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What is Gender?

What is Gender?
Sociological Approaches

June 2007 | 216 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Is gender something done to us by society, or something we do? What is the relationship between gender and other inequalities?

What is Gender? explores these complex and important questions, helping readers to critically analyse how women's and men's lives are shaped by the society in which they live. The book offers a comprehensive account of trends in sociological thinking, from a material and economic focus on gender inequalities to the debates about meaning initiated by the linguistic or cultural turn.

The book begins by questioning simplistic biological conceptions of gender and goes on to evaluate different theoretical frameworks for explaining gender, as well as political approaches to gender issues. The cultural turn is also examined in relation to thinking about how gender is related to other forms of inequality such as class and 'race'.

The book is up-to-date and broad in its scope, drawing on a range of disciplines, such as: sociology, psychoanalysis, masculinity studies, literary criticism, feminist political theory, feminist philosophy and feminist theory.


Introduction to the sociology of gender
How different are women and men?
Is gender something that we do?
How can gender best be explained?
Is gender about bodies?
What are the politics of gender?
How is gender intertwined with class?
How is gender intertwined with 'race'?
Conclusion: So what is gender?

The book is a helpful and concise introduction to the complex field of gender studies. By delivering different theoretical positions in this field it also helps readers developing a critical standoint.

Dr Gabriele Habinger
Dept of Social & Cultural Anthropoloy, University of Vienna
March 9, 2020

Gives students some of the basics on Gender. Some of the students have little background in this area so it works quite well as an intro text.

Dr Billie Mary Lister
HSS Criminology, Leeds Beckett University
January 19, 2016

An excellent text. Just right for my second year undergraduate module. Have advised them that it a text I would recommend to purchase

Dr Andrew King
other, Surrey University
February 14, 2013

A very useful book - interesting

Miss Desiree Jansen
Higher Education, Accrington and Rossendale College
September 17, 2012

A great introduction to gender - this focuses of the key arguments, the text provides a clear structure and offers key readings at the end of every chapter.

Miss Charlotte Jones
Warwick Institute of Education, Warwick University
August 25, 2012

A very useful discussion of gender that explores an issue that has been neglected for some time.

Ms Ruth Hamilton
Sch of Health,Community & Educ Studies, Northumbria University
June 14, 2012

A good introduction to the sociological construction of Gender and sex and differences. In the second part there is an inspiring overall overview to the politics of Gender.

Professor Brigitte Wotha
Institute for Geography, Christian-Albrechts-Universität
April 21, 2011

I like the book for its introductory appeal and the easily understandable writing style, therefore I recommended it in my class on feminism

Ms Daniela Babilon
Institut für Anglistik/Amerikanistik, University of Paderborn
April 5, 2011

A good introductory text on gender. Highly recommended for undergraduates.

Dr Niall Hanlon
Humanities and Social Sciences, Dublin Business School
November 9, 2010

This is an exceelent text that will be recommended as essential reading for these modules.

Dr Lyvinia Elleschild
School of Sociology and Law, university of plymouth
July 14, 2010

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ISBN: 9780761947134

ISBN: 9780761947127

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