This course investigates the realities of poverty through an intersectional lens, meaning that we will consider the simultaneous impact of race, gender, sexuality (and other identities) on economic insecurity. In what ways are conversations about poverty and its causes infused with assumptions and stereotypes related to gender, race, and sexuality? We hear so much in the media about what causes poverty – what is reality and what is myth? How do these myths operate to reinforce and sustain economic inequality? Who and what gets left out of the conversation about poverty? Topics in the course include historical understandings of poverty; intergenerational class mobility; depictions of poverty in pop culture; and bringing attention to populations that often get left out of mainstream conversations about poverty.
What is feminism? What is patriarchy? What and who is a woman? How does gender relate to sexuality, and to class and race? Should housework be waged, should sex be for sale, and should feminists trust the state? This course is an introduction to feminist political thought since the mid-twentieth century. It explores the key arguments that have preoccupied radical, socialist and liberal feminists, and how debates about equality, work, and identity matter today.