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Unit information: Gender, Masculinity/ies and International Relations in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Gender, Masculinity/ies and International Relations
Unit code POLIM3016
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Carver
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit considers the 'other half' of gender, so that gender is not a synonym for women. The political construction of gender as a power-laden binary will be examined, using sociological and feminist literature on masculinity/ies and a selective look at men's studies. While the focus is on bringing gender and masculinity/ies analysis to the study of international relations, there is also scope for integrating broader issues and material into this framework. This unit is only available to students registered for MSc/Diploma degrees in the Department of Politics and students registered on the MSc in Socio-Legal Studies. Please note available spaces on this unit are severely constrained, and it is not possible to guarantee inclusion on a unit of study. The Department does not permit the auditing of any of its units.

The aims of this unit are:

  • To develop an understanding of current 'men's studies' and 'masculinities' research
  • To develop a complex idea of the different ways that 'gender' is theorised
  • To investigate political questions and issues using a fully developed gender 'lens' and an international focus

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will have:

  • An understanding of gender as 'ways that sex and sexuality become power relations in society'
  • An ability to deploy this conceptualisation in relation to political and international issues.
  • Knowledge of principal works in men's studies and sociology of masculinities
  • Knowledge of this field of gender studies in relation to feminist theory

Teaching details

The following methods will be used:

  • Critical evaluation of relevant literature
  • Discussion and group work
  • Listening and speaking in discussion
  • Literature searches and primary source work, including internet
  • Seminar presentations (individual or collaborative)
  • Essay writing

Assessment Details

Formative assessment: an oral presentation supported by a handout Summative assessment: a 3,500 to 4,000 word essay

A full statement of the relationship between the programme outcomes and types/methods of assessment is contained in accompanying Programme Specifications and section B7 of the Major Change to Current Programme forms for the programmes of which this unit is a part. The assessment for each unit is designed to fit within and contribute to that approach in terms of intellectual development across each of the two teaching blocks, and in relation to knowledge and understanding, intellectual skills and attributes, and transferable skills.

Reading and References

  • Charlotte Hooper Manly States: Masculinities, International Relations and Gender Politics (Columbia, 2001).
  • R.W. Connell, Masculinities (Polity Press, 1995).
  • Harry Brod and Michael Kaufman (eds), Theorizing Masculinities (Sage 1994).
  • Marysia Zalewski and Jane Parpart (eds), The 'Man' Question in International Relations (Westview, 1998).