Sexualities & Gender
This research cluster brings together people interested and involved in research on sexuality and/or gender, primarily in the Cardiff University School of Social Sciences but including, also, interested people from other schools and departments. We come from a diverse range of disciplinary backgrounds and theoretical approaches and are working towards developing our inter-/cross-disciplinary understandings of gender, sexuality and the relationship between them.
We take sexuality as much more broadly understood than simply 'sex' or 'sexual relationships'. It is our premise that:
Sexuality is not the property of an individual and is not a hormonally or biologically given, inherent quality. Rather sexual cultures and sexual meanings are constructed through a range of discursive practices across social institutions. ... Thus, when we talk about 'sexuality' we are talking about a whole assemblage of heterogeneous practices, techniques, habits, dispositions, forms of training and so on that govern things like dating and codes of dress in particular situations. (Debbie Epstein, Sarah O'Flynn and David Telford, 2003, Silenced Sexualities in Schools and Universities. Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham Books, page 3)
At one level, gender may seem much more susceptible to definition. It has, traditionally, been said that while sex is biological (one is male or female), gender is social and cultural. But recent theorists, following Judith Butler and including some of our members, see biological sex and gender as inextricably mixed and both, in some senses at least, culturally constructed and performative. Some, indeed, question the usefulness of 'gender' as a category. Nevertheless, we do talk about 'gender' and are interested in the difference that gender makes in a variety of sites from the workplace and school to popular culture and literary texts.
Research in the school on aspects of sexuality and gender has been funded by, amongst others, the:
- ACCAC (the Qualifications, Curriculum and Assessment Authority for Wales)
- Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
- General Teaching Council (Wales)
- Nuffield Foundation, the Home Office
Staff and graduate students in the School are involved in research and scholarship in the following areas:
- University of Wales
- Welsh Assembly
- Welsh Office of Research and Development
- Research within the cluster includes work on:
- Childhood sexualities
- Femininities and masculinities
- Feminist theory
- Mainstreaming gender and sexuality policies
- Gender and education
- Gender and identity
- Gender and social policy
- Gender, sexuality and work
- Queer theory
- Sexuality, crime and criminal justice
- Sexuality and education
- Sexuality and gender in popular culture
- Sexuality, gender and race/ethnicity
- Sexualities, gender and violence, discrimination and harassment
- Sexual identities
We are interested in hearing from potential doctoral students with interests in these areas.
We meet once a month, from 3.00-4.00pm (or sometimes a bit longer), on the first Wednesday of every month during term time. At these meetings we discuss our work-in-progress, readings, develop research projects and so on. The group is open to all staff and research students in the School of Social Sciences and to those in other Faculties and Schools who share our interests. However, as it is a working group, we would like members to make a commitment to coming on a fairly regular basis and to sharing their work. Contact Debbie Epstein on EpsteinD@cf.ac.uk to get details.
Gender and Sexualities Research Group Meetings, 2008-2009
School of Social Sciences, Glamorgan Building, Cardiff University - Thursdays 12-2pm (please feel welcome to bring your lunch)
November 13 (Glamorgan Building, Council Chamber)
*Is a queer theory of intersex possible?*
December 11 (Room -1.80)
University of Central Lancashire.
'Narratives parents tell about their child*s genital surgery?'
January 15 (Room -1.78)
Workshop (Presenter: Prof Debbie Epstein)
Options: 1. Data; 2. Applying for jobs
February 12 (Committee Rooms 1-2, Glamorgan Bld)
Prof Jeffrey Weeks
London South Bank University
'Making History Personal'
Followed by a session for postgraduate students
March 12 (-1.78 Glamorgan)
'Islam, Young Bangladeshis, marriage and family in Bangladesh and in the UK'
April 7 (Birt Acres Lecture Theatre, Bute Bld)
Prof Raewyn Connell
University of Sydney, Australia
"Rethinking gender in world perspective"
Followed by a session for postgraduate students
April 9 (beginning of Passover) no meeting this date
May 14 (-1.78 Glamorgan)
Dr Chris Brickell
University of Otago, New Zealand
June 11 (-1.78 Glamorgan)
Kelly Buckley (Title TBA)
Helen Blakely 'Neo-liberalism, Welfare and Women: a view from the margins'
July 9 (-1.78 Glamorgan)
*Masculinity/homoeroticism of the south Indian film spectator*
Young people, gender and suicide prevention (Dr Jonathan Scourfield , Dr Katy Greenland , Dr Lindsay Prior) [Wales Office of Research & Development for Health & Social Care 2001]