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GEND206 Gender, Work and Consumer Culture

Explores the relationships between gender, paid and unpaid work, and cultures of consumption. Topics include labour force change, gendered production of consumer goods, fashion, retailing and the consumption of gender identities.

This paper will provide an introduction to the relationships between gender, work (both paid and unpaid) and the emerging field of consumer culture studies. We examine why women and men often experience work differently.
Consumer culture is the other side of the coin: patterns of spending the money we earn. As consumers we often rely on the work of ourselves and others, and we examine how consumer practices are also gendered. Specific topics include assumptions about work, emotional labour, the changing labour force, theories of work and consumption, shopping malls and the ambiguous spaces of suburbia.

Paper title Gender, Work and Consumer Culture
Paper code GEND206
Subject Gender Studies
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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GEND 101 or GEND 102 or 54 points
GEND 306
Schedule C
Arts and Music

Teaching staff

Coordinator:  Professor Chris Brickell

Lecturers:  Dr Fairleigh Gilmour and Dr John Wei

Paper Structure
Key topics:
  • Theories of work and consumer culture
  • Gender and the labour force
  • Unpaid work
  • Emotional labour
  • Histories of consumer culture
  • Gender and shopping
  • Malls and department stores
  • Suburbia
Teaching Arrangements
Two lectures per week and a tutorial for six weeks of the paper.

Textbooks are not required for this paper.

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

By the end of the paper, students will:

  • Be able to discuss relationships between gender, work and consumer culture
  • Think critically about the world of work and consumer culture
  • Have had practice in developing written and verbal arguments

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Wednesday 10:00-10:50 28-34, 36-41
Thursday 10:00-10:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
T1 Thursday 13:00-13:50 29, 31, 33, 36, 38, 40