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Sociology of Gender

2019/2020
Учебный год
ENG
Обучение ведется на английском языке
6
Кредиты
Статус:
Курс по выбору
Когда читается:
4-й курс, 1 модуль

Course Syllabus

Abstract

Why should we study “gender” as sociologists? Like other elements of our social identity and memberships in social groups, gender often operates as a background to what we do in our daily lives. And it is this salience that makes it so fascinating to begin exercising our sociological imagination and uncovering “gendered” patterns of behaviour within “gendered” social spaces and institutions (politics, workplace, family). In this course thus we will focus on theoretical accounts that approach gender as a social construct – as a practice, process, ideology, and discourse. But gender does not exist in a vacuum. In this course, we will also look at how gender intersects with other parts of our identities and other social structures of inequality such as class, race/ethnicity, sexuality and age. This will help us to begin to think about multiple masculinities and femininities.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The aim of this course is to introduce students to the main theoretical approaches in the field of gender and sociology and give them an opportunity to discuss these theories in class and apply them to the topic of their choosing in the format of minor written assignments and a major essay.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Group presentation. Topic: gender and sexuality.
  • This week, we’re writing a short multiple-choice quiz. The quiz will be based on the main readings. It will consist of 10 multiple-choice questions. It is meant to test how well you have grasped the main theoretical ideas for this week's seminar.
  • Group presentation. Topic: men and masculinities.
  • Group presentation. Topic: the gender division of labour at work and in the family
  • Group presentation. Topic: gender and media.
  • By the end of this class, the students will have learned and discussed the historical roots of the sociology of gender: how sex/gender figured in sociological accounts prior to more critical debates of the 1970s; how ideas that had emerged with the second wave feminism entered sociology; and what influence they had on sociological analysis.
  • By the end of this class, the students will have learned and discussed how gender relations and hierarchies influence the process of migration, with the focus on labor migration and the so-called transnational care chains.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • The social construction of gender
    In the late 1980s, an approach referred to as the social construction of gender became dominant in sociology.  Social constructionism is a perspective according to which phenomena do not exist independently of people’s knowledge of them, but phenomena are produced through people’s interactions and active interpretations of things. In application to gender, this perspective encourages us to think about people as social agents who have the ability to actively reflect on and engage with different social norms and expectations regarding what it means to be men and women.
  • The sociology of gender: what is it? Why study it?
    In the first lecture, we will discuss the historical roots of the sociology of gender: how sex/gender figured in sociological accounts prior to more critical debates of the 1970s; how ideas that had emerged with the second wave feminism entered sociology, what influence they had on sociological analysis. Main themes: Biological determinism. Sex/gender distinction. The sex role theory (Talcott Parsons), Gender socialization (liberal feminism). The social reproduction theory (Marxist feminism). The dual systems theory (radical feminism). Main contributions of women’s/gender studies to sociology in the 1970s-80s.
  • Gender and migration
    In this lecture, we will consider how gender relations and hierarchies influence the process of migration. The focus here will be on labour migration and the so-called transnational care chains. As middle-class women in the developed countries began to enter the labour market and juggle work and family, their housework and care work in the family began to be outsourced to migrant women (esp. in the US, UK, Australia, Hong Kong). These processes have led to the creation of so-called global care chains. What affects does this phenomenon have on the understanding of care? What is it like for migrant men and women to leave behind their families and travel overseas for work?
  • Men and Masculinities
    This week, we will look at key terms and concepts used in masculinities' studies. Most issues studied by masculinities scholars overlap with those studied by scholars looking at the lives and experiences of women. In fact, since we have established that both masculinities and femininities are socially constructed, we will see that studies on men and women form a conceptual and empirical continuum. We will also look at what research has to say about various ways of being masculine.
  • Gender, sexuality and intimacy
    In this lecture, we will look at how ideas about gender and sexuality shape people’s romantic/intimate relations. In the 1970s feminist activists started consciousness-raising groups that were to help women draw connections between their personal experiences (e.g. violence, harassment) and patterns of inequalities between men and women in society. This exercise of drawing links between personal and political encourages us to think about how the most intimate elements of our daily lives – sexual and romantic experiences - are shaped by society. The main issues we will consider here are: basic concepts of sexuality in psychoanalysis (Freud); Alfred Kinsey and research into human sexuality, 1950s; the history of sexuality (Foucault); the sexual scripts theory (Gagnon and Simon); the transformation of intimacy, the ‘pure relationship’, ‘plastic sexuality’; sexual double standard.
  • The gender division of labour: at work and in the family
    This week we will consider how gender is produced at work and in the family. At the heart of this issue is the system of the gender division of labour. We will discuss how this division is reproduced through paid and unpaid labour, and how it forms the basis for a gendered identity. We will also look at how this division has changed over time (e.g. women's entry into the labour market in the post-WWII period in Western countries, changes in men's employment with the advance of de-industrialization). This historical overview also reminds us of the difference between gendered patterns of employment in some western countries and in Soviet/post-Soviet Russia.
  • Gender and the media
    This week we will consider the ways men and women, and relations between them are presented in the media. The gender analysis of media, however, is not limited to a critical evaluation of men's and women's representations in magazines, films or commercials. Researchers are also concerned with questions of ideology, power, and identities. While earlier feminist media analysis focused on white, middle-class young women since the 1980s-1990s the questions of intersectionality (especially, gender and class, or gender and race/ethnicity) and the problematization of masculinities have become the staple of media research.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Посещение занятий
  • non-blocking Мини-тест
  • non-blocking Групповая презентация
  • non-blocking Эссе
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (1 module)
    0.25 * Групповая презентация + 0.15 * Мини-тест + 0.1 * Посещение занятий + 0.5 * Эссе
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Kim, Y. (2011). Transnational Migration, Media and Identity of Asian Women : Diasporic Daughters. New York: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=441818
  • Гендерная сегрегация и трудовая мобильность на российском рынке труда, Мальцева И. О., Рощин С. Ю., 2006

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Eichler, M. (2012). Militarizing Men : Gender, Conscription, and War in Post-Soviet Russia. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1516666
  • Women, Gender and Labour Migration. Historical and global Perspectives. (2004). Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsnar&AN=edsnar.oai.pure.rug.nl.publications.eced3cec.f9b1.4cd5.93db.3267e0baeb84