Gender and Gender Structures: Changes and Stability in Institutions, Policies and Practices, 7.5 credits

About the course

The social construction of gender influence and structure women’s and men’s lives, it shapes their everyday experiences and the strategies they choose. Choices and constraints are mediated by gendered institutions, norms and policies. In this course, we try to disentangle how these experiences and choices are shaped by different institutional settings and sites in which gender relations are being renegotiated—in families, workplaces, in organizations and professions, in local/ national and political venues. How are gender relations being transformed by changing policies and discourses on gender equality and gender equity? To what extent are these changes producing differences among groups of men and women by age, ethnicity, religion, class, sexualities? These are issues that will be discussed in class.

The purpose of the course is to provide theoretical and empirical tools to assess the continuities and discontinuities in gender relations in advanced industrialized societies. The course aims to extend the knowledge base of gender in the social sciences; building upon the new research that recognizes gender as a dynamic and contested research terrain across different sites and within diverse groups. The course readings and lectures will reflect upon and engage with these perspectives. The course will include a range of lecturers with different expertise in different spheres of doing gender: work, family, politics, sexualities, and ethnic/gender tensions. The course will focus on both lived experiences (how men and women do gender) as well as how actors in different arenas frame and apply gender.

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