Gender and Society

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Charis Thompson STC.S102 and Dr Billy Holzberg STC.S103


This course is available on the BSc in Language, Culture and Society, BSc in Social Policy and Sociology and BSc in Sociology. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

Course content

The course will explore the meaning of gender in contemporary society. It considers gendered relations of power and the articulation of gender with other kinds of social difference such as 'race', class and sexuality. A variety of theoretical perspectives will be applied to a number of substantive issues of contemporary concern.

Indicative topics are: gender and sexuality; the body; families; employment; violence; nation and citizenship; multiculturalism; reproductive technologies; globalisation; sex work; representation; body modification.


10 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes in the MT. 10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT. 1 hour of lectures and 1 hour of classes in the ST.

Reading Weeks: Students on this course will have a reading week in MT Week 6 and LT Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to prepare one essay per term and at least one class paper per term which will be written up and handed to the class teacher.

Indicative reading

S Ahmed, Living a Feminist Life, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2017

R Baksh and W Harcourt (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Transnational Feminist Movements, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2015

L Gilmore, Tainted Witness: Why We Doubt What Women Say About Their Lives (Paperback edition), New York: Columbia University Press, 2018

J Halberstam, Trans: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variability, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2018

A Kafer, Feminist, Queer, Crip, Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2013

M Kimmel, J Hearn, R Connell, Handbook of Studies on Men and Masculinities, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2005

R Ray, J Carlson, A Andrews (Eds.), The Social Life of Gender, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2017 

C Thompson, Making Parents, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005

A more detailed reading list will be provided at the beginning of the course.


Take home exam (100%) in the ST.

Attendance at all classes and submission of all set coursework is required

Student performance results

(2016/17 - 2018/19 combined)

Classification % of students
First 19.3
2:1 65.5
2:2 13.4
Third 0
Fail 1.7

Key facts

Department: Sociology

Total students 2018/19: 46

Average class size 2018/19: 15

Capped 2018/19: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Communication