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Feminist Economics

Professor Julie Matthaei (Wellesley College)
Wellesley College, 2015
Level: beginner
Perspective: Feminist Economics
Topic: Race & Gender
Format: Course description/syllabus

Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation
into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.

-Paulo Freire

 

Course Description 

Feminist economics critically analyzes both economic theory and economic life through the lens of gender, and advocates various forms of feminist economic transformation. In this course, we will explore this exciting and self-consciously political and transformative field. After a conceptual introduction to feminist and anti-hierarchical theory, we will look in some depth at seven different types of feminist economic transformation: questioning/envisioning, equal rights and opportunity, valuing the devalued, integrative, discernment, combining, and globalizing/localizing. Our study will include feminist economic analyses of areas understudied or ignored by traditional economists -- occupational segregation by sex, the economics of the household, and caring labor – as well as feminist economic policy prescriptions. We will also look at feminist critiques of and alternatives to mainstream economics’ methodology and view of “economic man,” the firm, and the economy itself. Other themes in the course will be racial-ethnic, class, and country differences among women, and the emergence of the solidarity economy.

Course Outline 

  1. Introductions to the Course, and to Each Other 

  2. Definitions of Feminism, Economics, and Feminist Economics and Examination of Our Data on Gender Inequality in the US and Internationally 

  3. Introduction to the Inequality Paradigm and the Social Construction of Gender, Race and Class

  4. Introduction to the Seven Feminist Solidarity Processes, with a Focus on Questioning/envisioning and Combining 

  5. Continued Discussion of Class 4 Topics and Readings, especially Questioning/Envisioning and Combining

  6. Equal Opportunity in the Labor Force 1: Escaping the Traditional Sexual Division of Labor in Marriage: Married Women’s Entry into the Paid Labor Force

  7. Continued Discussion of Class 6 Topics and Readings

  8. Equal Opportunity in the Labor Force II: Escaping the Traditional Sexual Division of Labor in the Labor Market: Human Capital, Discrimination, and Women’s Entrance into Traditionally Masculine Jobs

  9. Continued Discussion of Class 8 Topics and Readings, and Review for Test

  10. Valuing the Devalued: Valuing Women’s Caring Labor, Welfare Rights, and the Choice to “Opt Out”

  11. The Integrative Process: Combining Work and Family, and Masculine and Feminine

  12. Discernment I: Rethinking and Restructuring Masculinity and the Traditionally Masculine Sphere: Labor Force Participation, the Firm, the Economy, and Economics from a Feminist Perspective

  13. Continued Discussion of Class 12 Topics and Readings

  14. Discernment II: Rethinking and Restructuring Femininity and the Traditionally Feminine Sphere: Marriage Relationships, Parenting, Consumption, and Caring Labor

  15. Continued Discussion of Class 14 Topics and Readings

  16. (Differentiating and) Combining

  17. Continued Discussion of Class 16 Topics and Readings

  18. The Globalizing/Localizing or Glocalizing Process

  19. Feminist Economic Transformation and the Solidarity Economy

  20. Continued Discussion of Class 19 Topics and Reading

 

Download syllabus here

 

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Comment from our editors:

This syllabus is part of the Syllabi collection on International Association for Feminist Economics. This course is suitable for undergraduate students.

This material has been suggested and edited by:

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Este proyecto es presentado por la Network for Pluralist Economics (Netzwerk Plurale Ökonomik e.V.) y socios internacionales.  Está comprometida con la diversidad y la independencia y depende de las donaciones de personas como tú. Donaciones regulares o puntuales serán muy apreciadas!

 

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