Gender studies

Introduction of the subject:

Gender studies is a field for interdisciplinary study devoted to gender identity and gendered representation as central categories of analysis. This field includes women’s studies (concerning women, feminism, gender, and politics), men’s studies and queer studies. Sometimes, gender studies are offered together with study of sexuality. These disciplines study gender and sexuality in the fields of literature, language, geography, history, political science, sociology, anthropology, cinema, media studies, human development, law, public health and medicine. It also analyzes how race, ethnicity, location, class, nationality, and disability intersect with the categories of gender and sexuality.

The discipline of gender studies critically examines how gender shapes our identities, our social interactions and our world. Gender studies at Memorial allows students to develop a framework for thinking about power relations connected to social constructions of gender, race, class, sexuality, ability, age, and nationality through multiple perspectives and theories. Gender Studies also provides students with the opportunity to obtain practical tools for promotion of equity across social, political, and economic spheres. Gender Studies is diverse in that it can be applied to several other disciplines of study, like literary theory, drama studies, film studies, religious studies, performance theory, art history, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and political science.

Gender is pertinent to many disciplines, such as literary theory, drama studies, film theory, performance theory, contemporary art history, anthropology, sociology, sociolinguistics and psychology. However, these disciplines sometimes differ in their approaches to how and why gender is studied. For instance in anthropology, sociology and psychology, gender is often studied as a practice, whereas in cultural studies representations of gender are more often examined. In politics, gender can be viewed as a foundational discourse that political actors employ in order to position themselves on a variety of issues. Gender studies are also a discipline in itself, incorporating methods and approaches from a wide range of disciplines.

According to Sam Killer Mann, Gender can also be broken into three categories, gender identity, gender expression, and biological sex. These three categories are another way of breaking down gender into the different social, biological, and cultural constructions. These constructions focus on how femininity and masculinity are fluid entities and how their meaning is able to fluctuate depending on the various constraints surrounding them.

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