SP331      Half Unit
Sexuality, Everyday Lives and Social Policy in Developing Countries

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Timothy Hildebrandt OLD 2.56 and Dr Muzafferettin Seckinelgin OLD 2.27


This course is available on the BSc in Criminology, BSc in International Social and Public Policy, BSc in International Social and Public Policy and Economics, BSc in International Social and Public Policy with Politics, BSc in Social Policy, BSc in Social Policy and Economics, BSc in Social Policy and Sociology and BSc in Social Policy with Government. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit. This course is available with permission to General Course students.

This course is only available to third year undergraduate students. 

Course content

This course aims to analyse and understand the way social policies deploy sexuality categories in regulating everyday life in developing countries, both in its public and private manifestations Sexuality is a central part of human experience. Institutions created to deal with human life/wellbeing have considered sexuality as one of the reference points from which to regulate social relations. Perceptions on sexuality are formed in the intersection of socio-political, historical processes and everyday practises in particular societies. Particular perceptions of sexuality in turn influence the way people negotiate access to resources to address their well-being.

In some central areas of social policy sexuality is used as one of the sorting mechanisms (in addition to gender, race among various other categories) to establish entitlements for resources (social, political and economic). In this regard social policy is both informed by perceptions on sexuality and in turn social policy acts as a mechanism of social reproduction of these perspectives impacting people’s lives. And while globally high profile cases and rights abuses related to sexuality are important, a narrow global policy focus on these overlooks how more embedded and diverse social policy practices related to sexuality are impacting people’s lives in many developing countries. 

This course aims to explore sexuality and its importance for social policy for developing countries. It aims to consider social policy and particular interventions in their historical contexts, as a way of unpacking the construction of sexuality in the intersection of colonialism, gender, race, class and international policy frameworks in developing countries.

The course also aims to interrogate the relationship between particular social policy prescriptions developed in most industrialized welfare societies and the way some of these are transferred to developing countries. The major concern of the analysis is to bring out the perceptions of sexuality that underwrite these policies and how these interact with existing perceptions of sexualities and their performances (identities, desires and bodily practices) in multiple developing country contexts. These policy areas include, among others, discussions of rights, entitlements, citizenship, same-sex marriage, sexually transmitted disease, HIV/AIDS, family policies, migration/border controls, criminality and employment-related policies.


10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT.

The lectures for this course 10 X  60 min lecture will be joint lectures with MSc students who are taking SP417 as an option course. There will be a designated UG seminar for UG students 10 x 90 mins seminars in LT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the LT.

Students will be required to apply their understanding of both theoretical frameworks and issues related to sexualities and social policies in a 1,500 words formative essay. They will choose one particular social policy area, and show how viewing it through 3 different theoretical lenses helps us understand the issue differently.

Indicative reading

Additional readings for each week are available on Moodle.


Policy memo (100%).

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2018/19: Unavailable

Average class size 2018/19: Unavailable

Capped 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills