1 x 1-hour tutorial weekly
1 x 2-hour seminar weekly
Enrolment not permitted
1 of WMST2012, WMST8002, WMST8004 has been successfully completed
Course context
Associated major: Women's Studies

Bachelor of Psychology (Honours); Bachelor of Archaeology;
Assignment(s), Participation
Topic description
This topic introduces students to questions of gender and power in everyday life and social institutions in Australian society. It explores connections between personal experience and social structures, and the changing social position of women. The topic examines issues facing women today such as stereotypes and media images, differences among women, work, violence and families. It introduces concepts central to women's studies such as the sex/gender distinction; the social construction of difference; and the interrelatedness of gender and power. The topic will enhance students' oral and written communication skills and provides a valuable introduction to Women's Studies topics at second and third year level.
Educational aims
The aim of this topic is to introduce some basic concepts of Women's Studies through issues and debates about sex and gender in Australian society. This involves providing a framework within which to consider:
  • How ideas about sex and gender are created and circulated in society
  • The diversity of women's experiences in contemporary Australian society formed through race, ethnicity, class and sexuality
Expected learning outcomes
After successfully completing this topic students should be able to:
  • Explain the concepts of gender, sex and identity and use them appropriately
  • Identify and analyse the ways understandings of gender affect power relations in Australian society
  • Identify and analyse the ways race, ethnicity, class and sexuality affect gender identity and experience in Australia
  • Criticise and rebut popular misconceptions about sex/gender
  • Critically analyse a variety of representations, including advertisements, film, life stories and academic scholarship

Students will be asked to demonstrate this in a number of ways, which may include:
  • Producing a poster which critically analyses print media representations of gender
  • Completing short weekly tasks on critical analysis and/or scholarly practice
  • Producing a critically analytical essay