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Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies

An Interdisciplinary Approach

Melissa J. Gillis and Andrew T. Jacobs

Publication Date - November 2016

ISBN: 9780199315468

528 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

Retail Price to Students: $79.95

The only truly interdisciplinary introduction to gender studies text


Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies: An Interdisciplinary Approach is a truly interdisciplinary and intersectional text featuring global examples for women's, gender, and sexuality studies. Its student-centered rhetorical approach and pedagogical features--including an engaging image program, prompts for activism, a comprehensive glossary, appendices of key terms, annotated bibliographies for additional reading, and "Feminisms in Brief"--aid students in assimilating fundamental women's and gender studies terms and concepts. While it is a textbook and not an anthology, Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies adopts the best facets of the anthology approach: it includes discussions of frequently anthologized writers and writing that is more engaging and narrative in style than traditional textbooks. The book systematically covers core interdisciplinary concepts so that students are prepared for women's and gender studies courses in a variety of disciplines.

About the Author(s)

Melissa J. Gillis has taught the introductory Women's, Gender, and Sexuality course at SUNY Rockland Community College and has worked for various non-governmental organizations at the United Nations. She is a writer and editor.

Andrew T. Jacobs is Professor of Speech at SUNY Rockland Community College, where he co-developed the introductory Women's, Gender, and Sexuality course.


"Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies is very engaging--it is truly a pleasurable read!--and at the perfect level for my students. The text seamlessly integrates insights from a variety of academic disciplines in a way that alerts students to its interdisciplinarity and to the conventions of citation. It discusses gender issues from a global standpoint, deconstructing any simplistic us-them binaries and discouraging students from easy judgments. It's everything I've been looking for in a textbook."--Abigail Palko, University of Notre Dame

"This text will make a groundbreaking--and perhaps even revolutionary--contribution to the interdisciplinary fields of gender studies and queer theory. It does what very few have managed to accomplish; that is, transcend 'interdisciplinarity' as a buzz word and actually attain this goal in practice and pedagogy."--Steven F. Butterman, University of Miami

"I found the approach to be unique, refreshing, and effective. Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies is at the head of the class."--Gretchen DeHart, Washington State University

"Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies is close to perfect: it features contemporary social issues situated within a historical context, excellent explanations of terms and concepts, and current and challenging tools on the website."--Sharon Sullivan, Washburn University

Table of Contents

    Part I: Gender and Society

    Chapter 1: Sex, Gender, and Social Construction

    The Social Construction of Sex
    Sex Identity
    Gender Polarization
    Doing Sex and Gender Across Cultures
    Multiple Femininities and Masculinities
    Gender Ideology
    Sex and Gender as Cognitive Schemas
    Gender Roles
    Changing Ideas About Gender
    Gender Identity
    Gender Non-Conforming
    Baby X: The Conclusion
    Sexual Orientation
    Third Sex/Third Gender

    Chapter 2: Language and Communication
    What Language Reveals, Conceals and Imposes
    The Primacy of Males and Masculine Terms
    The Sex and Gender of Things
    Parallel Language
    Mr., Miss, Mrs., and Ms.
    Language, Communication and Semantic Change
    Appropriation of Stigmatized Names
    Communication and Reception Theory
    Sex, Gender and Communication
    Gender, Class and Speech
    Women, Men and Communities of Practice

    Chapter 3: Gender and In/Equality
    The Social Construction of Gender
    Gender Construction in Children
    The Social Costs of Traditional Femininity and Masculinity
    Sexism: A Special Case of Prejudice
    Political and Economic Inequality
    Patriarchy at Home
    The "Mythical Norm"
    What About the Oppression of Men?
    Not All Discrimination is Oppression

    Part II: Issues and Intersections

    Chapter 4: LGBTQQIAA Identities and
    Measuring Sexual Orientation
    Kinsey Scale
    Klein Grid
    Storms' Scale
    Looking Back, Looking Forward
    LGBTQQIAA Identities
    The Problem of Heterosexual Focus
    The Lesbian Continuum and Marriage Resistance in Southern China
    Anti-LGBT Attitudes
    Straight Male Homonegativity Regarding Gay Men
    Straight Male Homonegativity Regarding Lesbians
    Straight Female Homonegativity Regarding Gay Men and Lesbians
    Negative Attitudes Regarding Bisexuals
    Negative Attitudes Regarding Transgender People
    Racism and Homophobia Against LGBT People of Color
    Microagressions against LGBT People of Color
    Gay Community and Social Support

    Chapter 5: Constructions of Homosexualities: Past and Present
    Ancient Greece
    Sappho and Female Same-Sex Sexuality
    Ancient Rome
    Male Same-Sex Relations
    Female Same-Sex Relations
    Male Same-Sex Sexual Relations in Latin American Cultures
    The Emergence of the Modern Homosexual
    Marriage in Early Modern England
    Social Relations in Modern Europe
    The Rise of Capitalist Social Relations
    The Modern Regime of Sexuality
    Homosexual Identity as a Movement
    The Stonewall Uprising and LGBTQ Liberation in the U.S.
    Homosexualities in Africa
    Boy-Wives and Bagburu Relationships
    Mummy-Baby Relationships
    Homosexuality as Un-African
    Personification of Homosexuality
    India's Hijras: Troubling Same- and Opposite-Sex Schemas

    Chapter 6: Beyond the Mythical Norm: Considering Race, Class, and Gender
    Examining Race
    Biology and Racial Classification
    Abandoning the Race Concept
    Keeping Race to Aid Activism
    Us and Them
    Gender, Race and Ethnicity Are Socially Constructed
    Socioeconomic Status in America
    Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in America
    The Ideal of the Model Minority
    History of Discrimination
    Black People in the U.S.
    The Myth of the Strong Black Woman
    Black Women, Black Men and Public Surveillance
    Representations of Black People
    The Latino Threat Narrative
    Machismo and Marianismo
    American Indians
    A Rich History Rife with Exploitation
    Multiracial America

    Chapter 7: Embodiment, Beauty, and the Viewer
    Fat Studies and Activism
    History of Women's Body Shape and Clothing in the U.S.
    1890's: Shifting Ideals in a Shifting Social Climate
    1900's - 1920's: The Age of the Boyish Flapper
    1930's: A Turn to Mature, Classical beauty
    1940's -1950's: Move to Glamorous Fuller Figures
    1960's - 1970's: Return to the Thin Ideal
    1980's: Return to the Hourglass Look
    1990's: Enter the Waif Look
    2000's - 2010's: Slim and Hour-Glass Looks
    The Significance of Female Body Shape and Fashion
    History of Men's Body Shape and Clothing in the U.S.
    1666 - 1800's: Into the Great Masculine Renunciation
    1890's: Enter the Athletic Muscular man
    1907 - 1950's: Continuation of the Broad Shouldered Ideal
    1960's: Enter the Peacock
    1970's: Continuation of the Peacock and Rugged Masculinity
    1980's: Rise of the Hypermuscular Ideal
    1990's: Advent of the Metrosexual
    2000's - 2010's: Popularization of the Slim Ideal
    The Significance of Male Body Shape and Fashion
    Viewing Gendered Bodies
    The Male Gaze

    Chapter 8: Work, Inequality, and Neoliberalism
    Examining Unequal Pay
    Starting Out Behind, Staying Behind
    Paid Work and Parenting
    Women's Work, Men's Work
    Fewer Women and People of Color at the Top
    Women Leaders in a Bind
    The Politics of Housework
    The Value of All that Housework
    Why Count Unpaid Work?
    Work, Family and Social Policy
    Work in a Globalizing World
    Documenting Life on the Global Assembly Line
    Modern-Day Slavery
    Neoliberalism and Globalization

    Chapter 9: Gender-Based Violence
    (Re)Defining Gender-Based Violence
    Intimate Partner Violence
    Intimate Partner Violence Globally
    Intimate Partner Violence in the U.S. and Other Western Countries
    Where We Get Our Data
    Making Sense of the Data: Typologies of Violence
    Intimate Terrorism
    Violent Resistance
    Situational Couple Violence
    Risk Factors Associated with Intimate Partner Violence
    Feminist Activism and Intimate Partner Violence
    Women Advocate for Change
    Sexual Violence
    What Do We Know About Rape?
    How We Study Who Rapes and Why
    Debunking Rape Myths
    Sexual Assault on Campus
    The Case of Margaux J.
    Sexual Violence by Women
    The Role of Culture in Sexual Assault
    Advocates Campaign against Sexual Violence
    Violence against Members of the LGBT Community
    Anti-LGBTQIA Violence and Hate Crimes

    PART III: Theory and Practice

    Chapter 10: Human Rights and Global Activism

    La Guerra del Agua --The Water War
    Water and Gender
    Water Privatization Globally
    Water as a Human Right
    Managing Water in the Public Interest
    A Note About Reading This Chapter
    Human Trafficking
    Human Trafficking is a Global Problem
    Global Trends in Trafficking
    South and East Asia and the Pacific
    Africa and the Middle East
    Europe and Central Asia
    Trafficking for Purposes of Sexual Exploitation
    Who Is Vulnerable?
    What Are the Causes of Human Trafficking?
    Genital Cutting Practices
    Traditional Female Genital Cutting
    The Reasons Why Female Cutting is Practiced
    The Consequences of Traditional Female Genital Cutting
    Combating Female Genital Cutting
    Critiquing the Western Discourse
    Interrogating Genital Modification Globally
    Human Rights and the LGBTI Community
    No Country Is Free of Human Rights Abuses
    The United Nations, Human Rights and Activism
    Universal and Indivisible?
    Public and Private Rights
    Engendering Human Rights Law Through a Women's Convention
    Where CEDAW Falls Short
    U.S. Non-ratification of CEDAW
    The United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women
    A Conference of Firsts
    Sex and Gender
    Multiple Oppressions
    Sexual Rights and Sexual Orientation

    Chapter 11: History of Women's Activism in the U.S.: Struggles and Solidarities
    Rethinking the Waves
    The Roots of Feminist Organizing in the U.S.
    The Anti-Slavery Movement and the Woman Question
    Labor Movements in an Industrializing America
    Seneca Falls, Suffrage and Beyond
    Schism in the Woman Movement
    Equal Rights for Women
    There Is No Break in the Waves
    The Anti-Lynching Movement
    The Rise of Organized Labor
    The Birth Control Movement
    The 1950's: Emerging Movements, Pivotal Moments
    U.S. Feminist Organizing from 1960
    Equality Feminism
    Difference Feminism
    Multiracial Feminism
    Feminist Advocacy 1960-1990
    Body image and beauty standards
    Capitalism and imperialism
    Violence against women
    Reproductive health
    Issue Focus: Reproductive Choice
    The 1980's, Conservatism and Backlash in the U.S.
    The Third Wave
    Hip-Hop Feminism
    Riot Grrrls, Zines and DIY Feminism
    Gaga Feminism
    Common Themes in Third Wave Feminism
    Third Wave Feminists Take a Feminism is for Everyone Approach
    Third Wave Feminists are Intentionally Multicultural and Coalitional
    Third Wave Feminists are Antiessentialist
    Third Wave Feminists are Genderbending
    Third Wave Feminists Engage Popular Culture
    Third Wave Feminists are often Prosex
    Second Wave is to Third Wave as Mother Is to Daughter?

    Chapter 12: Feminisms: Theories and Practices
    Advantages of Feminist Theoretical Analysis
    Understanding Forms of Feminism
    Read and Re-Read the Forms of Feminism
    Understand There Are No Neat Divisions
    Recognize This Is a Brief Introduction
    Not Agreeing with Everything is OK
    Understand Anti-Feminism
    Liberal Feminist Theory
    History of Liberal Feminism
    Radical Feminist Theory
    History of Radical Feminism
    Marxist and Socialist Feminist Theory
    History of Marxist and Socialist Feminism
    U.S. Intersectional Feminist Theory
    History of U.S. Intersectional Feminism
    Transnational Feminist Theory
    History of Transnational Feminism
    Postmodern Feminist/Queer Theory
    History of Postmodernism and Queer Theory

    Appendix A: Basic Terms
    Appendix B: Names for People and Places
    Appendix C: Feminisms in Brief


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