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Gender and Social Movements Syllabus

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Department of Women's and Gender Studies
Department of Sociology
Sonoma State University

This syllabus is for a 3-semester-unit course, taught in a three-hour class once a week for 15 weeks.

Course Description:

Social movements organized around gender issues and identities are significant sources of social change in modern societies. This course analyzes the structure and dynamics of social movements based on gender, as well as the participation of women in other social movements. We pay close attention to the roles of organizations, resources, leadership, recruitment, commitment, values, ideology, political culture, and counter-movements. Case studies will emphasize the woman suffrage movement, the new feminist movement that began in the 1960s as well as its offshoots and counter-movements, the gay and lesbian rights movement, and the recent men's movements.

Required Texts:

Janet Zollinger Giele, Two Paths to Women's Equality: Temperance, Suffrage, and the Origins of Modern Feminism (Twayne, 1995).

Eleanor Flexner, Century of Struggle: The Woman's Rights Movement in the United States, revised edition, introduction by Ellen Fitzpatrick (1959; Harvard Univ. Press/Belknap, 1996).

Ruth Rosen, The World Split Open: How the Modern Women’s Movement Changed America (Viking, 2000).

Barry D. Adam, The Rise of a Gay and Lesbian Movement, revised edition (1987; Twayne, 1995).

Quote: "The struggle of humanity against oppression is the struggle of memory against forgetting." -- Milan Kundera

Course Requirements:

  1. Attendance, preparation, and participation are essential.  Attendance will be verified each class period.  Participation in class discussions will count 15% of your grade.  Unexcused absences will lower this score.
  2. You will write several short (1-2 pages) reaction papers as assigned, to count 20% of your grade.
  3. You will present to the class oral reports on assigned topics as part of a collaborative team, and serve with this team as a reaction panel to films and videos, to count 15% of your grade.
  4. You will complete a take-home mid-term assignment, to count 25% of your grade.
  5. You will write a research paper (at least 10 pages, typed, double-spaced), to count 25% of your grade. The subject can be a local gender-related social action group, a local chapter of a national gender related organization, or an historical topic related to gender and social movements. Books listed as "recommended resources" in the syllabus below are suggested as starting points for selected topics. The framework for this paper should synthesize some of the material from the second half of the course. Details on this assignment will be provided later. Plan to consult with the instructor on choice of topic.

Course Objectives:

  1. You will be able to identify and date two major phases of the woman suffrage movement, and identify three or four leading figures from each of these two periods and political generations;
  2. You will be able to apply a model of strategic analysis to the woman suffrage movement and other gender-based movements;
  3. You will be able to describe examples of women’s participation in the labor and civil rights movements;
  4. You will be able to identify two sources of the new feminist movement that emerged in the 1960s, and describe their contributions to women’s status today.
  5. You will be able to describe the emergence of a gay and lesbian rights movement, including its roots in the post-World War II era, its development in the late 1960s and 1970s, and the importance of such cities as New York and San Francisco in its development;
  6. You will be able to distinguish four strands in contemporary men’s movements.

Course Outline and Readings:

Required reading should be done before class.  Recommended resources can be used to develop term paper topics or follow a subject in greater depth.

 

1st Class:  Introduction to Course and the Woman Suffrage Movement
Video in class: "Not for Ourselves Alone: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony," part 1, first half
 
Recommended resource:
David Walls, The Activist's Almanac: The Concerned Citizen's Guide to the Leading Advocacy Organizations in America (Simon & Schuster/Fireside, 1993), Preface and Introduction, pp. 13-33
2nd Class: Stanton, Anthony and the Beginnings of Woman Suffrage
Video in class: "Not for Ourselves Alone," part 1, second half; plus "Solitude of Self" from part 2
 
Required reading:
Giele, Two Paths, chs. 1 and 2
Flexner, Century of Struggle, part I
 
Recommended resource:
Doug McAdam, Political Process and the Development of Black Insurgency, 1930-1970 (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1982) Intro, chs. 1-4 (Reserve)
3rd Class: The Development of the Woman Suffrage and Temperance Movements
Video in class: "One Woman, One Vote," part 1; intro to Pankhursts from "Shoulder to Shoulder," program 1
 
Required reading:
Giele, Two Paths, ch. 3
Flexner, Century of Struggle, part II
 
Recommended resources:
Bill Moyer, Doing Democracy (New Society Publishers, 2001)
Robert L. Allen, Reluctant Reformers: Racism and Social Reform Movements in the United States (Howard Univ. Press, 1974; Anchor Books, 1975), ch. 5, "Woman Suffrage: Feminism and White Supremacy"
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage, History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. I, 1848-1861, Preface and Introduction
Web site: "Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1830-1930,"
http://womhist.binghamton.edu/
4th Class: The Pankhursts and the Militant Suffrage Movement in Britain
Student team reports on woman suffrage in the Western states
 
Video in class: from "Shoulder to Shoulder," program 5, "Outrage!"
 
Recommended resources:
Midge Mackenzie, Shoulder to Shoulder (Knopf, 1975)
Sylvia Strauss, "Traitors to the Masculine Cause:" The Men's Campaigns for Women's Rights (Greenwood Press, 1982), chs. 6 and 7, pp. 168-233.
David Widgery, "Sylvia Pankhurst: Pioneer of Working Class Feminism," Radical America, vol. 13, no. 3 (May-June 1979), pp. 23-38
Barbara Winslow, Sylvia Pankhurst: Sexual Politics and Political Activism (St. Martin's Press, 1996)
Shiela Rowbotham, A Century of Women: The History of Women in Britain and the United States in the Twentieth Century (Viking Press, 1997)
5th Class: Woman Suffrage: Victory
Video in class: "One Woman, One Vote, " part 2
 
Required reading:
Giele, Two Paths, ch. 4
Flexner, Century of Struggle, part III
 
Recommended resources:
Women Win the Vote Gazette, NWHP
Ellen Carol DuBois, Harriot Stanton Blatch and the Winning of Woman Suffrage (Yale Univ. Press, 1997)
Marjorie Spruill Wheeler, ed., One Woman, One Vote: Rediscovering the Woman Suffrage Movement (NewSage Press, 1995)
6th Class: Women in the Labor Movement and the Left; Take-home Mid-term Assignment (Due in two weeks)
Video excerpt from "New York," part 4, on the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire; "Union Maids"
 
Recommended resources:
Walls, Activist's Almanac, "Workers' Rights," pp. 181-188
Alice and Staughton Lynd, Rank and File (Beacon Press, 1973), chapters on "Stella Nowicki" and "Sylvia Woods" (Reserve folder)
Vivian Gornick, The Romance of American Communism (Basic Books, 1977), pp. 4-13
Myra Marx Ferree and Beth B. Hess, Controversy and Coalition: The New Feminist Movement Across Three Decades of Change, second edition (1985; Twayne, 1994), chs. 1-2
7th Class: Women in the Civil Rights Movement;
Video clips in class:  from "Eyes on the Prize," program 1, "Awakenings," on the Montgomery Bus Boycott and program 3, "Ain't Scared of Your Jails," on Nashville sit-ins and Freedom Rides.
 
Recommended resources:
Ferree and Hess, Controversy and Coalition, Ch. 3
McAdam, Political Process, Chs. 3, 4 and 5
Aldon D. Morris, The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement: Black Communities Organizing for Change (Free Press, 1984)
Douglas Brinkley, Rosa Parks (Penguin, 2000)
Joanne Grant, Ella Baker: Freedom Bound (Wiley, 1998)
Belinda Robnett, How Long? How Long? African-American Women in the Struggle for Civil Rights (Oxford Univ. Press, 1997)
Lynne Olson, Freedom’s Daughters (Scribner, 2001)
Deep in Our Hearts: Nine White Women in the Freedom Movement (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2000)
8th Class: Mid-term papers due; The Civil Rights Movement, the New Left, and Women's Liberation
Video clips in class: from "Eyes on the Prize," program 5, "Mississippi: Is This America?" and from "America's War on Poverty," program 4, "In Service to America," on VISTAs in Appalachia
 
Required reading:
Andrea Ayvazian, "Interrupting the Cycle of Oppression: The Role of Allies as Agents of Change," Fellowship (January/February 1995), pp. 6-9.
 
Recommended resources:
Doug McAdam, "Gender as a Mediator of the Activist Experience: The Case of Freedom Summer," American Journal of Sociology, vol. 97, no. 5 (March 1992), 1211-40
Sara Evans, Personal Politics: The Roots of Women's Liberation in the Civil Rights Movement and the New Left (Random House/Vintage, 1979)
9th Class: From the Doldrums to the New Feminism
Video clip in class from "Eleanor Roosevelt"
 
Required reading:
Giele, Two Paths, ch. 5
Rosen, The World Split Open, chs. 1-4
 
Recommended resources:
Ferree and Hess, Controversy and Coalition, ch. 4-5
Davis, Moving the Mountain: The Women's Movement in America Since 1960 (Simon & Schuster, 1991), chs. 1-3
Leila J. Rupp and Verta Taylor, Survival in the Doldrums: The American Women's Rights Movement, 1945 to the 1960s (Oxford Univ. Press, 1987
Cynthia Harrison, On Account of Sex: The Politics of Women's Issues, 1945-1968 (Univ. of Calif. Press, 1988)
Susan Ware: Beyond Suffrage: Women in the New Deal (Harvard Univ. Press, 1981)
10th Class: The New Feminist Movement
Video clip in class from "Firing Line" debate on the women’s movement
 
Required reading:
Rosen, The World Split Open, chs. 5-7
 
Recommended resources:
Flora Davis, Moving the Mountain, chs. 4-17
Walls, Activist's Almanac, Intro to "Gender and Sexuality," profiles of LWV, NOW, NWPC, pp. 231-253
Jo Freeman, The Politics of Women's Liberation (McKay, 1975)
Alice Echols, Daring to be Bad: Radical Feminism in America, 1967-1975 (Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1989)
Marcia Cohen, The Sisterhood (Fawcett Columbine, 1988)
Toni Carabillo, Judith Meuli, and June Bundy Csida, Feminist Chronicles, 1953-1993 (Women's Graphics, 1993)
Anne N. Costain, Inviting Women's Rebellion: A Political Process Interpretation of the Women's Movement (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1992)
Mary Fainsod Katzenstein and Carol McClurg Mueller, eds., The Women's Movements of the United States and Western Europe (Temple Univ. Press, 1987)
11th Class: The New Feminism: Sub-movements and Counter-movements
Video clip in class on abortion debate
 
Required reading:
Rosen, The World Split Open, chs. 8-9 and Epilogue
 
Recommended resources:
Ferree and Hess, Controversy and Coalition, chs. 6-7
Davis, Moving the Mountain, chs. 18-23
Walls, Activist's Almanac, Legal Eagles, Women's PACs, Reproductive Rights
Jane Mansbridge, Why We Lost the ERA (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1988)
Suzanne Staggenborg, The Pro-Choice Movement (Oxford Univ. Press, 1991)
Susan Faludi, Backlash: The Undeclared War on American Women (Crown, 1991), interviews in parts 3 and 4
Michele McKeegan, Abortion Politics: Mutiny in the Ranks of the Right (Free Press, 1992)
Rebecca E. Klatch, Women of the New Right (Temple Univ. Press, 1987)
12th Class: The Rise of a Gay and Lesbian Movement
Video in class: "Before Stonewall"
 
Required reading:
Barry D. Adam, The Rise of a Gay and Lesbian Movement, revised ed. (1987; Twayne, 1995), chs. 1-5
 
Recommended resources:
Walls, Activist's Almanac, "Gay and Lesbian Rights," pp. 263-264
John Lauritsen and David Thorstad, The Early Homosexual Rights Movement, 1864-1935, revised ed. (1974; Times Change Press, 1995)
John D'Emilio, Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities: The Making of a Homosexual Minority in the U.S., 1940-1970 (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1983)
Stuart Timmons, The Trouble with Harry Hay: Founder of the Modern Gay Movement (Alyson Publications, 1990)
Harry Hay, Radically Gay: Gay Liberation in the Words of Its Founder, ed. By Will Roscoe (Beacon Press, 1996)
Martin Duberman, Stonewall (Plume, 1993)
13th Class: The Development of the Gay and Lesbian Movement
Video clips in class: from "The Times of Harvey Milk"
 
Required reading:
Barry D. Adam, The Rise of a Gay and Lesbian Movement, chs. 6-8
 
Recommended resources:
Walls, Activist's Almanac, profiles of NGLTF, HRCF, Lambda LDEF, pp. 265-268
Randy Shilts, The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk (St. Martin's Press, 1982)
Margaret Cruikshank, The Gay and Lesbian Liberation Movement (Routledge, 1992)
Mark Thompson, ed., Long Road to Freedom: The Advocate History of the Gay and Lesbian Movement (St. Martin's Press, 1994)
14th Class: The Men's Movements: Pro-Feminist, Mythopoetic, Conservative Christian, and Men's Rights
Video clip in class from Bill Moyers interviewing Robert Bly on men
 
Student reports
 
Required reading:
Jon Cohen, "Analyzing (the) Men's Movement: Feminist Allies or Anti-feminist Backlash, " The Nonviolent Activist, March 1992, pp. 7-9
Timothy Beneke, "Pro-Feminist Man", Express (27 March 1992), pp. 13-19
Keith Thompson, "Promise Keepers," Pacific Sun (January 17-23, 1996), pp. 11-14
Sara Diamond, "The New Man: The Promise Keepers are on the Road to Stardom," Z Magazine (December 1995), pp. 16-18
 
Recommended resources:
Sylvia Strauss, "Traitors to the Masculine Cause:" The Men's Campaigns for Women's Rights (Greenwood Press, 1982)
Michael Kimmel and Thomas Mosmiller, eds., Against the Tide: Pro-Feminist Men in the United States, 1776-1990 (1994)
Robert Bly, Iron John: A Book about Men (Addison-Wesley, 1990)
Al Janssen, ed., Seven Promises of a Promise Keeper (Focus on the Family Publishing, 1994)
15th Class: Student Reports