Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Gender and Culture

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Gender and Sexualities

DESCRIPTION The study-unit is an introduction to gender and culture. It introduces the student to cultural and social issues of representation and portrayal of gender stereotypes in cultural artefacts in Malta and in Europe. It will introduce the concept of 'gender' as a theoretical construct which will be analyzed though media, culture and society. The study-unit focuses on the production and reception of powerful cultural understandings and representations of masculinity, femininity and sexuality.

The aim of the study-unit is to raise awareness and critical ability. It introduces theories of gender identity, feminist theory, and masculinities, and explores the role the media plays in the social and cultural project around gender identity.

It looks at gender portrayal in media output and gender equality in the culture industries (Adorno).

Study-Unit Aims:

- To classify the role of gender politics and interpret the impact of gender relations on our daily lived experiences, our social cultural engagements, and our political lives;
- To raise awareness and critical ability to introduce theories of gender identity (from various disciplines such as sociology, psychology and cultural studies), feminist theory, and masculinities, and to explore the role the culture industry plays in the social and cultural project around gender identity;
- To introduce to the concept of 'gender' and generate a discussion surrounding the various theories on gender;
- To introduce to the main schools of feminism and their position regarding the media, culture and society;
- To explore of the rise of 'masculinities' in academia from political social and cultural perspectives.

The Practical Applications:

- To introduce the process of representation and portrayal of stereotypes using contemporary cultural examples from local and international media and cultural productions.

The Culture Industry:

- To examine the structure of media and cultural organisations - both local and abroad; exploring gender representation within the media and culture industries, looking at the share of decision making power, equal opportunities (or lack of), the hierarchy, the location of different gender in different genre, etc.
- The study-unit draws on contemporary research from the European Broadcasting Union, Equal Opportunities Network EU, the Commonwealth Broadcasting Union, and specific countries internationally.

Learning Outcomes:

Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- explain Gender, Media & Identity theories within a wider theoretical framework;
- recognise the importance of addressing gender issues in the media, culture and society, based on social, political and economic factors;
- develop a critical ability around gender portrayal and balance;
- identify stereotypical or discriminatory representation of gender roles in the media culture and society.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

- Hodkinson P., (2010) Media, Culture and Society: An Introduction, Sage, London.
- Gauntlett D., (2008), Media, Gender and Identity An Introduction, Routledge, London.

Supplementary Readings:

- Mac an Ghaill M., and Haywood C., (2007) Gender, Culture and Society: Contemporary Femininities and Masculinities, Palgrave Macmillan.
- Mirzoeff N., (2000) An Introduction to Visual Culture, Routledge, London [Parts 2 and 3].
- Journals: Media, Culture and Society, Sage, London.

A comprehensive reading guide and additional papers/journal articles/chapters will be made available on the elearning site during the delivery of the study-unit.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Seminar

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Reflective Diary SEM2 Yes 15%
Presentation SEM2 Yes 20%
Assignment SEM2 Yes 65%

LECTURER/S Sandy Calleja Portelli
Brenda Murphy (Co-ord.)

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.