Dr. Norma Jean Profitt
Professional Building 310
Telephone: 452-0495
Telephone of Jeananne Knox: 452-0540

I. Course Description and Format

This course will focus on feminist theories and analyses, their application to aspects of women’s oppression in Canadian society, and feminist social work practice with women. It will examine the discursive, social and material conditions of women’s lives as well as the dynamics of internalized oppressions and their effects on women’s well being and opportunities. Emphasis will be placed on elaborating feminist analyses of issues such as women and caregiving, poverty, child abuse, and violence against women. By examining our own and women’s lives through a compassionate gender lens, we will seek creative, progressive interventions and alternatives for ourselves as women and men, for ourselves as social workers, and for women and men as clients of social services and as members of community. Through drawing on feminist theories and women’s experiences, the multiple ways in which women have coped with, survived, and resisted oppression will be honoured and examined, including forms of individual resistance and collective action such as the women’s movement.

II. Course Objectives

This course will enable students to:

-clearly articulate some of the manifestations and sites of women’s oppression in Canadian society, including the ways in which diverse groups of women experience oppression.

-make some connections between women’s individual experiences and the social, material, and discursive conditions of women’s lives.

-generate some links between their personal experiences and the social, material, and discursive conditions of their lives as women and as men.

-apply their theoretical knowledge to social work practice with women in different practice areas, both in individual and collective work with women.

-critically examine social work’s role and ethical responsibilities in working with women as an oppressed group.

-explicate a personal theory of practice (theories, knowledge, values, skills) that they use in working with diverse groups of women.

III. Readings

Readings will be distributed in advance in class.

IV. Evaluation and assignments

Completion of assignments # 2, 3, 4, and 5 - grade in the A range
#2 Sharing our lived experience: Consciousness raising as a feminist practice
#3 Seminar on required reading(s)
#4 Articulation and integration paper
#5 The personal, political, and professional

Completion of assignments # 2, 3, 4 - grade in the B range
#2 Sharing our lived experience: Consciousness raising as a feminist practice
#3 Seminar on required reading(s)
#4 Articulation and integration paper

Please submit in writing by the third class what grade you will contract for in this course. Please note that all assignments must be completed at a B- standard. If they are not, they will be returned to you to be reworked and resubmitted. As a guideline to determine the grade in the A or B range, I will be marking written work on content (knowledge base, critical analysis, originality, clarity of argument and ideas, assignment criteria) 75%; organization and presentation (organization of material, grammar, punctuation, writing skills) 15%; scholarly integrity (proper cites and references, recognition of others’ work, and use of a range of materials, including professional journals)10%.

1. The following are expectations of class participation although class participation will not be graded.

Class participation includes the following:
-attending class punctually and on time and letting colleagues and the professor know in advance if you will be absent or late for class,
-coming prepared for class by reading and thinking about the assigned material,
-refraining from side conversations and class interruptions,
-contributing constructively to class discussions and class process drawing on your own experience, knowledge, and readings,
-actively attending and listening to colleagues.

2. Sharing our lived experience: Consciousness raising as a feminist practice

Consciousness raising has been a long-standing practice of the women’s movement and it is especially applicable today. First, we will examine what is meant by consciousness raising by looking at the literature. Then each student will share a lived experience that reflects on the content of the lived experience in terms of gender, race, ability, etc. and an aspect of the consciousness raising process. Be sure to clearly illustrate a) the theory of consciousness raising, b) how you made the connections (process), and c) your critical analysis of dominant social arrangements.

You are encouraged to be as creative as you wish in this assignment. You can share a poem, a phrase, a story, an experience, a transformative moment, event, or relationship, something that expresses an aspect or essence of how consciousness raising works. You have a maximum of 30 minutes at the beginning of each class to share and invite reflections from colleagues.

3. Seminar on required readings

Each student will select a reading or readings marked with asterisks. In the second half of each class (10:20 - 11:30 am), you will facilitate a seminar on the reading(s) for your colleagues. Please remember that a seminar involves a presentation and discussion and stimulation of thinking on the seminar content, not only the presentation of material. Please allow sufficent time for discussion.

Facilitating a seminar involves the following:

-presenting a clear and concise overview of the article and its main points,
-stating what you learned from the article (what meaningful connections you made to your life and body of knowledge), and a brief critique of the reading;
-leading and structuring discussion of the points and issues that you have identified as key;
-facilitating class discussion through your interventions so that colleagues achieve a deeper understanding of the material;
-making connections between points made by colleagues and the material you have presented and elaborating upon them;
-drawing out from the discussion implications for social work practice with women and for our professional roles as social workers;
-identifying and summarizing the key points and areas of debate that have emerged from class discussion.

4. Articulation and Integration Paper

This paper should be between 10-12 pages, including references, due April 8.

You can choose one of the following:

A. Women and social work: Theory and practice

Select an aspect of women’s oppression that you want to examine. In your paper, discuss how feminist theories inform your understanding of this aspect of women’s oppression or particular issue. How do they explain or elucidate the experiences of diverse groups of women? In articulating the main points of your feminist analysis of this issue, construct an argument as to why we as social workers need to consider these points in our work with women. Discuss how you would translate your knowledge and analysis of this issue into social work practice with women, individually and collectively. How would you use your knowledge and analysis in your professional role as a social worker? What would your social work practice with women look like?

B. Women and social work: Collective and individual transformative healing.

This assignment involves choosing an area, for example, woman abuse, and researching what the feminist literature tells us about women’s collective and individual healing and change processes. What does this healing look like? What are the social, material, and discursive conditions that facilitate healing? Does this healing take place in the context of a social or cultural movement? Through what forms and activities does this healing occur? Keeping in mind that growth usually happens in spiral fashion, not linear stages, are there common themes or issues in women’s collective and individual healing? What are some of the facets of healing, ie, belonging in community, spirituality? How can we as feminist social workers facilitate both collective and personal healing? Your own ideas and thoughts, which can include your personal experiences of healing, should be an integral part of this paper.

C. Women and social work: Diversity and liberatory practice.

For this assignment, choose a group of women about whom you would like to learn more, for example, Acadian women, African Canadian, lesbian women. As a feminist social worker, what do you need to know about this particular group in order to practice antioppressive social work? How do feminist theories help you understand the realities and issues that this group faces? Are there areas which dominant feminist theory fails to sufficiently illuminate? What are some racist, sexist, or colonialist ideas and practices about which we need to be cognizant? How have you integrated your knowledge about this group of women into your way of seeing and practicing?

5. The personal, political, and professional

Choose a personal experience and analyze it through a gender, class, race, ability, etc., lens. Reflect on how you carry your personal experience and the sense that you have made of it into your professional life and everyday politics. Some questions that might help you reflect follow. How has your personal experience affected your understanding of this issue or aspect of women’s oppression? How does your personal experience help you understand other women’s experiences? Is your understanding of power relations sharpened by your personal experience and if so, how? Are there lessons to be learned from your experience that you think you will use in your social work practice with women? How might your experience, based on your social location, differ from the experiences of other groups of women? Are there aspects of your experience that you feel you need to work through further? What is the relation between your personal experience and your professional helping self? How would you describe your journey regarding dealing with this experience and how has it helped you in your work with clients and community?

Maximum 5 pages, due date April 8.

January 7 - Class 1
Course outline and professor and student expectations

January 14 - Class 2 - The Canadian Women’s Movement - Then and Now

NFB Video - Worth Every Minute

Cohen, M. G. (1993). The Canadian women’s movement. In R. R. Pierson, M. G. Cohen, P. Bourne, & P. Masters, Canadian women’s issues: Strong voices (pp. 1-31). Volume I. Toronto: James Lorimer & Company.

January 21 - Class 3 - The Women’s Movement - Then and Now

NFB Video - A Score for Women’s Voices

Pierson, R. R. (1993). The mainstream women’s movement and the politics of difference. In R. R. Pierson, M. G. Cohen., P. Bourne, & P. Masters, Canadian women’s issues: Strong voices (pp. 186-214). Volume I. Toronto: James Lorimer & Company.

January 28 - Class 4 - Feminism, Feminist Theories, and the Politics of Oppresion

Sherwin, S. (1992). Understanding feminism. In S. Sherwin, No longer patient: Feminist ethics and health care (pp. 13-34). Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Frye, M. (1983). Oppression. In M. Frye, The politics of reality (pp. 1-16). Trumansburg, NY: Crossing Press.

February 4- Class 5 - Gendered Caring Relations

Baines, C. T., Evans, P. M., & Neysmith, S. (1998). Women’s caring: Work expanding, state contracting, In C. T. Baines, P. M. Evans, & S. M. Neysmith (Eds.), Women’s caring. Women’s perspectives on social welfare (pp.3-22), (2nd Ed.). Toronto: Oxford University Press.

**Reitsma-Street, M. (1998). Still girls learn to care: Girls policed to care. In C. T. Baines, P. M. Evans, & S. M. Neysmith (Eds.), Women’s caring. Women’s perspectives on social welfare (pp. 87-113). (2nd Ed.). Toronto: Oxford University Press.

February 11 - Class 6 -- Women, Women of Colour, Poverty, and Intersecting Oppressions

Evans, P. (1998). Gender, poverty, and women’s caring. In C. T. Baines, P. M. Evans, & S. M. Neysmith (Eds.), Women’s caring. Women’s perspectives on social welfare (pp. 47-68). (2nd Ed.). Toronto: Oxford University Press.

**George, U. (1998). Caring and women of colour: Living the intersecting oppressions of race, class, and gender, in C. T. Baines, P. M. Evans, & S. M. Neysmith (Eds.), Women’s caring. Women’s perspectives on social welfare (pp. 69-83). (2nd Ed.). Toronto: Oxford University Press.

February 18 - Class 7- Feminist Visions in Child Care and Child Welfare

Ferguson, E. (1998). The child-care debate: Fading hopes and shifting sands, in C. T. Baines, P. M. Evans, & S. M. Neysmith (Eds.), Women’s caring. Women’s perspectives on social welfare (pp. 191-217). (2nd Ed.). Toronto: Oxford University Press.

**Swift, K. (1998). Contradictions in child welfare: Neglect and responsibility, in C. T. Baines, P. M. Evans, & S. M. Neysmith (Eds.), Women’s caring. Women’s perspectives on social welfare (pp. 139-159). (2nd Ed.). Toronto: Oxford University Press.

February 25 - Class 8 - Systemic Violence against Women

The Vienna Tribunal: Women’s Rights Are Human Rights - 48 minutes

**Mitchell, A. (1985). Child sexual assault, in C. Guberman & M. Wolfe, (Eds.), No safe place: Violence against women and children (pp. 87-110).Toronto: Women’s Press.

**Mantley, P., with M. Willison. (1999). Excerpts from Silent Cries. Lockeport, NS: Community Books.

March 10 - Class 9 - Systemic Violence against Women

Mosher, J. (1998). Caught in tangled webs of care: Women abused in intimate relationships. in C. T. Baines, P. M. Evans, & S. M. Neysmith (Eds.), Women’s caring. Women’s perspectives on social welfare (pp. 160-187). (2nd Ed.). Toronto: Oxford University Press.

**Bannerji, H.(1995). In the matter of “X”: Building “race” into sexual harassment. In H. Bannerji, Thinking through. Essays on feminism, marxism, and anti-racism (pp. 121-158). Toronto: Women’s Press.

March 17 - Class 10 - Women and Disabilities

Cassidy, B., Lord, R., & Mandell, N. (1995). Silenced and forgotten women: Race, poverty, and disability. In N. Mandell (Ed.), Feminist issues: Race, class and sexuality (pp. 32-66). Scarborough, ON: Prentice-Hall Canada.

**Meldrum, B.K (1999). Mutuality in relationships with health care providers: A cautionary tale. Journal of Progressive Human Services, 10(2), 55-72.

**Demas, D. (1993). Triple jeopardy. Native women with disabilities. Canadian Woman Studies/Les Cahiers de la Femme, 13(4), 53-55.

March 24 - Class 11 - Women and sexual minorities

Rich, A. (1980). Compulsory heterosexuality and lesbian existence. Signs, 5(4), 631-660.

**Tiemann, K. A., Kennedy, S. A., & Haga, M. P. (1997). Lesbians’ experiences with helping professionals. Affilia, 12(1), 84-95.
**Mule, N. (1999). Social work and the provision of health care and sexual services to sexual minority populations. Canadian Social Work Review,1(1), 39-55).

March 31 - Class 12 - Women/Ourselves: Forging links among Social Workers and Clients

hooks, b. (1988). On self-recovery. In b. hooks, Talking back. Thinking feminist, thinking black (pp. 28-34). Toronto, ON: Between the Lines.
hooks, b. (1993). Tongues of fire. Learning critical affirmation. In b. hooks, Sisters of the yam. Black women and self-recovery (pp. 31-40). Boston, MA: South End Press.

**Bricker-Jenkins, M. (1991). The propositions and assumptions of feminist social work practice. In M. Bricker-Jenkins, N. R. Hooyman, & N. Gottlieb (Eds.), Feminist social work practice in clinical settings (pp. 271-303). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

April 8 - Class 13- Learnings and Evaluation

Collective reflection and feedback


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Caplan, P. J. (1992). Driving us crazy: How oppression damages women’s mental health and what we can do about it. Women & Therapy, 12(3), 5-28.

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Deegan, P. E. (1997). Recovery and empowerment for people with psychiatric disabilities. Social Work in Mental Health: Trends and Issues, 11-24.

Dietz, C. A. (2000). Responding to oppression and abuse: A feminist challenge to clinical social work practice. Affilia, 15(3), 369-389.

Dominelli, L. , & McLeod, E. (1989). Feminist social work. London: MacMillan.

Dua, E. (1999). Beyond diversity: Exploring the ways in which the discourse of race has shaped the institution of the nuclear family. In E. Dua & A. Robertson (Eds.), Scratching the surface. Canadian anti-racist feminist thought (pp. 237-259). Toronto, ON: Women’s Press.

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Eichenbaum, L., & Orbach, S. (1983). Understanding women. A feminist psychoanalytic approach. New York: Basic Books.

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Finn, G., & Miles, A. (Eds.). (1989). Feminism in Canada: From pressure to politics. Montreal: Black Rose Books.

Friedman, A. R. (1992). Rape and domestic violence: The experience of refugee women. Women & Therapy, 12, 65-78. Special issue on women and mental health.

Giddings, P. (1984). When and where I enter. The impact of Black women on race and sex in America. New York: William Morrow & Company.

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Gould, C. (Ed). (1997). Gender: Key concepts in critical theory. New Jersey: Humanities Press.

Guberman, C., & Wolfe, M. (1985). No safe place. Violence against women and children. Toronto: Women’s Press.

Gunter, P. L. (1983). A rural and lesbian perspective on feminist practice. In M. Bricker-Jenkins & N. R. Hooyman (Eds.), Not for women only. Social work practice for a feminist future (pp. 88-100). Silver Spring, Maryland: National Association of Social Workers.

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Hanmer, J., & Statham, D. (1999). Women and social work. Towards a woman-centred practice. (2nd ed.). London: MacMillan Press Ltd.

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Herman, J. (1992). Trauma and recovery: The aftermath of violence-From domestic abuse to political terror. New York: Basic Books.

Hanmer, J., & Statham, D. (1989). Women and social work: Towards a woman-centered practice. Chicago: Lyceum Books.

Heilbrun, C. (1988). Writing a woman’s life. New York: Ballantine.

Hooks, B. (1981). Ain’t I a woman. Boston: South End Press.

hooks, b. (1984). Black women: Shaping feminist theory. In b. hooks, Feminist theory. From margin to center (pp. 1-15). Boston, MA: South End Press.

hooks, b. (1984). Feminist movement to end violence. In b. hooks, Feminist theory. From margin to center (pp. 117-131). Boston, MA: South End Press.

hooks, b. (1988). On self-recovery. In b. hooks, Talking back. Thinking feminist, thinking black (pp. 28-34). Toronto, ON: Between the Lines.

hooks, b. (1988). Feminist politicization: A comment. In b. hooks, Talking back: Thinking feminist, thinking black (pp. 105-111). Toronto: Between the Lines.

hooks, b. (1993). Tongues of fire. Learning critical affirmation. In b. hooks, Sisters of the yam. Black women and self-recovery (pp. 31-40). Boston, MA: South End Press.

hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to transgress. Education as the practice of freedom. New York: Routledge.

Hooper, C-A. (1995). Women’s and their children’s experiences of sexual violence. Rethinking the links. Women’s Studies International Forum, 18(3), 349-360.

Hunter, S., & Hickerson, J. (2002). Affirmative practice: Understanding and working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered persons. Annapolis Junction, MD: NASW Press.

Israel, P., & Odette, F. (1993). The disabled women’s movement. 1983 to 1993. Canadian Woman Studies/Les Cahiers de la Femme, 13(4), 6-10.

Jaggar, A. (1988). Feminist politics and human nature. Totowa, NJ: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Jordan, J., Kaplan, A., Miller, J. B., Stiver, I., & Surrey, J. L. (1991). Women’s growth in connection. Writings from the Stone Center. New York: The Guilford Press.

Kelly, L. (1988). Surviving sexual violence. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota.

Krane, J. (1990). Explanations of child sexual abuse: A review and critique from a feminist perspective. Canadian Review of Social Policy, 25, 11-19.

LaRocque, E. (1994). Violence in Aboriginal communities. Ottawa: National Clearinghouse on Family Violence.

Lerner, H. G. (1985). The dance of anger. New York: Harper & Row.

Lerner, H. G. (1989). Depression. In H. G. Lerner, Women in therapy (pp. 201-228). New York: Harper & Row.

Levine, H. (1994). Opinion - The impact of feminist theory on social work practice. OAPSW Newsmagazine, Summer.

Lorde, A. (1988). Sister outsider. Freedom, CA: The Crossing Press.

MacLeod, L., & Shin, M. (1990). Isolated, afraid and forgotten: The service delivery needs and realities of immigrant and refugee women who are battered. Ottawa: National Clearinghouse on Family Violence.

MacLeod, L., & Shin, M., in collaboration with Q. Hum, J. Samra-Jawanda, S. Rai, M. Minna, & E. Wasilewsha. (1993). “Like a wingless bird...” A tribute to the survival and courage of women who are abused and who speak neither English or French. Ottawa: National Clearinghouse on Family Violence.

Malmo, C., & Suzuki Laidlaw, T. (1999). Consciousness rising. Women’s stories of connection and transformation. Charlottetown, PEI: Gynergy.

Mantley, P., with M. Willison. (1999). Silent cries. Lockeport, NS: Community Books.

Marchant, H., & Wearing, B. (Eds.). (1986). Gender reclaimed: Women in social work. Sydney, New South Wales: Hale & Iremonger.

Matthews Ferguson, G. (1983). Voices from the shadows: Women with disabilities speak out. Toronto: Women’s Press.

McDaniel, S. (1988). The changing Canadian family: Women’s roles and the impact of feminism. In S. Burt, L. Code, & L. Dorney (Eds.), Changing patterns (pp. 103-128). Toronto: McClelland & Stewart.

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Miller, D. (1990). Women and social welfare: A feminist analysis. New York: Praeger.

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Morris, J. (1993). Feminism and disability. Feminist Review, 43, 58-70.

Nes, J., & Ladicola, P. (1989). Towards a definition of feminist social work: A comparison of liberal, radical, and socialist models. National Association of Social Workers, 12-21.

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Pierson, R. R., & Cohen, M. G. (1993). Canadian women’s issues: Bold visions. Volume II. Toronto: James Lorimer & Company.

Pierson, R. R., Cohen, M. G., Bourne, P., & Masters, P. (1993). Canadian women’s issues: Strong voices. Volume I. Toronto: James Lorimer & Company.

Price, L. (1989). Patterns of violence in the lives of girls and women: A reading guide. Vancouver, BC: Women’s Research Centre.

Profitt, N. J. (2000). Women survivors, psychological trauma, and the politics of resistance. Binghamton, NY: Haworth.

Profitt, N. J. (2000). Survivors of woman abuse: Compassionate fires inspire collective action for social change. Journal of Progressive Human Services, 11(2), 77-102.

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- Riessman, C. K. (1989). From victim to survivor: A woman’s narrative reconstruction of marital sexual abuse. Smith College Studies in Social Work, 59(3), 232-51.

Rivera, M. (Ed.). (1999). Fragment by fragment: Feminist perspectives on memory and child sexual abuse. Charlottetown, PEI: Gynergy.

Rosenfield, S. (1999). Gender and mental health: Do women have more psychopathology, men more, or both the same (and why)? In A. V. Horwitz & T. L. Scheid (Eds.), A handbook for the study of mental health. Social contexts, theories, and systems, (pp. 348-360). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Rossiter, A. (1988). From public to private. A feminist exploration of early mothering. Toronto: Women’s Press.

Russell, M. N. (1984). Feminist counseling skills in context. In M. N. Russell, Skills in counseling women (pp. 40-54). Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.
Schreiber, R. (1996). (Re)defining my self: Women’s process of recovery from depression. Qualitative Health Research, 6(4), 469-491.

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Stefan, S. (1994). The protection racket: Rape trauma syndrome, psychiatric labeling, and law. Northwestern University Law Review, 88, 1271-1345.

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Other Courses:

SCWK 2013 - Introduction to Social Welfare
SCWK 3243 - Community Organization
SCWK 3873 - Social work and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Two-Spirited Peoples

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