women's studies

(redirected from Female studies)
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Related to Female studies: women's studies, Woman studies

women's studies

a multidisciplinary approach to the analysis and understanding of the position and experience of women in patriarchal societies both past and present. Emerging alongside the growth of the WOMEN'S LIBERATION MOVEMENT in the late 1960s, women's studies programmes have been developed and expanded in higher education establishments in Europe and the US. Informed essentially by a commitment to feminist theories, methodologies and practice, women's studies programmes seek, via a woman-centred approach to learning, to challenge the misrepresentation of women found in traditional disciplines, including sociology. The content of women's studies courses has been shaped by feminists working within the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. They have also been shaped by feminists working in the community, particularly in women's organizations. Thus women's studies programmes have emerged out of women's direct experience of and response to sexual exploitation and oppression. An essential aim of women's studies is to render visible women's engagement with society and culture whilst making explicit the masculine biases underpinning traditional knowledge. Women's studies programmes seek to challenge all major forms of discrimination and to question the rigid boundaries demarcating one academic subject from another. As such, they provide a radical critique of established academic knowledge and educational practice. The content of such programmes varies but most courses aim to combine a feminist analysis of women's oppression with the development of practical skills such as assertiveness training. Traditional methods of teaching and assessment are re-evaluated in the light of women's needs and links are drawn between theoretical concerns and the daily experience of women.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the individual female studies, high percentages of once-mated females were found at each of the 3 cage sex ratios.
10 a (1) Females from 10 replicates of the single female studies (1 [?
Her central thesis is that female studies became transformed by the academy it set out to change.
The goal of female studies was to "fuse academic knowledge with social activism and then analyze the discursive practices that launched or derailed female-studies projects" (p.
The aim of the present study was to describe this previously unexamined group (including a case history) and offer comparisons with the aforementioned adolescent female studies.
And so it is that Ann duCille, in "The Occult of True Black Womanhood: Critical Demeanor and Black Feminist Studies," attacks the land mine-infested topic of critical ownership and authenticity in the field of black female studies and caps her clear and clearly angry critique of white writers' and critics' offensive use of racial subject matter with "I know I am misbehaving.