Anthropology of Sex, Gender and Identity

Subject ANTH20008 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2011.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 3 (1 x 2 hour lecture per week and 1 x 1 hour tutorial in weeks 2 to 11)
Total Time Commitment: An average of 8.5 hours per week
Prerequisites: None.
Corequisites: None.
Recommended Background Knowledge: One of DEVT10001 or ANTH10001 or any Arts IDF subject.
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2011
Non Allowed Subjects: Students who have completed Sexing the self - 121-066 or 671-354 in 2010 or earlier are not permitted to enrol in this subject.
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:
Subject Overview:

This subject explores the construction of gender and sex in a variety of the world's societies. On completion of the subject students should have gained knowledge of gender-based systems of social classification in non-Western and Western societies and through this develop a critical awareness of the representation of women's and men's lives in ethnography. This course offers a specifically anthropological perspective on sex/gender relations, providing an empirical, cross-cultural framework with which to evaluate and examine various theoretical perspectives. Topics covered include the history of sex/gender as concepts in anthropology; the role of initiation in the making of gender and sexuality; gender, sex and sexuality as social constructs; the problem of universal definitions of ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’; gender and Islam; sex tourism in Southeast Asia; gendered experiences of migration and the role and influence of the nation-state in the lives of men and women today.


Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • Have an understanding of the construction of gender and sex in a variety of the world’s societies
  • Have gained a knowledge of gender-based systems of social classification in non-Western societies
  • Have the ability to critically assess theories about the origins and meaning of sex/gender as a form of difference in human thought and behaviour.
Assessment: A tutorial assignment– 500 words (10%), a take home exam due mid-semester – 1500 words (40%) and one essay due at end of semester – 2000 words (50%)'. This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 75% tutorial participation. Regular participation in tutorials is required. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.
Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available from the University Bookshop at the beginning of semester.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject be able to:

  • Systematically evaluate a body of empirical data and identify its theoretical context
  • Apply methods of critical inquiry and argument leading to improved analytical skills
  • Develop awareness of a range of issues relating to cross-cultural communication, comparison and difference
Links to further information:
Notes: This subject is core in the Graduate Diploma in Arts (Anthropology and Social Theory) and in the Major in Anthropology and Social Theory.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Anthropology
Anthropology and Development
Anthropology and Social Theory
Anthropology and Social Theory
Anthropology and Social Theory
Development Studies
Development Studies
Development Studies Major
Gender Studies
Gender Studies
Gender Studies
Gender Studies Major

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