Race, Class, and Gender

Discipline: Anthropology
Instructor: Frölander-Ulf
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 1415
End: 1530
Field Work: Day 1 | South Africa
Prerequisites: Successful completion of a minimum of three social science courses Download Syllabus

In this upper level course, students explore the intersections of gender, class, and race in the context of globalization and social change over time. We begin with a critical appraisal of the concepts of ‘globalization’ and ‘development’ followed by an analysis of the impact of colonialism and more recent neocolonial global relationships on race, class, and gender relationships in the wealthier northern part of the world and on women and men in the materially poorer South. We explore how class, race, and ethnicity intersect with gender to shape various forms of systematic penalty and privilege for various groups and consider the ways in which class, race, and ethnic constructs have both created divisions and also brought together women and men at the local, national, and international level. At the center of inquiry are the diverse perspectives of people in several of our ports of call on how their lives are, and have been, impacted by globalization as a result of their specific race-, class-, and gender-based location in the global economy. All throughout the course, we reflect on the ways in which our lives are linked to theirs in our thoroughly interconnected world.

Field Work

Country: South Africa
Day: 1

When the South African government established itself in the 1990s, it put into place a strong gender equity program based on the concept of gender mainstreaming. Every bill that comes before the government is reviewed to assess its impact on gender. Participants will visit the Commission for Gender Equality situated at the House of Parliament in Cape Town. There we meet with officials who are engaged in this work to learn about what issues are seen as most important and what the government is doing to address them.  After lunch, we have the opportunity to meet with faculty and graduate student members of a group, Men, Masculinities and Violence, at University of Cape Town for a discussion about race, class and gender in South Africa.  This part of the program emphasizes present efforts to identify and tackle the enormous problems that are the legacy of apartheid and neocolonial economic structures with a particular focus on concepts of masculinity, men, and violence.
Academic Objectives:
  • The field lab is designed to give students insights into South African history that shaped current race, class and gender constructs and about the intersectionality of race, class, and gender oppression as it affects various segments of the South African population in a variety of ways today. Students are grouped into teams with each team analyzing a different aspect of the intersectionality of race, class, and gender in South Africa. They are to integrate what they learn from the field lab experience with other relevant course material and to share their findings in a paper and brief class presentation.