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SEX, GENDER AND SOCIETY: SOCY/WMST 1016-002 Fall Semester 2011 Monday-Friday 2:00-3:15pm Humanities 135 Instructor: Liz Morningstar Office: Ketchum 414 Email: [email protected] Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:15 pm-4:30 pm, by appointment COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is an introduction to the sociological analysis of gender in contemporary American society. Because gender affects our lives in a variety of ways and can be observed using multiple lenses, it is not possible to cover all topics in the sociology of gender. Instead, this course will use a life course perspective to examine the ways in which gender affects peoples’ lives from before they are born until the time they die. We will move beyond seeing gender as an attribute of individuals and explore how gender is an organizing principal that influences the way we interact with one another and the way we structure our lives. We will spend a good portion of the class examining documented gender inequalities in U.S. society. Finally, media is an important tool we use to learn about, understand and communicate gender expectations. Throughout the semester, we will analyze a variety of media pieces including commercials, television shows, movies, songs and print media. I encourage you to come to class with media examples and/or email me examples that you come across throughout the semester that we can discuss as a group. We have many common sense understandings about sex, gender, and sexuality. This course will challenge many of these understandings, and at times you may feel uncomfortable or disagree with the material. Remember, the point of this class is to explore how sociologists think and talk about gender, which includes critical discussion about inequality and power. I do not expect you to agree with me, or all of the authors that we read this semester. I do expect you to critically engage with the material and attempt to learn how to think sociologically about gender issues. COURSE GOALS 1. To cultivate a multilevel understanding of gender 2. To understand a variety of constructed gender roles, identities, practices and how these change throughout individuals’ lives and broader historical moments 3. To synthesize and apply academic concepts to lived realities 4. Develop critical thinking skills and analytical lenses 5. Foster a life course and historical understanding of gender COURSE EXPECTATIONS As a student… 1. You should expect to be challenged in this course. The level of the material as well as the assignments, exams, and discussion are geared toward a certain level of academic engagement. The class format will consist of a combination of lectures, class 1
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discussions, small group discussion, and media analysis. Most classes will not focus specifically on the reading and will instead provide material to help support the readings and extend beyond the analysis in any one article. 2. You will come prepared to class every day. You should revisit the syllabus schedule
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