Gender Studies – Field of study catalogue MU
“Making scientific advancements, making a difference.”
The Gender Studies department at the Faculty of Social Studies MU specializes in the analysis of the structures and representations of gender, i.e. the socially and culturally produced and reproduced patterns of behavior that are expected from men and women in society. The term "gender" includes socially constructed differences, expectations, stereotypes and specificities in the positioning of men and women. The program specialiszs in the description and study of causes and consequences of gendered social structure. It offers courses in the theories, methodologies and applied sociological foundations of gender, as well as in cultural studies. The program also provides skills for gender mainstreaming as a method of implementing equal opportunities for women and men in the Czech Republic and as an increasingly important priority of the European Union policies and principles.
After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:
- demonstrate basic competence in the field of scientific methodological and analytical work;
- master the basic abilities and skills in the field of data collection, data processing, and analysis (content analysis, secondary data analysis, quantitative and qualitative methods);
- understand the nature, structure and development of the field, its theoretical foundations, and the forms and rules of interpretation;
- demonstrate basic knowledge about the character and reproduction of social inequalities and power relationships, and about the relationship between the actor and the social structure in various fields.
Graduates of the Gender Studies Bachelor's program will be able to conduct well-founded analyses, suggestions, and evaluations of gender issues in the areas of, among others, family socialization and structure, education, the labor market, violence against women, and cultural representations of gender. Graduates will be qualified as researchers for the needs of government administration, municipalities, non-governmental organizations, and political and educational institutions. These specialists equipped with gender-sensitive expertise will then be able to enter professions in journalism, international relations, environmental studies, social work and so forth, according to their chosen area in their second subject.
The standard duration of studies is six semesters. For admittance to the Final State Examination, students must obtain a total of 90 ECTS credits in Gender Studies.
The structure of required courses reflects the aims and objections of study: theoretical (Sociological Theories of Gender, a shared course Introduction to Sociology), methodological (Methodology of Studying Gender, Gender in the Field), topic-oriented courses (Gendered Structure of Society I and II, History of the Women's Movement and Feminism), applied courses that focus on practical skills (Gender Mainstreaming, Gender and the Law, Internships), and thesis writing seminars.
At the Bachelor's level, students can choose three elective courses (which comprise 18 out of 90 ECTS credits a student has to fulfill), typically in their second and third year of study. This allows students to choose according to their interests and intended professional specialization while building on a theoretical and methodological foundation of Gender Studies.
Practical training is an integral part of the compulsory study curriculum of Gender Studies. This is primarily focused on analyzing organizations from the perspective of their gendered structure as well as the issues or thematic focus that these organizations deal with. The goal of practical training is to acquaint future graduates with institutions that may serve as potential employment sites, but predominantly to guide them into networks of institutions participating in the process of identification and solving particular gender-relevant problems. Students are assigned to select an organization during their 4th semester of study, in which they consequently conduct their internship. Students are encouraged and trained to negotiate their particular analytical design in this phase (in the course Practical Training 1), and therefore in addition to selecting a suitable organization, they also learn the skill of setting up their own analytical design based on scholarly requirements and applied to a particular real-life organization. This part of practical training results in a signed contract between the university and the organization where the internship will commence. Students then conduct the internship, which is followed by a course (Practical Training 2) in their 5th semester. They share their experience and present their analytical findings, receiving reviews from their fellow students as well as from the course instructor. Workshops or presentations by invited speakers on selected topics are an integral part of this course as well. Topics include, for example: gender auditing, fundraising, or activism. Students enrolled in the distance-learning program sign up for this course in their 5th semester and have it as a one-semester package. As a general rule, those studying in the distance-learning program are already enrolled in the labor market, and they are thus expected to conduct the practical training at the organization in which they already work in themselves or that they have a close affiliation to. In this way they can utilize such experiences in this internship course design.
The Final State Examination at the Bachelor level consists of a written part and the defense of the thesis. The written part consists of three separate tests: 1) The Gender Structure of Society and the History of of the Women's Movement; 2) Methodology; and 3) Sociological Theories of Gender.
The bachelor's thesis is prepared according to the approval of the supervisor. Students' theses deal with a wide range of topics but they follow the same standards and rules for elaboration. They must be anchored in a theoretical foundation, follow a research question, and consist of methodology and gender relevant analysis.
The graduates of the Bachelor's program of Gender Studies may continue in the MA specialization of Gender Studies at the Department of Sociology at Masaryk University, provided they meet the admission requirements.