POLSC504-19B (HAM)

Gender, Justice and the Environment

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Social Sciences
Political Science and Public Policy


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: frances.douch@waikato.ac.nz

Placement Coordinator(s)


Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)


: jillene.bydder@waikato.ac.nz

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Paper Description

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This paper draws on the interdisciplinary study of gender and the environment to look at how issues of gender and justice mediate human-environment relations. Students will become familiar with core concepts in environmental politics and gender studies and will learn to apply these concepts in analysing the complex struggles over resource management, resource allocation, and sustainable development in the global North and South with a specific focus on issues of power and justice. We will explore how marginalised communities, who are most vulnerable to environmental destruction, respond to systemic conditions of oppression, and initiate action for social justice. We will study issues such as struggles over water, forests, toxic wastes and resource extraction activities; feminist perspectives on climate justice; the complex politics of biodiversity and genetic modification; and reflect on strategies for social change. The fundamental objective of this course is to facilitate critical thinking and broad understanding of the inter-linking concerns around gender, justice and the environment.

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Paper Structure

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As a postgraduate paper, class meetings will involve intensive discussion.I believe that learning happens best when students are actively involved in the learning process through participation in classroom discussions and debates about readings, case studies, films and current affairs. In addition to the course materials provided for us to read and discuss, I encourage you to bring news items, video-clips, music, links to websites, and other materials that are relevant to our thinking about gender, justice and the environment.

Rather than mere comprehension of facts and memorisation of details, we will emphasise higher level cognitive skills such as application, analysis, evaluation, and synthesis.This paper is offered on the assumption that every student is here to learn.Therefore, I expect all students to read assigned materials and to complete writing tasks on time—that is before coming to class.Part of the course grade will depend on whether students live up to these obligations.

Please plan on doing the following to ensure you get the most out of this paper:

  • Familiarise yourself with this paper outline, paper requirements and expectations, and all assessments.
  • Read all assigned materials on time—before coming to class.

There are no prerequisites for this paper other than an interest in the subject matter, college level reading and writing skills, and a willingness to work and to participate actively.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • 1. Demonstrate broad understanding of the links between gender, justice and the environment.
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  • 2. Demonstrate mastery of some of the core concepts of gender studies and environmental politics.
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  • 3. Evaluate the gender and justice implications of issues of resource management, resource control and sustainable development.
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  • 4. Apply a set of arguments from one reading to analyse critically a different issue or set of arguments.
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  • 5. Demonstrate the above skills in written essays, presentations and class discussions.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Attendance & Participation
  • In Class: In Lecture
2. Weekly Reading Commentaries
  • Online: Moodle Forum Discussion
3. Seminar Presentation and Leading Discussion
  • In Class: In Lecture
4. Final Research Project
Sum of All
  • In Class: In Lecture
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
  • Presentation: In Class
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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A set of articles and book chapters available through the Waikato Reading List. The link to the Reading List is available via the POLSC504 Moodle Page.
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Online Support

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The paper offers online support through Moodle. Moodle is available on the university website via iwaikato. The course outline, all lecture notes, and additional resources are available on the POLSC 504-19B Moodle site. In addition, certain assessments will be required to be submitted electronically through the Moodle site.

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In addition to attending these classes, students will be expected to complete assignments and read materials as required. The expected workload for the paper is an average of about 10 hours per week.
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Linkages to Other Papers

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Restricted Papers: POLS504

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