Gender Studies

Gender studies is a multidisciplinary field, which focuses on the concept of gender and its history, on gender relations and on the power structures that affect all figurations of gender. In gender studies we ask questions like: Why, how and with what consequences are people categorized into different genders? What does gender and sex mean? How does gender affect people’s lives? What does it mean to live in a gendered culture? How can we detect gendered structures in social and political institutions? Why is history male? What kind of biases are at work when girls decide to become nurses and boys want to be engineers?

Research in gender studies uses different theoretical approaches. Queer studies deconstructs the binary opposition between two genders and investigates how gender, sex and sexuality are socially and culturally constructed. By focusing on intersectionality it is possible to detect how multiple differences, such as differences of gender, class and ethnicity, intersect in the production of social positions and experiences. Critical masculinity studies analyses how hegemonic masculinity is constructed and how it affects the lives of men as well as women.