A historical perspective on gender and sexuality in Sweden


Gender and Sexuality in Modern Sweden in a Historical Perspective

7.5 credits

Autumn / Spring



This course examines the way Sweden is often associated with progressive attitudes towards sexuality and gender equality, as well as how sexuality and gender have been defined and discussed in Sweden in the 20th century and to the present day. Questions of historical continuity and change, as well as power, class, sexuality and ethnicity, are central to the course.

This course is only open for exchange students.

Want to know why you should study at Södertörn University? Find out here.

Tools and knowledge to work actively for change After studying Gender Studies, you will have skills that are vital in many professions. For example, you can work in global development issues, journalism and the media, or education. You can also work with gender issues at businesses and public authorities, as a gender equality consultant, expert, or as an officer for discrimination issues. It provides you with many options on the labour market. Gender Studies not only equips you for working life, but also provides a political and social education that supports participation in and action for various societal issues. Increased understanding and broadened theoretical perspectives allow you to understand and investigate the fundamentals of society. It provides perspectives on how society has changed over time and what we want it to be like in the future. After your studies, you will have developed numerous important skills. These include writing academic texts, making oral presentations, completing independent work and developing critical thinking and analysis skills. What are former students doing now? Many former students of Gender Studies have continued working with gender issues in a variety of ways. For example, some are case managers for public authorities, while others work as project managers in businesses or as investigators in politics and private organisations. Read about research in this subject
Societal norms, gender and sexuality in modern Sweden This course provides insights into how societal norms relating to sexuality and gender have been defined and discussed in Sweden through the 20th century and to the present day. You will examine the development of societal norms and perceptions about the place of men and women in society, the definition and importance of the family, as well as the state’s regulation of and intervention in areas of sexuality and reproduction. The course reflects on questions of historical continuity and change, as well as power, class, sexuality and ethnicity. Course design The course consists of lectures and seminars and may include group assignments for presentation to the class. Assessment is via active participation in seminars and group assignments, shorter written assignments and a written take-home essay.
Study societal issues on the basis of gender, sex and sexuality Gender Studies is a broad subject and is suitable if you are interested in feminism, working towards equality, change and/or opinion building. This subject is useful in all areas of society and can be combined with studies in other subjects. Gender Studies is also valuable if you are already established professionally, but want to develop a deeper understanding and knowledge of this subject so you can do your job even more effectively. You will study how society is organised based on ideas about sex, gender, sexuality and other orders of power. Gender Studies provides perspectives on important and current societal issues. These include sexuality and what a family is and can be, and on phenomena such as the #metoo movement. At the same time, you will study gender from a larger perspective, through issues of globalisation and living conditions in various places around the world. Gender Studies at Södertörn University uses an intersectional perspective. This looks at how orders of power such as sex, gender, class, ethnicity, disability and age interact with each other and with society. When you study Gender Studies you will meet teachers with different backgrounds and expertise. The subject has a critical and reflective approach, covering societal change over time, historically as well as the society we want to see in the future.