Course Description

While the majority of women work for pay, they also remain the primary caregivers for their young children and their elderly parents. Women continue to earn, on average, less than men, and occupational segregation persists, in which women predominate in select professions or in lower status positions within their professions. For women of color, these dynamics are exacerbated by the intersection of racial and gender bias. This course will provide students with an analytic framework to understand the roles that gender and race play in defining the work worlds of women and men in our society, including ways in which gender intersects with race and class. It will also look at specific workplace-related policies through a gender/race lens, including welfare policy, comparable worth, affirmative action, parental leave policy, child care policy and working time policies. We will investigate ways in which these policies address gender and racial inequities, and think critically about mechanisms for change.

We will use texts, articles, films, an audio tape and theater.

Course Requirements

Students are expected to complete the weekly readings prior to class, to attend all classes and to participate in discussion. The course grades are based on class participation (10%), response papers/presentations (20%), a 10-page research/policy paper that involves library or field research (40%), and a final paper/presentation in which students explore strategies for change (30%). (See below for further detail regarding course requirements.)

Class Participation 10%
Response Papers/Presentations 20%
10-Page Research/Policy Paper 40%
Final Paper/Presentation 30%

Attendance and Participation

The success of this course is dependent on ongoing, active student participation. I will usually lecture at the beginning of each class to provide a framework for understanding the topic and the readings, but the class will revolve around student interaction rather than lectures.

Because of the centrality of active class participation, students are expected to attend every class period. Students' absences would be missed by all, since every student's presence is critical for the lively exchange of ideas. Attendance is taken into consideration in figuring the Class Participation grade. (Participation accounts for 10% of your grade. Excessive absences, missing more than two classes, will negatively affect your overall grade.)

Response Papers/Presentations

Students will each complete two response papers / presentations during the semester. 

One-page Reaction Papers

These reaction papers will not be graded.

10-page Research/Policy Paper

A paper prospectus is due on Week 6. This prospectus should describe the proposed topic and a general outline of the paper. The prospectus will not be graded! It is simply an opportunity for students to get feedback from the instructor about their ideas. The instructor will give written commentary, offering suggestions about how to proceed. Students are welcome to make an appointment with the instructor to discuss this paper as well.

A 10-page research/policy paper is due on Week 8.

Final Paper (10-12 pages) and Presentation: Work in the 21st Century: Pressure Points for Change

On the final day of class, we will have a debate in which the various perspectives will be presented.

We look forward to working with you this semester.