Gender & Society

Discipline: Sociology
Instructor: Parrot
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 1050
End: 1205
Field Work: Day 1 - Cape Town - Friday, 28 March | South Africa
Prerequisites: Introductory Sociology or Biology course recommended. Download Syllabus

Participants in this course will examine the significance of gender in global societies today. The course begins with the assumption that gender is a social construct and evaluates gender identity and sexuality from this perspective. We will also look at how social institutions (i.e., the family, work, and education) and biology shape gendered experiences in everyday life. The course will illustrate how changes at the institutional level can have profound affects on the ways in which individuals experience their gender and sexuality. We will discuss the sociological, cultural, biological and medical issues related to “third genders.” Students will explore gender in the field lab experiences to learn about the ways in which different societies understand the practice and meaning of gender.

Field Work

Country: South Africa
Day: 1 - Cape Town - Friday, 28 March

We will visit an organization that works to eradicate discrimination against and within the LGBT community and provide services to this community. Students on this field lab will learn about homosexual transmission and  prevention of HIV/AIDS, and how gay men are viewed, heterosexual transmission within marriage, prevention in that context the role polygamy plays in transmission and prevention in that context, and the political issues addressed in the new South African constitution about gay marriage and gay rights. We will also address treatment for HIV positive people in South Africa. Academic Objectives:

  1. Understand what the Triangle Project does toward eradicating discrimination against and within the LGBT community and what services they provide to this community.
  2. Develop a better understanding of the current scope of  HIV/AIDS  in South Africa and strategies within the country to address the  problems associated with HIV/AIDS
  3. Understand the way HIV is addressed within the Townships, and the government’s efforts to reduce the incidence, prevalence and severity of HIV in SA.