Gender, Culture and Society
SO2342 Gender, Culture and Society (10 ECTS credits)
Lecturer(s): Dr Barbara Bradby
The first half of the module starts from a central question posed by feminist anthropologists: whether patriarchy, or the subordination of women, is a universal feature of social organisation. It pursues this and other questions through work on relations between men and women in diverse societies – the Australian Aborigines, the Trobriand Islanders, contemporary Morocco, the Andean peoples of Peru and Bolivia, as well as other case-studies.
The second half of the year takes anthropology into modern, urban society through the study of 'subcultures', starting with the 'Chicago school' in the 1920s, through to the more Marxist approach of British subcultural theory, and on to work on 'postsubcultures' in the last decade. While many subcultures incorporate changes in gender and sexuality, we also look at studies that are critical of gaps between what is said and what is done. We follow these debates through research on punks, goths, and rave subculture, as well as looking at work on gender in school settings, and in controversial areas such as lap dancing.
On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:
- outline the variety of gender arrangements in different societies;
- explain how theories of gender as a social arrangement differ from notions of gender as a natural attribute;
- discuss structuralist theories of the subordination or exchange of women, and assess them critically in the light of evidence of women's agency;
- assess ways in which researchers influence the field they claim to be studying, and about researcher reflexivity in relation to gender.
Lectures & Tutorials/ Contact hours:
Two lectures and one tutorial per week (including hours for viewing of visual material which is an important component of both halves of the module).
Lectures: 44 hrs; Tutorials: 22 hrs; Exams/assignments: 44 hrs; Self-study: 140 hrs. Total: 250 hours.
Recommended Texts/ Key Reading:
- Moore, H. (1988), Feminism and Anthropology, Polity Press
Brettell, C.B. and C.F. Sargent (2000) Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective, Prentice Hall
- Gelder, K. and S. Thornton (eds.) (2005) The Subcultures Reader, Routledge
First half of the year is assessed by group seminar facilitation (10%) and individual term essay (90%).