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How do gender and feminism operate in the world today, and what are their possible futures? Indeed, do these concepts have a future? This subject examines feminist theory and activism and presents perspectives on sex and gender that focus on inequalities across key sites, such as the family, work, religion, cultural representation and rights. It traces two competing traditions in feminist visions of the future of sex and gender – reform and revolution. From anarchist activism and sex and gender ‘wars’, to Islamic feminism, ‘girl boss’ and lean-in feminisms, we highlight the range of feminist theories and tactics alongside important ongoing tensions between universalism and difference in gendered experience. Covering the first to fourth feminist ‘waves’ as well as key debates between liberal, radical, queer, Indigenous and decolonial feminisms, this subject explores feminist efforts to organise and to develop visions of an equal future across everyday practices of genders and of sexualities.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject students should:
- Have acquired a broad understanding of theoretical trajectories related to the study of gender and sex
- Possess an appreciation of the key concepts in gender studies and comprehension of the major views in feminist theory
- Demonstrate a developing capacity to think critically and evaluate arguments concerning gender, sex and sexuality
- Be aware of processes of knowledge production in the broad areas of sex and gender and appreciate the historical, political and cultural conditions to which this is linked
- Have interacted with peers in small, productive and collaborative learning environments.
Last updated: 22 November 2023