Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2021
Units: 5
Hours: 5 lecture per week (60 total per quarter)
Advisory: Demonstrated proficiency in English by placement via multiple measures OR through an equivalent placement process OR completion of ESLL 125 & ESLL 249; not open to students with credit in SPCH 10.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area VI: United States Cultures & Communities, Area VII: Lifelong Learning
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • A successful student will be able to practice critical thinking and examine the lived human experience.
  • A successful student will improve communication skills within and between gender groups.


A comparative and integrative study of the interactive relationship between communication, gender, and culture in American society. Emphasis on the multiple ways communication in interpersonal relationships, educational institutions, organizations, media, and society in general creates and perpetuates gender roles. Analysis of gendered histories, traditions, and practices which normalize certain expectations, values, meanings and patterns of behavior across cultural/racial lines (Asian Americans, African Americans, European Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans, Gays, Lesbians, Bisexual and Transgendered peoples).

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Analyze the growing body of research on gender patterns in communication, especially the evidence of differences and similarities in the way gender impacts communication.
B. Develop an ability to be critical and holistic in analysis by examining many other forces which influence our thinking and behavior, such as race, class, sexual orientation, age, appearance, and physical ability.
C. Practice critical thinking and examine our own lived experience to reflect on and analyze research.
D. Discover ways to apply the information learned in the interest of improving our own communication within and between gender groups.

Course Content

A. Theoretical Approaches to Gender Development
1. Biological theories that differentiate women and men
2. Interpersonal theoretical viewpoints explaining gender development
3. Cultural theories that examine the larger influences of culture on gender development
B. Rhetorical Shaping of Gender Communication: Movements in America
1. First, second, and third waves of women's movements
2. Womanists movement of African-American and other women of color addresses the parallel concern of racism and sexism
3. Multicultural Feminism movement that recognizes women and men are located in a range of systems of domination
4. Male movements, consisting pro-feminist men, promasculinists, spiritually transformative, and political transformative groups
C. Verbal Dimensions of Gender Communication
1. Expression of cultural views in verbal communication
2. Gendered interaction: Feminine and masculine styles
3. Language and polarized thinking of the sexes
D. Nonverbal Dimensions of Gender Communication
1. Relationship-level of meaning that identifies and defines relationships between individuals
2. Regulatory function of nonverbal communication and its effect on interaction
3. Patterns of nonverbal communication and socialization into gender roles
E. Gendered Family Dynamics
1. Unconscious processes contribute to gender development through identification and internalization
2. Parenting models of masculinity and femininity influence gender development and attitudes regarding physical attractiveness
F. Gender Communication in Interpersonal Relationships
1. Gender differences between masculine and feminine individuals lead to recognizable patterns in relationships
2. Gender differences in masculine and feminine socialization create different perspectives and experiences in romantic relationship
3. The division of labor in heterosexual relationships and engendered power dynamics
G. Gendered Education: Communication in the Educational Setting
1. Educational system and the socializing influence within American culture
2. Curricular content of courses and instructional materials reflect a hidden curriculum present in academic environment; educational processes characterize the educational system
H. Gendered Organizational Communication
1. Institutional stereotypes of women and men that are reflected in policies, structures, and practices
2. Misunderstandings in professional communication along gender lines
3. Gender systems in organizations
4. Efforts to redress gendered inequity
I. Media Influences on Gender
1. Prevalence of media in cultural life that relay messages of appropriate roles for men and women
2. Implications of media representation that define gender roles and perpetuate unrealistic, limiting and stereotyped images of genders
3. Media influence that regulate what individuals read or watch as newsworthy
J. Gendered Power and Violence
1. Social construction of gendered violence as normal, natural, and acceptable
2. Six forms of gendered violence
3. Cultural factors that sustain domestic violence
4. Social institutions uphold tolerance for violence
5. Ways to resist and reduce gendered violence

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. When taught on campus: access to a computer with email and internet capability; projection system for computer and DVD projection.
B. When taught via Foothill Global Access: on-going access to computer with email software and capabilities; email address; JavaScript-enabled internet browsing software.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Quizzes, midterm and final examination
Research paper/project: Students produce formal academic paper with critical evaluation of gendered communication concepts examined in the course, and practical application of gendered communication patterns in personal and professional situations

Method(s) of Instruction

Cooperative learning exercises
Oral presentations
Electronic discussions/chat
Independent study

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

DeFrancisco, Victoria P.. Gender in Communication: A Critical Introduction, 3rd ed.. 2018.

Kirk, Gwyn. Gendered Lives: Intersectional Perspectives, 7th ed.. 2019.

Wood, Julia T.. Gendered Lives: Communication, Gender, and Culture, 13th ed.. 2018.

When taught via Foothill Global Access: supplemental lectures, handouts, tests, and assignments delivered via email and/or internet.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Cooperative learning/electronic discussion.
B. Approximately one topic per week based on text and/or lectures.
C. Additional readings on gender communication related topics from handouts.
D. Papers and exercises applying topics covered in class to gender communication situations, such as work, family, social relationships, and romantic relationships. For example:
1. Consider Hofstede's concepts of Masculinity and Femininity in the section on Gendered Organizational Communication. Is the United States more masculine or feminine at the workplace? What about Japan? And Norway? Cite three research studies (one per country) to support your answer.


Communication Studies