Course Title: Sex, gender, family

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Sex, gender, family

Credit Points: 12


Course Code

Campus

Career

School

Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)

HUSO1176

City Campus

Undergraduate

330H Social Science & Planning

Face-to-Face

Sem 1 2006

HUSO1176

City Campus

Undergraduate

365H Global Studies, Soc Sci & Plng

Face-to-Face

Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009

Course Coordinator: social.science@rmit.edu.au

Course Coordinator Phone: social.science@rmit.edu.au

Course Coordinator Email:social.science@rmit.edu.au

Course Coordinator Availability: By email


Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

A first year social science course or equivalent


Course Description

This course looks at sex, gender and families from a sociological perspective. It examines the social construction of gender categories and current understandings of sex, gender, family, body and associated concepts, as well as the relationship between heterosexuality and marginal or excluded sexualities.
These issues, concepts and theories are placed in a historical and cross-cultural context. While paying particular attention to Australia, the course stresses the historical and cultural variability of terms such as masculinity, femininity, family, childhood and sexuality. For this reason, it includes readings on a range of different social groups, both in Australia and in other countries. Topics covered in the course will be linked to current policy issues, debates and controversies. Through learning in this course students will be encouraged to reflect on their own position in the gendered social order and their views on the issues concerned.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

At the completion of the course, students should be able to:
• show improved capacity to select, summarise, evaluate and report on academic materials
• understand and critically evaluate concepts and theories in the area of gender and family studies
• deal confidently with a range of conceptual questions, such as
Why it is difficult to define ‘the family’
What is the distinction between sex and gender and point to some problems with it.
Usefulness of seeing sexuality and bodies as political
Why are social phenomena like work, science, romance, war etc. ‘gendered’?
Understand issues such as marriage, motherhood, family and childhood in cross-cultural and historical perspective.




At the completion of the course, students should be able to:
• show improved capacity to select, summarise, evaluate and report on academic materials
• understand and critically evaluate concepts and theories in the area of gender and family studies
• deal confidently with a range of conceptual questions, such as
Why it is difficult to define ‘the family’
What is the distinction between sex and gender and point to some problems with it.
Usefulness of seeing sexuality and bodies as political
Why are social phenomena like work, science, romance, war etc. ‘gendered’?
Understand issues such as marriage, motherhood, family and childhood in cross-cultural and historical perspective.


Overview of Learning Activities

In this course students will engage in:

• Critical reading of scholarly literature and media reports.
• Critical watching of video material.
• Short oral presentation in a tutorial.
• Writing two essays on the basis of scholarly literature.
• Participating in group and plenary discussions in lectures and tutorials.

Each two hour lecture will start with an overview of the weekly topic from the course coordinator or another lecturer. The second lecture hour will be interactive, often on the basis of short video segments. In several lectures visiting speakers will contribute their expertise to the course.

As a preparation for each week’s work in class, it is essential that students read texts supplied in the course reader.
The tutorials will feature oral presentations (usually by two students per week) on the weekly readings and tutorial class discussion will follow this.


Overview of Learning Resources

The HUSO 1176 Course Reader will be supplied to students in the first week of the Semester. For details of other learning resources, please see the Course Guide (Part B).  


Overview of Assessment

There are three pieces of assessment for this course, two written essays and one oral presentation in the tutorial. You cannot pass the course without completing all three.