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Transformations: Gender, Reproduction, and Contemporary Society. Week 1: Introduction Defining the Terms Dr Sherah Wells [email protected] Module Details. No Reading Week in Term 1 Class Essay 2,000 words Due at the beginning of your seminar in Week 9. Key Concepts.

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transformations gender reproduction and contemporary society

Transformations: Gender, Reproduction, and Contemporary Society

Week 1: Introduction

Defining the Terms

DrSherah Wells

[email protected]

module details
Module Details
  • No Reading Week in Term 1
  • Class Essay
    • 2,000 words
    • Due at the beginning of your seminar in Week 9
key concepts
Key Concepts
  • Reproduce/Reproduction
  • Family
  • Reproductive Rights
  • Motherhood/Fatherhood
reproduction
Reproduction

Generational

Daily

Reproducing the next generation of workers

Ongoing reproduction of workers

fredrich engels the origins of the family private property and the state
Fredrich Engels, The Origins of the Family, Private Property and the State.

According to the materialistic conception, the determining factor in history is, in the last resort, the production and reproduction of immediate life. But this itself is of a twofold character. On the one hand, the production of the means of subsistence, of food, clothing and shelter and the tools requisite therefore; on the other, the production of human beings themselves, the propagation of the species. The social institutions under which men of a definite historical epoch and of a definite country live are conditioned by both kinds of production: by the stage of development of labour…and of the family.

unequal divisions of labour
Unequal Divisions of labour

Do you agree that women do most of the work daily reproduction, the housework and child-care? Is this just a norm that can be over-turned, with new men arriving to share things 50:50,or even to take it all on? Or while women give birth is it always going to be women doing most of the caring?

family
Family
  • Heterosexual couple with offspring: Engels describes as inevitable and natural
  • Feminist critique is that it is constructed to oppress women
  • Question what we mean by ‘family’?
reproductive rights
Reproductive Rights
  • What do individuals need to ensure reproductive rights?
    • Information about and access to contraception and abortion
    • Good maternity and sexual health services
    • Negotiation within gendered power relations
  • How are reproductive rights perceived in different social and political contexts?
  • To what extent are reproductive rights inherently gendered?
motherhood fatherhood
Motherhood/Fatherhood
  • What does ‘to father’ a child mean? What is conjured up by the phrase: ‘He fathered three children’?
  • What does ‘to mother’ a child mean? What is conjured up by the phrase: ‘She mothered three children’?
seminars
Seminars
  • Think about the way in which the themes we’ve discussed today are played out in the media (news, television, books, radio).
  • Refer to key readings and seminar questions.
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