COMM 3420 Gender and Communication

Instructor Contact:

Carolin Aronis, PhD


About the Course:

This course is designed to examine gender as a social practice that remains vital to identities, relationships, and institutions in contemporary society. Treats gender as something we do or enact through communication, rather than as something we are or have, and explores the implications of this shift in perspective. Investigates how gender interacts with sexuality, race, class, nation, age, ability, and other aspects of identity.

Meets Arts Sci Gen Eds: Diversity-U.S. Perspective & Distribution-Social Sciences
Requisites: Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (Juniors or Seniors)


Through this course, students will be able to:

  • Illustrate and explain concepts, theories, and significant relevant issues that are in the intersection of gender and communication in U.S. culture, in addition to other cultures
  • Apply learned material on real life cases (personal or social) by illustrating ways gender and communication function in people’s daily life and in the public sphere, and evaluate these practices from a critical perspective
  • Transfer critical perspectives into ways to act upon issues that socially matter in the intersection of gender and communication

Course Overview

This course is designed to increase students’ understanding of the various relationships between gender, communication and cultures, and develop awareness, academic thinking and research skills concerning gendered issues in personal and public life. The course helps students understand gender and communication mainly in the diverse American culture and to act for a change. In addition, it provides unique prisms and tools to understanding the topic in other geographical and/or religious and ethnic communities like Japanese, French, Nigerian, Indian, Israeli, Muslim, Jewish, Latinx. Among others, students will learn how to use intersectionality, and how to look at themselves both from within and through the lenses of others.

The course is organized around a series of relevant gendered topics that deal, among others, with identity, gender status and rights, personal relationships, communication, education, body, and media. Different practices to explore gendered issues will be taught, including: historical and theoretical texts, analysis of language, images, spaces, artifacts, media, and our own personal experiences and culture.

Required Texts:

Wood, J. T. & Fixmer-Oraiz, N. (2019). Gendered Lives: Communication, Gender, Culture (13th ed.). Stanford, CT: Cengage.  Hard copy available at bookstore. Other options (e-version, rental) available at

*Additional readings, videos, and films are mentioned in the syllabus and/or available on Canvas.

Grading Criteria and Points Breakdown:

The course includes 6 different types of graded activities and assignments:

  • Participation and active engagement (200 pts)
  • Two essays (100 pts):
  • The abortion conflict assignment: reading exam + short essay (100 pts)
  • Exam (200 pts)
  • One individual/pair presentation (150 pts)
  • Five Reading exams out of six (100 pts total)

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Monday – Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado