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POL2113 : Sex, Gender and Power

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Orly Siow
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


1.       To provide students with a critical overview of feminist theories and approaches to politics;
2.       To equip students with knowledge of different strands of feminist thought and their understandings of sex and gender;
3.       To provide students with skills to analyse the politics of sex, gender, and sexuality across social structures, institutions, and cultures;
4.       To engage students in the analysis of sex and gender in intersection with other categories like race, class, and ethnicity;
5.       To empower students to critically engage with current feminist debates.

Outline Of Syllabus

Why are sex, gender and sexuality political issues? Feminism, in all its various forms, profoundly unsettles established understands of the nature and location the political. Not only does it contest the gender-neutrality of politics, but also challenges what counts as politics. This module explores the various ways in which different feminist approaches conceive of the political. What does it mean to examine concepts like power, inequality, labour, violence, and the international from a feminist perspective? What do feminists have to say about representation, capitalism, social movements, and colonialism? How do sex and gender intersect with other forms of oppression? How and why do various strands of feminism agree or disagree with each other? Why is feminism still politically relevant today? Each week familiarises students with a particular feminist approach, such as liberal Marxist, radical, postcolonial and queer feminism, and applies it to one or more feminist issues.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical1164:00164:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery22:004:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures provide students with core instruction regarding feminist approaches to politics. The seminars will support student learning through class and group discussions designed to cultivate collaboration, debate, and peer-learning.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research proposal2M15500 word research proposal
Research paper2M853000 word research paper
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The 3,000 word research paper assess the students’ ability to comprehend, engage with, and apply the knowledge learned during the module. Students will be required to show both a sound grasp of theoretical frameworks and an ability to apply them successfully. A research proposal of 500 words will support the paper writing process by encouraging students to plan and research their research paper early on.

Reading Lists