GSSA 2102 - Gender, Bodies and Health

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2016

The course information on this page is being finalised for 2016. Please check again before classes commence.

This course explores the social and historical context of understandings of 'the body', gender and health. In particular it investigates the role that the concept of biology and biological difference plays in the construction of gender, and of health/illness. The course presents a range of understandings of embodiment and their relationship to gender. Topics will include the exploration of changing understandings of reproduction, the immune system, heredity and psychosomosis and in doing so will focus on a number of topical health issues such as, infertility, impotence, cancer, obesity, and anxiety disorders. The course complements studies in public health, psychology and social policy. It draws from the disciplines of sociology, anthropology and the history and philosophy of science.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GSSA 2102
    Course Gender, Bodies and Health
    Coordinating Unit Gender Studies and Social Analysis
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of level 1 undergraduate study
    Incompatible GWSI 2004, GWSI 3004, GWSI 2102
    Course Description This course explores the social and historical context of understandings of 'the body', gender and health. In particular it investigates the role that the concept of biology and biological difference plays in the construction of gender, and of health/illness. The course presents a range of understandings of embodiment and their relationship to gender. Topics will include the exploration of changing understandings of reproduction, the immune system, heredity and psychosomosis and in doing so will focus on a number of topical health issues such as, infertility, impotence, cancer, obesity, and anxiety disorders. The course complements studies in public health, psychology and social policy. It draws from the disciplines of sociology, anthropology and the history and philosophy of science.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Erica Millar

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Identify the ways in which gender has contributed to the structuring of women’s and men’s bodily experiences of health and illness.
    2 Discuss competing discourses that underpin their own understanding of health and illness, as well as those that predominate in popular, everyday and medical fields.
    3 Debate contemporary gender theories relating to the body.
    4 Explain why health policy must include the socio-cultural, economic and political dimensions of gender and health.
    5 Demonstrate an ability to collect and critically analyse material on a gendered health topic.
    6 Write logical and coherent arguments based on evidence, and engage in critical debate.
    7 Work with others in the exploration of ideas and to collectively negotiate solutions to problems.
    University Graduate Attributes

    No information currently available.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Key weekly readings can be accessed online through MyUni.
    Recommended Resources

    Alsop, R, Fitzsimons, A and K Lennon (2002) Theorizing gender. Oxford: Polity Press.

    Bird, C & P Rieker (2008) Gender and health: The effects of constrained choices and social policies. London/New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Broom, A & P. Tovey (2009) (eds.), Men’s health: Body, identity and social context. London, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

    Fausto-Sterling, A. (2000) Sexing the body: Gender politics and the construction of the body. New York: Basic Books.

    Fraser, M. & Greco, M. (eds.) (2005) The body: A reader. London: Routledge.

    Gough, B and S Robertson (2009) Men, masculinities and health : critical perspectives. Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan

    Howson A (2005) Embodying gender. London: Sage

    Lock, M & J. Farquhar. (2007). Beyond the body proper: Reading the anthropology of material life. Durham: Duke University Press.

    Lorber, J and L Moore (2002) Gender and the social construction of illness. (2nd Ed) Walnut Creek, Calif. : AltaMira Press.

    Lorber, J and L Moore (2010) (2nd ed) Gendered bodies: Feminist perspectives Oxford University Press.

    McNeil, M (2007) Feminist cultural studies of science and technology. Routledge, New York

    Petersen, A and R. Bunton (1997) Foucault, health and medicine. London: Routledge.

    Reed, L and P. Saukko, (2010) eds. Governing the female body: Gender, health, and networks of power. Albany: State University of New York Press.

    Shilling, C (2003) The body and social theory (2nd Ed). London ; Thousand Oaks, Calif. : SAGE Publications

    Tuana, N. (2002) (ed) Revealing male bodies. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

    Turner, B (2009) The body & society: explorations in social theory (3rd Ed) London: Sage.

    Watson, J (2000) Male Bodies: health, culture and identity. Buckingham: Open University Press.
    Online Learning
    Lectures, handouts, essay questions, links and updates about contemporary issues and further reading will be posted to the MyUni course site available via the MyUni link on University Web page at www.adelaide.edu.au.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    Throughout the semester students will be required to attend a 2 hour lecture and 1 hour tutorial each week. Some weeks the 2 hour lecture will be divided into a lecture and workshop, with the second hour involving problem solving activities. The teaching and learning also involves a number of award winning documentaries and contemporary media to provide further avenues for discussion of key themes.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    1 x 2 hour lecture per week (x 12) 24 hours
    1 x 1 hour tutorial per week (x 10) 10 hours
    1 x 3 hours reading each week (x 11) 33 hours
    1 x 4 hours assignment preparation each week (x 11) 44 hour
    Total 111
    Learning Activities Summary
    1 Introduction to the Course and its requirements
    2 Gendering Health and Illness
    3 Biomedicine and the body
    4 Competing discourses of the body
    Documentary film
    5 The politics of bodily metaphors and representations
    6 Gendering Foucault
    7 Phenomenology and the sentient body
    8 Embodying anorexia
    9 Sexual strategies and structural violence
    Documentary film
    10 Indigenous men’s health: ‘Condoms are for whitefellas’
    11 Genital glam and genital cutting
    12 Islam, kinship and new reproductive technologies
    Specific Course Requirements

    Not applicable.
    Small Group Discovery Experience

    Each week two students will lead a wiki that relates to the week’s topic. All students are expected to engage in online collaborative learning to prepare for tutorials.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment task task type Weight
    Minor paper 1500 words Essay 40%
    Tutorial participation and presentation 20%
    Major paper 3000 words Research essay 40%
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students are required to complete all assessment tasks to be eligible to pass this course
    Assessment Detail

    Each week two students will lead a wiki that relates to the week’s topic. All students will help build these collaborative learning platforms.

    Essay questions for the minor essay will be handed out in class.

    The major research assignment requires you to use your sociological imagination, research skills, and insights from the lectures, activities, tutorial readings and discussions to create a comparative project of the differing terrains on which a specific illness, physical condition or health status is located. The disease or disorder might be one of many types:
    - a relatively common and benign condition such as acne, 
    - a chronic disorder such as asthma, arthritis, migraine, or multiple sclerosis, 
    - a less well definable condition such as depression, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or insomnia.
    - a life threatening condition such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, heart disease, anorexia.
    - a stigmatised condition such as dyslexia, epilepsy, infertility, schizophrenia, obesity.

    The assignment does not require that you have any prior knowledge about the disorder, or that you be a medical expert in the condition.
    Submission

    Your assignments in this course will be submitted online via the relevant MyUni course site.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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