Gender Studies

The Graduate Program in the Department of Sociology has major strengths in gender studies. Several faculty members focus the majority of their research on issues of gender and have strong ties with the Women's Studies Department. Many others pursue research that includes gender issues. Students may take any of the following relevant courses and may choose to focus on gender for one of their specialization examinations at the doctoral level or for a master's thesis or dissertation topic.

Gender Courses in the Sociology Department

  • Global Gender Inequalities
  • Race, Gender, and Work
  • Gender, Crime and Justice
  • Intersections: Race, Gender, Class, Sexuality  

Sociology courses in related areas

  • Children and Public Policy
  • Families
  • Family and Household Demography
  • Queer Theory
  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology of Work
  • Social Interaction Processes
  • Stratification

Students may register for Soc 606 Coteaching Internship and coteach a course on gender at the undergraduate level.

Faculty in Gender: Averett, Bose, Dreby, Loscocco, Spitze, Wagner, Ward

Women's Studies Department
The Women's Studies program began in 1971, and in 1989 it became a department. It encompasses faculty with core appointments, joint appointments, and affiliated faculty, representing many different departments across the campus. It offers a major, a minor, a MA in Women’s Studies, a graduate certificate in Women and Public Policy (see below), and is developing joint graduate endeavors with disciplinary departments (including the recently-approved joint Women’s Studies MA/Sociology PhD, see below). The Women's Studies department offers a wide range of courses that allow students to reexamine traditional disciplines from a feminist perspective and to develop new trans-disciplinary approaches to the study of women. Many students in Sociology with interests in Gender pursue the Women’s Studies MA along with their PhD in Sociology, either as part of the official joint program or more informally under cooperative agreements between the two departments.

Combined M.A. Women's Studies/PhD Sociology Program
The combined M.A Women’s Studies /PhD Sociology program is the outcome of longstanding cooperation and overlapping strengths between the Departments of Sociology and Women’s Studies.  It allows Sociology PhD students with interests in Gender Studies and Women’s Studies students with sociological interests to combine their work in these two programs.  This is facilitated by the number of joint and affiliated faculty shared between the two departments, as well as by graduate-level cross-listed coursework.  It is also facilitated by the willingness of both departments to allow requirements for one program to be included as a portion of the coursework for the other program. 

Students in the Joint program will fulfill requirements for both degrees.  The Women’s Studies M.A. requires a total of 32 credits, including several core courses, a Master’s project, and elective courses forming a cohesive cluster.  The Sociology PhD program requires a total of 60 credits (plus the dissertation), including several core courses, a Teaching Tool, a Research Tool, and two comprehensive area exams.  Cooperative agreements between the Departments allow the Sociology comprehensive exam in Gender to meet the Women’s Studies Master’s project requirement.  The Women’s Studies core courses are allowed to count as credit toward the Sociology PhD, and the Women’s Studies Research Seminar (a core course) may count as the Research Tool for the PhD. Electives, including courses that are cross-listed, listed in either department, or in other departments, may count toward both degrees as approved by the Graduate Directors. 

Applicants will be reviewed by the Graduate Directors and Committees of both departments.  In order to be considered for financial assistance, applications must be received by January 15.  Applications for the joint program can also be considered after entry into either program.

Certificate Program on Women and Public Policy
The graduate Certificate Program on Women and Public Policy is designed both for students currently enrolled in public policy-related graduate programs, who may pursue this certificate in conjunction with an MA, MS, or PhD program at Albany, or for members of the community who wish to upgrade their skills and enroll in a self-standing program. It prepares participants to influence public policy affecting women through advocacy, research, elective office, community organization, administration, and policy analysis. The requirements for this multi-disciplinary 18 credit minimum program include two core seminars, Feminist Thought and Public Policy and Women and Public Policy; one course on policy issues from one of the participating departments; one course on skills affecting the public policy process; one policy reasoning course; and the Colloquium in Public Affairs and Policy.

Institute for Research on Women
The Institute for Research on Women (IROW) was founded in 1987 to bring together specialists from a wide variety of disciplines to engage in individual or collaborative research on women. IROW faculty associates come from many departments across the campus and represent several interdisciplinary interest areas: international and cross-cultural studies of women; racial ethnic women in the U.S.; women, work and organizations; women, literature and art; women and science; and family and employment policy.
IROW has sponsored workshops on obtaining funding for research and previously held many conferences, including "Women and Development" (1989), "Integrating Class, Race, and Gender into the Curriculum and Research" (1991), and "Women in the Global Economy" (1994); and had a project on “Gender Studies in Global Perspective,” all with the support of grants from the Ford Foundation and other agencies.  More recently, IROW serves as a network for faculty with gender focused research interests.

Graduate Students
A number of graduate students are involved in research on gender and many have completed dissertations in this area. Topics include:

  • Emotion Work in Women’s Abortion Experiences
  • The Making of Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Gendered Processes of Korean Small Business Ownership
  • Globalization and Gender: Exploring the Effects of Welfare Reform in Puerto Rico
  • Professional Commitments and Political Identities: Challenges for Feminist Academic Sociologists
  • When Women Need Care: How Breast Cancer “Survivors” Cope with Being Care-Receivers
  • Determinants of Son Preference in India and Health Outcomes for Children
  • Straight Trouble: Gendered and Racial Heterosexuality in the Context of Gay and LesbianVisibility
  • The “Condom Lady” Speaks: Female Sexuality Discourses and HIV Prevention in Community-Based Organizations
  • Work flexibility, work culture, and gender
  • The Challenges and Rewards of Sisterhood: An Exploration of Women’s Experiences in Black Sororities.
  • Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Black Women, A Century in the Bottom Class, 1860-1960
  • Gendered International Marriage Migration under Globalization: Filipina Wives in South Korean Rural Communities
  • Exploring a Culture of Intimacy: Individualism and solidarity in heterosexual relationships
  • More than a Gender Issue: Integrating Race into the Analysis of Work-Family Balance among Dual-Earner Couples
  • Creating Meaning in Engagement: Gender, Heterosexuality, and Commitment to Marriage
  • Modern Day Mary Poppins:  Uncovering the Work of Nannies and the Expectations of Employers
  • Leisure Throughout the Trajectory of Motherhood: A Life Course Approach
  • Women in a Man's World: The Experiences of Women in Landscaping

-- October 2013