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GEND308 Governing Bodies

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.

Paper title Governing Bodies
Paper code GEND308
Subject Gender Studies
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (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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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

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Wednesday 13:00-14:50 9-14, 16-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Thursday 13:00-13:50 10-14, 16-22