Not available in 2024/25
GI417      Half Unit
Feminist Population Politics

This information is for the 2024/25 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Wendy Sigle PAN 11.01J


This course is available on the MSc in Gender (Research), MSc in Gender (Sexuality), MSc in Gender, Development and Globalisation, MSc in Gender, Policy and Inequalities and MSc in Social Research Methods. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

This course considers both the politics of knowledge production in population studies and the politics surrounding international and national population policies.  Although population change cannot be described, understood, or responded to without taking into account the wider -- and profoundly gendered -- social, political and economic context,  feminist theory and gender theory have had relatively limited impact on population scholarship. This course explores the implications both theoretically and practically.  Students will explore and evaluate the ways that feminist demographers and policy activists have sought to redress social and gender injustices.  Moreover, they will be asked to consider how the integration of a feminist and gendered perspective might change the way research is carried out and used to inform policy.


This course runs in WT. 

There will be a reading week in week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Students will meet with a study group to discuss papers and to complete assignments (presentations, assessments of papers, answers to questions) in preparation for seminars. 

Students are expected to submit a 1,500 formative exercise and a self-assessment (attached as a coversheet).

Indicative reading

Eberhardt, P., & Schwenken, H. (2010). Gender Knowledge in Migration Studies and in Practice. Gender Knowledge and Knowledge Networks in International Political Economy, 94.

Greenhalgh, S. (2012), On the Crafting of Population Knowledge. Population and Development Review, 38(1): 121–131

Intemann, K. (2010).   Twenty-five years of feminist empiricism and standpoint theory: Where are we now?  Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 25(4): 778-796.

Riley, N.E. and McCarthy, J. (2003) Demography in the Age of the Postmodern. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Thornton, A.  (2001).  The developmental paradigm, reading history sideways, and family change.   Demography 38(4): 449-465.

Watkins, S.C. (1993)  If all we knew about women was what we read in Demography, what would we know?  Demography 30(4): 551-577.


Project (100%) in the ST.

The production of a final 3000 word report (due in ST: 90% of the final mark) with milestones including a progress report, a first draft, and an assessed 1000 word peer review report (5% of the final mark).  Full participation (completion of all of the milestones) contributes 5% of the final mark.

Key facts

Department: Gender Studies

Total students 2023/24: 16

Average class size 2023/24: 16

Controlled access 2023/24: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

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Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills