Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
A. Lynn Bolles
Women's Studies examines the scholarship and theory on the history, status, contributions, and experiences of women in diverse cultural communities, and on the significance of gender as a social construct and as an analytical category. Women's Studies challenges the gendered knowledge base that was assumed to be universal. As an interdisciplinary course of study, Women's Studies encourages the appreciation and understanding of gender as the basis of social relations of power, individual and collective identity, and the fabric of meaning and value of society. It is a study that is academic and activist. The activism component of Women's Studies comes from its political roots in feminism, a product of late 1960s women's liberation movements called the Second Wave . Feminism refers to the commitment to actively engage in political and social change that promotes equality in all aspects of life for those who are historically subordinated and oppressed by gender, ...