Single Course

Gender Studies

NGO Management & Policy Development

Course Summary:

Magna Skills Development Institute is proud to offer a cutting-edge newly redesigned interdisciplinary course in Gender Studies. Gender Studies focuses on the social construction of gender, gendered power structures and the ways in which our lives are lived through gendered bodies. Gender continues to shape the life experiences of men and women in ways that are both subtle and profound. 

In the course, delegates not only learn how to use gender as a category of analysis, but also reflect on the manifestation of gender in their own lives, leading to a range of personal and intellectual discoveries. Although gender is a central component of every subject, the study of gender requires attention to connections between gender, sexuality, race, class, religion, nationality, and other social categories; different subjects shed light on different aspects of such connections.

Course Objectives:

  • Distinction between sex and gender
  • The social construction of gender
  • Sociological perspectives and research on gender
  • Current issues and topics related to gender in society
  • Men in gender and development discourse 
  • Understand the distinction between sex and gender
  • Understand how gender roles vary historically and cross-culturally
  • Recognize gender stereotyping and gender discrimination
  • Understand gender roles and expectations as they relate to social institutions
  • Display basic knowledge of gender's significance in U.S. history, culture, and social structure
  • Critique media and popular portrayals of gender as they related to empirical trends
  • Understand how their lives have been affected by the social constructions of gender in our society
  • Understand and recognize the ways in which we all participate in and are affected by gender inequality
  • Apply and analyze sociological explanations for gendered patterns in society

Course Outline

1. Introduction to the course: Why feminism/gender studies?

  • Understand the difference between sex and gender.
  • Understand why feminists have been at the forefront of gender studies.
  • Identify the 3 major waves of feminism.
  • Understand and explain the historical context for each wave of feminism.
  • Understand the emergence of Masculinity Studies.

2. Concepts, and Approaches

  • Understand the interdisciplinary methods used in Women and Gender studies.
  • Understand the importance of gender stratification in society.
  • Understand the concepts of majority and minority
  • Understand the various patterns of gender stratification.
  • Explain the difference between Liberal and Radical feminism.
  • Identify and explain the various theories that fall under Liberal and Radical feminism.
  • Understand non-Feminist theories of gender.

3. Gender and Subjectivity

  • Understand how a society’s historical context influences our understanding of gender.
  • Understand how individuals become gendered beings i.e. gender and identity formation.
  • Understand and explain the relevance of the nature/nurture debate to the understanding of gender.
  • Explain how various social institutions, such as family, schools, etc., impact the gendering process.

4. Gender and Rights

  • Understand and explain the relevance of the Public/ Private distinction to the understanding of gender and gender equity.
  • Understand the Suffragist movement and how it is similar or different from other waves of feminism.
  • Understand the Feminist Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s a 1970’s and be able to explain the various ways it impacted our understanding and expectations of gender in relation to work, family and politics.
  • Identify and explain the significant legislative landmarks related to gender equity.

5. Gender and Family

  • Define what “Family” is and understand the role that family plays as an agent of socialization.
  • Understand the evolution of the division of labor in the family.
  • Understand how industrialization influenced what we now consider traditional gender roles in the family.
  • Understand and explain how children learn gender in the family.
  • Understand how gender role expectations impact violence within the family.
  • Understand the changing understanding of what is abuse within the family

6. Gender and Education

  • Understand the role education plays as an agent of socialization.
  • Understand the role of gender tracking in the educational system (from primary through post-secondary education) and its relationship to the concept of the gender gap.
  • Understand the legislative landmarks related to education and gender equity.
  • Explain how these legislative landmarks have impacted actual gender equity in contemporary society.

7. Gendered Work and the Public/Private Distinction

  • Define work and relate it to the Public/Private distinction.
  • Understand and explain the significance of work in a capitalist society.
  • Understand and explain how work and income status relates to gender equity.
  • Understand the legislative landmarks related to employment and gender equity.
  • Identify and explain how gender role expectations lead to gendered division of labor.
  • Understand important concepts related to gender and work such as, but not limited to, the
  • Glass Ceiling, Pink Collar work, Blue Collar work, Gender Wage Gap, etc

8. Representations and Gender - Constructing Bodies and Sexualities

  • Identify what are the ideal body types in contemporary society and explain the social construction of ideal body types.
  • Explain how these “ideal body types” affect women and men.
  • Explain how race, age, social class, and body size affect the social determination of individual “value/worth”
  • Identify the ways in which the media constructs and perpetuates ideal body types.
  • Understand and explain the relationship between cultural expectations of sex, gender, and sexual orientation.
  • Understand the various theories on the relationship between gender, pornography and violence.
  • Identify and explain how feminists and queer theorists have impacted our understanding of bodies and sexualities

9. Non-Mainstream Feminisms

  • Read and understand various works by non-mainstream feminists (to be determined by the instructor) which may include, Black Feminists, Jewish Feminism, 2 nd and 3rd World Feminists, etc.
  • Identify the similarities and differences between mainstream 1st World feminists and other feminist voices in understanding gender, gender inequity, gendered bodies and gendered sexuality.