PHIL/WMST 275.001 – Philosophical and Moral Issues of Gender in Society

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Instructor: Megan Mitchell. This course meets TR 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. in CW 105.

This course is an introduction to some of the moral and philosophical issues of gender. The aim of the course is to (1) explore and evaluate some important concepts including oppression, sexism, equality, gender realism, and intersectionality and (2) examine how those concepts are deployed, critiqued, or ignored in five paradigmatic feminist theories: liberal feminism, socialist feminism, radical feminism, cultural feminism, and postmodern feminism.  Though the approach is somewhat historical in nature (examining how each of these theories emerge as a reaction to social conditions and the perceived inadequacies of previous theories) our goal is not to emerge at the end of the semester with a view about the “best” version of feminism available.  Instead, we will explore the development of the field, familiarizing ourselves with common themes and problems.  Students will leave the course armed with the conceptual and methodological tools necessary to identify and evaluate feminist claims.  We will end the semester by discussing some real-world instances of gender oppression to better understand how these abstract theories might inform our social lives.