Welcome to Genderland!


Alice in Genderland

Nazanin Shahrokni, Summer 2012

The aims of this course are to provide you with a solid foundational knowledge about women, gender and sexuality studies and to improve your ability to apply your knowledge about gender and sexuality to everyday life situations and practices.
This syllabus is your “Lonely Planet Travel Guide” for our journey into the Genderland:

The first chapter entitled Sex, Gender, and their Variations offers some general information about the contours of this land and the language of its people. It is an introduction to some of the basic words and concepts that the inhabitants of the Genderland use: sex, and gender. How do we become ‘men’ and ‘women’? Are we the products of ‘nature’, or ‘society’? Both or neither? Gender is altered and (re)shaped by other dimensions of inequality such as race, class, age, etc. How do we understand or explain intersectionality?

The second chapter sheds light on what is often neglected in gender studies: men and masculinities. This is not a women-only land! In Men and Masculinities, we learn about how men, manhood and masculinities are defined and how these definitions are embodied and/or challenged.

In chapter three,  Women in the City we will walk around the city! Our experience of the city is socially constructed.  Where is a ‘woman’s place’? Why are women afraid of the dark? Or aren’t they?

In the next chapter, we will visit a Divided Job Market. How has women’s presence in the job market changed the structure of the workplace in the U.S. and elsewhere?

Chapter five, Beauty and the Beast: Bodies, Words, and Images, takes us away from the work environment and into the world of culture where words and images reign. Is it OK to laugh at ‘sexist’ jokes? Is Mickey Mouse guilty of sexism? Do you think “The Sleeping Beauty” would have been considered beautiful in all times and places? This chapter will offer you some tentative answers.

The last chapter deals with the ways in which we, as individuals or in the form of collectives, can create visions of a better future. Chapter six, Voices from the Margins, offers an account of women’s movements in the U.S. and in the Third World and also introduces us to the LGBT movement in San Francisco and the ways in which gay identities were forged. We will also learn about the ways in which our visit to Genderland contributes to the betterment of our lives.

It is a ‘lonely planet’ but you are not alone in this journey. I am your guide!

So feel free to ask questions or to comment on our journey. You can shoot me an email at nazanin [at] berkeley [dot] edu or come and see me during my office hours (Wednesdays 12-2) in my office at 483 Barrows Hall.

I have visited this land many times before and have learned something new in each visit. So our journey is as exciting for me as I hope it will be for you. It is a collective learning process.

We will keep our travelogue on the class blog (genderland.wordpress.com). It is an open-ended travelogue. All are welcome (or in fact should) add pieces to it or comment on other commentaries or opinion pieces published on the blog. As we move through different sites and places in this land, I want you to publish your reflections. You can post a picture, a cartoon, or a link to a movie. You can write about your childhood, an everyday life event or about a lecture you heard or a newspaper article you read. Everything counts. We will talk in class as we make our moves through different sites but for those of you who do not feel comfortable talking, writing on the blog is the best way to guarantee your participation points!

Speaking of points, here are the course requirements:
Participation (10%): Once you check in, you cannot get off the plane. Attendance is mandatory. Reading the guide is compulsory. Attend class and read all of the assignments prior to class. I have included some fun material for ‘further readings’ as well. Read them if you have time. Of course, there will be extra points for those who read these ‘further readings’ and post their reflections on the blog.
Contributing to our ‘Travelogue’ (30%): At the end of each chapter, I want you to revisit your experience. Write a 1-2 page reflection paper on the readings of each week and post it on the blog so everyone can read it. Where applicable, you may offer your summary and assessment of further readings or the videos suggested. There are 6 chapters. You may skip three during the course of the semester.
Midterm Exam (20%): Complete a take home exam which is composed of one short 750-word essay.
Final Term Paper (40%): Submit a 1500-2000 word paper in which you will pick an empirical case and offer your analysis of it using a theme discussed in class (i.e. men and masculinities, women and the job market, gender and space, etc.)

I. Sex, Gender, and Their Variations

Connell, R. W. (2009) Short Introductions: Gender,2nd edition, MA: Polity Press. Pp. 1-30.

West, Candace and Don Zimmerman. (1991). “Doing Gender” in Judith Lorber and Susan Farrell (eds.) The Social Construction of Gender. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Pp. 13-37.

1-Connel      2-Zimmerman

Further Readings:

Nanda, S. (2000). Gender Diversity: Crosscultural Variations. Illinois: Waveland Press, Introduction, Chapter 6.

Fausto-Sterling. (2004) “Myths of Gender: The Biological Connection” in Laura Kramer (ed.) The Sociology of Gender, Roxbury Pub Co. Pp. 42-49.

Kivisto, P. and Harding, E. (eds.) (2007). Intersecting Inequalities: Class, race, sex and sexualities. NJ: Pearson Education, Preface “Making Sense of Intersecting Inequalities”.

VIDEO: The Gender Tango, 1997.

II. Men and Masculinities

Connell, R. W. (2005). Masculinities (2nd ed.) Los Angeles: Polity Press, Chapters 1-3.

Messner Michael A. (2007). “The Masculinity of the Governator: Muscle and Compassion in American Politics.” Gender and Society Vol. 21, No. 4 (Aug., 2007), Pp. 461-480.

Cahn, Susan. (1993). From the “Muscle Moll” to the “Butch” Ballplayer: Mannishness, Lesbianism, and Homophobia in U.S. Women’s Sport. Feminist Studies. 19 (2): 343-368.

Chen, Anthony S. (1999). “Lives at the Center of the Periphery, Lives at the Periphery of the Center: Chinese American Masculinities and Bargaining with Hegemony,” Gender and Society 13(5): Pp. 584-607.

2-Messner       2-ChineseAmerican     1-Cahn

Further Readings:
Hooks, Bell (1995), “Reconstructing Black Masculinity” in Perchuk, Andrew and Helaine Posner, eds. The Masculine Masquerade: Masculinity and Representation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp. 69-88.

Collins, Patricia Hill (1990). “Mammies, Matriarchs, and Other Controlling Images”. in Black Feminism Thought. Boston: Unwyn Hyman.

Ray, Raka (2000) “Masculinity, Femininity And Servitude: Domestic Workers in Calcutta in the Late Twentieth Century” Feminist Studies 26(3): Pp. 691-718.

VIDEO: I Am a Man: Black Masculinity in America, 1998 and/or Tough Guise: Violence, Media and the Crisis in Masculinity, 1999.

III. Women in the City

Bondi, Liz and Mona Domosh. (1998). “On the Contours of Public Space: A Tale of Three Women”. Antipode. 30 (3): 270-289.

Valentine, Gil. (1989). “The Geography of Women’s Fear”.  Area. 21 (4): 385-390.

Madge, Claire. (1996). “Public Parks and the Geography of Women’s Fear”. Tijdschrift voo7Economische en Sociak Geograje. 88 (3): 237-250.

1-Bondi-Domosh    2-Valentine   3-Madge

Further Readings:
Lewis, Claire and Steve Pile. (!996). “Woman, Body, Space: Rio, Carnival and the Politics of Performance”.  Gender, Place, and Culture. 3 (1):  23-41.

VIDEO: To be announced!

IV. A Divided Job Market: Women at Work

Charles, Maria. (1992). “Cross-National Variation in Occupational Sex Segregation”. American Sociological Review. 57 (4): 483- 502.

Bielby, William and James Baron. “Men and Women at Work: Sex Segregation and Statistical Discrimination”. American Journal of Sociology. 91 (4): 759-799.

Acker, Joan (2009) “From Glass Ceiling to Inequality Regimes” Sociologie du Travail, 51(2): Pp. 199-217.

Christine Williams (1992) “The Glass Escalator: Hidden Advantages for Men in the “Female” Professions” Social Problems, 39 (3): Pp. 253-267.

1-Acker   2-Williams   3-Bielby-Baron   3-Charles

Further Readings:

Richard Anker (1998) Gender and Jobs: Sex Segregation of occupations in the World, ILO. Chapters. 2, 3, 16.

Seung-Kyung Kim (1996) “Big Companies Don’t Hire Us, Married Women”: Exploitation and Empowerment Among Women Workers in South Korea” Feminist Studies 22 (3): Pp. 555-571.

Gilder, George (1995) “The Glass Ceiling Is Not What Limits Women at Work” in J. Petrikin (ed.) Male/Female Roles: Opposing View Points, San Diego: Greenhaven Press. Pp. 92-99.

Harvey Wingfield, Adia (2009) “Racializing the Glass Escalator: Reconsidering Men’s Experiences with Women’s Work” Gender and Society 23(1): 5-26.

VIDEO: American Women and Social Change – Women at Work, 1975

V. Beauty and the Beast: Women, Words and Images

Black, Paula and Ursula Sharma. (2001). “Men are Real, Women are ‘Made up’: Beauty Therapy and the Construction of Femininity.” The Sociological Review. 100-116.

Frith, K., Ping Shaw, and Hong Cheng. (2005). “The Construction of Beauty: A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Women’s Magazine Advertising”.  International Communication Association.

Wilcox, Paula (2005), “Beauty and the Beast: Gendered and Raced  Discourse in the News”. Social and Legal Studies. 14 (4): 515-532.

Najmabadi, Afsaneh (2005). Women with Mustaches and Men without Beards: Gender and Sexuality of Iranian Modernity. Berkeley: University of California Press. Pp. 11-13, 232-236.

1Balck-Sharma   2-Frith-Shaw-Cheng   3-Wilcox

Further Readings:
Gibbon, M. (1999). Feminist Perspectives on Language. Toronto: Pearson Hall. Pp. 17-33.

Bielby, Denise D., Bielby, William T. (1996) “Women and Men in the Film: Gender Inequality among Writers in a Culture Industry” Gender and Society. 10(3): 248-270.

Sherry Kleinman (2007) “Why Sexist Language Matters” http://www.alternet.org/story/48856/

Coltrane and Messineo (2000) “The Perpetuation of Subtle Prejudice: Race and Gender Imagery in 1990s Television Advertising” Sex Roles, 42: Pp. 363-389.

Jefford, S. (2008) “The Curse of Masculinity: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” in Bell, Elizabeth, Lynda Haas, and Laura Sells (eds.) (2008) From Mouse to Mermaid: The Politics of Film, Gender, and Culture, Indiana University Press. Pp. 161-175.

Katz, Sydney (1995) “The Importance of Being Beautiful” in Heslin, James (ed.) Down to Earth Sociology. 8th edition, NY: Free Press, Pp. 301-307.

VIDEO: Mickey Mouse Monopoly: Disney, Childhood and Corporate Power, 2001 and/or Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising’s Image of Women, 1999.

VI. Voices from the Margins and the Demand for Recognition

Ray, Raka and Anna Korteweg (1999) “Women’s Movements in the Third World: Identity, Mobilization and Autonomy” Annual Review of Sociology 25: Pp. 47-71.

Bernstein. Mary. (1997). “Celebration and Suppression: The Strategic Uses of Identity of the Lesbian and Gay Movement”. American Journal of Sociology. 103 (3): 531-565.

1-Bernstein   3-Ray-Korteweg

Further Readings:

Buechler, S. (1990) “Roots and Origins” in Women’s Movements in the United States: Woman Suffrage, Equal Rights, and Beyond. NJ: Rutgers University Press. Pp. 9-23.

Armstrong, Elizabeth A. (2002) Forging gay identities: organizing sexuality in San Francisco, 1950-1994. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Chapter 1.

Kingsolver, Barbara (1989) Holding the Line: Women in the Great Arizona Mine Strike of 1983, ILR Press.

VIDEO: Iron Jawed Angels, 2004.


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