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Gender Studies
GNDS 120
Melissa Houghtaling

1Unit 1Gender studies encourage students and faculty to develop 2 especially significant capacities in todays worldAUTHENTICITY ie being the selfcommunity we want to be we may begin by critiquing the way we are now then learn to act as if we are better and eventually become that selfcommunity we valueETHICALITY ie having a capacity for right action able to provide good sound arguments for what we believe and doIntersectionalityOther assumptions about identity beyond genderWere not really interested in gender we are actually interested in people living full lives and so we look at the intersections where people live Intersections of identitiesrace class ability sexual orientation ethnicitynationality Intersections of systemscultural political economic legal etcwith particular interest in patriarchy colonialism globalizationFeminist PraxisWe are accountable for our beliefsactions We begin with our own experiences and critique the way we interpret our experiences often using theory to do so Theory can help us understand why we think and act the way we do so that we can make informed choices and stand behind our ways of being in the worldTheoryActionPraxisInterdisciplinary Interdisciplinary inquiry involves researchers students and teachers in the goals of connecting and integrating several academic schools of thought professions or technologies in the pursuit of a common task Interdisciplinary approaches typically focus on problems thought to be too complex or vast for adequate understanding with a single discipline In a sense interdisciplinary involves attacking an issue from various angles and methods eventually cutting across disciplines and forming a new method for understanding the subject Gender studies are an entirely interdisciplinary yet distinct field of study and practice 2 Unit 2 PowerPrivilege OppressionSocial oppression exists when one social group whether knowingly or unconsciously exploits another social group for its own benefitDefining conditions of oppression 1 The dominant group defines and names reality and determines what is normal real or correct 2 Harassment discrimination exploitation marginalization and other forms of differential and unequal treatment are institutionalized and systematic 3 Psychological colonization of the target group occurs by socializing them to internalize their oppressed condition and collude with the dominant groups ideology and social system4 The target groups culture language and history is misrepresented discounted or eradicated and the dominant groups culture is imposedOppression is a typically the result of normal everyday practices of wellmeaning people in a well intentioned liberal society Not necessarily conscious very real Rather than finding a social place that best suits needs interests potential they are sorted into different social groupings and assigned a place according to social identity Why is this situation oppressive a you must stay in your assigned place b social structure set up by dominant group and advantages members of that group HegemonyUnthinking acceptance of subordination the unquestioned dominance of one group over another ideological manipulation A social process used to maintain order in a society by giving groups particular identities and roles to play PrivilegePrivilege is a special right advantage or immunity granted or available only to one person or group of people In GNDS social privilege is unearned advantages that are systematically created and culturally nourished The mechanisms by which privilege is grantedmaintained largely invisible to individuals Systems of social oppression such as race patriarchy capitalism and colonialism are interconnected systems of power that maintain privilege for different groups Privilege Gender and RaceGender race These kinds of barriers are intentional and systematic their purpose being to set up a particular social order Dominant groups are privileged by the barriers that immobilize marginalized groups But whether privileged or oppressed every person is implicated in this state of affairs and is accountable for their choices and actions
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