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WS 342 Women, Health and Social Control

Alicia Suarez

In this course, we will focus on the intersection of health, illness, and gender.  This course combines classic and contemporary feminist and sociological ideologies to explore how health and illness have been defined and experienced for different women across historical time and space. There is considerable attention to how conceptualization of women (and their bodies) as inferior has led to the medicalization of women’s bodies. We will especially highlight the role of women’s health movements in shaping how women’s health is understood, embodied and contested. We start the course addressing theoretical frames for understanding gender and health. We then assess contemporary women’s health status. The course then loosely follows a life course approach in that we explore women’s experiences with menstruation, sexuality, reproductive technologies, childbirth, and menopause.