Courses

Undergraduate level

 

SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF SEXUALITIES (3 CREDITS)

 

SOCI / ANTH 375

 

This course examines the social construction of sexuality. Informed by key debates in the field, it asks that students think critically about how sexuality is both produced by and productive of culture, history, power and knowledge. More specifically, the course requires that students reflect on the following questions: In what ways is sexuality related to the phenomena of sex and gender? How is it formed in and through the forces of ability, age, class, ethnicity and race? In what ways is it privately experienced and publically understood? How does it change over time and across space? And, finally, how is it bound up with the body’s parts and processes? By reflecting on these questions, students will be in a position to better understand both the individual and the collective complexities of human sexuality.

 

THE BODY SOCIAL (3 CREDITS)

 

SOCI / ANTH 474

 

The course is an advanced introduction to social theories of the body. In the first part of the course, students will be presented with a number of concepts--such as mind/body dualism, reflexive embodiment, and biopolitics--that characterise the social study of the body. In the second part of the course, students will be given the opportunity to deepen their understanding of these concepts as they will be applied to a variety of contemporary phenomena such as cosmetic surgery, sexual dysfunction and social media. Informed by an intersectional framework, the course will be relevant to anyone with an interest in better understanding the complex relationships between selves, bodies and societies.

 

MEN AND MASCULINITIES (3 CREDITS)

 

SOCI / ANTH 475

 

The course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive introduction to contemporary theories of men and masculinities. The course begins by familiarising students with the early research on male sex roles and then moves on to a range of present-day perspectives on hegemonic masculinity, inclusive masculinity and manhood acts. The course also considers a number of current debates relating to the legitimacy of men’s studies as a field and whether or not we are currently witnessing a “crisis” of masculinity. The course aims to avoid an ideologically-driven approach to the study of men and masculinities and, in doing so, seeks to address a variety of scholarly perspectives in a balanced and even-handed manner. Drawing on a combination of academic texts and popular media texts, the course will be of interest to anyone interested in thinking critically about men and masculinity in the early postmillennium.

 

Graduate level

 

SOCIOLOGY OF THE BODY (3 CREDITS)

 

SOCI 644

 

This three-credit course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to social theories of the body. The course consists of two key parts. In the first part, we consider a number of different theoretical trajectories (e.g., psychoanalysis, phenomenology, poststructuralism) and how they have informed contemporary scholarship on the body. In the second part, we apply these theories to a range of current issues (e.g., obesity, cosmetic surgery, erectile dysfunction, facial transplantation) as they relate to bodies and embodiments in the early post-millennium. At the intersection of cultural studies, gender studies, health studies and media studies, the course will be relevant to anyone with an interest in the mutually constitutive forces of self, body and society and how they both shape and are shaped by phenomena such as biotechnology, beauty standards and consumer capitalism.

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