Interdisciplinary Introduction to Gender Studies

LPOLS1232  2018-2019  Louvain-la-Neuve

Interdisciplinary Introduction to Gender Studies
5.0 credits
15.0 h

Merla Laura ; Deridder Marie ; Deridder Marie (compensates Merla Laura) ;
Main themes

The aim of the course is to encourage students to develop a critical reflexion on the roles of men and of women in society and to use gender as category of analysis since the first cycle of their studies. The programme gives an interdisciplinary training that raises important epistemological issues such as the neutrality of knowledge and gender biases in science.


The course expects to offer an introduction to gender studies and to present the interest of the field by considering contributions from different scientific disciplines (as history, sociology, anthropology, economics, demography, law, philosophy, psychology, ergonomics and neurosciences). We will specify the field of study by an historical introduction to gender inequality (in politics and citizenship, work, health, social security benefits, etc.). We will show how the field shed light on the social rules that differentiate people into men and women and hierarchize them. We will question the values, believes and social practices that intend to justify a supposedly neutral approach to science. Moreover, this year will be focus on the theme «gender and work». We will study feminist readings in social sciences that give a complex account of all forms of work and challenge the dichotomous frameworks (production/reproduction, paid/unpaid, recognised/unrecognised, formal/informal, etc.) through which they are generally considered (or omitted).

The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.


As a category of analysis, gender contests the apparently natural and determinist biological (dichotomous) sex difference and its political and social effects. Among the main topics we will explore in this seminar:

- An historical interdisciplinary introduction to gender studies

- A focus on a particular theme («gender and work») with the insight of various disciplines of social sciences

Teaching methods

The course is based on selected readings covering the two main topics presented above. The professor will offer a selection of texts that will be discussed in the classroom with the aid of guides previously distributed to the students. The students will also be able to choose some readings they would like to further investigate.

Evaluation methods

Individual and group-based evaluation: considering the preparation and participation all along the course and a final work (kind of reading note).

  • Bibliographie générale, portefeuille de lectures et guides de lecture permettant de préparer l'analyse qui sera faite collectivement en cours. Le matériel sera progressivement déposé sur Moodle

General bibliography, selection of readings and study guides for readings in order to prepare the analysis that will be completed collectively in the classroom. The material will progressively be added to Moodle.

Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Program title
Minor in Gender Studies

Bachelor in Human and Social Sciences

Bachelor in Sociology and Anthropology