Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
WS 101
Course Title:
Women's Studies
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Surveys and critically analyzes the position of women in society, in terms of present realities and future possibilities. Provides a framework to connect personal experience with contemporary social and political issues. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

1. Use concepts basic to feminist thought in order to develop new understandings of historical, current, and personally experienced events
2. Articulate ways that systems of power, privilege and oppression are created and maintained by socialcultural forces
3. Recognize the influences that systems of oppression have on diverse women€™s lives.
4. Identify and analyze social processes that constructgender roles.
5. Communicate skillfully by writing, speaking, and collaborating.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Student mastery of outcomes may be assessed by any combination of the following:

  • Written or oral assignments
  • Objective or essay examinations
  • Research projects
  • Participation in class discussions, small group activities, exercises, or role plays
  • Performances or plays
  • Oral or visual presentations
  • Service learning activities
  • Classroom attendance
  • Participating in or organizing community or professional events

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Competencies and Skills

  1. Reflect on the impact of gender on the lives of women in the United States and/or other culture.
  2. Articulate ways in which gender roles are socially constructed and how these roles shape the lives of people in both subordinate and dominant positions and how these roles can be revisioned.

Themes, Concepts, Issues

Instructors teaching WS101 will include:

  • empowering women
  • patriarchy, sexism, oppression
  • racism, classism, homophobia
  • social control, socialization, conformity
  • social construction of knowledge
  • body image
  • gender role socialization
  • family and intimate relationships
  • health and reproductive rights
  • sexuality and sexual identity
  • women and economics

Instructors teaching WS101 may include

  • first, second, and third wave feminism
  • essentialism, constructivism
  • ageism, ableism
  • history of feminism in the United States
  • women in the arts and media
  • spiritual expressions and religions traditions
  • origins of gender roles
  • women and the environment
  • women and the justice system
  • language and communication
  • mental health
  • women and politics
  • women and sports