Social Relationships and Responsibility: Theories and Critiques. Intersectionality



Course Number



Theme: Intersectionality

Description: Intersectionality has become a buzzword in academic, social justice, and (increasingly) mainstream discourse. For example, "intersectional feminism" as a term and framework to critique the mainstream feminist movement for lacking an intersectional scope in its praxis. The purpose of this course is to dissect intersectionality and work towards understanding what it means at numerous levels. We will examine the history of the intersectionality, including its origins stemming from the experiences of Black women, its academic adoption, and how it is used in social science research. We will discuss how intersectionality fits within the framework(s) of traditional and modern social theory, and how it can serve to expand our sociopolitical understandings of U.S. society. From here, we'll also explore how intersecting societal oppressions can impact our day-to-day lives and our development of self. We will see how we can use an intersectional lens when analyzing popular media (e.g., TV shows, movies, music) to address issues of (mis)representation and appropriation. We will also identify the critiques and limits of intersectionality as a concept and theoretical framework in order to develop a working approach towards improving how we use intersectionality in thought, language, expression, and experience.

Required Text: Hill Collins, P. & Bilge, S. (2016). Intersectionality. Malden, MA: Polity Press. Optional Text: Grzanka, P. R. (Ed.). (2014/2018). Intersectionality: A foundations and frontiers reader. New York, NY: Routledge Additional readings will be uploaded to Canvas.

Credit/Evaluation: Evaluation will include regular attendance; active and engaged participation in class discussions; 2 response papers; a presentation; and a final research paper.


Fall 2021
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