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    as good as any degree. except for engineering; engineering is the best degree in the world
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    (Original post by Assan)
    I studied it as part of a double major in History. Currently a law student.

    Pleasantly surprised to see this thread isn't trolling...
    Finally someone comes along who has actually done it!

    If you don't mind me asking, what did you study as part of the WS modules? Did you need to study WS as part of your career plan? Please tell all
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    (Original post by Platopus)
    Please look up the etymology of the word "history", it is not an exclusively male discipline and it's name does not suggest as much:

    The word history comes ultimately from Ancient Greek ἱστορία[12] (historía), meaning "inquiry","knowledge from inquiry", or "judge"



    It just so happens that, due to past societies being primarily patriarchal, a lot of older content focuses on men.
    Spoiler:
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    I am a woman
    We are now starting to include women in history. Go chat to any history professor and they will tell you that the inclusion of women in history is relatively new, and still a struggle. Copy pasting a definition of what you believe the study of history is is pointless. Inquiry into what? Judging what? And how? Come on

    Yes, in history we now study men and women. This is new. Obviously in the 70s you had second wave feminism, and so a lot of academics wanted to include women but this was in a way primarily separate from 'normal' history. E.g seminal texts from that era never included women, women were always an add on. Maybe a final chapter, if you're lucky. A lot of older content focused on men not because the content being studied was patriarchal but because the society within which the historian was writing was patriarchal.

    The fact that these people were writing about patriarchal societies furthers the argument that they should have written about women, because in order to understand society as a whole you need to consider all aspects of it, not just those in power, which is why old history is massively criticised. A more extreme example, is gaining understanding of slavery whilst only looking at the masters.

    Obviously with the shift towards writing about those not in power, (rather than just writing about diplomats/monarchy/etc), writing about women has become increasingly important. Recently.

    This is basic first year stuff that my sister has told me when she first studied it.
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    (Original post by Twinpeaks)
    Yes, in history we now study men and women.
    Exactly. So you were wrong to equate history with men's studies. My point stands.
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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    ... Or words to that effect is something I commonly see bandied about on here, usually when the person making the claim is trying to establish the superiority of their chosen degree over others

    Does anybody on TSR actually study it? If you do please post below what it's like to study and what it actually entails
    I've studied modules relating to women's studies as part of my wider degree, and I've found it really interesting. It's not totally useless or anything, although there's no area of work which absolutely requires it. But the same goes for many subject areas.
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    "The proper study of mankind is everything."

    Just gonna throw that in there
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    (Original post by Twinpeaks)
    What point still stands? Your pathetic little school girl definition? Your completely misinformed statement that history is male dominated because of the patriarchy of that time. Which btw also contradicts the reason for your original post. You say that history isn't male dominated, and then you provide an explanation as to why it is male dominated. Smart girl :rofl:

    ... For how long has history existed? Hundreds and hundreds of years. Only now, for the last 20 years has there really been a significant move towards rectifying it. And still, still, the involvement of women in history is an add on. A work in progress. Go to your local library and look at the history books. Then come back here and tell me who the majority of them are about. Men.

    Go speak to any professor of history, he will tell you that history is primarily associated with the study of men and SOME historians today want to write gender to the narratives to rectify this. You have clearly never studied history as a discipline.

    That the content of history has been and still is male dominated is a given fact. You were wrong to suggest that the reason why history focused on men was because they were writing about patriarchal times. I hope you now understand why that is an archaic and frankly ridiculous statement.

    You were also wrong to provide some kind of dictionary definition of history, if you were to study history, you would find out (again, probably in the first seminar) that such definitions are basically pointless.

    Finally, if you are so petty, childish and pedantic to say that because history has studied female history to a minute the extent, that my statement of history basically being male studies is wrong, then I can show you some ASD diagnostic tests. Because that is so pedantic, and overly literal. Warning signs.


    I don't even know why I bothered waste my time on you, you've clearly demonstrated that you haven't the cognitive capacity to read what I've wrote. But hey, I'm an optimist
    Calm down love. Too early in the day to get worked up.
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    (Original post by Twinpeaks)
    And still, still, the involvement of women in history is an add on. A work in progress. Go to your local library and look at the history books. Then come back here and tell me who the majority of them are about. Men.

    Go speak to any professor of history, he will tell you that history is primarily associated with the study of men and SOME historians today want to write gender to the narratives to rectify this. You have clearly never studied history as a discipline.

    That the content of history has been and still is male dominated is a given fact. You were wrong to suggest that the reason why history focused on men was because they were writing about patriarchal times. I hope you now understand why that is an archaic and frankly ridiculous statement.
    History is male dominated, sure, but is it not fair to say that there are more influential men to talk about in the past? Have they not made up the majority of rulers, military leaders, courtiers, etc.? It is not like history ignores important women like Catherine the Great, Elizabeth I, Marie Antoinette, etc., is it? I have only studied History up to A level but any lack of the inclusion of women always seemed to me to be a consequence of a lack of their particular involvement, at least from a top-down perspective (which also ignores the majority of men too). It seems to me that in the past that women exerted power and influence in less overt ways, given the fact they often couldn't/didn't hold important positions, and it makes their roles harder to document.
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    Wow, I didn't even know Womens Studies even existed...
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    (Original post by Twinpeaks)
    What point still stands?
    That history includes the study of women.
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    (Original post by Twinpeaks)
    Finally, if you are so petty, childish and pedantic to say that because history has studied female history to a minute the extent, that my statement of history basically being male studies is wrong, then I can show you some ASD diagnostic tests. Because that is so pedantic, and overly literal. Warning signs.
    Also, accusing someone of having autism as a last resort? Not cool.
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    To be honest I don't see it as much different than studying sociology or philosophy. However, it's quite niche for an undergraduate degree, so I'd expect anyone who studies it to do so at a postgraduate level?

    I mean, I've never heard anyone bash people who study theology. At least women are proven to exist.
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    (Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
    http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/sociology...omens-studies/

    I don't see why this any different from any more specialised area in any other subject...
    You're right. I don't see how women's studies is any different to Hispanic studies or whatnot. There is literally an entire university dedicated to Oriental and African studies in London, which is a well respected institute and part of the University of London. Never heard of anyone going to SOAS be told they're doing a 'worthless degree'!
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    (Original post by londonundergrad)
    To be honest I don't see it as much different than studying sociology or philosophy. However, it's quite niche for an undergraduate degree, so I'd expect anyone who studies it to do so at a postgraduate level?

    I mean, I've never heard anyone bash people who study theology. At least women are proven to exist.
    This is roughly what I said on the first page of this thread
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    (Original post by Twinpeaks)
    If many people wanted a vocational subject, they'd take an apprenticeship. Degrees are meant to be academic, notnecessarily vocational.
    What you say is true, but bears no relation to the point of my post.
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    (Original post by Defraction)
    How's PPE?It's one of my degree options so I'm just wondering how it actually is like.
    You can do many things after it, or go into consultancy. One of the few social sciences degrees that is worth some money, although unless it's an Oxbridge PPE, it's not worth it nowadays.

    PS. WS is worthless insane propaganda.
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    Okay. So despite being The STUDENT Room, the views on this forum do not really reflect the majority of students. Allow me to offer some balance. I do believe Women's Studies to be somewhat lacking as a degree. Firstly, Gender Studies is more common now, is that to what you refer? Idk whether the ridiculing comments in this thread concern Gender Studies, but I reckon they do.

    Anyway, having studied History and Literature at a fairly respected uni I can guarantee you that Gender Studies has worth, and the theories inform a lot of analysis in History/Philosophy/Literature. If you do go on to uni to do one of the classic Arts subjects, you will 100% encounter gender studies essays and theorists. I don't think it's worthwhile as a subject on its own, but it definitely is of value. A lot of the work produced by gender studies academics is pretty solid stuff, and quite hard to get your head around. A lot of students struggle with it as it deeply engages with post structuralism and really hardcore abstract philosoohies. I'm not sure what women's studies is, from uni I remember it being more of a 70s/80s kind of thing which just focused on studying women...rather than Gender studies being more about applying a gendered analysis to poetry or slavey etc
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    (Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
    History is male dominated, sure, but is it not fair to say that there are more influential men to talk about in the past? Have they not made up the majority of rulers, military leaders, courtiers, etc.? It is not like history ignores important women like Catherine the Great, Elizabeth I, Marie Antoinette, etc., is it? I have only studied History up to A level but any lack of the inclusion of women always seemed to me to be a consequence of a lack of their particular involvement, at least from a top-down perspective (which also ignores the majority of men too). It seems to me that in the past that women exerted power and influence in less overt ways, given the fact they often couldn't/didn't hold important positions, and it makes their roles harder to document.
    That's the point. History was primarily about influential men. But what do monarchs really tell you about a society? Your last comment is interesting, so you clearly see the worth in studying the past of women. A really basic foundation of modern history is something called History from Below, which started in the 60s. It was about studying the working class and the powerless. It started off with Marxists like E.P Thompson but it pretty much changed history as a discipline. Viewing the progress of society as what they call a 'top down' effect, so where the powerful elites dictate change and this then trickles down to everyone else is now seeing as a really backward way to approach history.

    Honestly even if you think about British political history and trade unions and labour...it's clear how important it is to explore those not in power. Analysing women's history is hugely significant, you can literally trace patriarchy back to medieval times and the influence of the church etc. And as a half of the population, I'd say it's pretty important to take a look at the history of women. It's pretty obvious why Gove wanted to focus history in schools on the monarchy, when thanks to labour I learnt about the historical corruption of the tories during my GCSEs and A Level
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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    Finally someone comes along who has actually done it!

    If you don't mind me asking, what did you study as part of the WS modules? Did you need to study WS as part of your career plan? Please tell all
    Please excuse that I've copied my response from another post. Glad to give more details, if you wish.

    Having studied History and WMST as a double major, I think I'm in a position to comment on the humanities and WMST.Let me state up front that I will not be defending all aspects of a WMST degree. There are certain elements of which I disapprove. Ultimately, however, I think that the degree should be reformed, not abolished. But some points:

    There is no "WMST degree"

    My WMST was interdisciplinary. That means I was able to take any course from a department approved list. I ended up choosing lots of courses in Philosophy and History (to fulfill credit requirements for my History degree). I also studied other courses, like English and Political Science. During the course of my degree, I studied epistemology and philosophy of science, jurisprudence, psychoanalytic theory, critiques of economic theory, and ethics. There were very few core courses, maybe 5. Other WMST students chose other subjects.

    All of that to say...a WMST degree IS a humanities and/or social sciences degree, but it is the humanities through the lens of the political, ideological, philosophical, economic, semantic and other structures that exclude marginalized people. Sometimes these people are women; other times they are disabled, poor, black, etc. Utility- This is extremely useful for policy analysis - my first job out of uni - and for campaigning and activism (such as when I wrote a pressure group's submission to the Human Rights Commission in support of an end to legalized discrimination against homosexuals.

    Propaganda-

    Following from that, the reading lists are different from class to class.- I agree that the degree would have been better with more exposure to radically different thinkers. This is not unique to WMST, but it is a reform I'd like to see.

    Rigour- What made WMST so challenging because was the need to adapt to different conventions in different disciplines, often entering at 3rd or 4th year. It taught me to develop agile thinking, to analyze a discipline, get to its crux and identify its habits, and adapt to various ways of thinking. Because of this, it was more challenging than my more well-respected major.- I truly learned to question. And that habit of questioning is also pointed at my education as a WMST student - both its failures and successes.


    There are other, deeper reasons why I am grateful to have fallen into that degree. It taught me so much compassion and empathy, and it gave me a framework to explain the confounding social phenomena that had troubled me way before I got there. That was most valuable. But I think those points suffice for now.
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    (Original post by Seamus123)
    Why can't you all just mind your own business? What does it have to do with anyone here who studies what?Are those calling other people's studies rubbish paying the course fees? No you are not? There is far too much snobbery in the student community between universities and who studies what? The arrogance here is astounding and am sick of these types of threads. Like children in a playground. Grow up!
    Why cant you mind your own business and let people say what they want.
 
 
 
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