Women's Studies is an interdisciplinary field that identifies gender as one of the central organizing principles of human experience. Grounded in feminist theory and centered around feminist scholarship, Women's Studies confronts and challenges institutional, individual and ideological systems of power, privilege and inequity. Women's Studies analyzes socially constructed power imbalances based on gender, race, class, sexual identity, ability, age and other differences, allowing students profound insights into the origins of their own experience.
Because Women's Studies seeks to understand how our gendered experience affects every aspect of our lives, course topics may include: gender socialization, family, work, politics, health, sexuality, body image, violence, spirituality, art and culture. We may also discuss feminists' roles in social justice movements of the past as well as current and future trends in scholarship and activism.
Since other aspects of identity influence how individuals understand gender, we can't assume we all share the same experiences. Women's Studies creates opportunities to understand how and why we assign value to our differences and suggests strategies for resisting the power imbalances that result. By acknowledging that we don't have to be the same to be equal, Women's Studies provides a platform for exploring our differences as a potential source of strength rather than only a source of conflict. Students are encouraged to explore their relationship to individual and institutional power and to make visible the social and political forces at work. What advantages and obstacles do we each experience as a result of our socially constructed identities? Whose experience is understood as "normal" and why might it matter? What individual and communal action can we take?
Women's Studies students learn new and exciting ways to interpret the world around them, and their place within it. Most students find that their worldview undergoes profound changes as a result of taking a Women's Studies class. What new things will you notice?
Are you ready to:
- Think critically
- View popular culture in ways you've never imagined
- Gain a new self-awareness
- Transform your interpersonal relationships
- Confront our shared legacy of privilege and oppression
- Take action!
If so, Women's Studies at Clark College is ready to help you take that next step...