the Culminating Experience course for the degree. 
    During this course the ETS Proficiency Profile may be administered.  This 40-minute standardized test measures learning in general education courses.  The results of the tests are used by faculty to improve the general education curriculum at the College.


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 20

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Ahoo Tabatabai Date: January 17, 2012
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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