Sociology of Gender

1870S [CRN: 25399]

Gender is among the most prominent organizing principles in our society. From the day they are born—and even earlier as the result of reproductive technologies—on through to the day they die, individuals are gendered. Instead of understanding gender as a set of behaviors derived from innate, fixed biological differences between men and women, this course analyzes gender as a social arrangement shaped by social actors, organizations, and institutions. Drawing from social science research, the course analyzes everyday interactions of intimacy, language, and identity issues, as well as macro structures like the economy, religion, and education, to understand how they affect notions of gender. The course sustains an analysis of sexuality because ideas of femininity and masculinity are constructed around notions of “appropriate” sexual conduct and relations. Although this course focuses on everyday life in this country, the class will explore the production and institutionalization of gender relations in historical moments and spaces beyond the U.S. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.
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