Feminism and Social Change

This module investigates gender inequalities within society through a focus on historical and contemporary debates in feminist theory and activism. The module has an `intersectional` focus that means we will consider gender inequalities as bound up with other forms of discrimination and marginalisation, particularly racial and ethnic inequalities, disability and social class.

The module will challenge you to think about `what feminism means today` through a consideration of key aspects of feminist thought and activism from the late 1960s onwards. We will consider the continued relevance of the idea of ‘The Personal is Political’ and ‘consciousness raising’. We will overview feminist approaches to social research and explore feminist interventions in practices of gender inequality, for example inequalities in paid and unpaid work, childcare and women’s health. You will complete an intergenerational interview research project on ‘women, work and social change’ through which you will analyse and reflect upon your experience of the research process.

We will also take the feminist manifesto as a central document which expresses lived experiences of gender inequalities and collective desire for social change. Through some practices of inequalities, such as art, beauty contests, capitalism and patriarchy, we will explore the contemporary resonance of ideas such as black feminisms, art activism, the occupy movement and backlash.

By the end of the module you will have been given the opportunity to become familiar with some of the key debates within feminism today. We aim for you to be able to make connections between feminist theory and forms of feminist practice. The module engages you in debate, original research and feminist activism through analysis of varied media including academic texts, advertising, art, film, news media and social media.