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DSOC 25A09 - Sexuality and Society

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2019-2020

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

Situated within the field of the sociology of sexualities, this course will address the historical, cultural and social construction of sexuality. Part 1 of the course will investigate conceptual foundations of the social construction of sexuality. In part 2 of the course, we will look at the changing historical meanings of sexual categories and at the ways in which LGBT social movements have sought to politicize them. In part 3, we will examine the social regulation of sexuality through an analysis of topics such as sexual violence and harassment, women's sexualized imagery in the media, and controversies around same-sex marriage. At the end of the course, students will have a solid knowledge of the core concepts in the field of sociology of sexualities, they will be able to apply these concepts to contemporary controversies about sex and sexualities, and to understand the ways in which sexuality shapes our social world.


ELOIT, Ilana M. (Chercheur Post-doctorante)

Course validation

One research paper and one oral presentation will be assigned. The research paper must be between 3 000 and 3 500 words long (bibliography not included). The research paper is worth 70% of the final grade. Presentations should last twenty minutes. In-class participation and the oral presentation are worth 30% of the final grade

Required reading

  • - Chauncey, George (1994) “Introduction” in George Chauncey (1994) Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture and the Making of the Gay Male (1890-1940), New York: Basic Books, pp. 1-29.
  • - De Beauvoir, Simone (1997 [1949]) “Childhood” in The Second Sex, volume 2, London: Vintage Books, pp. 295-351.
  • - Foucault, Michel (1978) Part 1 “We ‘Other Victorians'”, and chapter 1, part 2 “The Incitement to Discourse”, in The History of Sexuality, New York: Pantheon Books, pp. 2-35.
  • - Gould, Deborah B. “Chapter 2: A Shifting Emotional Habitus and the Emergence of the Direct-Action AIDS Movement”, in Moving Politics: Emotion and Act Up's Fight Against AIDS, Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, pp. 121-176.
  • - Weeks, Jeffrey (2003) “The Invention of Sexuality” in Jeffrey Weeks (2003), Sexuality (Second edition), London and New York: Routledge, pp. 11-40.

Additional required reading

  • - Gill, Rosalind (2008) “Empowerment/Sexism: Figuring Female Sexual Agency in Contemporary Advertising”, Feminism and Psychology, 18(1), pp. 35-60.
  • - MacKinnon, Catharine A. (2019), “Where #MeToo Came From, and Where It's Going”, The Atlantic, 24 March,
  • - Martel, Frédéric (2000) “Women's Liberation: Year Zero” in Frédéric Martel (2000) The Pink and the Black: Homosexuals in France since 1968, translated by Jane Marie Todd, Stanford: Stanford University Press.
  • - Wittig, Monique (1980) “One Is Not Born a Woman” in Monique Wittig (1992), The Straight Mind and Other Essays, Boston: Beacon Press.
  • Filmographie:
  • - Hubbard, Jim and Schulman, Sarah (2012) United in Anger: A History of Act Up.
  • - Lifshitz, Sébastien (2012), Les Invisibles [The Invisibles].
  • - Tissot, Sylvie and Tissot, Florence (2015), Je ne suis pas féministe, mais… [I'm Not a Feminist, But…].