Gender and Sexuality in Japan

This course provides an introduction to basic gender and feminist theories through a comparative examination of Japanese and other cultures. We begin by interrogating the ways that the terms "male" and "female" have been defined variously using biological, social, legal and political criteria. Using selected historical, literary and ethnographic examples as case studies, we examine the discourses pertaining to the use of these categories as both the process and consequence of unequal distribution of power within society. Through debate and discussion, students will gain a deeper understanding of the variation and mutability of gender and sexual discourse as a social, rather than purely ontological, construct.

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