Marta E. Luján
Professor Emeritus —
Hispanic and Romance Linguistics; Syntactic and Semantic Theories; Bilingualism.
SPN 345L • Intro To Hispanic Linguistics
48140 • Fall 2009
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM BEN 1.126
Readings in Gender & Sexuality
Sociology 395G; WGS 393
Professor Christine Williams
This course is designed to provide a forum for discussion of recently published works in the sociology of gender and sexuality. In contrast to the scientific/medical model of sexuality, sociology begins with the premise that sexuality is socially constructed. The course begins with an overview of the major theoretical perspectives that have influenced thinking in this regard: psychoanalytic theory (Freud, Chodorow, Benjamin); symbolic interactionism (Simon & Gagnon, Plummer, Stein, Thorne & Zuria); feminist theory (MacKinnon, Rich, Collins); and queer theory (Epstein, Valocchi, Angelides). These approaches make different claims about the relationship between gender and sexuality, the meaning of sexual identity, and the origins of sexual desire.
After this theoretical overview, we turn to a focus on new research in the field. Readings are organized into three main topics, all of which attend to race, class, and gender differences in the experience of sexuality. First we will explore the historical and social construction of sexual identity. We will discuss how hegemonic definitions of “normal” sexuality have marginalized different groups, including lesbians (Stein), drag queens (Rupp and Taylor), and immigrants (Gonzalez-Lopez). This section also emphasizes how social movements organized around sexual identities have resisted hegemonic definitions of normal sex. Second, we will discuss stratified reproduction, a term that refers to how society encourages certain groups to have children, while preventing or discouraging others from doing so. We will examine how this process occurs in social movements (Nelson), schools (Luker), and medicine (Daniels). Third, we will explore the future of sexuality through an analysis of three controversial issues in society and scholarship: normalization of gay and lesbian identity (Seidman); gay marriage (Hull); and transgender rights (Rudacille).
Students are required to attend all classes and to lead discussion on at least one occasion. Course grades will be based on participation (10%) and the class presentation (10%), as well as two take-home examinations (40% each). These exams require students to write 10-15 page essays that reflect on and analyze the readings and the class discussion; they do not require extra reading outside of class. Students have the option to write their own exam question, with my approval.
Arlene Stein, Shameless. NYU, 2006.
Leila Rupp and Verta Taylor, Drag Queens at the 801 Cabaret. Chicago, 2003.
Gloria Gonzalez-Lopez, Erotic Journeys. California, 2005.
Jennifer Nelson, Women of Color and the Reproductive Rights Movement. NYU, 2003.
Kristen Luker, When Sex Goes to School. Norton, 2006.
Cynthia Daniels, Exposing Men. Oxford, 2006.
Steven Seidman, Beyond the Closet, Routledge, 2002.
Kathleen Hull, Same-sex Marriage. Cambridge, 2006.
Deborah Rudacille, The Riddle of Gender. Pantheon, 2005.
Articles and book chapters available through the UT Library Catalog, or Blackboard (BB).
Schedule of topics and readings
January 24: Introduction to the course and seminar assignments
I. Theoretical Perspectives in the Sociology of Gender and Sexuality
January 31: Psychoanalytic Theory
Sigmund Freud, “The psychogenesis of a case of homosexuality in a woman”; “Female sexuality.” In Sexuality and the Psychology of Love, ed. Philip Rieff. NY: Collier, 1963. (BB)
Jessica Benjamin, “Master and Slave.” Chapter two of The Bonds of Love: Psychoanalysis, Feminism, and the Problem of Domination. Pantheon, 1988. (BB)
Nancy Chodorow, “Heterosexuality as a Compromise Formation.” Chapter two in Femininities, Masculinities, Sexualities: Freud and Beyond. Kentucky, 1994. (BB)
February 7: Symbolic Interactionism (continued on next page)
William Simon and John Gagnon, “Sexual Scripts” Society 22 (1984), reprinted in Culture, Society, and Sexuality: A Reader (Routledge 2007). (BB)
Ken Plummer, “Symbolic Interactionism and Sexual Conduct: An Emergent Perspective.” From Human Sexual Relations, ed. M. Brake. New York: Pantheon Books, 1982. (BB)
Arlene Stein, “Three models of sexuality: Drives, Identities, Practices.” Sociological Theory 7 (1989): 1-13.
Barrie Thorne and Zella Luria, “Sexuality and Gender in Children’s Daily Worlds.” Social Problems 33:3 (Feb. 1986): 176-90.
Film: Kinsey. PBS, 2005. (Class viewing time to be arranged.)
February 14: Feminist Theory
Catharine MacKinnon, “Pleasure under Patriarchy.” From Theories of Human Sexualitiy, ed. J. Geer and W. O’Donohue. Plenum Publishing, 1987. (BB)
Adrienne Rich, “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence.” Signs 5 (Summer 1980): 631-60.
Patricia Hill Collins, excerpt from Black Sexual Politics. Routledge, 2004. (BB)
Diana Tietjens Meyers, “The Rush to Motherhood: Pronatalist Discourse and Women’s Autonomy” Signs 26:3 (Spring 2001): 735-73.
February 21: Queer Theory
Steven Epstein, “A Queer Encounter: Sociology and the Study of Sexuality.” Sociological Theory 12:2 (July 1994).
Stephen Valocchi, “Not Yet Queer Enough: The Lessons of Queer Theory for the Sociology of Gender and Sexuality.” Gender & Society 19:6 (2005): 750-770.
Steven Angelides, “Feminism, Child Sexual Abuse, and the Erasure of Child Sexuality.” GLQ 10:2 (2004): 141-177.
II. Gender & Sexual Identity
Arlene Stein, Shameless: Sexual Dissidence in American Culture. NYU Press, 2006.
Leila Rupp and Verta Taylor, Drag Queens at the 801 Cabaret. Chicago, 2003.
EXAM ONE QUESTIONS DISTRIBUTED
March 14: SPRING BREAK
Gloria Gonzalez Lopez, Erotic Journeys: Mexican Immigrants and their Sex Lives. California, 2005.
EXAM ONE DUE IN CLASS
III. Reproduction and Reproductive Rights
Jennifer Nelson, Women of Color and the Reproductive Rights Movement. NYU, 2003
Kristen Luker, When sex goes to school. Norton, 2006.
Cynthia Daniels, Exposing Men: The Science and Politics of Male Reproduction. Oxford, 2006.
IV. The Future of Gender and Sexuality
Steven Seidman, Beyond the Closet: The Transformation of Gay and Lesbian Life. Routledge, 2002.
Kathleen Hull, Same-sex Marriage: The Cultural Politics of Love and Law. Cambridge, 2006.
Deborah Rudacille, The Riddle of Gender: Science, Activism, and Transgender Rights. Pantheon, 2005.
EXAM TWO QUESTIONS DISTRIBUTED
May 9: EXAM TWO DUE IN THE SOCIOLOGY DEPARTMENT BY 5 PM.
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