Faculty of Arts


Special Issues in Gender

Please note: this is archived course information from 2018 for SOCIOL 324.


Focuses on current and controversial issues in the sociology of gender, especially debates on the natural or social status of sex, gender and sexuality. Issues will be approached from contemporary feminist perspectives including post-structuralist and other critical feminist theories. Topics will vary by semester but will include some mix of gender and reproduction, gender and commercial sex, commodification of gendered identities and cybersex, among others. Topics will be critically examined in both theoretical and practical terms.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this course, students should be able to

  • Explain different viewpoints (particularly within a feminist framework) about how gender, sex, identity and social practice are related
  • Explain, using both theory and practical examples, how the marketing and selling of commodities are part of the social construction of gender, sexuality and gendered identities
  • Explain how bodies and identities themselves are commodified to both reinforce and contest gender and sexual identities and relations
  • Explain competing arguments (particularly within a feminist framework) about the meaning of different social practices and institutions like advertising, sex work and assisted reproduction that “market” sex and gender
  • Critique these competing arguments about gender identity and commodification by assessing them in relation to each other and in relation to students’ own viewpoints

Availability 2018

Semester 2


Lecturer(s) Dr Carisa Showden


SOCIOLOGY 324 Course Reader, available through UBS.


Coursework + exam


SOCIOL 324: 15.0 points


30 points at Stage II in Sociology

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