Gender studies is a multidisciplinary field of knowledge and inquiry whose purpose is to study the significance of gender and other primary categories of identity (e.g., ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, religion) for the social construction of reality and everyday life. The Gender Studies Program at Sweet Briar consists of an introductory course, a discipline-based core and auxiliary courses.
This approach familiarizes students with a variety of avenues through which to examine and explore gender issues and provides them with the opportunity to become practiced at studying gender through the particular modes of inquiry, theo- retical frameworks and methodologies of one discipline. Relevant topics of interest in all disciplines tend to include: sex, gender, identity formation and the implications of gendered systems of power. A gender studies minor is an excellent supplement to any major within which students want to explore the implications of gender more deeply.
The gender studies curriculum fosters an understanding of how gender affects everyday experiences and is particularly suited for students preparing for graduate study and careers in social and community work, government and international relations, the arts and humanities, law, medicine, counseling, business, public relations and many other professional and human-service fields.