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    A critical exploration of the relationship between feminism, state power and issues of gender, sexuality and family, drawing upon approaches from feminism, political theory, criminology, and critical legal studies.

    This paper explores power and the state in the politics of gender and sexuality today. In the first part we examine theories of power, freedom and the state drawn from classical liberalism, critical theory, feminist political theory and transgender studies. We then use the insights of this material to inform our study of key contemporary issues, including: gendered inequality and welfare reform; marriage equality; cisgenderism; gender and the war on terror; neoconservatism and the erosion of reproductive rights. The paper can be taken at the 200- or 300-level. Each level has its own tutorial stream and set of assessment tasks. All students attend the same lectures.

    About this paper

    Paper title Governing Bodies
    Subject Gender Studies
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024, expected to be offered in 2025 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    One 200-level ANTH, GEND, LAWS, POLS or SOCI paper or one of CHTH 231, PHIL 221, PHIL 227, PHIL 228, PHIL 234, PSYC 204
    GEND 208
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music

    Teaching staff

    Course Co-ordinator: Dr Rebecca Stringer

    Paper Structure
    The paper is in two parts. The first explores theories of the state, power and freedom drawn from political theorists, including feminist and queer perspectives. The second part explores issues in the contemporary politics of gender and sexuality.
    Teaching Arrangements
    One weekly 2-hour lecture and a weekly tutorial.

    The assigned weekly reading is provided for students via Blackboard.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Communication, Critical thinking, Research, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete this paper will:

    • Develop knowledge of major theories of the state and key issues in the politics of gender and sexuality
    • Think critically about the relationship between the state and emancipatory social change
    • Become familiar with the processes of parliamentary law reform
    • Develop skills for clear and effective intellectual argumentation


    Not offered in 2024, expected to be offered in 2025

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system
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