Interdisciplinary Introduction to Gender Studies

lpols1232  2022-2023  Louvain-la-Neuve

Interdisciplinary Introduction to Gender Studies
5.00 credits
15.0 h
Merla Laura; Quennehen Marine (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.
Learning outcomes

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 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).
As a multidisciplinary category, gender challenges the idea of a supposedly natural biological dualism of the sexes and its political and social effects. The main objective of this course will be to present, and encourage students to use, a critical gendered analysis approach. In order to do so, the course will be divided into two main parts:
- The first part will serve as an introduction to gender studies’ central concepts as well as the various feminist approaches to the construction/deconstruction of scientific knowledge. In this part, we will understand how the different disciplines have integrated these concepts and analytical approaches over time - and the impact this has had on the production of knowledge. 
- The second part will address, on the basis of a portfolio of compulsory readings, some major transversal themes in gender studies. Among them: feminist epistemologies, intersectionality, and masculinities. In this part, we will see how gender critical analysis makes it possible to approach these themes and we will practice applying this analysis together, in view of the final evaluation. 
Teaching methods
Lecture course
Evaluation methods
Written exam
La bibliographie générale ainsi que des lectures conseillées seront déposées sur Moodle.
Teaching materials
  • Moodle
Faculty or entity

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

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Bachelor in Human and Social Sciences

Bachelor in Sociology and Anthropology

Minor in Gender Studies