Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area IV: Social & Behavioral Sciences
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the social construction of gender.


Application of sociological theories, concepts and perspectives to an understanding of gender. Focuses on how individuals think and act as gendered beings and how gender becomes an organizing principle in social life. Topics include the social construction of gender, theories of gender socialization, femininities and masculinities, gendered interactions and doing gender, how race, class, nation and sexuality shapes gender, and gender inequality within social institutions, including politics, the economy, family, religion, education and health care.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Apply the sociological perspective to the concept of gender.
B. Evaluate the sociological approach to the study of gender as it compares to individualistic as well as biological determinist approaches.
C. Analyze the relationship between gender, class, race and sexuality.
D. Investigate the varieties of masculinities and femininities in different contexts.
E. Understand and apply the concept of gender as an accomplished performance by doing gender.
F. Understand the concept of gendered institutions and apply it to the family, education, work, media, the economy, politics and religion.
G. Analyze the varying types of feminism and feminist theory.

Course Content

A. Introduction
1. Feminist Perspectives
2. The Sociological Imagination
3. Defining Feminism
4. Women's Studies and the Inclusion of Women
5. The Growth of Men's Studies
6. The Significance of Gender, Race, and Class
7. A Sociological Framework for Thinking About Women
B. Gender, Culture, and Sexuality
1. The Social Construction of Gender
2. Biology, Culture, and Society
3. Gender Identity
4. Socialization across the Life Course
5. Theoretical Perspectives on the Formation of Gender
C. Gender, Culture, and the Media
1. Gender, Language and Popular Culture
2. Gender and the Media
3. Gender and the Social Construction of Knowledge
D. Sexuality and Intimate Relationships
1. The Social Construction of Sexuality
2. The History of Sexuality in the United States
3. Contemporary Sexual Attitudes and Behavior
4. Race, Sexuality, and Power
5. Sexual Development over the Life Cycle
6. Love and Intimate Relationships
7. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Experiences
E. Gender, Work, and the Economy
1. Historical Perspectives on Women's Work
2. Economic Restructuring, Class, and Gender Stratification
3. The Contemporary Status of Women in the Workforce
4. Poverty and Welfare
5. Work Environments
6. Intersections of Family and Work
7. Policies for Gender Equity
F. Gender and Families
1. Historical Perspectives on Modern Families
2. Feminist Perspectives on Families
3. Family Diversity
4. Race, Gender and Families
5. Families and Social Problems
G. Gender, Health, and Reproduction
1. The Social Structure of Health
2. Gender, Health, and Social Problems
3. The Politics of Reproduction
4. Gender and the Health Care System
H. Gender and Religion
1. Sociological Perspectives on Religion
2. Religion and Social Control
3. Religion and the Emergence of Feminism in the United States
4. Women and Religiosity
5. Women's Status in Religious Institutions
6. Religion and Social Justice
I. Gender, Crime, and Deviance
1. Sociological Perspectives on Crime and Deviance
2. Women as Victims of Crime
3. Women as Criminals
4. Women in the Criminal Justice System
J. Gender, Education, and Science
1. Women and the History of Education
2. Gender and Educational Success
3. Women in Higher Education
4. Gender, Science, and Society
K. Gender, Power, and Politics
1. Defining Power
2. Women and the State
3. Women and the Law
4. Women in Government
5. Women and the Military
6. The Women's Movement
L. Gender, Social Reform and Feminism
1. Frameworks of Feminist Theory
2. The Liberal Basis of Modern Feminism
3. Early Liberal Feminists
4. The Critique of Liberal Feminism
5. Historical Roots of Radical Feminism
6. Socialist Feminism
7. Radical Feminism
8. Multiracial Feminism
9. Postmodernist Feminism
10. Queer Theory and Sexualities

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

When taught as an online distance learning course, students and faculty need ongoing and continuous Internet and email access.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include, but are not limited to:
A. Class discussions
B. Active learning exercises
C. Oral presentations
D. Critical essay(s)
E. Examinations or quizzes

Method(s) of Instruction

Lecture, Discussion, Oral presentations, Electronic discussions/chat.

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Anderson, Margaret L. Thinking about Women: Sociological Perspectives on Sex and Gender. 10th ed. Boston: Pearson, 2014.

Baca Zinn, Maxine, Pierette Hondagneu-Sotelo, Michael Messner, and Amy M. Dennison. Gender through the Prism of Difference. 5th ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Kimmel, Michael. The Gendered Society. 5th ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Kimmel, Michael and Amy Aronson. The Gendered Society Reader. 5th ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

Kimmel, Michael and Michael Messner. Men's Lives. 9th ed. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2012.

Renzetti, Claire M., Daniel J. Curran, and Shana L. Maier. Women, Men, and Society. 6th ed. New York: Pearson, 2012.


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

A. Weekly college level readings from primary and secondary sources averaging 50-100 pages in length.

B. College level writing assignments based on primary and secondary source reflection and/or analysis in the form of critical essays, journal entries, and/or weekly topical discussion responses.