SOC265 Gender and Society Syllabus

University of Toronto, Fall 2016


About This Course

As sociologists, we seek to better understand how individuals, groups and social systems/structures shape (and are shaped by) one another. In this course, we will use a sociological lens to focus on the topic of gender. First, we begin with basic questions about biology and explore how these shape our thinking about sex and gender. Second, we explore social processes that create and sustain the idea of gender difference. Lastly, we look at the impact these ideas of difference have on pervasive gender disparities; at both the interpersonal and structural level. The purpose of this course is to understand what gender is and how it affects our lives in seen and unforeseen ways. As such, this is not a course exclusively about women and women's experiences - in fact, we will spend considerable time discussing intersectionality (how other identities combine to influence and affect gendered identities and experiences), masculinities, and the experience of individuals who live in spaces between conventional gender categories (e.g. those who are intersex, transgender etc.)