The courses included in the Politics, Justice and Policy Focus Area are drawn mainly from the social sciences, in particular, economics, sociology/anthropology, psychology, crime and justice studies, and political science. This concentration allows students to understand how our socioeconomic and political worlds are gendered and to examine how this affects women’s lives in both the public sphere and in the home. Women continue to be clustered into low-paying, low-status “women’s” jobs and to be socialized into traditional roles. In spite of gains, women’s presence in political institutions also continues to be quite small.
In addition to many other economic, social and political phenomena relevant to gender, students are encouraged to explore connections among these areas of life. For example, does women’s persistent under-representation in politics help to account for recent policies that have been economically and socially detrimental to women (and children)? Along these lines, women’s modest numeric gains in politics give rise to additional areas of inquiry. What happens when women enter conventional political arenas? Do they become socialized to existing norms and procedures that are inevitably masculine, so that feminist perspectives are doomed? Alternatively, where there is a critical mass of women, do they move their male colleagues, decision-making processes and ultimately policy developments in a feminist direction?
The following courses form the Politics, Justice and Policy Focus Area. In some cases a course may count in two focus areas, but may only be taken for credit toward the major in one area.
- WGS 200: Special Topics in Women’s and Gender Studies (depending on topic--check with your advisor)
- WGS 208: Global Perspectives of Women
- WGS 206 (PSC 206): Politics of Welfare Reform (Politics of the Social Safety Net)
- WGS 300: Topics in Women’s and Gender Studies (depending on topic--check with your adivsor)
- WGS 302: Global Feminism (when not taken as an upper-level theory course)*
- WGS 305: Contemporary Feminist Theory and Practice (when not taken as an upper-level theory course)
- WGS 306: Third-Wave Feminism (when not taken as an upper-level theory course)
- WGS 307: Ecofeminism: Philosophy and Practice (when not taken as an upper-level theory course)
- WGS 332 (PSC 332): Sex Roles and Politics
- WGS 336 (SOA 336): Women and Social Policy
- WGS 339 (PSC 339): Women and Public Policy
- WGS 350 (SOA 350): Readings in Sociological and Anthropological Literature (depending on topic)
- WGS 399: Internship in Women's and Gender Studies
- WGS 490: Advanced Special Topic in Women’s and Gender Studies (depending on topic)
- WGS 495: Independent Study
*May also be taken for the Cross-Cultural and Transnational Inquiry Focus Area