Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
WS 202
Course Title:
Women, Activism and Social Change
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Examines how women have worked to empower girls and women and improve the conditions of their lives. Explores ways that feminist theories have shaped the goals and strategies of social change efforts. Offers an in-depth look at selected topic areas, connects analysis and personal experience, and focuses on how to become an effective change agent. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Recognize influences of changing political, social, economic, religious, sexual, historical, and cultural patterns in the creation and perpetuation of injustice.
  • Evaluate effective possibilities for empowering women and working toward positive change in the lives of women.
  • Use feminist theoretical perspectives to analyze social change efforts.
  • Communicate effectively in writing, collaborating, and speaking to make feminist social change.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

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

  1.  Written or oral assignments, objective or essay examinations
  2. Research projects, participation in class discussions, small group activities, exercises, or role plays
  3. Performances or plays
  4. Oral or visual presentations
  5. Participating in or organizing community or professional events
  6. Service learning activities

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Competencies, and Skills:

  1. Reflect on the history of women€™s advocacy for positive changes in the conditions which impact girls€™ and women€™s lives.
  2. Articulate and explore ways in which women and men can implement a vision of social change which empowers women and improves the circumstances of their lives.
  3. Explain several feminist theoretical perspectives.
  4. Examine a topic relevant to girl€™s or women€™s lives, and analyze efforts and effects of social change on this topic.
  5. Develop skills in explaining one€™s views in depth and listening respectfully to others.
  6. Explore possible directions for future social change efforts.

Themes, Concepts, Issues:

  • power, privilege
  • sexism, albums, ageism
  • heterosexism, homophobia
  • sexual orientation, sexual minorities
  • androgyny
  • systems of oppression
  • patriarchy
  • identity politics
  • dualism
  • essentialism
  • social constructivism
  • feminist epistemologies
  • authority of experience
  • first, second, and third wave feminisms
  • liberal, socialist, radical feminisms

Instructors teaching WS202 may focus on such topics as:

  • work and economics
  • violence
  • sport and leisure
  • politics and law
  • education
  • arts
  • mental health
  • health care
  • mass media/TV/film/Internet
  • religion
  • science
  • philosophy