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Unit information: Interpreting Gender in 2020/21

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Unit name Interpreting Gender
Unit code SOCIM3103
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Hooper
Open unit status Not open




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

Description including Unit Aims

Gender continues to be a hotly contested topic in contemporary society and this unit will introduce students to some of the key trends and developments in the analysis of gender relations. It considers a range of theoretical perspectives in order to answer questions about whether the future really is female, if there is a continuing need for feminism and, if so, what form it should take. Starting with the challenge of postmodernism and poststructuralism to classical perspectives (liberal, socialist, radical and materialist feminisms), different ways of interpreting gender are explored through reference to current debates surrounding reproduction, sexuality and inequality.

This unit aims to:

  • Present students with theoretical debates and perspectives on gender relations
  • Locate gender in relation to other social relations
  • Consider the usefulness of theories of gender in relation to examples of contemporary social issues

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the diversity of theoretical approaches to the study of gender
  • Critically engage with contemporary theoretical and conceptual debates on gender relations
  • Ground these theoretical debates in substantive examples, such as the impact of new reproductive technologies on gender relations or the social relationsh ips surrounding heterosexuality

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through blended learning methods, including a mix of synchronous and asynchronous teaching activities

Assessment Information

The assessment will re late directly to one of more of the learning outcomes specified above in 15 and will be an extended essay of 4000 words (or equivalent) showing an in-depth understanding and integration of key aspects of the unit.

Reading and References

  • The Polity Reader in Gender Studies (1994), Polity Press
  • Beasley, Chris (1999) What is feminism? : an introduction to feminist theory, Sage
  • hooks,bel (2000) Feminism for Everybody, Pluto
  • Jackson, Stevi & Jones, Jackie (eds)(1998) Contemporary Feminist Theories, Edinburgh U.P.
  • Kemp, Sandra & Squires, Judith (eds)(1997) Feminisms, Oxford
  • Meyers,Diana T.(ed)(1997) Feminist Social Thought: a reader, Routledge