AP/SOCI 3960.6.0 – Sociology of Gender

For a downloadable version, please click here [PDF document – SG course outline 2013].

AP/SOCI 3690 6.0
York University
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies

Course Director: Sheila L. Cavanagh
Lecture: Tuesdays, 10:30-12:30 VH B
Office Address: 322 Founders College
Office Hours: By Appointment

NOTE: Please don’t e-mail Dr. Cavanagh for interpretations of the course readings or lectures.  Dr. Cavanagh will be available to answer questions about course material during lecture and office hours.  If you e-mail her for a course administrative matter please put SOCI 3690 in the subject heading.  Ensure that your e-mail is no more than five lines long (to ensure that I have time to read all messages).  E-mailed assignments will not be accepted.

Tutorial Leaders:
Hilton Bertalan
Alanna Goldstein
Amanda Salerno
Toby Wiggins

Course Description:

This course is designed to introduce students to the critical study of gender in sociology.  Beginning with questions about masculinity and femininity in Canadian society and internationally, we embark on an exploration of how gender is relevant to sociological thought.  Focus will be placed on sociological theories of gender and how they enable us to understand contemporary sex and gender systems. Attention will be given to knowledge production, power, culture, sexuality, communication, class, colonization and biographies in our investigation of gender.

Topics include the study of gender in families, the institution of marriage, compulsory heterosexuality, institutions like work, education, the mass media, sport, beauty industries, popular culture, etc.  Students will be expected to analyze the historical, economic, social, cultural and political aspects of gender formation in various societal contexts.  Emphasis is placed on the histories of gender in western, capitalist industrialized nations: heterosexuality and bi-gendered culture; transnational migration, histories of colonization and racism; law and government.

Course Evaluation:

Tutorial Participation: 20%
Fall Term Essay: 20%
Fall Term Test: 20%
Winter Term Essay: 20%
Winter Term Test: 20%

Required Readings:
Cavanagh, Sheila. (2010) Queering Bathrooms: Gender, Sexuality, and the Hygienic Imagination, Toronto: UTP.
Jackson, Stevi and Scott Sue. (2002) Gender: A Sociological Reader.  New York: Routledge.
Kimmel, Michael, S., Aronson, Amy & Kaler, Amy. (2011) The Gendered Society Reader.  Don Mills: Oxford.
Kimmel, Michael, S. & Holler, Jacqueline. (2010) The Gendered Society, Don Mills: Oxford.

Assignment Notes:
*All essays are to be handed in to your tutorial leader during lecture.
*Assignments will not be accepted over e-mail.  Do not leave papers under office doors.
*All assignments must be double-spaced and typed in 12 point Times Roman with 1’ margins.
*Number and staple all pages (no paper-clips, binders, paper or plastic folders will be accepted).
*Include your name, student number, course number and the name of your tutorial leader on all assignments.
*Keep copies of your assignments.
*Assigned course readings must be used exclusively on all tests, exams and essays.  Use of readings that aren’t assigned in this course will result in a failing grade.

Plagiarism is a serious, punishable offence that can result in a departmental hearing, and in a failing grade.  Plagiarism includes using the work of others without proper citation.  This includes verbatim quotation from books, websites, assignments completed for other courses, etc.  Always use quotation marks around words that are not your own and if you paraphrase the ideas of others you must attribute the idea to the appropriate author.  See the university website:
Visit the writing centers on campus:
The Online Resources of the York Arts Centre for Academic Writing provide important information about how to cite and reference scholarly work:

Course Schedule:

INTRODUCTION to the course:
September 10
No readings assigned.

Gender in Sociology
September 17
Introduction.  Gender: A Sociological Reader (Jackson and Scott, p. 1-26)
Kimmel and Holler The Gendered Society (Chapter 5)
Masculinities and Femininities
September 24
Chapter 5 Gender: A Sociological Reader (Connell, p. 60-62)
Chapter 8 The Gendered Society Reader (Gagne, p. 59-72)
Chapter 38 Gender: A Sociological Reader (Skeggs, p. 311-325)
Chapter 45 Gender: A Sociological Reader (Reynaud, p. 401-405)
Chapter 10 The Gendered Society Reader (Bordo, p. 84-96)
Transgender Identifications:
October 1
Cavanagh Queering Bathrooms (Chapter One)
Cavanagh and White Queering Bathrooms (Glossary).

Social Constructionist Theories of Gender
October 8
Chapter 1 Gender: A Sociological Reader (Stanley, p. 31-41)
Chapter 2 Gender: A Sociological Reader (West and Zimmerman, p. 42-47)
Chapter 4 (Delphy, p. 51-59)
Chapter 4 The Gendered Society (Kimmel and Holler, p. 85-108)
Anatomy and Destiny: Biological Arguments about Gender Differences
October 15
Chapter 1 The Gendered Society Reader (Buss, p. 2-6)
Chapter 2 The Gendered Society Reader (Sapolsky, p. 7-10)
Chapter 3 The Gendered Society Reader (Lorber, p. 11-19)
Chapter 4 The Gendered Society Reader (Fausto-Sterling, p. 20-25)
Chapter 50 Gender: A Sociological Reader (Kessler, p. 447-456)
Gender, Developmental Psychology and Psychoanalysis
October 22
Chapter 2 The Gendered Society (Kimmel and Holler, p. 21-59)
Chapter 3 The Gendered Society (Kimmel and Holler, p. 60-84)
*Fall Term Essay due in lecture

Queer Theory and Heterosexuality
October 29
Chapter 8 Gender: A Sociological Reader (Ingraham, 79-84)
Chapter 27 Gender: A Sociological Reader (Seidman, p. 225-229)
Chapter 29 Gender: A Sociological Reader (Duncombe and Marsden, p. 233-237)
Chapter 30 Gender: A Sociological Reader (Afshar, p. 238-240)
Chapter 39 Gender: A Sociological Reader (Holland et al, p. 326-337)
Judith Butler on Gender Performativity
November 5
Chapter 3 Gender: A Sociological Reader (Butler, 48-50)
Chapter 46 Gender: A Sociological Reader (Morgan, p.406-422)
Chapter 49 Gender: A Sociological Reader (Newton, p. 440-446)

Gender, Race and Class: An Intersectional Approach
November 12
Chapter 6 The Gendered Society Reader (Ruby, p. 42-50)
Chapter 7 Gender: A Sociological Reader (Hill-Collins, p. 69-78)
Chapter 13 Gender: A Sociological Reader (Nain, p. 117-121)
Chapter 44 Gender: A Sociological Reader (Gilman, p. 392-400)
Review Lecture
November 19
No Readings Assigned
November 26


Gender, Empire and Colonization
January 7
Chapter 22 The Gendered Society Reader (Leeuw, p. 212-222)
Chapter 23 The Gendered Society Reader (Lindberg, p. 223-232)
Chapter 24 The Gendered Society Reader (Beagan, p. 232-244)
Postcolonial Theory and Homonationalism
January 14
Film: Edward Said: On Orientalism

Gendering Families
January 21
Chapter 6 The Gendered Society (Kimmel and Holler, 141-188)
Gender and Work
January 28
Chapter 11 Gender: A Sociological Reader (Hartman, p. 97-111)
Chapter 16 Gender: A Sociological Reader (Dunne, p. 136-142)
Chapter 17 Gender: A Sociological Reader (Phizacklea, p. 143-149)
Chapter 20 Gender: A Sociological Reader (Baxter et al, p. 165-169)
Gender and Violence
February 4
Chapter 37 The Gendered Society Reader (Sandy, p. 386-394)
Chapter 38 The Gendered Society Reader (Dobash et al, p. 395-407)
Chapter 40 The Gendered Society Reader (Namaste, p. 420-428)
Gender and Education
February 11
Chapter 7 The Gendered Society (Kimmel and Holler, p. 189-212)

No classes on February 18.

*Winter Term essay due in lecture
Gender and Performance Ethnography: The Queer Bathroom Monologues
February 25
Cavanagh Queering Bathrooms (Introduction and Chapter two)

Gender and the Media:
March 4
Chapter 9 The Gendered Society (241-271)
Gender and Sport:
March 11
Chapter 7 The Gendered Society Reader (Pomerantz, p. 51-58)
Chapter 9 The Gendered Society Reader (Theberge, p. 73-80)
Chapter 12 The Gendered Society Reader (Wakewich, p. 100-107)
Chapter 31 The Gendered Society Reader (Lorenz et al, p. 317-331)
Gender, Cosmetics, Body-Building and Fantasy
March 18
Chapter 47 Gender: A Sociological Reader (Davis, p. 423-428)
Chapter 48 Gender: A Sociological Reader (Mansfield and McGinn, p. 429-439)
Chapter 11 The Gendered Society (Kimmel and Holler, p. 314-341)
Chapter 43 Gender: A Sociological Reader (Martin, p. 384-391)
March 25