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Gender Studies

Graphic element for the subject of Gender Studies

Gender Studies at Södertörn University is characterised by research into how gender, sex and sexuality are "created" in interaction with other power structures. Our courses and programmes have been designed using the concept of intersectionality, i.e. that different power structures, such as gender, sex, sexuality, class, ethnicity and functionality, interact with each other.

Gender Studies in an interdisciplinary subject founded on several decades of feminist research. The subject's starting point is that gender and sexuality are social and cultural constructions. The focus is on investigating how perceptions of gender, sex and sexuality, in interaction with other powers structures like class, ethnicity and functionality, are filled with content and given meaning in various historic, geographic, political and social contexts.

About Gender Studies

Gender Studies is the study of perceptions of sex and sexuality. In other words, how gender is created and transformed.

One starting point for the analysis of personal and political conditions is an awareness of gender and how it affects identity, knowledge and power. This field of research covers many questions related to factors that affect our everyday lives:

  • How are legislation, politics, sexuality, culture, economics and everyday life experienced, understood and affected by the predominant gender system and the understanding of sex?
  • How is gender "constructed"?
  • What factors result in an altered approach to gender and power?
  • How do different social categories based on class, ethnicity, age, religion and functional differences interact in the construction of gender?
  • What approaches are necessary for the academic study of these questions?

Broad and interdisciplinary

Gender is a broad and interdisciplinary field of research that is based on decades of feminist research. As a researcher in Gender, you will learn to analyse and understand sex, gender and sexuality from theoretical and practical contemporary and historical perspectives, as well as in local contexts and global processes. Gender as an analytic category is not the only thing of interest to a gender researcher; the categories of power, such as class, ethnicity, age, religion and functional differences, and their interaction with sex and sexuality are also of interest.

As an academic discipline, Gender draws on the methodology and knowledge generated within the humanities and the social sciences, covering a number of research fields. These include different types of feminism, post-colonial theory, queer theory, intersectionality, research into equality and research into masculinity. Gender Studies at Södertörn University has teachers from a broad academic spectrum: History of Ideas, Anthropology, Political Science, Ethnology, Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies.

Feminist methods for knowledge exchange

Many students choose Gender Studies due to a personal commitment to issues of gender, power and living conditions. Gender Studies provides tools for analysing the creation and maintenance of norms relating to sex and sexuality, both in the external environment and internally.

We deliberately use feministic, anti-racial and anti-homophobic methods for knowledge exchange and actively try to counteract repressive techniques, instead emphasising encouraging techniques. We also include some rhetorical elements, to give our students the opportunity to reflect upon, and to be comfortable, in situations where they speak in front of a group. The combination of theoretical and practical elements, based on critical thinking, results in specific gender-knowledge, providing tools for use in both private and public life.

Language of instruction: Swedish.