2012-13 Catalog

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Offering Description

Gender Performances


Winter 2013 quarter

Toska Olson sociology, gender studies , Susan Fiksdal linguistics and languages
Fields of Study
cultural studies, field studies, gender and women's studies, linguistics and sociology
Preparatory for studies or careers in
humanities, social sciences, education and law.

What are the signals we learn and display to perform our gender? How do different cultures create and maintain gender differences? This program will explore these questions and others through the lenses of sociolinguistics and sociology. We will examine the ways that masculinities and femininities are socially constructed through language and other symbolic interactions within the context of a variety of social situations. We will investigate the privileges displayed through gendered performances and examine how people reproduce, contest, or redefine the categories that come to define their identities.

A major component of our studies will involve weekly fieldwork exercises that scrutinize the social construction process occurring around us. Using a variety of concepts and methodologies from sociolinguistics and sociology, we will examine sources including informal conversations, advertisements, children's toys and books, and several forms of media. Students should be prepared to read a variety of texts including journal articles, academic texts, ethnographies and short fiction. In a final project, students will write a detailed research proposal based on the work we have done.

Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Required Fees
$15 for videotapes and DVDs.
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
December 11th, 2012 This program now accepts students at all class levels (Freshman to Senior).
April 18th, 2012 This program is now offered to freshmen only.