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Multicultural and Gender Studies

Our Mission

Multicultural and Gender Studies (MCGS) is an interdisciplinary program that furthers the University's goal of providing students with the knowledge and commitment to be socially responsible citizens in a diverse democracy and interconnected world. MCGS students and faculty analyze and challenge interlocking systems of power including racism, classism, and heterosexism. We work together as a diverse community of scholars and activists to critically examine gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity-primarily within the U.S.-in historical and contemporary cultural contexts.

The BA in MCGS provides an interdisciplinary approach to cultural analysis within and across cultural groups in the United States, with emphasis on the role of class, race, and gender in shaping cultural identities.

The General Option in MCGS includes work in the theory and practice of cultural analysis; cross-cultural and interethnic study; examination of the role of gender in culture; and close analysis of a particular cultural group.

The Women's Studies Option in MCGS is based on a combination of multicultural and gender studies courses focused on women and feminist analysis.

The African American Studies Minor focuses on African Americans, both as cultural groups in diaspora and as active agents in the shaping of the United States.

The American Indian Studies Minor focuses on the history, literature, worldviews, social practices, and legal issues of Indian tribes.

The Asian American Studies Minor focuses on rapidly growing cultural groups in the United States from Japan, China, Korea, the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and India.

The Chicano Studies Minor focuses on the history, cultural expressions, social practices, and growing political power of Mexican Americans.

Managing Diversity in Organizations is a joint minor with the Department of Management. This minor brings together the two disciplines to analyze and develop strategies for effectively managing diverse work environments.

The Multicultural Studies Minor offers an introduction to the theory and practice of cultural analysis, study of cross-cultural and interethnic issues, and close work with a particular American ethnic group.

The Sexual Diversity Studies Minor focuses on the construction and expression of diverse sexual identities and the ways societies shape and control these identities. This minor examines theories (e.g., biological, psychological, sociological) and expressions of sexuality across cultures and subcultures.

The Women's Studies Minor introduces students to the theory and practice of feminist cultural analysis, and basic issues and perspectives in women's studies.

Given that rigorous academic learning is most effective when linked with community work, our students put theory into practice through service and activist internships on campus and throughout the North State. Our students-with support from MCGS faculty-work with student and community organizations such as MEChA, the AS Women's Center, the Pan African Union, the American Indian Club, Planned Parenthood, Catalyst, and the Community Legal Information Center. Students participate in campus forums, lectures, and workshops such as the Conversations on Diversity series aimed at cultivating a diverse and just environment.

Program Goals

Students completing a degree program in MCGS will achieve the following goals: 1) gain an appreciation of diversities of race, sex, gender as an enrichment of life, not a limitation or obstacle; 2) think critically about the situated nature of different racial/ethnic, gender, and sexual identity groups in the United States; 3) apply central vocabulary, concepts, theories, and analytical frameworks germane to the fields of multicultural and gender studies; 4) communicate effectively in speech and writing; 5) conduct library, Internet, and/or field research as appropriate to the study in one or more of the MCGS disciplines; and 6) synthesize theory with practice through service and activism.

Career Outlook

Our programs are particularly relevant to students considering careers in teaching, law, management, health and community service, public administration, human resources, non-profits, and public policy.

Catalog Cycle:13