CONCEPTUAL HISTORY AS A METHODOLOGY FOR WOMEN'S STUDIES
AbstractDiscussions about the structure of Women's Studies programs are often torn between two extremes. The first attempts to integrate the program completely within existing university disciplines, while the other aims to keep independence from the traditional university setting. Those who argue for the first extreme usually point out that there is a vast amount of knowledge already existing in universities, that the disciplines have developed over centuries of careful investigations of fields of study, and that an accredited program is necessary for students seeking employment. The supporters of "free schools" and other counter-university learning centers argue that it is contradictory to the nature of Women's Studies to be in a male dominated institution, that university disciplines are often arbitrarily distinguished, and that accreditation is a way of fitting women into the society that oppresses them instead of encouraging them to create new forms of life.
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