1 x 1-hour tutorial weekly
1 x 2-hour seminar weekly
Enrolment not permitted
1 of WMST2012, WMST8002, WMST8004 has been successfully completed
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

This topic aims 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 as well as the various ways the diversity of women's experiences in contemporary Australian society formed through race, ethnicity, class and sexuality.

Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Explain the concepts of gender, sex and identity and use them appropriately
  2. Identify and analyse power relations in Australian society and how these influence and are influenced by gender
  3. Examine the ways race, ethnicity, class and sexuality affect gender identity and experience in Australia
  4. Criticise and rebut popular misconceptions about sex/gender
  5. Use critical analysis to explore various representations, including advertisements, film, life stories and academic scholarship

Key dates and timetable

(1), (2)

Each class is numbered in brackets.
Where more than one class is offered, students normally attend only one.

Classes are held weekly unless otherwise indicated.


If you are enrolled for this topic, but all classes for one of the activities (eg tutorials) are full,
contact your College Office for assistance. Full classes frequently occur near the start of semester.

Students may still enrol in topics with full classes as more places will be made available as needed.

If this padlock appears next to an activity name (eg Lecture), then class registration is closed for this activity.

Class registration normally closes at the end of week 2 of each semester.

Classes in a stream are grouped so that the same students attend all classes in that stream.
Registration in the stream will result in registration in all classes.
  Unless otherwise advised, classes are not held during semester breaks or on public holidays.