17.007J / 17.006 / 24.237 / SP.601J / WGS.601J Feminist Political Thought, Spring 2006
Feminist Political Thought
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This course is designed as a focused survey of feminist political thought and theory, exploring the various and often competing ways feminists have framed discussions about sex, gender, and oppression. Beginning with a consideration of key terms (sex, gender, oppression) and the meaning of social construction, we will move on to study three central feminist approaches to political thought (humanist, gynocentric, and dominance). The primary goal of this course is to familiarize students with key issues, questions and debates in feminist theory, both historical and contemporary. This semester you will become acquainted with many of the critical questions and concepts feminist scholars have developed as tools for thinking about gendered experience. In addition to the presentation of theoretical ideas, we will consider examples of practical political application of those concepts. The concluding weeks of the course address the many tensions between generalized theoretical approaches and localized political efforts, particularly as they relate to identity politics and issues of diversity within feminist groups and movements. Finally, we will consider the connections, commonalities, and differences between feminist political thought and other theoretical approaches to political movements, such as queer theory, postcolonial theory, and global and human rights organizing.
feminism, sex, gender, oppression, politics, social construction, political thought, humanist, gynocentric, dominance, feminist theory, 17.007J, 17.007, 17.006, 24.237, SP.601J, SP.601