Welcome to the Gender & Society class blog for the fall semester 2013.
This course will introduce students to the ways in which sex, gender, and sexuality mark our bodies, influence our perceptions of self and others, organize families and work life, delimit opportunities for individuals and groups of people, as well as impact the terms of local and transnational economic exchange. We will explore the ways in which sex, gender, and sexuality work with other markers of difference and social status such as race, age, nationality, and ability to further demarcate possibilities, freedoms, choices, and opportunities available to people. This course will focus on but not be limited to issues and scholarship in the U.S.
The course is divided into three units. The first unit explores the history of “gender” and its construction and examines the relationship between sex, sexuality, and gender. The second unit looks at how bodies and sexual desire are represented in various media forms and how we, as consumers, measure the in/accuracies of such representations. In this unit we will ask: What does it mean to represent the gendered and sexual self? To what extent can we alter the production or consumption of such representations of the gendered and/or sexually desirous body? The last unit turns to labor and health and here we will investigate how work, health, and healthcare are affected by, and in turn shape, our understandings of sex, gender, and sexuality.
There will be some “larger” concepts and questions that we will turn to in relation to our readings and we will use a class blog to host some of these discussions. The larger questions we will be concerned with throughout this course include (but are not limited to): What is inequity? What is justice? What is freedom? Is there such a thing as free choice? What is fairness? What is oppression? What is privilege? What is discrimination? For what are you responsible? For/To what will you or must you re/act?